Tigers Host Vanderbilt on Senior Night
Baton Rouge, La. – LSU soccer (0-3-2) is riding a two match unbeaten streak as they welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-3-0) to Baton Rouge for a Friday night contest at LSU Soccer Stadium. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. CT and will be streamed on SEC Network+.
LSU soccer will honor three seniors – Courtney Henderson, Hannah Cuneo, and Raven Guerrero – prior to the match on Friday evening. All three were members of LSU’s 2018 team that captured the program’s first ever SEC tournament title.
Series History – Vanderbilt
The Tigers and Commodores have met 22 times; Vanderbilt has won 12 of those contests, LSU has seven wins, and there have been three draws. LSU’s last win against Vanderbilt came in 2013, a 2-1 road victory over the Commodores in Nashville on September 21.
Vanderbilt has accrued a league record of 3-3-0 for nine points. Their nine points are tied for the fourth most in the SEC this season.
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 Friday’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 125-79-30 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 15-12-5 over the past three seasons and a half seasons.
Three Games In Eight Days
The Tigers will be busy the next eight days. Following Friday night’s match against Vanderbilt, the Tigers will welcome Auburn to LSU Soccer Stadium for a Monday (Nov. 2) matchup at 2 p.m. CT; the game was rescheduled due to a positive COVID test and subsequent quarantine of Auburn athletes prior to the originally scheduled match on Oct. 3. Four days later on November 6 LSU will close out the regular season with a road trip to Texas A&M.
Redshirt junior Tinaya Alexander collected the second brace of her career in last week’s match against Alabama. She scored the first two goals in the match for LSU that resulted in the Tigers earning a point in a 3-3 draw. The most recent brace was her first registered against an SEC opponent as her first one came during her freshman campaign in 2017 against Mississippi Valley State University. Alexander is tied for the team lead in points (4) with two goals on the season. Alexander now has five career goals and 13 assists for a total of 23 career points.
Dobles Strikes Gold
Taylor Dobles scored her first career goal in LSU’s 1-1 draw at Missouri on Oct. 16. 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.
The redshirt freshman is tied for the team lead with four points on the season (one goal, two assists). She’s currently on a three-match point streak that includes the aforementioned two assists and goal. She registered her first-career assist on Oct. 11 at Mississippi State, scored her first career goal on Oct. 16 against Missouri, and registered an assist in last week’s match against Alabama. Dobles’ two assists rank tied for fourth in league play at 0.40 per game.
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 five 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 four matches in net for the Tigers since arriving in Baton Rouge. The sophomore has collected 18 saves and is allowing 1.58 goals per game with a save percentage of .720. She made seven saves in the season opener against Arkansas, had three against Ole Miss, and four apiece against Missouri and Alabama. Her two best saves of the season came against Missouri, including a leaping, game-saving save in the second overtime of that match.
Racking Up Goals
Molly Thompson is the current LSU leader in career goals scored. Her first goal of the 2020 season came last week against Alabama in the 77th minute to level the match at 3-3. She now has six career goals; three from her freshman season in 2018, two last year, and one this year. Her two-goal performance against Kentucky in the 2019 regular season final earned her SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Dishing Out The Assists
Meghan Johnson has started four of five matches this season in the midfield for LSU and has assisted on two of LSU’s five goals scored. Her first career assist led to Taylor Dobles’ goal against Missouri on Oct. 16. Johnson led the counterattack by possessing the ball for nearly 70 yards down the pitch before playing Dobles in to the left side of the box. Last week, she pounced on a loose ball before taking a few touches towards Alabama’s goal and then proceeded to play Tinaya Alexander into the right side of the box where she finished with the goal. Johnson’s two assists rank tied for fourth in league play at 0.40 per game.
Creating Out of the Back
Although Cooke hasn’t factored into the box score yet for LSU, she has provided a steady presence on LSU’s backline this fall. She did not get an assist on the play, but her challenge on an Alabama forward in the 26th minute jumpstarted LSU’s first goal of the match. She has played a number of quality balls to ignite numerous attacking opportunities for LSU out of the back as well.
LSU has had eight players make their Purple and Gold debuts this season. Taylor Dobles has started all five matches, and Wasila Diwura-Soale has earned four starts. Jordan Johnson (three starts) and Lauren Robles (one start) are two freshmen who have earned their first career starts. Mollee Swift (four starts) and Bella Zanotelli (one start) have made their LSU debuts in goal. Savannah Mills has seen action off the bench in four of LSU’s matches and freshman Abby Smith has played in one match.
Last Time Out
LSU earned a point for the second straight match as they registered a 3-3 draw against Alabama (Oct. 23). The Crimson Tide took an early 2-0 lead 21 minutes into the match before play was suspended a little over two and a half hours due to lightning. The game restarted at 10:05 p.m. and did not conclude until 12:10 a.m. The Tigers scored goals in the 26th minute, 59th minute, and 77th minute to get level and earn a point.
Shots On Frame
LSU has been outshot this season by opponents, 81-61. A closer look at attempts on goal shows a more level line of stats. Twenty eight of LSU’s 61 shots this season have been on goal for a percentage of 45.9 percent. Opponents have 30 shots on goal in their 81 attempts resulting in a percentage of 37.0 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 63 career matches, starting 61 of those, and logged a total of 5,809 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 2,144 minutes out of possible 2,190 minutes in 23 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 88-135-34 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.