LSU Soccer vs. Georgia

LSU soccer senior forward Alesia Garcia (10) keeps her eyes on the ball Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 during their 2-1 loss against Georgia at the LSU Soccer Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

On Friday at the Alabama Soccer Stadium, the Tigers’ matchup with the Crimson Tide fell nothing short of the usual Alabama–LSU intensity. Last time, the Crimson Tide fell to the Tigers 2-0 in the 2020 SEC Tournament.

Ninety minutes full of extreme physicality and 30 combined fouls made for a heated match from start to finish, despite the disappointment of the Tigers’ 0-1 loss by the end of the night.

LSU garnered double the amount of fouls in comparison to Alabama, contracting seven in the first half and 12 in the second half. Three Tigers – Shannon Cooke, Tiana Caffey and Rammie Noel–received yellow cards just within the second half. The fourth card of the night was issued to Alabama’s Riley Tanner.

The No. 26 LSU team’s loss only came within the last five minutes of the game. The two SEC teams were tied 0-0 for the entirety of the match, with the Crimson Tide outshooting the Purple and Gold 17-9. The Tigers actually outshot Alabama in the first half, and then were stunted to a wide shot margin of 3-12 in the second. Despite the gap, LSU had more shots on target than their opponent.

Despite enduring their third straight loss after an undefeated start, LSU soccer still finds themselves breaking records left and right. Midfielder Chiara Ritchie-Williams officially topped the LSU career minutes chart with a total of 7,828 minutes, beating the previous record set in 2015 by Alex Arlitt. The London native set the record in the 45th minute of her 88th collegiate career game.

Most of LSU’s offensive action of the night was in the first half, with a chance as early as the 10th minute. The Tigers’ leading forward, Tinaya Alexander, made a shot on goal towards the top of the net that Alabama goalkeeper McKinley Crone managed to collect in time. About halfway through the first 45 minutes, defender Cooke shot on a free kick from approximately 30 yards out. Alexander moved to capitalize on the moment, but Crone sweeped up the ball before she could. The Tigers made more efforts throughout the first but could not manage to best Crone’s reflexes.

Besides Alabama’s breakthrough in scoring within the last minutes of the game, the Tigers’ net kept quiet for most of the night. LSU goalkeeper Mollee Swift took action only three times during the match. She thwarted a good attempt by the Crimson Tide in the 21st minute by making a quick diving save to reject Ashlynn Serepca’s goal attempt. Her second save was picked up in the 70th minute with a clean save to stop Macy Clem’s shot.

The sole goal of the night came late in the 85th minute from the Alabama squad. A manuever by Bella Scaturro granted junior Reyna Reyes a perfect opportunity to bounce the ball straight into the net.

With the Tigers’ record now sitting at 8-3-0 on the season, they’ll host Texas A&M on Thursday at 6 p.m. So far, LSU has won a single conference game and lost three this season. Since taking over the program last year, Sian Hudson has yet to earn a SEC win on the road.

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