LSU soccer starts spring season with a win

LSU's Ramie Noel (38) celebrates with teammate Molly Thompson after Thompson's goal that turned to be the game-winner in the Tigers' 1-0 home victory over Southern Mississippi on Friday.

LSU’s soccer team got its spring season off to a successful start Friday with a 1-0 victory over Southern Mississippi in LSU’s Soccer Stadium.

The Tigers (3-7-2) began a nine-game spring season with all results counting forward their overall record along with any individual statistics.

LSU travels to Southeastern Conference foe Auburn on Feb. 26 for a 6:30 match. The Tigers dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision in overtime to Auburn in the fall.

“It was good to get a win under our belt to start the spring season,” LSU soccer coach Sian Hudson said. “We used many players that we didn’t see a whole lot of in the fall and were able to use different tactics and systems throughout the match. The girls are getting more tactically versatile since we’ve arrived last spring which allowed us to make different changes to our system on the fly and ensure we got the victory.”

LSU outshot USM (2-1) 11-7 overall in 4-3 in shots on goal with the Tigers providing the difference just before halftime.

Tinaya Alexander drove through the ride side of USM’s penalty area where she crossed the ball before reaching the end line. Alexander’s cross also avoided a hard-charging USM defender where her ball found Molly Thompson wide open on the back post where she easily tapped the ball into the goal.

“It was a moment of magic from Tinaya that was met perfectly by Molly,” Hudson said. “She (Molly) played well today and has worked tremendously hard to improve over the winter break and brought that sharpness out to the match and was rewarded with a goal for it.”

Thompson took three of LSU’s shots with Meghan Johnson and Savannah Mills each taking two shots.

USM’s goalie Kendell Mindrich saved shots against LSU’s Wasila Diwura-Soale and Taylor Dobles within a three-minute span midway through the opening half of play.

LSU, which was able to get playing time for 21 players, started Mollee Swift in goal and was replaced in the second half by Bella Zanotelli who registered three saves, highlighted by a potential tying goal from 15 yards out by USM’s Arial Diaz in the 55th minute.

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