Soccer Hosts Alabama Friday Night
Baton Rouge, La. – LSU soccer (0-3-1) opens a three game homestand on Friday night as they take on Alabama. First kick is set for 7 p.m. at LSU Soccer Stadium and the match will be streamed on SEC Network+.
Series History – Alabama
Alabama holds the all-time advantage in the series with 12 wins in the 25 contests played. LSU has won eight matches and five have ended in a draw. LSU has had the upper hand as of late going 7-3-4 in the last 14 matches dating back to 2006. Seven of the last 10 matches between the two schools have gone past regulation and ended in overtime.
Tinaya Alexander is the lone Tiger to have factored into the scorebook during the last three seasons against Alabama; she registered an assist in LSU’s 2-0 win over the Crimson Tide in 2018.
Friday night will serve as LSU’s annual Pink Match. The Tigers will don pink kits and fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness and research.
LSU Soccer Stadium Procedures & Guidelines
Capacity for LSU home matches this fall will be at 450 fans, which is 25 percent of the seating capacity at LSU Soccer Stadium. Admission is free and gates will open one hour prior to the start of the game. Fans will be required to wear face masks in order to attend matches, tailgating will be prohibited and physical distancing will be mandatory. Pods groups of two, four, six, eight, and 12 will be marked off by colored tape for proper distancing. All the protocols for Sunday’s home match can be viewed at lsusports.net.
Tigers at LSU Soccer Stadium
2020 marks the 25th season of LSU hosting soccer matches at LSU Soccer Stadium. LSU’s record at LSU Soccer Stadium is 125-80-29 dating back to the 1996 season. The LSU soccer program played its first season in 1995 at the University High field adjacent to the football practice facility and went 9-2-1 at home that season. LSU owns a home record of 15-12-4 over the past three seasons.
Dobles Strikes Gold
Taylor Dobles scored her first career goal in LSU’s 1-1 draw at Missouri last weekend. It came in the 38th minute off an impressive counter attack by the Tigers. Meghan Johnson, a junior, started the play with the ball in LSU’s side. She possessed the ball up the pitch for nearly 70 yards before playing Dobles in to the left side of the box.
Dobles cleared her defender and beat the keeper to give LSU a 1-0 lead in the first half. A redshirt freshman, Dobles now has a team-high three points on the season with one goal and one assist. It was the first-career assist for Meghan Johnson as well.
Sophomore forward Rammie Noel scored LSU’s first goal of the season against Mississippi State on Oct. 11. With LSU trailing 1-0 in the early stages of the second half, Noel slashed through the box into the six and finished off Taylor Dobles’ beautiful ground cross to bring things level. Noel was assisted on the play by Dobles and Maddie Moreau which was the first career assist for the two of them.
Noel has been a problem for all four opponents LSU has faced this season. She’s beat defenders off the dribble, she’s set up teammates with good looks, and has provided great energy for the LSU squad. Noel has two career goals and one assist to her name. Both goals have been scored against Mississippi State and her lone assist came in 2019 against Kentucky.
Sophomore transfer Mollee Swift has now played three matches in net for the Tigers since arriving in Baton Rouge. In last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Missouri, she was only called upon to make four saves, but two of them were of the acrobatic fashion and kept the Tigers in the match.
The first came in the early stages of the match. A header from a Missouri forward looked like it was headed towards the top right corner of the goal before a diving Swift parried the ball away to keep things even at 0-0. Swift made one other save in the first half and then picked up her third in the second half. It was her save in the first minute of the second overtime that kept the Tigers alive. Missouri’s forward booted a rocket towards the top left corner of the goal, but once again Swift came leaping across to make the save and keep things level.
She has registered 14 saves in her first three matches, has a GAA of 1.24, and her save percentage is at .778. She had seven saves versus Arkansas and three saves against Ole Miss.
LSU has had eight players make their Purple and Gold debuts this season. Taylor Dobles has started all three matches, and Wasila Diwura-Soale and Jordan Johnson have started two matches apiece. Mollee Swift (two starts) and Bella Zanotelli (one start) have made their LSU debuts in goal. Savannah Mills has seen action off the bench in two of the first three matches, and freshmen Lauren Robles and Abby Smith saw their first action against Mississippi State.
Last Time Out
LSU earned its first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at Missouri. The Tigers took their first lead of the 2020 season with Taylor Dobles’ goal in the 38th minute. The lead lasted all of eight minutes before Missouri equalized in the 47th minute just after halftime. The two teams remained scoreless for the rest of the match resulting in a draw.
Shots On Frame
LSU has been outshot this season by opponents, 69-45. A closer look at attempts on goal shows a more level line of stats. Nineteen of LSU’s 42 shots this season have been on goal for a percentage of 42.2 percent. Opponents have 23 shots on goal in their 69 attempts resulting in a percentage of 33.3 percent of on target shots.
Chiara Ritchie-Williams and Maddie Moreau are serving as team captains this fall. Ritchie-Williams is the most experienced player on the squad and she is showing how valuable she is with a position change this season to the midfield. In her first three seasons, Ritchie-Williams anchored the backline for LSU at the centerback position, but for her senior season she has moved up to the midfield and will play a major role in LSU’s success. She has played in 62 career matches, starting 61 of those, and logged a total of 5,728 minutes. Moreau has played at leftback during her two seasons at LSU. She’s scored one career goal, registered her first career assist against Mississippi State (Oct. 11), and has played a total of 2,049 minutes out of possible 2,070 minutes in 22 career matches.
LSU’s roster is made up of 16 returners from the 2019 season and 10 newcomers. The Tigers have five seniors, eight juniors, five sophomores, and eight freshmen. LSU has six players on the roster from Louisiana, and a total of five internationals. The rest of the roster is comprised from around the country with four each from Florida and Colorado, two from Texas, and one each from Alabama, Nebraska, North Carolina, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
The Hudson Profile
Sian Hudson enters the 2020 season as the seventh head coach in LSU history. She comes to LSU after coaching at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where she accumulated a record of 52-10-4 in three seasons from 2017-19. Her win totals in each of the three seasons – 17 in 2017, 16 in 2018, and 19 in 2019 – were the three winningest seasons in program history. She led UCCS to the NCAA Division II Tournament in each of those three seasons which included a run to the national semifinals in 2017.
Prior to UCCS, she spent two seasons as an assistant at Colorado College in Colorado Springs as well as coaching in the W-League. As the head skipper in 2015, she led the Colorado Pride to the conference title and she had four players drafted into the National Women’s Soccer League during her time with the Pride.
The Tigers have an all-time record of 88-135-33 in SEC regular season play. LSU won its first ever SEC Tournament title in 2018 against Arkansas. The Tigers captured four SEC West regular season titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) before the league was merged into one group as a whole; in 2008, 2009, and 2011 the Tigers were SEC runners-up overall. The 2009 and 2011 clubs registered what is still a program record of eight wins in conference play. The last time LSU played only eight regular season conference matches was in 2002.