For Missouri and Kentucky at the bottom of the standings, the final week of the SEC soccer season is nothing more than schedule filling.
At the top, No. 4 Arkansas clinched its third consecutive regular-season conference title last Thursday.
In between, some teams still are fighting for SEC Tournament seeding. The 10-team event gets underway Sunday in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Several key matches will take place as the league’s 14 teams take the field Thursday, including one in Columbia.
The Tigers host a Texas A&M team looking for a win to boost its chances at making it to Orange Beach. The Aggies are coming off a massive 2-1 win over Vanderbilt, and a win in Columbia would almost certainly see their ticket stamped.
Mississippi State and LSU need wins and help to “Reach the Beach.” The Bulldogs host No. 13 Ole Miss, while the Tigers host No. 4 Arkansas — not ideal matches for teams needing points. Both are hoping for Missouri to beat Texas A&M and for South Carolina to beat Florida, neither of which is outside the realm of possibility.
Elsewhere, No. 10 Tennessee hosts Kentucky with the Volunteers hoping for the No. 2 seed over Mississippi and Auburn. Alabama will host Auburn, with the Crimson Tide already having their place booked and the Tigers hope hoping to come away with all three points. They trail Tennessee by five points for the second seed.
The most interesting match between teams that have already clinched is Georgia hosting Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are within striking distance for the Commodores, which could hold major implications for the two sides at the Beach.
Vanderbilt is one point behind Georgia sixth place. A win for the Commodores would give them a much more favorable first match in Orange Beach. The loser of this match would likely face Tennessee or Ole Miss as opposed to Auburn or South Carolina.