LSU Tigers vs. JMU Dukes

LSU senior midfielder Marlena Cutura (20) shoots a penalty kick on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, during the Tigers' 0-1 loss against JMU at the LSU Soccer Complex.

LSU were once again on the wrong foot and lost 1-0 to James Madison on Sunday.

LSU (2-5-1) entered the match riding a four-game losing streak and were hoping to turn things around before their next Southeastern Conference match, but James Madison (2-7) proved to be a worthy opponent for the Tigers.

The Dukes’ approach on the offense side of the pitch consisted of many shots taken inside the 18-yard box and off of set pieces. Their attacked proved to be dangerous and forced Tigers junior goalkeeper Emma Grace Goldman into two saves in the first half. 

LSU’s offense created opportunities in the first half with one of the more promising chances came in the 15th minute. Senior midfielder Marlena Cutura sent a ball into the right side of the box where freshman forward Rammie Noel was waiting. Noel’s shot on goal was saved and the Tigers were unable to take advantage of a loose ball in front of the net. 

“Sometimes things don’t fall your way, the ball does not go in the back of the net, but we did a fantastic job at creating big opportunities,” said Tigers head coach, Debbie Hensley. 

In the 33rd minute of play, junior midfielder Tiana Caffey placed a pass beautifully to sophomore forward Molly Thompson down the left side of the pitch. Thompson maneuvered her way around the James Madison defender with ease and got a wide-open look on the goal, but her shot went wide left. 

In the final minute of the first half, Cutura gave the Tigers their best opportunity of the first half. Cutura got loose in the midfield and decided to take the ball herself. With the ball just outside of the 18, Cutura sent a rocket off her right foot directed to the upper 90 of the net but just missed. 

The second half of play continued the same offensive trend that both teams left off at. Despite getting off 18 shots, the Tigers were unable to capitalize and find the back of the net. 

“There seemed to be a force field around the six-yard box that kept putting a spin on the ball,” said Thompson. “We may not be able to control our goals, but we can control our opportunities.”

James Madison's offense took its foot off the gas, as they only took one shot in the second half, but that one shot was all it took. James Madison's Phoebe Dinga was able to break through and score the first and only goal in the 75th minute.

After a foul on Thompson in the box, LSU was gifted a penalty kick late in the game that gave them the opportunity to tie up the game. Cutura’s shot was stuck hard but right at the goalkeeper. 

“We simply played like crap,” said Thompson. “When playing soccer, you have to have a short memory and all we can do is focus on our next match.”

The Tigers will travel to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Sep. 22, with a 6 p.m. central start time. 

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