LSU Soccer Faces Wisconsin For Inaugural Contest On Thursday
MADISON, Wi. – The LSU Soccer team hit the road to face Wisconsin for the program’s first contest against the Badgers inside the McClimon Track and Soccer Complex on Thursday, August 31 at 7 p.m. CT.
“Wisconsin is somewhere that we’ve always wanted to come play and we are expecting it to be a tough matchup. They just went on the road and had two really good performances and I think they’re a consistent team who play with a lot of passion and intensity,” said Head Coach Sian Hudson.
“It’s going to be a battle, but we are playing with a lot of confidence right now with three back-to-back wins and the big road win against No. 9 Texas. Tomorrow is just another opportunity for us to come out and compete against a top team and show that we can compete with the best teams in the country,” said Hudson.
This will be the inaugural meeting between LSU and Wisconsin. The Tigers will look to take the 1-0 lead in the series record over the Badgers on Thursday night.
Last Time On The Pitch
The Tigers notched their third straight victory of the year on Sunday, August 27 as they defeated the Southern Jaguars (0-3) by a score 5-0 at home. The scoresheet saw four new scorers, as Noel, Bertram, Johnson and Glover each recorded their first goal of the year.
The LSU offense recorded season-highs in goals (5) and shots on goal (13) while the defense held the Jaguars to a clean sheet for the first of the season thanks to a combined effort of goalkeepers Mollee Swift and Bella Zanotelli.
LSU began the game with energy as forward Rammie Noel tallied an early first half goal. Defender Maya Gordon found open midfielder Ava Galligan, who took the ball with open space down the right side. The freshman sent a ground cross ball into the box to Noel, who found the finish as she tapped it into the back of the net to make the score 1-0 LSU. The goal was Noel’s first of the year and the seventh of her career. Galligan recorded her third assist of the season while Gordon recorded her first.
Mollie Baker, Jordan Johnson and Taylor Dobles also contributed to the first half action as they each tallied a shot on goal. Goalkeeper Mollie Swift was called into action multiple times in the first half, recording three saves on four Southern shots. It was a total team effort as LSU held their ground to keep the 1-0 lead going into the second half.
The Tigers came out of the gate flying in the second half as they took a 2-0 lead just minutes after the restart. After a handball foul outside the box, midfielder Raelyn Prince put a beautiful ball into the mix off of a set piece and found forward Britney Bertram, who placed the ball into the bottom right corner in the 46th minute for her first career goal in the Purple & Gold.
Just twenty seconds later, The Tigers regained possession and Johnson sent an excellent ball up to forward Sage Glover, who used her speed to dash past both the Southern defender and goalkeeper. Glover wasted no time on her fifth career goal as she sent the ball into the back of the net to make it a 3-0 LSU lead.
LSU notched their fourth goal of the match in just seven minutes of the second half when Johnson fired a long-range effort past the right of Southern goalkeeper Sydney Bellamy to make it 4-0 on the night. That was Johnson’s first goal of the 2023 campaign and third in her career.
In the dying embers of the match, midfielder Ida Hermansdottir found Baker on a forward run, who used her speed against a Southern defender and lasered a shot into the top right-hand corner to make it 5-0 and cap off the scoring on the night. The goal was Baker’s third of the season and seventh in her career.
Dobles Earned SEC Player of the Week Honors
Forward Taylor Dobles was named the SEC Player of the Week following her performance against No. 9 Texas and Southern, announced by the league on Monday, August 28.
The award marked the first conference honor for the graduate student in her career.
The Pembroke Pines, Florida native had a huge performance on the road to lead the Tigers to victory over No. 9 Texas on Thursday, August 24. Dobles tallied a brace against the Longhorns to match her career high in a single match and get on the scoresheet for the first time this year.
Dobles put the Tigers on the board first in the 29th minute to give the Tigers the early lead in Austin. Forward Ava Galligan sent a cross from the right 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 over the Longhorn defender on the goal line to give LSU the 1-0 lead. The goal was Dobles’ first of the season and sixth in her career.
Her scoring continued in the final minute of the first half as Dobles pounced on a defensive error from a Texas defender and broke away into a one-on-one chance. She dribbled into the box and sent a strong shot from 15 yards out that skipped past the goalkeeper and made it 3-0 with her second goal of the night. The goal was Dobles’s seventh of her collegiate career and her third brace.
Dobles and the Tigers made history as they defeated Texas for the first time in series history and recorded the program’s first Top-10 win on the road. The 2021 season saw the last time LSU defeated a ranked opponent at home and on the road with victories over No. 4 Arkansas in Baton Rouge and No. 21 Arizona State in Tempe.
The victory also ended the Longhorns 11-match winning streak at home.
Noel Named To Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week
A fifth-year senior from Carencro, Louisiana, Noel has been a crucial component for the Tigers this year on both sides of the ball. She proved her experience as she was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week following her performance in week two.
Against the Longhorns, the forward tallied an assist as teammate Taylor Dobles found the finish for the opening goal of the match against No. 9 Texas in the 28th minute.
Noel notched her first goal of the year in the Tigers last match against Southern. Defender Maya Gordon found open midfielder Ava Galligan, who took the ball with open space down the right side. The freshman sent a ground cross ball into the box to Noel, who found the finish as she tapped it into the back of the net to make the score 1-0 LSU. The goal was the seventh of her career.
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
Hudson enters her fourth season leading the Tigers in 2023. Last year, 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.
She also 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 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.
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