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LAFAYETTE, La. – The Tigers erupted for three goals in the second half by senior Natalie Martineau, junior Carlie Banks and freshman Alex Arlitt as the LSU soccer team earned its first victory of 2011 with a decisive 3-0 shutout of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday afternoon at the Ragin’ Cajuns Soccer Stadium.
With the win, the Tigers (1-1) remained unbeaten against the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-1) as they improved to 9-0 all-time in matches with their in-state rivals. That includes an impressive nine shutouts in the series as the Tigers have outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns by a combined score of 24-0 during that span.
Sunday’s match provided a strong fitness test for both sides as the steamy conditions led game officials to call for a 90-second water break in each half as the clock neared the 23-minute mark.
“In this part of the country, you can always count on the heat playing a factor for the course of 90 minutes in a Sunday afternoon match,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “We’re blessed with the best strength and conditioning staff in the country at LSU. Today’s win is a credit to that with a heat index approaching 110 degrees. Ryan Filo has done a tremendous job of implementing our conditioning program for the last nine months to prepare this team to compete at the highest level this fall.
“We never flinched. We ran hard and competed very well for 90 minutes. I thought we were unselfish, yet clinical in the attack throughout the game. I’m proud of the effort I saw today.”
While threatening to take control of the contest throughout the afternoon, Martineau’s goal during the 68th minute of play ignited an offensive onslaught down the stretch. Banks opened her account with her first of the season in the 78th minute before Arlitt provided the final tally in the 88th minute for the 3-0 win.
Within seconds of resuming play following the second half water break, Banks played a left-footed volley over the top of the Louisiana-Lafayette back line to sophomore striker Addie Eggleston breaking free near the right end line. Eggleston fended off a defender while trapping and centering a pass to Martineau alone in the six-yard box for the finish from four yards at the 67:15 mark.
Banks pushed the LSU lead to 2-0 at the 77:45 mark with another easy finish from inside the six-yard box for her first goal of 2011. Arlitt helped set up the goal with a class run into the left side of the penalty area as she drew goalkeeper Amanda Moorefield off her line before laying the ball off to Banks running free in the middle. Banks controlled the centering pass and walked it in to give LSU a two-goal lead.
Arlitt then put an exclamation point onto the scoresheet with her first collegiate goal on a cracker at 87:39 to put the match well out of reach. Following a corner kick service into the box by freshman striker Kaley Blades, Arlitt rifled a full volley into the back of the net from 14 yards directly in front of the net.
In her first start of the campaign, senior goalkeeper Mo Isom only needed to save two of three shots faced on the afternoon to pitch the shutout, her 23rd clean sheet during a near four-year LSU career.
LSU certainly turned up the heat offensively while the match remained scoreless, most notably with a pair of shots off the left post by Blades in the opening 90 seconds of the game and fellow freshman Alex Cook on the hour from the top of the penalty area for what could have been her second goal of the season.
The Tigers will now break for eight days before continuing their five-game opening-season road swing on Monday, Sept. 29, with a trip to Raleigh, N.C., to take on the NC State Wolfpack. The match is set to kick off at 4:30 p.m. CDT at the Dail Soccer Field. The Tigers then wrap up their road swing with two matches in Houston against Rice on Friday, Sept. 2, and Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 6.



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