LSU Battles Against No. 9 Arkansas in 1-1 Draw
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Soccer team (8-6-2, 3-4-1 SEC) battled to a 1-1 draw against the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-4-2, 6-2-1 SEC) on Thursday night inside the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Forward Ava Galligan opened the scoring in the match with a header in the 77th minute to give LSU the lead in the second half, but Arkansas midfielder Bea Franklin responded and evened the score just six minutes later in the 83rd minute. Neither team could find the advantage as the match ended in a 1-1 draw in Baton Rouge.
“I’m really proud of the team’s performance tonight,” said head coach Sian Hudson. “We showed heart, passion and determination to earn the point. “We’ve shown consistently this season that we can beat some of the top teams in the country and on our day this team is special.”
With her save in the 30th minute, graduate student goalkeeper Mollee Swift marked a new program record for LSU as she became the new all-time saves leader. Swift surpassed former Tiger Caroline Brockmeier, who previously held the LSU saves record at 277. Swift finished the night with three saves to move her career total to 290.
Arkansas opened the match by dominating the time of possession, but neither team could tally a shot on goal for the first 28 minutes. LSU defender Caley Swierenga forced Razorback goalkeeper Phoebe Carver to make the first save of the match with a soft shot from the bottom left side of the box.
Following a Tiger foul, Arkansas forward Anna Podojil recorded the Razorbacks first shot on goal of the night with a blast from the top of the box, which was saved by LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift.
As the first half came to a close, LSU defender Rammie Noel stopped a last second chance from Arkansas and turned the ball upfield to Galligan. Galligan played the ball to forward Ida Hermannsdottir who returned the chance to Galligan with a through ball and a breakaway in the final seconds of the half, however Galligan was unable to score on the chance and the first half ended scoreless with neither team able to find the back of the net.
The Tigers and Razorbacks continued battling back and forth in the second half. In the 61st minute of the match, Arkansas forward Morgan White continued the Razorback pressure with a chip shot attempt from the top right of the box that was responded to with an incredible diving one-handed save from Swift.
Following a corner kick, Arkansas forwards kept up the pressure on Swift with an assortment of shots from the top of the box, but all were answered with blocks from LSU defenders. The Arkansas chance ended with a diving one-handed grab from Swift on a cross.
The Tigers broke the scoreless drought in the 77th minute. Noel started the chance with a crossing pass to forward Danielle Shannon, who then placed the ball inside the box to Galligan. Galligan redirected the ball into the back of the net on a beautiful header to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. For Noel and Shannon, the assists marked their fourth and third of the year while Galligan’s goal was the third of her career.
“It was a great goal by Ava,” said Hudson “She had a chance right before half that the keeper had to make a big save on. We knew that she was going to get another chance in the second half, and she obviously buried it when she got a chance. It was a great ball from Danielle Shannon and a great flick header to find the back of the net.”
Arkansas looked to tally an equalizer in the 81st minute of the game, but midfielder Tori Gillis kept the Tigers hope alive with an incredible slide tackle. It wasn’t until the 83rd minute that the Razorbacks evened the score following a free kick outside the 18, which resulted in Arkansas midfielder Bea Franklin scoring a point blank goal off a redirection from forward Ava Tankersley.
LSU was able to tally one more shot on goal in the final seven minutes of the game, but Razorback goalkeeper Sierra Cota-Yarde corralled in the save and neither team was able to create a scoring chance again.
The final horn blew with LSU and Arkansas closing their matchup in a 1-1 draw. The Razorbacks outshot the Tigers by a margin of 18-13, but the Tigers led in shots on goal with a margin of 6-5. While Arkansas started the game with pressure on the LSU defense, the Tigers were able to hold the Razorbacks and earn a point on the night.
“Overall I’m thrilled by the performance tonight, and any time we can take points off of Arkansas it is a good day,” added Hudson.
The Tigers return to action on the road against Auburn on Sunday, October 22 at 4 p.m. CT in primetime on SEC Network.