BATON ROUGE, La. – Texas A&M Soccer found success in its Southeastern Conference debut with a 1-0 win over the Louisiana State Tigers on Friday evening at LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Aggies’ defense continued its dominance with its fourth consecutive shutout and the fifth blanking of an opponent in the last six games. Jordan Day extended her scoreless streak in net to 426 minutes. The Maroon and White recorded four consecutive shutouts for the first time since the first two weeks of October 2010.
A&M drew first blood early in the first half. Jayne Eadie offered a corner kick from the left corner arc in the 13th minute. Meghan Streight received the pass in the center of the field eight yards in front of the goal mouth and redirected the ball back to the left post. Lightly marked five yards out, Rachel Lenz used her head to squeeze the ball between the post and a lunging LSU netminder, towards the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
LSU (4-2-2, 0-1-0 SEC) had the first real scoring threat of the match. In the seventh minute, Day left her line to make an aggressive save off the foot of Victoria Sample from eight yards out.
Katie Perry responded with a pair of solid shots in the ninth and 10th minutes, respectively, before the Maroon and White broke the scoring seal with 32:59 left in the first half.
The Tigers looked to knot the game at 1-1 when Addie Eggleston had a point-blank shot from nine yards out, but Day was able to punch the ball over the crossbar to keep LSU scoreless.
Texas A&M (7-1-0, 1-0-0 SEC) had numerous scoring opportunities in the last third of the opening stanza. In the 31st minute, Kelley Monogue charged down the left side of the field and offered a shot across the mouth of the goal going just two yards right of the goal. In the 35th minute, Monogue blasted a shot from 10 yards out which Tiger keeper Megan Kinneman saved with the carom rolling back to Monogue whose follow-up shot sailed high. In the 40th minute, Catalina Clavijo launched a header from 10 yards out wide right of the goal.
The Aggies needed a key defensive play from Lenz, the game’s unofficial MVP, to keep their lead heading into the intermission. Fernanda Pina dribbled the ball into the penalty box from the right corner and appeared headed to a one-on-one opportunity with Day. Before Pina could get a shot off, Lenz came charging from the penalty spot and squashed the attack with a head-on strip of the ball.
Texas A&M applied most of the pressure in the second half, outshooting the Tigers 9-2. The best chance to add an insurance goal came in the 55th minute when Allie Bailey hit a laser from 20 yards out that tattooed the crossbar and ricocheted one yard in front of the end line before being collected by Kinneman.
Day made three saves in her fifth shutout of the season and she lowered her goals-against average on the year to 0.38.
Texas A&M owned a 19-9 advantage in shots and 10-5 edge in corner kicks.
The victory gave the Aggies a win over an LSU team that was 23-5-6 at home over the last four season.
A&M returns to action on Sunday when the Maroon and White travel to Oxford for a 1 p.m., contest against the Ole Miss Rebels.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On the win: This was a big win for us on the road. It was a tough environment to play in and we overcame a slow start to play well and get a conference win.
On Rachel Lenz’ play: Rachel was outstanding and probably the most valuable player of the match. Not only did she score the only goal of the match, but she came up with big defensive plays time after time.