An eager home crowd went crazy when senior attacker Marlena Cutura scored the first goal of the first home game of the season with a penalty shot at the 2:26 mark of LSU’s 1-0 win over McNeese State Friday night.
But as big as Cutura’s goal was, the Tigers relied on goalkeeper Emma Grace Goldman to make key stops throughout the game.
In the first half, the LSU soccer team (2-1-0-) made huge offensive movement and had many opportunities to score. The team launched 11 shots, seven of which were on goal. The Tigers defense also played with force in front of Goldman, who made her first appearance as goalkeeper this season.
“It feels good,” Goldman said. “I’ve been playing behind and being trained by two really great goalkeepers in Caroline and Lily. It's really a team thing, I’ve got girls flying everywhere, blocking shots. It’s not me it’s everybody.”
McNeese (1-1-0) proved to be a good match for the Tigers, particularly their defense. The Cowgirls approached the game from the back and were organized and aggressive. McNeese strategically slowed things down attempting to break up the rhythm of LSU’s attacks.
The momentum of the first half carried over to the second half of the game with LSU defense standing out. Goldman blocked some close calls, a promising sign for LSU’s defense as they lost strong goalkeeper, Caroline Brockmeier this year.
Cutura, freshman Maddie Moreau and junior Tinaya Alexander also worked hard in the front line, applying pressure to McNeese and providing lots of opportunities to score. However, no goals were scored in the second half.
“These past couple of games have meant so much to me,” said freshman Maddie Moreau. “I finally get to represent and i finally get to represent and finally get to play in a big strange and say we’re LSU and we’re here to compete and I’m really proud of everyone.”
McNeese’s offense doubled their production as the game went on, playing the ball very close to the goal and forcing the Goldman and the rest of the Tigers defense to stay alert.
Yet the LSU backline held strong to maintain a 1-0 win in its home debut.