After entering a flat spin during a patch of conference play highlighted by three straight matches without a result, LSU closed out the regular season on a 4 match unbeaten streak, picking up 10 points and vaulting them to a 7th place finish in the SEC regular season standings.
LSU virtually had a spot in Orange Beach locked up, but Thursday night the Tigers were playing to support their 7th seed position against Kentucky, who were desperate for anything, since they were on the outside looking in.
Natalia Gomez-Junco opened the scoring in the 4th minute when, surprise, she converted a free kick into a goal, a 25 yarder that went into the top right corner and out the reach of Kentucky keeper Katelyn Jensen. That's the third time Gomez-Junco has scored from a free kick this season.
That would end up being the only action until the 64th minute, when Jorian Baucom did the soccer thing again. Lexi Gibbs, an incredibly understated part of this team, lifted a perfect ball over the Wildcat back line to Baucom who netted her 14th goal on the season.
And then, 10 minutes of pure craziness began.
In the 69th minute, substitute Jade Klump found herself unmarked on a long cross and was able to head it home to cut the LSU lead to 2-1. And then 26 seconds later, the Wildcat defense simply forgot about Jorian Baucom, one of the most prolific scorers in the SEC and NCAA, who found herself unmarked in the box when she received a cross from Heather Magee. Baucom now has 15 goals in 18 appearances on the season. However, two minutes later the ball was loose in the LSU box and Tanya Samarzich was the first player to it and deposited it to make the game 3-2.
That would it for all the action in the game, as LSU held on to seal the number 7 seed in Orange Beach, where they will play in a rematch against Kentucky at 2:30 on Monday. You can watch at work on the SEC Network.
The 2015 SEC Soccer Tournament bracket is set. pic.twitter.com/HO1Pt6Z4Q6— Craig Pinkerton (@SEC_Craig) October 30, 2015