LSU Soccer Returns Home Sunday Afternoon
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Tigers (1-0-0) are looking for their second win of the season as they host the UCF Knights (1-0-0) on Sunday, August 21, at 1 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
There will be a pre-match koozie giveaway. Admission to the match is free to the public. Gates to the soccer stadium open at noon.
The Tigers opened the 2022 season on Thursday, August 18, with a 5-0 win over Stephen F. Austin. The five goal win was the largest opening game win for LSU since 2017, when they defeated Mississippi Valley State by the same scoreline.
Forward Taylor Dobles opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a dipping shot from 12 yards out for the second brace of her career. The Florida native concluded the scoring on the night after slotting home a rebound in the 77th minute.
The brace snaps a goal drought for Dobles, who last scored in the 2020 SEC Tournament against Alabama, where her two goals were vital in a 2-0 win.
Redshirt sophomore Mollie Baker and freshman Sage Glover scored the first goals of their collegiate career in the season opener.
Baker tucked away the second goal of the night in the 30th minute, while Glover’s goal came only two minutes into the second half as she headed the ball into the back of the net in the 47th minute.
Jordan Johnson, a junior from Denver, Colorado, also joined in on the action with a goal in the 75th minute. The midfielder found the back of the net on a rebound from her first shot, scoring the second goal of her career.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Tigers and the Knights will be the fourth time that the two will face off.
The series is an even 1-1-1. At the last meeting in 2021, LSU claimed a 2-0 win at UCF. The Knights defeated the Tigers by a score of 4-0 in 2017. The draw came from a 0-0 contest in Tampa in 2009.
LSU is captained by the defensive duo of fifth-year seniors Shannon Cooke and Lindsi Jennings. The return of Cooke and Jennings brings a wealth of defensive experience to the lineup as the two prepare for their final season in collegiate soccer.
Cooke has been a mainstay in the LSU squad since arriving on campus in 2018 and enters the season with 73 appearances for the Tigers, including 65 starts during that time. The senior started at center back for all 18 appearances in the 2021 season.
Jennings enters her second season in Purple & Gold after spending the first three years of her collegiate career at Northern Colorado, where she made 51 appearances and received All-Big Sky honors all three years of playing. She’ll look to build on a successful first year as a Tiger, where appeared in all 20 matches and started in 12 of those.
The 2022 roster features 32 athletes, 11 of which are newcomers to the squad. Five countries are represented in the squad (United States, England, Ghana, Iceland, and Sweden).
Returning to the lineup are seniors Maya Gordon and Rammie Noel. The two registered over 1,000 minutes across last season and will look to lead this year’s team from the backline along with Cooke and Jennings.
Senior goalkeeper Mollee Swift returns for her third season between the posts in purple and gold.
The 2021 season was the best yet for Swift, who started all 20 games for the Tigers and finished the year with eight shutouts and a Goals Allowed Average of 1.25 per 90 minutes. Her 81 saves on the year ranked her 3rd in the SEC and she earned the first national honors of her career as she was named Top Drawer Soccer’s National Player of the Week and United College Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week on August 31 and September 1 respectively for helping the Tigers secure road wins at No.15 USF and No. 19 UCF.
Continuing to Build
LSU will look to continue building under head coach Sian Hudson, who enters her third season at the helm.
The 2021 Tigers hit new highs under Hudson that included the highest national ranking in program history (No. 5), highest ranked win in program history (4-2 victory vs. No. 4 Arkansas on Oct. 28), and the highest single game attendance at the LSU Soccer Stadium (3,021 people vs. Mississippi State on September 17).
The Tigers finished the season 11-8-1 and earned the program’s seventh berth in the NCAA Tournament, where they were defeated by a score of 3-0 at Memphis in the first round.