LSU Soccer - Senior Night (Oct. 28)
LSU soccer will honor the careers of 10 seniors on Thursday night (Oct. 28) at LSU Soccer Stadium prior to LSU’s match with No. 4 Arkansas. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:44 p.m. We sat down with each one of our 10 seniors to reflect on their growth, their experiences, their memories, and what they have learned about themselves during their time in Baton Rouge.
Molly Thompson | F | Houma, La.
What she’s learned about herself
“I want to be a doctor one day. LSU has prepared me for life after athletics just through our daily routines. It’s been a learning experience, but I know if I put my mind to something, I can achieve it.”
“Favorite moment for me was winning the 2018 SEC Tournament title. That week was something I’ll never forget. One of the things I’ll miss the most is playing in front of the home crowd here in Baton Rouge. Just being able to represent LSU and my family being there to support me has meant the most to me.”
Looking back on her legacy
“When I came here, I wanted to make sure I made an impact on people’s lives. The relationships I’ve made the last four years will last a lifetime. I’m really going to miss being around the team.”
Riley Dixon | F | San Diego, Calif.
What she’s learned about herself
“I’ve learned how to be resilient in college. Things will eventually work out if you put your best effort forward, so I learned not to stress too much about the small things.”
Biggest takeaway from being collegiate student-athlete
“The biggest thing about being a college athlete is about the relationships you build. You learn to work with others on a team to achieve a common goal. Being able to compete alongside your teammates while still wanting the best for them is what it is all about.”
Favorite moment from her time at LSU
“The Mississippi State environment was awesome. That’s something I’ll remember for a long time, and we created that. This team put a lot of time in to get that support and it was very much appreciated.”
Athena Kuehn | M | Colorado Springs, Colo.
Biggest takeaway from being a collegiate student-athlete
“Being a student-athlete has made me put an emphasis on time management. We are asked to juggle a lot of things with school and soccer, but it’s a huge life skill we have learned. The amount of work you are putting in is a lot, but it will pay off in the long run.”
Favorite moment at LSU
“The two week trip we took to Florida and Arizona was awesome. The soccer we were playing was exceptional. The USF game was unreal – we were the underdog and had nothing to lose. The energy on that trip was crazy; we had all put in the time and effort to get to that point.
On her legacy
“I just want say that everywhere I’ve been I’ve done my best to put in the work. Coming here was a level up for me. I hope that people remember my work ethic and I showed love to those around me.”
Tinaya Alexander | F | Reading, Berkshire, England
What have you learned about yourself in college
“I’ve become very independent being in America. I have to do things on my own and I’m in control of my life. Just making sure that I have everything in line because it’s my responsibility now.”
What would you tell yourself 4-5 years ago
”Just to be present. I think that’s really important. As a person I’m really extroverted when I’m out there on the pitch. But when I’m away from soccer, I’m more introverted. Just taking advantage of what you are surrounded with. I wish I would have branched out a bit more a lot earlier, but I have grown better with that the last couple of years.”
Dreams/ambitions for life
“I want to be happy with whatever I choose to do. I think that goes a long way and is very important. I hope to play professionally, but I also have other goals as well. After my playing days, I want to be a financial advisor. I would like to spend some more time here in the United States just because I grew up my first 18 years in England. So I’m excited for the future.”
Chiara Ritchie-Williams | M | London, England
What would you tell yourself 4-5 years ago
“Just grasp any opportunity you are given. Literally just jump into it. If you are afraid to do something, just learn to become open with new things. Even for me, coming to America and embracing a new culture was a lot for me to learn about. I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t committed to come here. Just be open minded and be willing to take risks.
Biggest supporter throughout your career
“Both of my parents have been there every step of the way. My dad wants to see me and the team succeed so much. He even scouts the other teams we play ahead of time. They’ve been the best support system I could have asked for.”
What is your legacy
“I want people to think of me as leader. Someone that was willing to work hard and give everything they could for everybody else and the program. Someone who uplifted and encouraged others. Just someone that is a good person off the field as well. I think if you do good, then good will come back to you.”
Tiana Caffey | M | Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Most important thing you will takeaway from LSU
“I’ve learned that I can be a leader. I was never the type to say much and I would always lead by example. I’ve learned that my voice has an impact on those around me in sport and in the real world. The weight room, the classroom, on the field, we all impact those around us.”
On being a role model for kids
“I never really realized how much little kids look up to us. We are an example for who they want to be when they grow up. Whether we win or lose, making an impact on those kids means the most. Having fun with them and enjoying our time together has left a lasting impression.”
On recovering from injury during 2020 season
“I thought the world was ending. During the process of it, I learned to be more patient with myself. I realized that I was trying to rush the process when I should have been trying to enjoy the process. It allowed me to accept help from those around me. I learned new strengths about myself. I had to lean on help from my teammates and that created a tighter bond with us.”
Things you’ll remember the most about your time here
“I would say the No. 1 thing that comes to my mind is us dancing in the locker room during pregame. I’m going to miss saying ‘Good morning’ to Rammie [Noel] because she is my little sister. One of my other favorite memories as well is Orange Beach in 2020. Even though I couldn’t play I saw the impact that I could have on the team from the sidelines, and I also saw the impact the team had on me. My teammates really pushed me.”
Grace Haggerty | D | Orlando, Fla.
Things you’ve learned about yourself since arriving in Baton Rouge
“I have developed so much as a person. It has tested my patience and tested my willingness to get up when I’m knocked down. It’s made me an all around stronger person. I think it’s going to help me in my professional career. It has pushed me to go past my comfort zone into areas where I might not have as much confidence, but now I know that I can do things I set my mind to.”
Dreams/Ambitions for Life
“I have a very strong passion for fighting for kids that don’t have a voice. My plan is to go into law school and help fight for kids that are in bad situations. I want to show them that there is more to this world, and help them see their life in a better light.”
On how close the team is
”This environment at LSU has been very open and safe for me. I feel like I can talk to anybody on this team about anything that is going on in my life, coaches included. The connections we have built really impacts on how we all feel an openness to discuss things amongst each other. It’s a really cool experience when you can be vulnerable with those that you are around on a daily basis.”
Wasila Diwura-Soale | M | Accra, Ghana
On coming to America for college
“I was a little scared and nervous at first. I was excited, but I didn’t know anyone and I was coming to a new culture. But I became comfortable around the people I was with. Here at LSU, there are so many resources we have available to us. We have everything to make you successful in soccer and in life.”
What have you gotten better at since you arrived at LSU
“When I first came, I was a little shy. I find myself smiling so much now since I get to be around such great teammates. LSU has changed me a lot – I’m more jovial than I used to be. I don’t think I would still be playing if I didn’t come to LSU. Words can’t explain how appreciative I am for my time here in Baton Rouge.”
What are you going to remember the most about LSU
“I’ll never forget our first win here at LSU; we beat Alabama at the SEC Tournament. When we went there and got our first win, I was so excited. I will never forget my teammates. I don’t want to lose contact with them. They mean so much to me and they have made my experience here the best.”
“I’m proud to be a Ghanian. I would love to continue my soccer career and represent my country. I’ve even thought about going into coaching. Soccer taught me how to respect, how to be confident, and how to be hard working. Soccer has allowed me to go to a lot of places I would have never gotten to go. I’ve met so many people through this sport.”
Savannah Mills | F | Highlands Ranch, Colo.
What have you learned from being a student-athlete
“Being a college athlete in general is extremely demanding both mentally and physically. I’ve just learned that you have to push through on your hardest days. Every day is worth it if you make it worth it. There’s a lot of good that comes out of it. Don’t look at the struggles as much, but more so the strength you’ve gained from those struggles.”
What has it been like being a part of the program at LSU
“Every day at practice I’m almost the jokester. I like to keep it easy. There’s always a lot of laughter and fun with us – we dance in the locker room quite a bit. Soccer is a demanding sport so we try to keep it light at times. We have great energy with this team and I know that I have made friends for a lifetime. We’ve faced a lot of adversity as a team on and off the field. We focus a lot on vulnerability and connectedness with one another. No matter what anyone is going through, they are never scared to come forward. It allows people to feel comfortable sharing their struggles when they are going through a tough time.”
What are you qualities that make you a good teammate
“I would say a lot of my strengths are off the field. I bring a lot of positive energy and have great friendships with everybody on this team. I feel like everyone knows that they can come talk to me about anything. I like doing little things for everyone.”
Jade Odom | GK | Colorado Springs, Colo.
How was coming to LSU initially
“I’m not going to lie, I had some big time nerves. But the team was so welcoming. The team invited me to a dinner on the first day I was here and that made me feel welcomed. There was no hesitation or nerves after that. I think throughout this entire season everyone has been so accepting.”
Why is this team so close
“It comes down to unconditional love. No matter what, you are going to get taken care of and you are going to be cared about. We are able to be honest and open as well as being open minded. All of these things make us a tight knit team.
Dreams/Aspirations for your career
“I have a real passion for my tribe in California. There’s not really any connection from our tribe to college. I would really love to help create that connection. If I could help my youth tribal members in anyway possible, that is my dream and goal.”