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Soccer Eliminated From NCAA Tournament

Tigers turn in proud season.

Mike Kittrell/

LSU was forced in a hole in the 10th minute when Danielle Henley stroked home a 20 yard strike to put South Alabama ahead. Henley the built a first half brace when she placed in a cross in the 36th minute. In the second half Rio Hardy and Charde Hannah doubled the scorelinef.

Jorian Baucom and Summer Clarke were presented with definite goal scoring opportunities, but neither could make anything from the chances. And if they did, then the Tigers still would have wound up short.

There's not many ways around it, LSU got worked. And that's OK, because as they proved, South Alabama is a good team.

But there's also no way around the fact that LSU is in the midst of an upswing in terms of a program. After facing the famed "adversity" and catching some tough breaks in the SEC, the Tigers broke off and went on a six match unbeaten streak late into the season to go from SEC tournament bubble team to NCAA at large lock. Hell, this year the Tigers finished 13-6-4 and unbeaten at home, where as last year they fared a dismal 5-13-2, featuring a seven (7) match losing streak.

There's no denying the fact that this team will sorely miss Natalia Gomez-Junco's deadly free kicks, Heath Magee's assists, Alex Arlitt's ferocity, Catalina Rubiano in goal, and Lexi Gibbs as a super sub. But on the flip side of the coin, there's a Canadian National in Summer Clarke, one of the nation's emerging goal scoring threats in Jorian Baucom, a lockdown defender in Megan Lee, a forward who will become a force in Gabriela Maldonado, and an incoming goalkeeper named Elizabeth Bankhead who I can confirm is a noted badass.

I know soccer is not the cash cow at LSU and frankly, only a small fraction of the fan base cares about the program, but I genuinely had fun writing about the girls this season. They play fearless and don't stop. The season may not have produced any trophies, and that's perfectly fine because this was not the top floor of the program, this was the foundation.

#SellTheKits and as always, #ForeverLSU.