LSU Soccer Faces No. 6 Seed Memphis in Round 1 of NCAA Tournament
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The LSU Soccer team (8-7-4) earned their third-consecutive NCAA berth and are set to face No. 6 seeded Memphis (18-1-0) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, November 11 at 7 p.m. CT.
Friday begins the first rounds of competition with matches going through Sunday, November 12. Second and third rounds of play will continue the following weekend on Friday, November 17 and Sunday, November 19 with quarterfinals taking place on November 24 or 25.
Hudson’s first career NCAA Tournament appearance in the Purple & Gold came against Memphis in 2021, as the Tigers will meet again on the national stage. The winner of the match between LSU and No. 6 Memphis will advance to the second round and face the winner of No. 3 Notre Dame and Valparaiso on Friday, November 17.
“We are really excited to be in the tournament for the third year running. It’s a sign of the progression of the program over the last few years. The standard and expectation is that we are a postseason team and we don’t want to take that for granted. As we’ve demonstrated this season, we can go on the road against big opponents and have success,” said head coach Sian Hudson.
“It’s a redemption opportunity to see how far we’ve come as we face Memphis on the national stage two years later. They are a fantastic and well-disciplined team. Brooks (Monaghan) has done a fantastic job. They win a large number of games every year and always have a really difficult non-conference schedule. It’s definitely going to be a difficult and physical game and individual matchups are going to be key.
The competition between the home and visiting Tigers will be streamed on ESPN+ with Jeff Brightwell and Tim Van Horn on the call. Live stats and results for all NCAA Tournament competition can be found on NCAA.com.
This will be the ninth meeting between LSU and Memphis as the all-time series record between the two programs is tied 4-4. The last time the two teams met was in 2021, when LSU fell to Memphis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 3-0.
NCAA Tournament History
This will be the Tigers ninth program appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third-straight under head coach Sian Hudson, marking only the second time in school history that the program has made an appearance in the tournament in as many straight years. The last time the program made three-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament was from 2007-2009.
Last year, the Tigers defeated Lamar in the first round at home before falling to Florida State in the second round. The run matched the longest in program history as Hudson and the Tigers will look to go even further this year.
LSU owns an all-time record of 3-7-2 in NCAA Tournament competition.
This year marks the 42nd annual NCAA Women’s College Cup, to be played on December 1 and 4 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The first national semifinal will be played and broadcast live on ESPNU at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, December 1, followed by the second semifinal beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. CT live on ESPNU.
The national championship match will take place on Monday, December 5 at 5 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Scouting The Memphis Tigers
The Memphis Tigers (18-1) earned the No. 6 seed in the region following a 2-1 win over SMU Sunday afternoon to claim their third-straight AAC Championship. Memphis is currently on a 15-game win streak, which is the longest winning streak in the country. The Tigers went a perfect 8-0 at home this season and have not lost in the friendly confines in 19 matches since October 17, 2021.
The Memphis Tigers are led by fifth-year seniors Saorla Miller and Mya Jones entering the first round competition. The veteran duo have started in every match for Memphis this year.
Miller owns 11 goals on the year, the most on the squad. The forward senior has also tallied two assists, 63 shots and 30 shots on goal. Jones leads Memphis in assists with 10 on the year. She is also the second-highest goal scorer as she owns 10 goals, 77 shots, with 37 of those being on target, and 30 points. The forward was recently named the 2023 AAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Memphis has seen eight other goal scorers this year.
Junior goalkeeper Kaylie Bierman has recorded 42 saves and eight solo shutouts in her 17 appearances on the year. She also owns a GAAVG of 0.38.
Last Time On The Pitch
The No. 10 seeded LSU Soccer team (8-7-4, 3-5-2 SEC) fell in the first round of the 2023 SEC Tournament on penalty kicks to No. 7 seed Kentucky (9-3-6, 3-3-4 SEC) by a margin of 4-2 in Pensacola.
The match went to penalty shootouts after 90 minutes of regular time and 20 minutes of overtime finished goalless. The goalkeepers were a huge reason for the scoreless battle as LSU’s Mollee Swift finished with five saves while Kentucky’s Marz Josephson denied the Tigers six times.
Kentucky took the first shot on goal in the 17th minute as Ulfsadottir tested Swift for the first time on the day, but the shot was parried away by the keeper. The save marked Swift’s 300th in her career with the Purple & Gold. Swift collected another save not even two minutes later as she denied a shot from Grace Phillbots to keep it 0-0 in the match.
LSU forward Taylor Dobles took the Tigers’ only shot in the first half in the 24th minute, but the attempt went wide left. The first half ended scoreless with neither team able to find a solid chance on goal. Kentucky took six shots, with two of those being on goal, compared to LSU’s one.
The Tigers came out on fire in the second half as forward Rammie Noel took their first opportunity on goal in the 48th minute. Noel received a beautiful pass from Dobles through the Wildcat defenders that put her in scoring position inside the box. Noel took a shot that was blocked by Kentucky keeper Marz Josephson. Dobles attempted to create a goal out of the rebound, but the shot went high over the goal.
Kentucky went down to ten players in the 55th minute after Maggy Henschler picked up her second yellow card of the match with a foul on the edge of the box on Danielle Shannon. From that free kick, Ida Hermannsdottir stepped up to take the kick and sent a strong shot on goal that was collected by Josephson.
Despite the numbers advantage, LSU could not break through Josephson and the Kentucky defense. Defender Jocelyn Ollivierre notched a shot on goal in the 66th minute that was saved while Mollie Baker was denied in the 86th and 90th minutes to keep the scoreline even at 0-0.
Swift picked up a save in the 82nd minute on a shot from Tanner Strickland, the Wildcats best chance in the second half. After 90 minutes, it was 0-0 and the first match of the SEC Tournament went to overtime. The Tigers piled on the pressure in overtime but could not find the back of the net. Kelsey Major had a shot on goal in the 97th minute that was denied by Strickland, but that was about it for the first period of overtime.
The second period of overtime saw the Tigers come close to a game-winner on two separate occasions. Baker had a header inside the box in the 105th minute that narrowly went wide left of the goal and Hermannsdottir had a shot from outside the box in the 109th minute, but she could not get it on frame. The second period of overtime finished scoreless, and the match headed to a penalty shootout.
Kentucky opened the penalty shootout with Ulfarsdottir slotting a ball into the bottom-right corner to take the lead. The Tigers tied it up on the next kick when Hermansdottir slotted the ball to the left corner. Phillpots stepped up next for Kentucky and made it 2-1 with a strong shot to the right side that sent Swift the wrong way. Baker then stepped up to the penalty spot for LSU, but her shot down the middle was denied by the trailing legs of Josephson to give Kentucky the lead after two rounds.
Sam Halligan stepped up to the spot to open round three for Kentucky, but her shot to the bottom left corner was parried away by Swift to keep the score 2-1 and give the Tigers a chance to tie it back up. Jordan Johnson’s shot to the right of goal, however, was saved by Josephson and it remained 2-1 in the shootout after three rounds.
Maddie Eastman opened round four and made it 3-1 with a shot to the bottom-left corner. Sage Glover stepped up to the spot to take a must-make penalty and converted with a bottom-left ground shot that beat the goalkeeper on pace.
Kentucky’s all-time leading goalscorer in program history Jordan Rhodes stepped up in round five with a chance to win it and she did just that with a powerful shot into the bottom-left corner to make it 4-2 in the shootout and book the Wildcats’ spot in the second round of the SEC Tournament.
LSU outshot Kentucky by a margin of 17-12, with the Tigers having six shots on target compared to the Wildcats’ five. Despite having a player advantage due to Kentucky’s red card in the 55th minute, the Tigers could not find the back of the net in both regular time and overtime.
2023 Stat Leaders
The Tigers are 8-7-4 on the year as they claimed an at-large bid to begin their road to the Women’s College Cup in Cary, North Carolina. LSU has earned two wins against ranked opponents this season, including a victory over the newly crowned SEC Champions.
LSU took down No. 9 Texas for the program’s first Top-10 win on the road as well as No. 22 Georgia in a 3-2 thriller earlier this season. The squad also battled to a draw against No. 9 Arkansas to earn a point in conference play against the Razorbacks.
Forward Taylor Dobles is the squad’s leading goal scorer with five on the year, a career-high. Her goal against No. 24 Alabama marked the 10th in her career at LSU. The graduate student has also found the back of the net against No. 9 Texas and Northwestern State this season.
Sage Glover and Ida Hermannsdottir have the second most goals scored on the year with four each. Glover’s goals on the year have come against Southern, Texas A&M-Commerce, No. 22 Georgia and Mississippi State. She owns eight in her career.
Hermannsdottir notched her fourth goal of the year in the squad’s match against Pepperdine to move her career total to 11. Her other goals came against Southern Miss and No. 9 Texas. The midfielder has also tallied two assists, 13 shots on goal and 10 points this season.
The Tigers have over 10 different goal-scorers this year as Rammie Noel (3), Mollie Baker (3), Ava Galligan (3), Kelsey Major (2), Britney Bertram (2), Mollee Swift (2), Raelyn Prince (1) and Jordan Johnson (1) have all etched their names on the scoresheet this season.
Baker has been a crucial part of the midfield as she has started in every match for the Tigers this year. The senior has notched 60 shots, with 24 being on target, four assists and 10 points through 1,483 minutes on the pitch.
Galligan leads the team in assists and points. The forward has notched three goals, five assists, 11 points and 12 shots on goal in her first year as a Tiger. The freshman recorded her first collegiate goal against Pepperdine and also found the back of the net against Tennessee and No. 9 Arkansas.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift has recorded 66 saves on the year with 1,658 minutes in between the posts and a GAA of 1.41. The keep has also tallied two goals on penalty kicks this year.
The Tigers have tallied 30 goals, 30 assists, 90 points, 276 shots and 117 shots on goal this year as they enter tournament play.
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.