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Soccer’s Streak Ends, Still In Form

The Tigers suffer their first loss of the season to open conference play.

Alexander Tinaya
Megan Blanchard / LSU Athletics

LSU had a shot to set a school record for best start to a season with eight straight wins, but that run of form ended Sunday night as the Tigers dropped a 1-0 decision to Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt only took one shot on goal out of nine in the match and it happened to be the difference. In the 85th minute a throw-in took a deflection and lead to a mad scramble in the box. In the chaos Madiya Harriott was able to connect with the ball well enough to save the game from extra time and give the visitors three points in the first match of conference play.

LSU by contrast took seven shots, with three of them landing on target. The Tigers missed a chance in the third minute when a lapse in Commodore judgement gave Zoe Higgins the ball just before the penalty spot. However the ball didn’t trail far enough to the post and was saved to preserve Kaitlyn Fahrner’s clean sheet.

Before Sunday’s dropped result to Vanderbilt, LSU tied the record for wins to open a seasonset back in 2007 with a 1-0 victory over #19 Cincinnati last week. The only goal of that game came just before half when Alex Thomas made a first touch goal on a ball played back from Tinaye Alexander. The Bearcats outshot LSU 15-11, but both teams put the ball in the face of the net an even five times.

The victory over Cincinnati was just the 12th time that LSU has beaten a ranked opponent, with the last one coming against eventual national championship runner up Duke in 2015.

For LSU to start out in a hole in SEC play after their start is rough, especially considering how they dropped their first points of the year, but the loss isn’t entirely too discouraging. LSU is playing twice as clean in the midfield as they were last year and the defense has been spectacular. In seven matches against a pretty evenly mixed bag of smaller schools and FBS opponent, LSU has outscored their opposition by a combined 17-2 and has yet to allow more than one goal in any match. 17 goals through 8 matches isn’t anything Earth-shattering in the least, but when you’re only allowing two goals in that stretch, wins are very sustainable.

LSU travels to Alabama on Thursday before returning home to host Mississippi State on Sunday. The Bama game will be at 7:00 and the home fixture against State will be at 3:00. Both games will be broadcast online on SEC Network+ via the WatchESPN app.

The matchup between LSU and Alabama has been unreasonably tight recently, with five straight matches between the two schools going to extra time. In that recent run, Alabama holds a 3-2-1 advantage in the consecutive extra time matches.