In last fall’s 11-game soccer schedule when then-new LSU soccer coach Sian Hudson and her team were getting to know each other, the Tigers scored 10 goals enroute to a 2-7-2 record that included a 0-6-2 start
Compare that to Sunday afternoon at the LSU Soccer Stadium when the Tigers’ eight goals in a 8-0 blanking of Sam Houston are the most scored in a single game since 2010.
Redshirt senior forward Tinaya Alexander scored a career-high four goals in one match in the 20th, 24th, 31st, and 89th minutes and senior transfer forward Alesia Garcia added three goals in the 50th, 51st, and 87th minutes. The other goal came from senior defender Grace Haggerty, who scored the second goal of her LSU career with a header in the 79th minute.
Alexander and Garcia became the first two players in LSU history to score hat tricks in the same match.
Alexander’s performance marks the fourth time in program history a player has scored four or more goals in a single game. Jackie Cooper (1996) and Mandy Heintz (2002) both did it twice while Stacy Bishop holds the LSU record of goals in one game with five in 2003.
“I thought the performance from start to finish had a lot of energy,” said Hudson, who used 23 players in the victory that improved LSU to 2-0. “We were able to use that energy particularly well today to attack. Our front two of Tinaya (Alexander) and Alesia (Garcia) both had a hat trick, which is great to see their ability to link up with each other continuing to grow. It was a good day from us from top to bottom and we’ll look to continue a good start to our season.”
LSU goalkeepers Mollee Swift and Bella Zanotelli combined for the shutout. Swift played the entire first half and Zanotelli handled the entire second half. Sam Houston State’s only shot on goal was easily saved by Zanotelli in the 83rd minute.
Alexander, last season’s LSWA College Player of the Year, scored the Tigers’ first three goals for a 3-0 halftime lead. Garcia, a transfer from the University of New Mexico, scored the first two second-half goals with the second on an Alexander assist.
LSU plays its first road match of the season Thursday at South Florida at 2:30 p.m., followed by a match at UCF next Sunday at noon. The Florida road swing opens a string of five consecutive away matches.