Sian Hudson Season 2023
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, Hudson 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.
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.
She coached two of the top freshmen in the country last season with Ida Hermannsdottir and Angelina Thoreson, whose career as Tigers has just begun. Both players were named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Top Freshman list. Hermansdottir led the squad in goals scored with seven on the year and was named to the freshman All-SEC team. Thoreson led the Tigers in assists with nine on the year.
Hudson and the LSU Soccer program invest in developing their players. In her time as head coach, Hudson 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.
A native of Newport, Wales, Hudson was named LSU’s head coach on December 11, 2019. Since that date, she’s helped take the program to new heights. Hudson and the Tigers placed No. 5 in the national rankings in 2021, which marked the highest in program history. In her second year, she amassed five wins over nationally ranked teams and helped LSU earn its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2021 fall season started off about as good as it could have with the Tigers winning eight straight under the direction of Hudson. Included in those eight straight wins were triumphs over three ranked squads – No. 15 USF, No. 19 UCF, and No. 21 Arizona State. Pair those eight wins with the final three from the spring season of 2021 and LSU had won a program record 11 straight games.
LSU tallied a total of four ranked wins during the 2022 season. The aforementioned three above in an 11-day span from late August to early September, and then the biggest one of them all came in the regular season finale against No. 4 Arkansas. With LSU’s season on the line, the Tigers came out with a fiery passion under Hudson on Oct. 28, 2021, as the Tigers handed the Razorbacks their first and only loss of the conference regular season with a 4-2 victory. The win solidified LSU’s positioning in the SEC and NCAA Tournament and was the highest ranked win in program history.
The LSU faithful caught on the wonderful display of soccer being played and showed out on Sept. 17, 2021 as LSU opened up SEC play against Mississippi State in Baton Rouge. A school record crowd of 3,021 showed up and supported the Tigers en route to a 2-0 shutout victory over Mississippi State in what was a raucous environment. Hudson and company have invested an ample amount of time in the Baton Rouge community and it has showed. The program is on the rise and the LSU faithful has a knack for supporting winners. LSU averaged 1,334 fans per home match during the 2021 season to set the program, and that average ranked as the 12th highest in the nation.
LSU scored 40 goals on the season while only conceding 25 times in 2021; that goal differential of 15 was the highest for the program since 2009. The 40 goals were the most in program history since 2009 as well. Fourteen different players factored into the scoresheet with goals to match the program record for most individual goals scorers in a single season.
Tinaya Alexander absolutely thrived under Hudson’s style of play as she registered a career high 24 points during the 2021 season that included nine goals and six assists as she led LSU all season long. Those numbers earned her a spot on the All-SEC First Team and the United Soccer Coaches Southeast All-Region First Team. Not only did she receive those accolades, but her play caught the eyes of professional clubs and she was drafted No. 14 overall in the 2021 NWSL Draft to the Washington Spirit. She became LSU’s second ever player to be drafted by the NWSL, and she was the first player from the SEC to be taken in the 2021 draft.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift was named the Top Drawer Soccer and United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week on Sept. 1, 2021, after her performances that led to LSU sweeping wins over No. 15 USF and No. 19 UCF on the Florida swing. Alesia Garcia and Tinaya Alexander also earned Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week accolades during the season, and Molly Thompson was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week once as well.
LSU had three different players collect hat tricks during the 2021 season. Tinaya Alexander (four goals) and Alesia Garcia (three goals) both did it in the same game on August 22, 2021, versus Sam Houston State; Alexander and Garcia became the first duo in program history to register a hat track in the same game. Molly Thompson scored three against UL-Lafayette on September 9, 2021.
Only three months into her gig at the helm of LSU soccer in March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and halted all of collegiate athletics. Hudson didn’t let that deter her from building meaningful relationships with her staff, athletes, and LSU soccer alumni as she poured in a copious amount of time to immerse herself in the history of the program.
Fast forward five months and the LSU soccer team returned to campus and began practice for the 2020-21 season, its first under Hudson. Hudson’s first win of her LSU career came on November 13, 2020, as the Tigers shutout Alabama for a 2-0 win over Alabama in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Tigers followed that up with a 2-1 win over No. 14 Ole Miss two days later to advance to the SEC quarterfinals in their first SEC Tournament appearance under Hudson’s reign.
The 2020-21 season featured fall and spring games that counted towards LSU’s team record and Hudson made the most of the spring with her team. She led her squad to a record of 6-1-1 in the spring of 2021 and the level of expectation within the program has risen heading into the fall of 2021. The Tigers ended the 2020-21 season with an RPI of 54.
Tinaya Alexander (21 points) had a career year in 2020-21 with nine goals and three assists to lead the scoring efforts for LSU. Molly Thompson did the same as well as she scored a career high five goals during her junior campaign. Rammie Noel and Maya Gordon were both named to the All-SEC Second Team for their play during the fall portion of the 2020 season under Hudson’s guidance.
Hudson came to LSU with nearly 20 years of coaching experience. She came to Baton Rouge after serving as the head coach at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for the past three seasons. During her time as head coach at UCCS, Hudson led the Mountain Lions to a 52-10-4 record. Each of those three seasons saw UCCS qualify for the NCAA Tournament, the first three appearances in school history, including a run to the national semifinals in 2017. Her win totals in each of the three seasons – 17 in 2017, 16 in 2018, and 19 in 2019 – were the three winningest seasons in program history.
Hudson, the 2019 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, led UCCS to a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in program history in 2019 as the Mountain Lions marched to a record of 19-2 and a NCAA South Central Region No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Five of her players earned United Soccer Coaches All-South Central region honors and Shanade Hopcroft was named the South Central Region Player of the Year and RMAC Player of the Year. Aleesa Muir, a defender on Hudson’s 2019 team, was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Soccer First Team, and teammate Ella Fischer received the 2019 Summit Award from the RMAC which is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA in the conference. Hudson’s 2019 squad was an offensive juggernaut ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense (3.19 avg./NCAA No. 4), goals scored (67/No. 6) and total points (187/No. 5), all of which were program records.
Hudson and her staff at UCCS earned South Central Region Staff of the year honors in their debut season in 2017. That campaign saw the Mountain Lions go 17-5-1, make a run to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, and win the first ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title in program history.
During her three years at UCCS, she coached Tarah Patterson (2017) and Anna Gregg (2018) to All-America honors as they became the first two student-athletes in program history to achieve the feat. All in all, Hudson coached two RMAC players of the year, two RMAC goalkeepers of the year, and two RMAC freshmen of the year. Ten of her players racked up a total of 15 all-conference awards from 2017-19 at UCCS.
Prior to taking the head job at UCCS, Hudson spent two seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I program Colorado College in Colorado Springs. In her two-year stint, she assisted in every aspect of the program and helped Colorado College reach the semifinals of the 2015 Mountain West Tournament.
Before entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Hudson spent 2002 to 2015 serving as the director of the Pride Soccer Club in Colorado Springs. She was the head coach of the Pride Predator teams and won 11 state championships, one regional crown, and helped the Pride Predators 99 team advance to the national semifinals in 2014. She oversaw the implementation of the college placement program beginning in 2010 that educated Pride Soccer Club athletes and parents on the collegiate recruiting process.
A solid player in her own right, Hudson played on the Wales National Team and was at one point the youngest international player on the squad at the age of 16. She earned three caps on the senior level at the European Championships from 1997 to 1999, and she made 10 appearances at the UEFA Championships as a captain for the U19 squad. Hudson captured five senior league championships, three league cups and the Welsh Cup for Newport County Ladies squad from 1995-2000.
Hudson earned her bachelor’s in Sports Coaching Science, majoring in sport psychology from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2002. She’s graduated with her master’s degree in sports coaching from the University of Denver in May of 2020. She holds her U.S. Soccer Federation B License, and the UEFA C License and Goalkeepers Award.