LSU drops 2020 soccer opener at SEC preseason favorite Arkansas

LSU's Tinaya Alexander had three shots on goal but didn't score in the Tigers' season opening loss at Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Arkansas athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the 2020 SEC soccer championship, but LSU gave the Razorbacks all they could handle before dropping the season opener 2-0 here on Saturday.

Arkansas (1-0 overall, 1-0 in the SEC) scored in the 35th minute off a free kick from near midfield as Reagan Swindall flipped in a ball from just outside the 6 for the goal. The Razorbacks added their second goal of the match in the 56th minute as Parker Goins found the back of the net.

The Tigers (0-1 overall, 0-1 in the SEC) had 11 shots on goal, but couldn’t score. They remained within striking distance the entire match because of sophomore Mollee Swift, who had seven saves in her first start at LSU’s goalkeeper.

LSU had four other first-time starters including junior transfer Wasila Diwura-Soale and redshirt freshman Taylor Dobles, Jordan Johnson and Savannah Mills.

“Overall I was really pleased with our performance today,” said Siam Hudson after she made her LSU head coaching debut. “Arkansas is a team that poses a lot of hard questions in terms of the way they press and put balls into the box. I thought we built out of the back well at times, stretched them defensively, and competed well in the aerial battle.

“We were able to create four to five big chances that we didn’t capitalize on. If we score one or two of those chances we had in the first half, I think it shifts the game in a big way. It was great for us to finally get a chance to compete with somebody besides ourselves. There were plenty of positive signs in terms of fight, belief, and playing our style of soccer here at LSU.”

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