At the tender age of 9, Allison Holladay knew that she was going to be a soccer player. She joined a Baton Rouge-area recreational team and quickly established herself as a force at goalkeeper. She advanced to the Baton Rouge select Patriots team, then moved on to a Lafayette Soccer Association select team, traveling three to five times a week for practices and games. Her dedication paid off. In four years in the net for the Cajun Crushers, Allison led the team to three state championships.
Allison’s soccer success continued at St. Joseph’s Academy. She was a first-team All-District and All-Parish and a second-team All-State player for three years. Considered one of the best goalkeepers in the Baton Rouge area, she served as captain of the SJA soccer team during her sophomore, junior and senior years. She was also a member of the track and field team, competing in the shot put, javelin and discus, but soccer was Allison’s first love.
Her coach and teammates credited her with much of the Redstickers’ success, citing her leadership, focus and support. Allison flourished in the net because, as she admitted, the position allowed her to take charge of the game. So committed to her team was Allison that she often played hurt. Indeed, she once played in a district game against arch-rival McKinley High just one week after surgery.
When LSU formed its first women’s soccer team in 1995, it came as no surprise that the Tigers reached out to the talented goalkeeper, making her a member of the inaugural signing class. Allison was the first Baton Rouge soccer player to receive a soccer scholarship to LSU.
Allison played one year for the Lady Tigers, starting in the majority of games, before suffering a knee injury. Following a redshirt year, she transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University in 1997, joining a team that had won just five matches during the previous two seasons. She quickly solidified the Lady Lions’ defense and helped the team improve to a 10-10 record while earning Southland Conference and Louisiana Newcomer of the Year honors.
In 1998, Allison enjoyed a breakout season, being named Southland Conference and Louisiana Player of the Year. She finished the year with 126 saves and a 1.08 goals against average while leading the team to the SLC Tournament championship.
In her final season of collegiate soccer, Allison recorded a .071 goals against average, an SLU record that stands today, while leading the Lady Lions to their first-ever SLC regular season title.
During her SLU career, Allison personified durability, missing just 20 minutes of action while playing 5,401 minutes in 59 games. She finished as the school’s career saves leader with 351 and was named to the All-Southland Conference team three times, one of only three Lady Lions to be so recognized. She graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in speech and communication. In 2004, she became the first soccer player inducted into the Southeastern Louisiana University Hall of Fame.
In 2000, Allison became a part-time assistant coach at her alma mater before being named a full-time assistant at SLU for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. On the heels of the Lady Lions’ regular season SLC title in 2002, Allison was hired by McNeese State University as the assistant soccer coach, a position she would hold for nine seasons. McNeese won the SLC tournament in 2006 and the regular season title in 2007. She would earn a master’s in health and human performance during her coaching tenure.
In 2012, Allison transitioned into an administrative role, being named coordinator of Student-Athlete Mentoring/Academics at McNeese. She assisted student-athletes in the areas of academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, career development and community service.
Today, Allison is a sales representative with Big Easy Foods.