TEMPE, Ariz. – LSU’s No. 17 soccer team overcame an early deficit to match the program’s longest winning streak at nine games dating to last season with a 5-2 victory Sunday over No. 21 and previously undefeated Arizona State at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
Alesia Garcia led LSU (6-0-0) with a pair of goals with the second one in the ninth minute giving LSU the lead for good. The Tigers also picked up goals from Rammie Noel, Athena Kuehn and Lindsi Jennings – all in the first half – while Garcia capped her team’s scoring by converting a penalty kick in the 66th minute.
LSU won its fourth straight road game with its third win over a ranked opponent, a school single-season record. The Tigers travel to UL-Lafayette on Thursday to conclude their five-game road swing that also included two matches each in Florida (USF, UCF) and Arizona (Arizona, Arizona State).
“Loved the way our team didn’t let that early goal phase them,” LSU soccer coach Sian Hudson said. “To come back after allowing that early goal and score five unanswered, four of which came in the first half, is impressive. I love the direction this group is moving. We know there is still lots of soccer left to play, but I’m happy with how far we’ve progressed this early in the season. Still things we can do better, but I’m so proud of what this group accomplished on this road trip.”
LSU’s five goals was good enough to rank second in school history against a ranked opponent. The Tigers now have a 4-3-0 record against Top 25 opposition under Hudson.
Arizona State struck first in the first 37 seconds when Olivia Nguyen found herself on the end of a ground cross and tapped it first-time into the back of the net.
In the 9th minute, ASU’s goalkeeper wasn’t able to clear the ball in the box where Garcia gained possession and took a touch and chipped the ball into the right corner from the top of the box to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead and collect her fourth goal of the season.
The Tigers made it 3-1 in the 26th minute when Maddie Moreau found Kuehn, who slotted the ball away from seven yards out. The goal took Kuehn’s goal tally to three for the season, and it was Moreau’s second assist on the day, the first time that the midfielder had a multi-assist game in her collegiate career.
LSU’s strong first half continued to get better as the lead was extended to 4-1 in the 32nd minute. Midfielder Chiara Ritchie-Williams took a corner and sent a ball near post to Jennings, who flicked the ball across goal and into the goal after bouncing in from the right goalpost for her first career goal.
LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift stayed focused after conceding in the first minute and came up with big saves in the first half to keep the Tigers in the driver’s seat. She picked up her first save in the 7th minute and picked up saves in the 22nd and 23rd minute before ending the half with three different saves in the 45th minute that kept Arizona State’s goal tally at one heading into halftime.
Swift, who had a season-high eight saves, was substituted in the 72nd minute for Bella Zanotelli who picked up a save in the 75th minute.
Arizona State won the shot battle by a margin of 22-17, as well as having more shots on goal with the difference being 11 to LSU’s 8.