Louisiana is known for producing some of the best athletes across the country in all sports.
It may not be as prominently known as it is for sports like football and baseball, but Louisiana produces great soccer talent year in and year out, and LSU has done a good job at keeping those highly touted athletes in state.
Although LSU soccer isn’t a program that gains a lot of national recognition, it is a program and state that hold rich tradition, culture and deep roots.
There are eight players on the Tigers’ roster who are native to the state: Rammie Noel, Makenzie Maher, Molly Thompson, Meghan Johnson, Hannah Cueno, Maddie Moreau, Marlena Cutura and Mia Dubroc.
“I knew LSU was the place for me when I took my official visit and I stepped on this field,” said Noel, a freshman forward, who attended Acadiana High School in Lafayette and led it to four straight district titles.
Much like her fellow teammates, the decision for Maher to come to Baton Rouge was set in stone from the time she could walk. As a redshirt freshman, Maher has not gained a lot of collegiate experience, but her history speaks for itself. Coming from Denham Springs, Maher knew that no other university could provide her with what LSU gives. She felt the people, sports and culture can not be matched anywhere else in the country.
As an elite forward, Thompson earned the 2018 LHSAA Division III Offensive Player of the Year during her senior season at Vandebilt Catholic in Houma. She was also recognized as a four-time all-district and a three-time all-state selection. Thompson’s parents are both alumni of LSU, and her brother is also enrolled at the University.
“When I came to LSU, it was kind of a no-brainer,” said Thompson, who scored three goals as a freshman. “Going from a small town to a big university and being able to represent the purple and gold the way I do has been fantastic.”
Cueno is the second Tiger from Houma. She and Thompson spent their high school careers playing together and decided to continue their collegiate careers at LSU.
Much like Thompson, Cueno was also a four-time all-district performer during her prep career and scored 71 goals and dished out 88 assists during her time at Vandebilt Catholic.
For Johnson, the choice to play soccer for the Tigers did not take much thinking. Johnson’s roots with the Tigers run deep as both of her parents are graduates of LSU and her cousin, Jeanne Kenney, is a former women’s basketball player with the Lady Tigers. A Baton Rouge native, Johnson used to attend Tigers soccer camps as early as elementary school and absolutely fell in love with anything and everything LSU.
Moreau was a highly-talented product out of Youngsville. She led St. Thomas More to back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019 and was named the 2018 Louisiana Gatorade Girls Player of the Year. Moreau’s choice to attend LSU was simple. She chose LSU because it allowed her to compete at a high level on the pitch while also giving her the ability to stay close to her Louisiana roots.
Cutura was not only one of the best prospects in the state of Louisiana, but also emerged as a top talent in the southern region after playing with the Region III Olympic Development Program Team in 2015-16.
Despite all of that, Cutura did not take the traditional road to LSU.
“I did not even plan on playing soccer in college. I never put too much thought into it,” Cutura said. “It was the atmosphere that really sold me.”
Dubroc, the freshman from Mandeville, started out her collegiate career at Samford University, but quickly transferred to LSU. Much like many of her fellow teammates, Dubroc also has deep roots with the Tigers as her uncle, Gregg Dubroc, played outside linebacker for LSU in the 1980s before being drafted by the New York Giants in the 1985 NFL draft.