For a team that hadn’t scored a goal in nearly 400 minutes covering 4 ½ matches LSU looked like a different soccer team Thursday in its regular season finale.
With the Tigers honoring their 10 seniors before the match, it was fitting that seniors Wasila Diwura-Soale and Shannon Cooke set the tone early, and fellow senior Anna Rockett capped the match with her first career goal, for a 4-1 victory Southeastern Conference over Ole Miss at LSU’s Soccer Stadium.
“I am thrilled,” LSU soccer coach Sian Hudson said in a university release. “It was just a great performance tonight for senior night in front of so many families and fans. We had four seniors on the scoresheet and getting back in the goal scoring books was great,” said head coach Sian Hudson. “I am excited for the team and everything they’ve been working for.”
Diwura-Soale finished with her first brace of the season with goals in the 19th and 44th minute and Cooke had one in the 33rd minute to fuel LSU’s 3-0 halftime lead.
The Tigers (9-3-6, 4-2-4 in SEC) were at a slight disadvantage in shots taken (16-14) and shots on goal (9-7) but certainly made them count when it was time.
Taylor Dobles had her team’s first assist with a long cross into the six-yard box where Diwura-Soale got by her defender and chested the ball into the left side of the net.
Cooke, one of the team’s captain and center backs, received a long pass from Lindsi Jennings and bounced in a header off the ground and into an open right corner of the net.
Good teamwork resulted in LSU’s 3-0 halftime lead when Diwura-Soale and Mollie Baker exchanged passes with Diwura-Soale side-stepping a defender between the two boxes and sent a shot into the open right corner of the goal.
Ole Miss (9-6-3, 3-6-1) got a goal back in the 75th minute when LSU answered six minutes later from an unlikely candidate.
The Tigers were taking a corner when Cooke got a foot on the ball which caromed off Ole Miss goalkeeper Ashley Orkus and went directly to a hard-charging Rockett who cleaned up with a goal that deflected off the feet of Orkus and into the goal.
It matched the most goals Ole Miss allowed this season.
LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift had seven saves in 80 minutes of action and Bella Zanotelli had one in 10 minutes of play.
The Tigers enter the 10-team SEC Tournament Oct. 30 as the seventh seed and face Ole Miss at 1 p.m. at Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex in Pensacola, Florida. The championship match is scheduled for Nov. 6 with the winner gaining an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.