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Soccer Hosts Kentucky Sunday Afternoon

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Soccer Hosts Kentucky Sunday Afternoon

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU Soccer (7-2-2, 2-1 SEC) will host Kentucky (7-4-0, 0-3-0 SEC) in Baton Rouge for a television matchup at 1:00 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. 

The match will be available on SEC Network. Links to watch and live stats for the match can be found on lsusports.net. 

Series History – Kentucky

LSU boasts an 8-13-2 record in the series against Kentucky heading into Sunday’s match. In recent years, the Tigers have had the advantage over the Wildcats, winning four of the past five matchups. When the two teams met in Lexington last season, LSU grabbed a 1-0 win thanks to a penalty goal from goalkeeper Mollee Swift.

Last Time On The Pitch 

The Tigers suffered their first loss in conference play on Sunday as they were defeated by the Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-2 in Starkville.

The match started very quickly and the Bulldogs scored only four minutes into the match as Mississippi State’s Gwen Mummert scored the first goal from a header off a corner. The Tigers responded only 19 seconds later as forward Alesia Garcia headed home a goal of her own to tie it at 1-1. Defender Rammie Noel broke away down the left flank and sent a cross to the back post and found Garcia, who was unmarked and calmly headed the ball home. 

Garcia’s goal marked her fifth of the season while Noel’s assist was her second of the year.

In a back and forth battle on the pitch, the Bulldogs regained the lead in the 6th minute as Maggie Wadsworth put the ball into the back of the net after a scramble in the box and took the 2-1 advantage.

LSU did not lose energy and chased for the equalizing goal. The Tigers found the equalizer in the 41st minute as midfielder Raelyn Prince sent a powerful effort from long range at the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper parried the ball away, but forward Olivia Wilkes tracked the ball perfectly and was able to slot a second chance effort from 12 yards out into the back of the net. Wilkes had her second goal of the season while Prince had her second assist. LSU pulled the match back to 2-2 just before halftime as Wilkes equalized on a rebound goal.

The first half of the match saw high intensity and had three goals scored in the first six minutes, but the second half became testy. The second half had neither team able to take control of the match and the chances were limited. The Bulldogs ultimately found the winning goal in the 84th minute as Haley McWhirter scored off a penalty following a foul in the box to take the 3-2 lead.

The Tigers could not find a response in the final six minutes and ultimately dropped their first SEC match of the season to an unbeaten Mississippi State team.

Top Scoring Tigers

Fifth-year senior Alesia Garcia and freshman Ida Hermmansdottir have led the way for the Tigers this season, both sitting at five goals each heading into Sunday’s match against the Wildcats.

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 match 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’s fourth finish came against No. 6 Rutgers on a rebound goal after the Scarlet Knights goalkeeper loosely deflected a shot from Thoreson.

Goal no. 5 of the season and her first in conference play came on Sunday. Defender Rammie Noel sent a cross to the back post and found Garcia, who was unmarked and calmly headed the ball home. The goal was a strong response from the Tigers, who conceded the first goal of the match only 19 seconds prior to Garcia’s goal.

Hermmansdottir found her first collegiate goal in the 33rd minute against San Diego and has been hot since.

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.

Goal number five came in her SEC debut at Vanderbilt as she hit a free-kick from 25 yards out that was powerful enough to beat the diving goalkeeper and land in the bottom-left corner. The goal was the game winner for LSU, who won 2-1 on the day.

Garcia and Hermannsdottir are tied at fifth in the conference for goals scored. Both hold five goals each and an average of 0.45 through 11 games played. LSU is ranked fourth in the conference for goals per game. 

Captain Jennings

Fifth year senior Lindsi Jennings has opened SEC play in strong form, contributing to LSU’s success both in defense and on the scoresheet. Captain and center back Lindsi Jennings has scored two goals in back-to-back SEC matchups for the Tigers. Jennings is third in the SEC with two goals in three conference matches.

Jennings first goal of the season came in Nashville when the Tigers opened up conference play with a 2-1 victory against Vanderbilt on Sunday, September 18. 

LSU opened the game on the front foot against Vanderbilt and were rewarded with a goal just 13 minutes in. After a corner was sent in, the ball fell on the left side of the box to fellow center back Shannon Cooke. Cooke took a touch and sent a cross to the back post that found Jennings, who headed home the ball into the back of the net. 

The goal gave LSU a 1-0 lead against the Commodores and Jennings earned her first goal of the season and second in her career. For fellow co-captain Cooke, the assist marked her first of the season and fourth of her collegiate career.

Jennings second goal of the season came in the Tigers last matchup against Missouri on Thursday. Following an initial cross into the box on the corner, Baker took possession of the ball on the right side of the box. She cut inside on her left foot and lofted a cross to the back post and found Jennings, who headed the ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. 

The goal gave LSU a 2-1 lead and Jennings tallied her second goal in two straight games. Baker’s vital assist was her second of the season.

Jennings’ goal against Missouri secured the win for the home Tigers and moved LSU to 2-0 in conference play.

Terrific Thoreson

Angelina Thoreson leads the team in assists with five. 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.

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. 

Thoreson’s most recent assist came against Missouri, when she laid off a pass to Dobles, who hit a first-time cross into the box and found Prince, who took a volley touch that found the back of the net. The forward collected her team-high fifth assist of the year and continues to create opportunities for her teammates. 

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.

SEC Standings

LSU sits in eighth place in the SEC with five games remaining on the conference schedule. The top 10 teams in the league advance to the conference tournament which will take place from October 30 – November 6 in Pensacola, Fla.

The Tigers have earned six points in conference play this year and rank fourth in the SEC West standings. The two division champions will serve as the top two seeds at the SEC Tournament, and the final eight teams are decided by points accumulated in conference play. 

For a full list of standings, visit secsports.com.

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