Soccer Falls in Second Round of NCAA Tournament
Tallahassee, Fla. – The No. 8-seeded LSU soccer team’s campaign ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night as they were defeated by the No. 1-seeded Florida State Seminoles, 4-1, at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
LSU struck first in the 10th minute as midfielder Wasila Diwura-Soale slotted home a cross from forward Angelina Thoreson from six yards out. The Seminoles equalized in the 21st minute as Jenna Nighswonger put the ball in the back of the net from 12 yards out before goals in the 52nd, 54th, and 79th minute from Ran Iwai, Onyi Echegini and Amelia Horton respectively sealed the game for the hosts.
“I am incredibly proud of our team for their efforts tonight,” head coach Sian Hudson said. “We frustrated them earlier and it was a close game for 45 minutes. Unfortunately, we opened the second half a bit slow and gave them the lead and that’s not something you can do with a great program like Florida State.”
“I think our team has shown all season long that we can battle through adversity. In my three years at LSU, we’ve taken steady steps forward and this year’s group showed tremendous consistency. We used a lot of players this season and had players stepping into new roles throughout the year. The seniors have had a tremendous career. Overall, it’s been a great team effort from start to finish and I’m proud of this group.”
LSU opened the match by silencing the vocal home fans in the 10th minute. Thoreson found space on the right flank and sent a powerful cross to the back post that found Diwura-Soale, who timed her run to perfection as she tucked the ball into the bottom-left corner inside the six-yard box. The goal was the fourth of the season for Diwura-Soale while Thoreson’s assist took her tally to nine on the year.
Young Moolah @DiwuraSoale 🤑
📺 https://t.co/TEDaCew6F7#GeauxTigers pic.twitter.com/618e1SJJcX
— LSU Soccer (@LSUSoccer) November 18, 2022
The Seminoles responded ten minutes later as they equalized as Nighswonger ripped a powerful shot from 16 yards out that rippled into the roof of the net.
Neither team could find a quality chance before halftime and the match went into the break at 1-1. The second half opened with FSU taking a 2-1 lead in the 52nd minute. Jody Brown connected on a long through ball and found space in the box to hit a powerful shot from 12 yards out. Swift denied Brown with an outstretched leg, but the loose ball was pounced on perfectly by Iwai, who slotted it home into an empty net.
The lead was extended to 3-1 only two minutes later as Echegini outleapt everyone and headed home a cross on a corner.
LSU hunted for a goal to spark the comeback, but the Seminoles found their fourth and final in the 79th minute from Horton. Heather Payne sent a cross into the box and found Horton, who stepped in front of her defender and hit a side-footed volley into the bottom-right corner.
Tiger goalkeeper Mollee Swift finished the night with four saves to finish her season total at 77. In the career department, Swift moved up to third on the LSU all-time saves list with 238 saves.
With the defeat, LSU finishes the 2022 season with a 10-4-7 record. The Tigers earned the program’s eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament and the first back-to-back appearances since 2008 and 2009.