ATHENS, Ga. - The LSU Soccer team (6-3-1, 1-1-0 SEC) overturned a two goal deficit to defeat the No. 22 Georgia Bulldogs (4-2-3, 0-1-1 SEC) by a score of 3-2 on Thursday night at the Turner Soccer Complex.
Georgia took the lead in the final seconds of the first half as Croix Bethune slotted a ball into the bottom left corner from 12 yards out. The lead was extended to 2-0 in the 56th minute when Madison Haugen sent a first-time blast from inside the box into the back of the net.
The Tigers made it 2-1 on the night after Mollee Swift converted from the penalty spot in the 74th minute. Two minutes later, Rammie Noel tied it up with a left-footed shot from six yards out that banged in off the right post. The winning goal came in the 84th minute when Sage Glover pounced on a loose ball in the box and scored from five yards out.
The victory over No. 22 Georgia marked the second Top-25 win for Sian Hudson and the Tigers this year. LSU remains unbeaten in four out of their five last matches against ranked opponents.
The opening 20 minutes of the match saw neither team able to take control of the match. The Bulldogs took control the rest of the first half, with Swift making saves in the 24th and 27th minutes to keep the score even. The Tigers had one shot on goal in the first half, an effort from Mollie Baker in the 42nd minute that was saved by Georgia goalkeeper Jordan Brown.
Seconds before halftime, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead. Nicole Vernis won the ball near Georgia's final third and played a ball to Bethune, who stayed strong and placed the ball into the bottom left corner. The goal was the final action of the half and saw Georgia take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs began the second half right where they left off by doubling their lead in the 56th minute. Mallie McKenzie charged into the box from the right flank and sent a ground cross to Haugen, who thumped a powerful shot past Swift and into the back of the net.
Down two goals with less than 20 minutes to go, the Tigers scored their first goal of the night in the 74th minute. Kelsey Major was fouled in the box when attempting to shoot, which prompted the referee to award a penalty kick to LSU. Swift stepped up to the penalty spot for the Tigers and blasted the penalty to the left corner. The goal is the third from the penalty spot in Swift's LSU career.
Two minutes later, the match was tied at 2-2. Noel found herself on the ball in the box, where she cut outside on her left foot and sent a strong shot that bounced in off the far post to tie it up. Noel's goal is her third of the season for LSU, tying her previous career-high tally in 2021, and the ninth of her collegiate career.
With momentum now on the side of the visiting team, the Tigers took their first lead of the night in the 84th minute. Baker charged into the box and sent a shot on goal that beat the goalkeeper, but was blocked by a Georgia defender. The goalkeeper could not recover the ball and Glover pounced on this chance, scoring on a shot that crossed the line despite a defender's attempt at a clearance. Glover's third goal of the season was the final piece of an energetic ten minutes that saw the Tigers go from 2-0 down to leading 3-2.
Georgia could not muster a response in the final six minutes of the match and the final whistle blew with LSU claiming a 3-2 win. The Bulldogs outshot the Tigers by a margin of 13-8, with both teams finishing with five shots on goal a piece. While LSU opened the match slowly, the final 20 minutes saw the Tigers rally from behind and claim a tough win on the road against a Top 25 foe.
The Tigers return to Baton Rouge for their SEC home opener against Mississippi State on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network Plus.