LSU Soccer Begins 2023 Season Campaign Thursday Night
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Soccer program and Head Coach Sian Hudson are set to kick off the 2023 season against South Florida on Thursday, August 17 at 6 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
“We are really excited to get the regular season underway tomorrow night. It’s going to be an exciting season and we can’t wait to open at home on a new field. South Florida is a very good opponent, who we beat in a tightly contested game two years ago, so I know it will be a good matchup,” said Hudson.
“We are looking forward to seeing our team compete for the first time after a great week together in Colorado. The team has been working hard all preseason and have created bonds that we hope will be reflected with the performances on the field.”
The first 300 students to arrive at the LSU Soccer Stadium for the Tigers home opener will receive a voucher for a “shirsey,” which can be claimed at halftime. The shirsey is a purple t-shirt that looks like a jersey with No. 27 on it, for the class of 2027.
Admission is free to the public.
The Tigers are 2-0 in the series record over the Bulls. The last time the two programs met was in 2021, when LSU traveled to Tampa and came up victorious over No. 15 USF with a 2-1 win. The win marked the fourth time in program history that LSU had secured a road win against a Top 25 opponent.
LSU owns a record of 18-10 in the previous 28 season openers in program history. Specifically, the Tigers boast a home record of 14-3-0 in home openers at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The 2023 Squad
This year, the roster is composed of 28 athletes with nine seniors, three juniors, 11 sophomores and five freshmen. 21 Tigers return from the 2022 roster who made a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
There are seven new faces on the 2023 squad, including freshman Caley Swierenga, Andrea Iljkic, Ava Galligan, Brielyn Knowles and Alyson Campbell. New to the squad this year is also sophomore transfer out of Oklahoma, Hali Hartman, and walk-on Sarah Portis.
Fifth-year veterans Mollee Swift and Maya Gordon are key returners as they lead the squad as captains this upcoming season. Also returning are seniors Rammie Noel, Taylor Dobles, Jordan Johnson, Abby Smith, Britney Bertram, Mollie Baker and Bella Zanotelli, who bring experience and depth to the squad.
The junior class is composed of Nevaeh Johnson, Tori Gillis and Jaden Humbyrd. Danielle Shannon, Laney Gonzales, Bailey Herfurth, Jocelyn Ollivierre, Ida Hermannsdóttir, Angelina Thoreson, Kelsey Major Raelyn Prince and Sage Glover are ready for year two in the purple and gold.
Three countries are represented in this year’s squad (United States, Iceland and Sweden). Ida Hermannsdottir is a native of Iceland and Angelina Thoreson is a proud Swede.
Of the remaining 26 athletes, six are native to Colorado, five to Texas, and four to Louisiana and Florida. The remaining states that are represented are Arizona, New York, Virginia, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington.
LSU is captained by the veteran duo of fifth year seniors Maya Gordon and Mollee Swift for the 2023 season.
A native of Papillion, Nebraska, Swift is a three-year starter between the posts for the Tigers. The goalkeeper recorded 77 saves last year, which placed her third in the conference. She also averaged 4.05 saves per game leading all SEC keepers. She was responsible for five clean sheets in the 2022 season and finished the year with a record of 7-4-7 and 1,693 minutes played.
Swift currently ranks third in LSU program history in saves and shutouts as she will look to continue to etch her name in the record book this year.
Gordon is a veteran in the backline who has notched notable minutes in her four years at LSU with a total of 4,775 minutes on the pitch heading into her final season.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native earned the start in 18 of 19 matches for the Tigers last year and returns experience to the defensive unit.
SEC Preseason Watchlist
Mollie Baker, Maya Gordon, Ida Hermannsdóttir, Rammie Noel and Mollee Swift are five of 72 student-athletes on this year’s watchlist.
A defender from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Gordon has been a key component to the LSU defense over the past four years. She returns experience to the backline as she earned the start in 18 of 19 games played for the Tigers last season and helped shutout five opponents in 2022.
Swift is a three-year starter who also returns experience to the team this year. Last year, the goalkeeper recorded 77 saves (third best in SEC) on a 74% save percentage on the year, was responsible for five clean sheets and averaged 4.05 saves per game, which lead all SEC keepers between the posts.
A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, Hermannsdóttir enters her second year with the Tigers after recording seven goals, two assists and 16 shots on goal last year.
The rising sophomore earned multiple honors in her debut season at LSU in 2022, including All-SEC Freshman Team, Top Drawer Soccer All-Freshman Team and LSWA Louisiana Freshman of the Year.
Noel is a forward from Carencro, Louisiana, who is a major contributor on the wing for the Tigers. She started in 16 matches with 19 appearances and tallied one goal and two assists throughout the 2022 season.
In her debut season as a Tiger after transferring from North Carolina in 2022, Baker notched four goals, six assists, 17 shots on goal and one game winning goal in the squad’s 3-2 win versus Kentucky last season. The forward continues to be an offensive force for the Tigers as she enters her senior season this year.
Building The Program
In only her third season as head coach of the Fighting Tigers, Hudson led her squad to the program’s eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022 and second postseason appearance in her LSU career. The Tigers first round win over Lamar on November 11 marked Hudson’s first victory in the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, she recorded the program’s 13th ten-win season with an overall record of 10-4-7 in 2022. The Tigers shutout five opponents and recorded a draw against three ranked opponents.
Hudson enters her fourth year leading the Tigers in 2023. On her staff, she is joined by associate head coach Seb Furness (4th year), assistant coach Tiffany Hansen (2nd year) and assistant coach Trey Thompson (1st year). Together, Hudson and the LSU Soccer program invest in developing their players.
In her time as head coach, she has had six players take their talents to the next level. Shannon Cooke, Lindsi Jennings, Alesia Garcia, Brenna McPartlan, Tinaya Alexander and Athene Kuehn were coached and developed by Hudson and are now playing professionally across the world.
In 2021, the Tigers reached new heights 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 at LSU vs. Mississippi State).
In three short years, Hudson and the Tigers have shattered LSU Soccer Stadium attendance records. Two of the program’s top ten all-time largest crowds were under Hudson as LSU continues to be one of the top program’s nationally with fan attendance, earning Top 15 status in 2021.