LSU Soccer Returns Home Sunday Evening Against Southern
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Soccer team (2-1-0) returns home to face the Southern Jaguars (0-2) for an in-state battle inside the LSU Soccer Stadium on Sunday, August 27 at 7 p.m. CT.
“We are excited to welcome Southern to our home for an in-state matchup this Sunday,” said head coach Sian Hudson. “The team is coming off a great road win and we hope that the momentum will carry over to this match. Our fans always help create a great environment and it’s a massive opportunity for them to not only support soccer in our home state, but in our city.”
The first 100 fans to arrive at the LSU Soccer Stadium on Sunday will receive a free Tiger head t-shirt. Admission to the match is free to the public.
All promotions for the 2023 LSU Soccer season can be found here.
The last time the Tigers and the Jaguars met was in March 2021 that counted toward the 2020-21 regular season due to Covid 19. LSU defeated Southern 3-0 in the matchup in the spring matchup. The last meeting before the two programs prior to that was in 2005.
LSU holds a 3-0 series record over Southern as the Tigers will look to hold their undefeated record over the Jaguars on Sunday evening at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Last Time On The Pitch
The Tigers, who are 2-1-0 on the season, took care of business in its first road match of the season on Thursday night after taking down No. 9 Texas (2-1-0) by a score of 3-1 at the Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field.
Head Coach Sian Hudson and LSU defeated Texas for the first time in series history to record the program’s first Top-10 win on the road. The LSU victory ended the Longhorns 11-match winning streak at home.
A headed goal from Taylor Dobles in the 29th minute gave the Tigers the lead in the match. That lead was doubled in the 39th minute as Ida Hermannsdottir stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the ball into the bottom corner. It became 3-0 on the night in the final minute of the first half as Dobles capitalized on a defensive error to score a one-on-one chance. Texas’ lone goal of the night came in the 52nd minute as Avery Clark scored with her right-foot from 12 yards out.
The match opened with high intensity as Mollie Baker tested Texas goalkeeper Mia Justus in the second minute with a shot from ten yards out that was saved by the Longhorn. The home team returned the favor a minute later when Texas’ Breana Thompson sent a shot on goal against LSU’s Mollee Swift, but the senior goalkeeper registered her first save of the night to keep the scoreline even.
The next twenty minutes saw both teams go back-and-forth looking for the opening goal. Justus denied the Tigers in the 14th minute while Swift picked up her second and third saves of the match in the 17th and 25th minutes.
The deadlock was broken in the 29th minute by the visiting Tigers. Ava Galligan sent a cross from the right-hand side to the back post that found the head of Rammie Noel. Noel’s header was centered to Dobles, who pounced with a header from six yards out that powered back the Longhorn defender on the goal line to give LSU a 1-0 lead. The goal was Dobles’ first of the season while Galligan’s assist was her second on the year and Noel’s first this season.
LSU kept the pressure on and were rewarded for it in the 39th minute. Dobles was fouled in the box by a Longhorn defender, which saw a penalty be awarded to the Tigers. Hermansdottir stepped up to the penalty spot for the Tigers and made it 2-0 on the night when she slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner, beating the goalkeeper on pace. The goal took the Icelandic international’s tally up to three on the season, a team high.
The Tigers struck once again in the final moments of the first half as Dobles made it 3-0 with her second goal of the night. A Texas defender was unable to clear a long ball in a timely manner, which saw Dobles pounce on the defensive error and break away into a one-on-one chance. Dobles dribbled into the box and sent a strong shot from 15 yards out that skipped past the goalkeeper and made it 3-0. The brace was Dobles’ third of her collegiate career and her first goal of the year.
The second half opened with the Longhorns scoring their lone goal of the night in the 52nd minute. Trinity Byars beat her defender on the right flank and sent a precise cross to Avery Clark, who hit it first time with her right-foot from 12 yards out and into the back of the net.
Despite the early goal, LSU remained in control the rest of the way. The Longhorns had six shots after their first goal, but the quality of the chances was not there for them. Swift denied a second goal in the 58th with an outstretched leg and picked up her final save of the 68th minute on a weak ground shot. She finished the night with six saves.
The last ranked victory for LSU was when the Tigers defeated No. 4 Arkansas by a score of 4-2 in 2021. It is also the first win against a ranked opponent on the road for the team since they defeated No. 21 Arizona State, 5-2, in Tempe that same season.
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.
The Brace Special
Forwards Mollie Baker and Taylor Dobles and midfielder Ida Hermannsdottir each own a brace through three matches this year.
Baker and Hermannsdottir both individually recorded a brace in the Tigers match against Southern Miss to lead LSU to victory with a 4-1 win over the Golden Eagles. It was the first time two players individually scored two goals in a single match since 2021, when Alesia Garcia and Tinaya Alexander tallied multiple goals over Sam Houston.
Hermannsdottir tallied her third goal of the year in a penalty in the squad’s last match against No. 9 Texas to extend the LSU lead 2-0 against the Longhorns.
Baker has tallied two goals on the year and six in her career while Hermannsdottir owns three on the year and 10 in her LSU career.
Dobles found her sixth and seventh career goals against No. 9 Texas to match her career high of two goals in a single match. The graduate student helped lead the Tigers to victory to take down a ranked opponent on the road on Thursday night.
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.