Soccer Set To Take On No. 9 Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — LSU Soccer (8-3-4, 3-2-2 SEC) is set to take on No. 9 Arkansas (10-3-1, 5-2 SEC) in Fayetteville on Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT at Razorback Field.
Series History – Arkansas
The Tigers hold a 15-11-3 lead in the series against the Razorbacks. The teams met twice in the 2021 season; once in the regular season finale when LSU earned the highest ranked win in program history as they beat No. 4 Arkansas 4-2, and again in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, where Arkansas won by a score of 2-1.
Last Time On The Pitch
LSU traveled to No. 16 Tennessee on Friday, October 14, where the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw in Knoxville.
The first half saw good possession from both sides of the ball, but neither team could find the advantage. Goalkeeper Mollee Swift made her first save of the night in the 31st minute as she collected a shot from Taylor Huff in the bottom left corner, but that was all for the first half.
The second half saw the Tigers create more scoring chances. Forward Sage Glover took a shot on goal in the 57th minute as defender Shannon Cooke sent a ball up-field and over the Volunteers defense that found Glover, who timed the run on the ball and took a one-touch shot straight to Tennessee goalkeeper Lindsey Romig.
Forward Mollie Baker saw two opportunities in front of the net as she took shots in the 68th and 84th minutes. In the 68th minute, Cooke sent a through ball to find Glover, who beat a Tennessee defender on the flank to send the ball inside the box and found Baker, but she couldn’t find the touch and. Baker’s second shot was launched from a distance outside the box and landed just over the crossbar.
Swift collected two more saves in the second half in the 54th and 80th minutes. The senior tallied three saves on the night. Romig collected one save on the night.
Maya Gordon and Angelina Thoreson also took last minute chances in the second half in search of a goal but couldn’t find the back of the net for the Tigers.
Neither team could find the game-winner and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. The LSU defense locked down for the full 90-minute battle and is only the second team to hold the Volunteers offense scoreless this season.
Top Scoring Tigers
Freshman Ida Hermannsdottir and fifth-year senior Alesia Garcia have led the way in goals for the Tigers this season. Hermannsdottir currently leads the team with six goals while Garcia follows with five.
Hermmansdottir found her first collegiate goal in the 33rd minute against San Diego to give the Tigers the 1-0 lead against the Toreros. She found her second and third career goals in the 27th and 82nd minutes against Grambling to earn the first brace of her collegiate career. This marked back-to-back games where the freshman found the back of the net.
The forward continued her hot streak and 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 against 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.
Hermannsdottir’s sixth and most recent goal came at Texas A&M, when she charged into the box before being upended by an Aggie defender and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Not short on confidence, Hermannsdottir stepped up and calmly placed the ball on the left side of the goal to tie the match at 2-2 in College Station.
Forward Alesia Garcia has also been a leader in the offense, recording five goals for the Tigers. Garcia opened her scoring on the season 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.
Her second goal came against the San Diego Toreros to mark the second straight game she found the back of the net for the Tigers. Garcia capped the night off in fashion for the Tigers as she scored the fourth goal of the match in the 87th minute to secure the road win.
The Colorado native continued her scoring at Southern Miss 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.
Her fourth finish against No. 6 Rutgers came on a rebound goal after the Scarlet Knights goalkeeper loosely deflected a shot from Thoreson. The goal from Garcia took the early 1-0 lead for the Tigers in New Jersey.
Garcia’s fifth goal of the season and first in conference play came against Mississippi State. 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. The goal was a strong response from the Tigers and tied the match in Starkville 1-1.
Youth On The Pitch
After scoring three each in non conference play, junior Mollie Baker and freshman Sage Glover both found the back of the net in SEC play for the first time in their collegiate careers in the Tigers win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday, October 2. The forwards narrowly trail the top scorers with four each on the year.
Glover gave LSU a 2-1 lead in the match as she finished off a fantastic team sequence with a 10-yard goal that landed in the right-corner. Baker’s goal came in the 58th minute when the match was tied at 2-2. The freshman tracked a cleared ball to midfield and capitalized on a mistake in defense to break away with pace and beat the goalkeeper one-on-one.
Baker and Glover are tied as the second leading goal scorers with four each. Of LSU’s 31 goals scored this season, 12 have come from true freshmen (38.7%) while another 12 goals have come from 5th year seniors/graduate students.
The Tigers have 13 goal scorers and have shown strong depth in the scoring department by scoring two or more goals in every match but one this season (1-1 draw vs. UCF).
Angelina Thoreson leads the team in assists with six. 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.
Against Missouri, Thoreson tallied her fifth assist as 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 freshman continued her tally of assists against Kentucky. Thoreson sent a ground cross on a first-time effort to find Sage Glover, who scored in the 34th minute to give the Tigers the 2-1 lead against the Wildcats.
Thoreson increased her team-high total on the year to seven against Texas A&M after she took a touch on a through ball from Mollie Baker, drove into the box and sent a ground cross to the back post that found Noel, who tapped the ball in and gave LSU its first goal of the night in the 27th minute.
The forward ranks sixth in the country for assists.
Top Drawer Soccer Top 100 Freshman
Freshmen Ida Hermannsdottir and Angelina Thoreson were named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 Freshman list on Tuesday afternoon.
The list, announced by the organization, ranked the top 100 freshmen players in the country. Midfielder Ida Hermannsdottir ranked at No. 10 and forward Angelina Thoreson was ranked No. 38.
Hermannsdottir leads the LSU squad in goals scored with six in her first season with the Tigers. As a freshman, she earned the start in 12 out of the Tigers 15 matches and recorded six goals, two assists, 13 shots on goal and 19 points. She ranks ninth in the country in goals scored.
The Icelandic international has represented Iceland at senior, U19, and U17 levels and has made two senior appearances for the Iceland National Team. Prior to LSU, Hermannsdottir played professionally at Valur Reykjavik in Iceland, where she made 41 appearances for Valur Reykjavik and scored 10 goals. She helped claim the Iceland League Title and Rerykjavik Cup in 2021 and the Icelandic Women’s Super Cup in 2022.
Thoreson leads the Tigers with seven assists on the season. Along with a team-high seven assists, Thoreson has also recorded one goal, 10 shots on goal and nine points through 15 games. She started in 13 of those matches. The forwards ranks sixth in the country for assists.
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.
Tigers vs. Ranked Opponents
LSU’s matchup against No. 9 Arkansas will be the squad’s fifth ranked opponent matchup this season and third in conference. The Tigers have won 18 and drawn 13 matches against nationally-ranked opponents in their history.
LSU has a 5-7-2 record against ranked opponents under head coach Sian Hudson. During Hudson’s time, LSU has played in 13 ranked matches and have been competitive in all of them. The five ranked wins under Hudson come from No. 14 Ole Miss, No. 15 USF, No. 19 UCF, No. 21 Arizona State, and No. 4 Arkansas.
LSU resulted in draws against a ranked opponent against No. 14 Pepperdine and No. 16 Tennessee this season.
LSU sits in sixth place in the SEC with three 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 11 points in conference play this year and rank fourth in the SEC West division. 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.