Top 25 Showdown For LSU In Tempe
Baton Rouge, La. – It’ll be a showdown of two ranked and undefeated teams on Sunday as No. 17 LSU (5-0-0) takes on No. 21 Arizona State (5-0-0) in Tempe, Arizona, at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. First kick is set for 4 p.m. CT on the Pac-12 Network.
In order to watch the match, fans will have to have the Pac-12 Network in their TV package. For more information on how to view Sunday’s game, visit pac-12.com.
This will be meeting No. 2 between the programs. Arizona State won the first game in series history with a 1-0 win over LSU in Baton Rouge in 2019. The two teams have both played one common opponent this year, Southeastern Louisiana. LSU beat Southeastern Louisiana 2-0 in preseason, and the Sun Devils beat the Lions 2-1 on August 22.
It’ll be a showdown of two top-10 nationally ranked offenses early on in the season. Arizona State has scored 18 goals while LSU has notched 16. LSU has the advantage on goals allowed though, only allowing two while ASU has conceded five times.
On The Road
LSU is in the midst of a five game road trip. The Tigers picked up wins over No. 15 USF (August 26) and No. 19 UCF (August 29) in Florida before defeating Arizona on Thursday, 2-0. It marked the first time in program history that LSU won back-to-back ranked games in a span of four days, and it’s the second time that LSU has won two consecutive games against ranked opponents. The Arizona portion of the trip concludes Sunday, and LSU’s final road game of the five will be on September 9 in Lafayette against ULL.
United Soccer Coaches Poll
LSU soccer checks in at the No. 17 spot in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. It’s the first time the Tigers have been ranked since preseason of the 2019 season. The Tigers finished the 2018 season ranked No. 18.
LSU is on a eight game win streak dating back to the spring of 2021. The Tigers capped that portion of the season with wins over Florida, Baylor and Texas Tech. Wins against Southern Miss, Sam Houston, No. 15 USF, No. 19 UCF, and Arizona have pushed the streak to eight.
The eight game win streak ties for the second longest in program history and a win on Sunday would match the school record win streak of nine. The 2002 Tigers went on a nine game win streak early in the season.
Off To A Hot Start
LSU’s 16 goals through five games rank as the 10th most in the NCAA this season. Tinaya Alexander leads the team with five of the 16 goals scored for LSU. Alesia Garcia (3), Athena Kuehn (2), and Maddie Moreau (2) have all scored multiple goals while Molly Thompson, Grace Haggerty, Jordan Johnson, and Wasila Diwura-Soale all have one apiece.
This will be LSU’s 100th match against a ranked opponent. LSU has an all-time record of 16-72-11 in ranked matches. Sian Hudson has led LSU to three wins over Top 25 opponents in six tries with wins over No. 14 Ole Miss (November 2020), No. 15 USF (August 2021), and No. 19 UCF (August 2021).
LSU’s scoring offense of 3.20 goals per game ranks No. 22 in the country and third in the SEC. Tinaya Alexander’s 12 points on the season (5g, 2a) rank No. 3 in the SEC and have her as the sixth-highest point scorer in the nation currently; her five goals also rank No. 6 nationally. Mollee Swift’s GAA of 0.44 GAA ranks No. 3 in the SEC and her save percentage of .882 ranks as the fourth highest in the conference.
Awards Aplenty For Swifty
LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift racked up all the awards earlier this week after her brilliant performances a week ago against No. 15 USF and No. 19 UCF. She made six saves between the two games and registered her first solo clean sheet of the season against No. 19 UCF; the only goal she allowed last week was off a penalty kick. Swift was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week, and the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week.
Tigers On A Roll
The Tigers have been on a roll as they’ve won 13 of their past 16 games only dropping two contests in that span, which ranges back to the 2020 SEC Tournament. In that span, LSU has outscored its opponents by a total of 31 to 8, and LSU has scored two or more goals in 10 of those 16 contests.
Each year features a new team, but without a doubt LSU’s strong finish in the spring season of 2021 has carried over and boosted confidence for a squad that knows they can compete at a high level now. The Tigers returned a large majority of their points from the 2020-21 season to this year’s squad, and they have added several key transfers that will play big minutes this fall.
The defensive unit has been superb in this 16 game span that has the Tigers ending up on the winning side more oft than not. In those 16 games, the Tigers have registered nine shutouts while only allowing two or more goals in a game once in that span.
Scouting Arizona State
LSU and ASU enter Sunday as two of the 36 teams in America that have won all of their contests thus far. Arizona State is led by attacker Nicole Douglas who ranks No. 3 all time at ASU with 33 career goals. She just notched a hat trick against CSUN on Thursday. Olivia Nguyen also has four early goals on the season. Birta Gudlaugs will most likely be in net for ASU as she has started four of their five games and has a GAA of 0.75.