2009 LSU Tigers Soccer Preview
The LSU Lady Tigers had an exceptional 2008 campaign in which they strung together wins in batches. Indeed, to open the season, the Lady Tigers managed a string of seven wins in a row including some real blowouts (namely a 7-0 win over Centenary and a 4-1 victory over #25 BYU). In fact, in addition to that seven game winning streak to start the season, LSU also managed a five game winning streak in conference play later on in the year.
All to hold the Lady Tigers managed a superior record of 14-4-2 over the course of the 2008 campaign, and managed a similarly successful 7-3-1 within the SEC. While Florida seems to have most of the headlines these days when it comes to SEC women's soccer, the performances of LSU should not go overlooked, as the team was one goal away from usurping the leadership of the conference from Florida (the Lady Gators defeated the Lady Tigers 2-1 in October 2008). Among the highlights of the 2008 season for the Lady Tigers, in addition to the streaks mentioned above, were a number of big wins over both conference and non-conference rivals. A 4-0 victory over Oklahoma in non-conference play and a 7-0 win over SEC rival Alabama were both statement wins.
The Lady Tigers were led by a trio of potent offensive performers and that trio of performers was assisted by two other key role players. Among the elite performers for the team in 2008 it starts and ends with Malorie Rutledge, who led the team in most offensive categories. Rutledge scored nine goals herself and assisted on 18 others en route to a 36 points season. The Lady Tigers featured two other 20 plus point scorers in Roslyn Jones (nine goals and five assists) and Rachel Yepez (eight goals and six assists). Michelle Makasini and Melissa Clarke both added 18 points apiece to round out the most dangerous portion of this deep and deadly attack. And this fierce offensive game was complemented by an equally dangerous goaltending game. Mo Isome allowed only 0.83 goals per game, en route to a 14-4-2 record.
The LSU Tigers women's soccer team is currently coached by head coach Brian Lee. Lee took over the program back in 2004, and he has quickly taken a team that was already good and made it one of the best programs in the Southeastern Conference. Despite finishing poorly in the seasons leading up to Lee's arrival, the team experienced a remarkable turnaround in 2007, finishing 4th in the conference during that season. The team also won the SEC West championship in 2007, and went on to repeat that feat in 2008.
Much of the successes that Lee has helped the LSU Tigers soccer program attain over the course of his tenure can likely be attributed to the caliber of the players he has been able to recruit. He has coached 7 All-SEC selections (14 total appearances) during his time as head coach.
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