LSU Soccer Faces Georgia In Top-25 Road Matchup
ATHENS, Ga. – The LSU Soccer team (5-3-1) will hit the road for a top-25 conference matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs (4-1-3) on Thursday, September 21 at 5 p.m. CT at Turner Soccer Complex.
“It’s been a great week of training and the team has responded well since falling in our SEC opener. We are really excited for a top-25 matchup at Georgia,” said head coach Sian Hudson. “They have been very consistent this season and will provide a stern test for us in Athens, but I feel like this team thrives on the road in big games and we will be looking to bounce back with a win this weekend.”
“Some key things for us to focus on will be staying organized defensively, not giving our opponent big chances in transition and being more clinical in the attacking third. We have had 20+ shots in our last two games and our lack of patience and execution in key moments has led to wasted chances. We must be better in this area if we are going to capitalize on our large share of possession we typically have on opponents.”
The Tigers are 7-11-4 against the Bulldogs and are 1-7-2 when playing in Athens. The last time the two teams met was in the 2021 SEC Tournament, where LSU advanced 5-4 on PK’s after the match ended in a 0-0 draw in the first 90 minutes.
LSU and Georgia also met during the regular season in 2021, when the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers in a 2-1 overtime win in Baton Rouge.
Last Time On The Pitch
The LSU Soccer team (5-3-1) were defeated by the Ole Miss Rebels (5-2-1) by a score of 1-0 on Friday night in the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The game opened with high energy from both teams as they went up and down the pitch seeking an opening goal. The Tigers had the first shot on goal in the 13th minute as Ava Galligan shot on a free kick from outside the box that was saved by Ole Miss goalkeeper Shu Ohba. The Rebels returned the energy on the other side of the field as Meredith King had a shot off target in the 17th minute.
In the 20th minute, Gili Johnson received a cross in the box and sent a first time shot on goal that was blocked by the outstretched arm of an LSU defender, which saw the referee award a penalty kick to Ole Miss. Brady stepped up to the spot for the Rebels and placed the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 on the night.
Despite going one goal down, the Tigers never lost their energy and pressed on looking for an equalizer. LSU had shots in the 21st, 24th and 29th minute, but could not direct them on goal. Forward Mollie Baker sent in a strong left-footed effort on frame in the 40th minute, but it was parried wide by Ohba. Ohba collected a long-ranged effort from Raelyn Prince in the 42nd minute to finish the half with three saves. The Rebels took the 1-0 lead into halftime in Oxford.
The second half played out similarly to the first with the Tigers dominating possession, but unable to convert in the final third. Neveah Johnson had a strong header blocked by an Ole Miss defender in the 52nd minute. Five minutes later in the 58th minute, Ohba denied a shot on goal by Baker to keep the match 1-0.
In the 61st minute, Swift made a crucial save that kept the Tigers in the match. Against the run of play, Ole Miss broke on the counterattack. Brady bursted ahead of the LSU defense and tried poking a shot past Swift, who rushed forward and blocked the shot with an outstretched leg. Swift would pick up two more saves in the 64th and 72nd minutes to finish the night with four saves.
Ohya picked up another save in the 75th minute as she caught a powerful free kick taken by Swift. The Tigers pressed on until the end looking for an equalizer but could break the defense that the Rebels set in the box. The final chance of the night came in the final minute as Hermansdottir headed the ball from the top of the box that was collected by Ohya for her seventh and final save of the night.
LSU outshot Ole Miss by a margin of 22-9, with the Tigers having seven shots on goal compared to the Rebels’ five. LSU won the possession battle by a margin of 55% to Ole Miss’s 45%. The Tigers controlled the tempo throughout the night but were unable to convert their chances in the final third.
2023 Stat Leaders
Forward Taylor Dobles and midfielder Ida Hermannsdottir lead the squad in goals scored this year with four each.
Dobles tallied her second brace of the year in the Tiger’s last match against Northwestern State to record her third and fourth goals of the year. She now owns nine in her career.
Hermannsdottir notched her fourth goal against Pepperdine to move her career total to 11. The midfielder has also tallied two assists, nine shots on goal and 10 points through non-conference play.
Baker is the second highest goal-scorer with three on the year and seven in her career. She has also recorded three assists, 10 shots on goals and nine points.
Freshman forward Ava Galligan leads the team in assists with four. She has also notched one goal, six points and three shots on goal in her first year as a Tiger.
Her first collegiate goal came against Pepperdine, where she found the equalizer to level out the match for the Tigers and earn a point in the draw.
LSU has seen various players across the scoresheets this year, putting them in an elite group of schools who have 10 or more different goal-scorers in the country.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift has recorded 21 saves on the year with nine starts and 738 minutes played in between the posts. She owns a GAA of 1.22 this year.
Veteran returners Baker, Swift, Gordon and Noel are the only four players to start in every match for LSU during non-conference play.
LSU will look for their first conference win of the year on Thursday night. The squad holds an overall record of 5-2-1 with a 4-1-1 home record and a record of 1-2-0 on the road as they battle for a road win this week.
The Tigers are amongst the top five teams in the conference in goals and shots while taking the lead in the points and assists categories.
LSU has tallied 22 goals, 24 assists, 161 shots and 68 points through nine matches this year.
Baker ranks second with her 38 shots while Hermannsdottir and Dobles placed in the top-10 in goals with four each.
Swift’s 21 saves on the year places her sixth in the rankings. Galligan is also ranked one of the top assisters in the conference.
Swift’s 300 Milestone
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift recorded her 300th career save in the Tiger’s match against Northwestern State. She recorded two saves against the Lady Demons to reach this milestone in her career.
The Papillion, Nebraska native has tallied 21 saves through nine matches and 738 minutes between the posts for the Tigers this year.
She previously recorded 45 saves during her time at the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs. Since transferring to LSU in 2021, she has tallied 259 saves in between the posts.
Swift’s 259 career saves in the Purple & Gold places her at third for most in LSU program history. Megan Kinneman holds second place with 284 while Caroline Brockmeier leads the category with 287 career saves at LSU.
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.
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.
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