STARKVILLE, Miss. – The LSU soccer team (7-2-2, 2-1-0 SEC) was defeated by the Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-0-2, 3-0-0 SEC) by a score of 3-2 on Sunday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
It took only four minutes for a goal as Mississippi State’s Gwen Mummert scored a header on a corner. The Tigers responded only 19 seconds later as Alesia Garcia headed home her own goal to tie the match at 1-1.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the 6th minute as Maggie Wadsworth put the ball into the back of the net after a scramble in the box. Tiger defender Tilly Wilkes equalized in the 41st minute as she slotted home a rebound goal. Mississippi State claimed the winning goal in the 84th minute as Haley McWhirter scored from the penalty spot.
The match opened with high intensity and had three goals scored in the first six minutes. The Bulldogs struck first in the fourth minute. Haley McWhirter swung a cross from a corner to the back post and found Mummert, who outleapt her defender and headed the ball into the goal from six yards out.
Only 19 seconds later, LSU tied it up at 1-1. Defender Rammie Noel broke away down the left flank and sent a cross to the back post and found Garcia, who was unmarked and calmly headed the ball home. Garcia’s goal marks her fifth of the season while Noel’s assist was her second of the year.
Only three minutes, the Bulldogs scored their second goal to make it 2-1 on the night. Following a corner, the ball scrambled around the box in front of goal. After heavy deflections from both teams attempting to collect it, Wadsworth was able to get the final touch to push it over the line and into the goal.
LSU did not lose energy and chased for the equalizing goal. Midfielder Ida Hermannsdottir had a strong shot on frame in the 11th minute that was saved by Bulldog goalkeeper Maddy Anderson. At the other end, Tiger goalkeeper Mollee Swift picked up saves in the 31st and 36th minutes to keep the match even.
The Tigers found the equalizing goal in the 41st minute. Midfielder Raelyn Prince sent a powerful effort from long range at the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper parried the ball away but Wilkes tracked the ball perfectly was able to slot a second chance effort from 12 yards out into the back of the net. Wilkes had her second goal of the season while Prince had her second assist.
The tying goal was the last major event of the first half and the teams went into the break tied at 2-2.
The second half had neither team able to take control of the match and the chances were limited. Garcia had a shot saved in the 71st minute while the Bulldogs had a shot on frame in the 77th minute saved by Swift.
Mississippi State was awarded a penalty in the 84th minute. Midfielder Wasila Diwura-Soale had her legs get tangled in the box with a Bulldog attacker and the referee ruled in favor of the attacker. McWhirter stepped up to the penalty spot and sent the ball to the right-side to beat Swift and make the scoreline 3-2.
The Tigers could not find a response in the final six minutes and ultimately dropped their first SEC match of the season to an unbeaten Mississippi State team.
LSU hosts Kentucky at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday, October 2nd at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics)