LSU sophomore forward Molly Thompson (12)

LSU sophomore forward Molly Thompson (12) and JMU sophomore defender Sarah Gordon (7) sprint for the ball on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, during the Tigers' 0-1 loss against JMU at the LSU Soccer Complex.

A woeful season for LSU soccer came to a close on a positive note on Thursday.

The Tigers (3-12-3, 1-7-2 Southeastern Conference) picked up their first conference win of the season, defeating Kentucky 3-2.

Sophomore attackers Meghan Johnson and Molly Thompson were able to help led LSU’s offense to a quick start. The Tigers scored in the first five minutes of the match for the second-straight game. 

“It is great to see,” said coach Debbie Hensley. “The offense was always there but we are finally starting to get the results that we want.”

In the fifth minute of the match, Johnson secured her third goal of the season to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead, and Thompson was credited with the assist. 

It was a positive close to the season for Johnson, who also had a game-winning goal against Navy in overtime to her credit earlier in the beginning of the season. 

Thompson, the speedy forward had a breakout night of her own, as she registered her first goal of the season to add extend the LSU led to 2-0 in the 22nd minute of the match. Thompson’s goal was assisted by Rammie Noel.  

“It’s been a long time coming,” Thompson said. “I hope to continue this momentum into next season.”

The Wildcats of Kentucky (6-10-3, 1-8-1)) applied pressure on LSU goalkeeper Emma Grace Goldman, by getting off 13 shots in the first half, converting on one of them. Jordyn Rhodes, broke the scoreboard for the Wildcats in the 27th minute to shrink the LSU lead. This was her seventh goal of the season. 

Goldman, a redshirt junior, celebrated her senior night as she will be forgoing her final year of eligibility. Goldman went out with a bang, as she has continued what she has done all season for the Tigers. On her final night on the pitch for LSU, the Tennessee native added six more saves to her name. She ended her season atop the SEC in total saves with 107.  

LSU’s 2-1 intermission lead stuck until the 75th minute when Kentucky’s dynamic forward, Rhodes broke-through for her second goal of the night. Rhodes goal leveled up the scoreboard at 2-2.  

Thompson then got her second goal of the night and her second of her career after a boot by Grace Goldman that split the wickets of the Wildcat defense. 

The Tigers finished the 2019 soccer season last in the SEC, and the future of Hensley, who was appointed interim, remains to be seen.

Due to its record and conference standings, LSU failed to qualify for the SEC tournament.

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