BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The LSU Soccer team (8-6-1, 3-4-0 SEC) will host the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks for a ranked matchup at home (10-3-1, 6-1-0 SEC) on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. CT inside the LSU Soccer Stadium.
“I’m really excited for the game. Our team is capable of scoring goals and creating big moments against any team in the country on our day. We are dialed in on defensive solidarity and just trying to be difficult to beat heading into this match,” head coach Sian Hudson said. “We are just going to go after it and if we can walk away with points, we’ll be happy.”
“I think Arkansas is the most difficult team in the country to play against because they are incredibly physical and direct. They just have an unbelievable mentality and work rate and they are going to ask big questions of us. We will be looking for opportunities in the final third and in the box and I think players like Ava Galligan are going to cause problems.”
The first 250 fans to arrive at Thursday’s match will receive an exclusive LSU Soccer fanny pack. Gates to the stadium open at 5 p.m. CT. It is also faculty and staff appreciation night at the pitch for all LSU employees.
All promotions for the 2023 LSU Soccer season can be found here.
Thursday’s matchup between LSU and No. 9 Arkansas will be the 31st all-time meeting between the two programs. The Tigers hold a 15-11-4 series record against the Razorbacks.
The last time the two teams met was in 2021, when LSU defeated No. 4 Arkansas and picked up the highest ranked-win in program history. With LSU’s win in that match, Arkansas’ 14 match winning streak came to an end, and the Razorbacks were denied a perfect regular season in SEC play. The four goals that Arkansas conceded in one match was the most since the 2017 season.
Last Time On The Pitch
The LSU Soccer team (8-6-1, 3-4-0 SEC) were defeated by No. 24 Alabama (9-3-4, 3-3-1 SEC) by a score of 4-1 on Friday night inside the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
LSU opened the scoring on the night in the 10th minute when forward Taylor Dobles finished a one-on-one chance inside the box. The Crimson Tide tied it up in the 21st minute when Nadia Ramadan connected on a cross from six yards out. Alabama took their first lead of the night in the 30th minute when Felicia Knox hit a powerful ground shot from the top of the box into the bottom-right corner. The lead was extended to 3-1 on the night as Marianna Annest poked the ball past the line in the 47th minute before Alabama’s final goal of the night came in the 59th minute from a Brooke Steere header.
The Tigers opened the match with high energy and were rewarded with the first goal of the match in the 10th minute. Forward Ava Galligan dispossessed an Alabama midfielder and charged forward on the counterattack. She played a ball to Dobles, who burst into the box and slotted a ground shot past the goalkeeper from eight yards out. The goal was Dobles’ fifth of the season, a career-high, as well as the 10th of her collegiate career. Galligan’s assist is her fifth of the year, a team high.
The lead lasted only 11 minutes as Alabama tied it up in the 21st minute of play. Gessica Skorka sent a cross from the right flank to the back post and found Ramdan, who hit the volley on her right foot from six yards out and into the back of the net.
The Crimson Tide took the advantage nine minutes later. Itala Gemelli and Skorka connected on the right flank and sent a ball to Knox, who hit a strong ground shot from 16 yards out and into the bottom-right corner to make it 2-1 on the day.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift picked up saves in the 27th and 35th minutes to finish the first half with two saves. The Tigers were unable to find an equalizer before halftime and the first half finished 2-1 in favor of the home team.
The second half opened with the hosts extending the lead to 3-1 in the 46th minute. Annest pressured an LSU defender in the box and dispossessed her with a slide tackle that saw the ball slide into the back of the net.
Swift picked up a save in the 49th minute while Alabama goalkeeper Coralie Lallier denied a chance from Mollie Baker in the 53rd minute. Five minutes later, the Crimson Tide had their fourth and final goal of the night. Annest sent a ball into the box and found the head of Steere, who headed it off the left post and bounced into the back of the net to make it 4-1 on the night.
Galligan tested Lallier in the 73rd minute, but that was the final chance of the night for the Tigers. Swift finished the night with seven saves, taking her season total to 49 on the season and 287 in her LSU career, tying the program’s all-time record for career saves held by Caroline Brockmeier.
2023 Stat Leaders
The Tigers are 8-6-1 on the year with a 6-2-1 record at home as the squad gets ready to host No. 9 Arkansas for a top-10 showdown in Baton Rouge.
Forward Taylor Dobles took the lead as the Tigers leading scorer on the year after tallying the squad’s only goal against No. 24 Alabama. The goal against the Tide was her fifth of the year, a season high, and 10th in her career at LSU. The graduate student has also found the back of the net against No. 9 Texas and Northwestern State.
Sage Glover and Ida Hermannsdottir have the second most goals scored on the year for the Tigers with four each.
Glover notched her fourth goal on the year in the squad’s match against Mississippi State. Her previous goals have come against Southern, Texas A&M-Commerce and No. 22 Georgia. She owns eight in her career.
Hermannsdottir notched her fourth goal of the year against Pepperdine to move her career total to 11. She scored in the Tiger’s matches against Southern Miss and No. 9 Texas. The midfielder has also tallied two assists, 11 shots on goal and 10 points this season.
Other goal scorers on the year include Noel (3), Baker (3), Galligan (2), Major (2), Bertram (2), Swift (2), Prince (1) and Jordan Johnson (1). The Tigers have over 10 different goal-scorers, which puts them in an elite category.
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 52 shots, with 22 being on target, four assists and 10 points through 1,113 minutes on the pitch.
Freshman forward Ava Galligan leads the team in assists with five. Galligan has also notched two goals, eight points and eight shots on goal in her first year as a Tiger. Her first collegiate goal came against Pepperdine, where she found the equalizer and then again for the game-winner against Tennessee.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift has recorded 49 saves on the year with over 1,000 minutes played in between the posts. She owns a GAA of 1.55. The keep has also tallied two goals on penalty kicks this year.
Sophomore Laney Gonzales played her first full 90 minute match against Tennessee and has earned her first career starts in the Tigers last two matches.
Veteran returners Baker, Swift, and Gordon are the only four players to start in every match for LSU on the year, having tallied over a combined 3,000 minutes on the pitch through 15 matches.
LSU sits at eighth in the league with their record of 3-4-0 in conference play heading into another ranked matchup on Thursday. The Tigers have tallied nine points through conference play.
The squad ranks amongst the top five teams in the conference in goals, points and assists. LSU has tallied 29 goals, 28 assists and 86 points through 15 matches this year. The squad has also recorded 224 shots, with 99 of those being on target.
Baker’s 52 shots on the year place her fourth in the conference while Galligan is amongst the top-five assisters in the conference with five.
Swift ranks third with her 49 saves on the year while also placing in the top-10 in shutouts with her in between the posts.
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.
Goalkeeper Mollee Swift found her 300th career save against Northwestern State. Her career total is now at 332 over her career.
The Papillion, Nebraska native previously recorded 45 saves during her time at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs that go toward her career total. Since transferring to LSU in 2021, she has tallied 287 saves in between the post to match the program record of most career saves.
Swift matched the milestone in the squad’s last match against No. 24 Alabama. Swift recorded seven saves to move her career total to 287 saves in the purple and gold. She needs just one save to become the all-time save leader in LSU history.
On the year, the keep has tallied 49 saves through 15 matches and over 1,000 minutes between the posts for the Tigers this year.
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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