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Soccer Opens SEC Play At Vanderbilt

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Soccer Opens SEC Play At Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — LSU soccer (5-1-2) begins conference play on the road in Nashville against Vanderbilt (6-0-1) at noon CT at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. 

The match will be available on ESPNU. Links to the livestream and live stats for the match can be found on lsusports.net. 

Series History – Vanderbilt 

The Tigers and Commodores last met in 2020, when the Commodores defeated the Tigers 2-0 in Baton Rouge. LSU has a 7-13-3 record against Vanderbilt and is looking to secure a win on the road for the first time under Coach Hudson. 

Last Time On The Pitch 

LSU experienced its longest break between matches this season this past week, having last faced No. 6 Rutgers on Sunday, September 11, where the two teams battled it out, but LSU came up short in a 3-2 loss. The battle between the Tigers and the Scarlet Knights handed the Tigers their first loss of the season.

The first half was a dominant display from LSU, who came out on the front foot and was rewarded with an early goal. Forward Angelina Thoreson found space on the right-hand side and sent a strong shot on goal. The shot was saved, but the loose ball fell into the box and was met by Garcia with a rebound goal. The goal was Garcia’s fourth of the season while Thoreson grabbed her fourth assist of the season, a team high.

Seven minutes later, the Tigers took a 2-0 lead thanks to Hermannsdottir. Hermannsdottir intercepted a ball in the final third and dribbled into the box, where she hit a right-footed effort that beat the Scarlet Knights’ goalkeeper and landed in the bottom left corner. The Icelandic international’s goal marked her fourth of the season, which ties her with Garcia as the team’s leading goal scorer.

LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift picked up saves in the 2nd and 41st minutes. The Tigers were the better team on the half as Rutgers remained limited in chances created and the away team went into the halftime break with a 2-0 lead.

Rutgers adjusted and came out of the break and only took five minutes to strike. Riley Tiernan sent a cross into the box that found Kroeger, whose powerful shot on goal beat Swift and landed into the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the afternoon.

It became all-even at 2-2 in the 74th minute as Giana Romano laid off a simple pass to Daigle, who took a touch and sent a powerful shot from 25 yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar and landed in the back of the net.

Rutgers found the game winner in the 85th as Kroeger doubled her tally on the day. Kroeger received the ball just outside the box and sent a lifting shot that beat Swift and found its way into the left corner. The goal gave Rutgers a 3-2 lead late in the game and completed the Scarlet Knights’ comeback.

The Tigers could not find an equalizer and ultimately fell. LSU outshot Rutgers by a margin of 16-14 while Rutgers won the shots on goals competition by a tally of 8-4. Swift finished the match with five saves.

Thoreson Assists

Angelina Thoreson leads the team in assists with four. The freshman continues to be a proven weapon on both sides of the ball and continues to create scoring opportunities for the Tigers. 

Thoreson recorded her first career assist in the season opener against Stephen F. Austin, where she sent in a ground pass inside the box that found Baker for the finish.

Her second assist came on the road at San Diego on a strong and accurate ground cross from the right side of the box that found Glover, who slotted it past the goalkeeper and extended the Tiger lead to 3-1.

Thoreson tallied assist No. 3 in Friday’s match against Grambling. Thoreson controlled the ball on the edge of the box and laid off a simple pass to Hermannsdottir, who came in charging from midfield and smashed the goal from 24 yards out.

The forward scored the first collegiate goal of her career at LSU in the squad’s matchup against Princeton on September 8. Thoreson took the early lead for the Purple & Gold in the 14th minute as she slotted a ball from 15 yards out into the bottom-left corner.

Most recently, Thoreson tallied her fourth assist in the Tigers face off with No. 6 Rutgers and took a shot on goal, which fell loose off the goalie and found Garcia for the rebound finish. 

The Sweden native played the last three seasons (2019, 2020, 2021) for IK Uppsala, a professional club back in Sweden and made over 50 appearances for the club. Thoreson played the 2019 season in the Damallsvenskan division, which is the highest level of women’s soccer in Sweden. She scored five goals in 20 games played during the 2021 season.

Top Scorers

Freshman Ida Hermannsdottir and fifth-year senior Alesia Garcia lead the team as the leading scorers with four goals each. 

Ida Hermmansdottir found her first collegiate goal in California against San Diego and has been hot since. The forward put the Tigers on the board with the first goal of the match in the 33rd minute to open scoring.

Hermannsdottir tallied her second and third career goals in the 27th and 82nd minutes against Grambling to earn the first brace of her collegiate career. As the match was all-even at 1-1 in the first half, Hermannsdottir led LSU to a 2-1 lead with a superb long-range effort just three minutes after her teammate Mollie Baker equalized the game. The freshman scored the final goal in the 82nd minute after shrugging off a defender and slotting a ball past the Grambling State goalkeeper.

Hermannsdottir tallied the fourth goal of her career at No. 6 Rutgers, when she intercepted a ball in the final third and hit a right-footed effort that beat the Scarlet Knights’ goalkeeper and landed in the bottom left corner.

Garcia’s first goals of the season came on the team’s road trip in California. The forward tallied her first goal against Pepperdine in the 54th minute. The Waves goalkeeper was unable to control the ball on a deflected shot from Jordan Johnson and Garcia seized the opportunity. She pounced on the loose ball and placed it into the back of the net. The goal was the first of the season for Garcia and the 26th of her collegiate career.

Garcia marked the second straight game she found the back of the net for the Tigers in the next game against San Diego, when she capped the night off in fashion for the Tigers as she scored the fourth goal in the 87th minute to secure the win. Garcia rounded the goalkeeper with a touch to her right-side and was collected enough to place the ball into the open goal. 

The Colorado native continued her scoring at Southern Miss. Garcia opened the scoring in the 52nd minute for the Tigers as she sent a rocket into the top-right corner from 19 yards out to take the 1-0 lead in the match. 

Garcia found her fourth finish against No. 6 Rutgers on a rebound goal after the Scarlet Knights goalkeeper loosely deflected a shot from Thoreson.

Goal scorers Hermannsdottir and Garcia kept LSU in the match with No. 6 Rutgers as they recorded the two goals in the 3-2 loss between the Tigers and the Scarlet Knights.

The Captains

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.

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