LSU soccer has five players named to SEC’s preseason watch list

LSU senior Shannon Cook (8) is one of five players named to the SEC preseason's watch list of the league's top players. PHOTO COURTESY LSU athletics.

LSU’s soccer program had five players named to the league’s 2022 SEC preseason watch list, the conference office announced Wednesday.

The list includes Mollie Baker, Shannon Cooke, Wasila Diwura-Soale, Maya Gordon, and keeper Mollee Swift. 

LSU will host its first home regular season match 6 p.m Thursday against Stephen F. Austin. Admission is free. 

Cooke, a fifth-year senior from Rickmansworth, England, is a two-time team captain and a key component on the defense. She served as the starting center back for 18 out of 20 games last year and finished the season with three goals, one assist, and seven points. 

Swift, a native of Papillion, Nebraska, started in all 20 games a year ago. She recorded 81 saves including a game-high of nine in LSU’s 2-1 win over Georgia in the first round of the SEC Tournament. Swift finished the season with a goals against average of 1.25 and an 11-8-1 record.

Gordon started in 19 games on the backline. The senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, played a role in a defense that was part of eight shutouts and only allowed a GAA of 1.23.

Diwura-Soale, a graduate student from Accra, Ghana, returns to the midfield, where she played in 19 of 20 matches last season. She had 16 starts and finished the year with one goal, one assist and 1,178 minutes played. 

Baker, a transfer forward from North Carolina, will play her first season at LSU. The Arizona native played 14 matches over two seasons for the Tar Heels and registered her first career college assist on Oct. 24, 2021, versus Notre Dame.

The SEC preseason poll, voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches, has LSU finishing 10th. Tennessee is the favorite to win the conference title.

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