Women’s soccer allows two 2nd-half goals in season finale loss

Staff report

sports@kykernel.com

UK women’s soccer finished the 2013 regular season with a 2-1 road loss at the hands of the University of South Carolina.

The Cats (13-5-1, 7-4-0 SEC) went 2-3 in the last five matches of the season and will finish fifth in the conference regular season standings.

UK led the No. 10 Gamecocks (15-2-2, 8-2-1 SEC) at the end of the first half thanks to a goal from sophomore defender Cara Ledman in the 14th minute.

South Carolina’s scoreless first half marked the 13th time this season that UK held an opponent without a goal in the first half.

The Gamecocks began their comeback effort in the 52nd minute when senior forward Danielle Au tied the match on a penalty kick that was awarded to USC after UK senior goalkeeper Kayla King was issued a yellow card in the box.

South Carolina netted the game-winner in the 83rd minute when sophomore midfielder Raina Johnson got the ball past King.

“Obviously, set pieces are something that we have not been good at this year,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “It is certainly something that we have talked a lot about the past couple of weeks. You can see the improvement that we have made in that area, but it isn’t enough when you can’t close out games. You aren’t supposed to give away games like that when you have the early lead.”

The win secured an undefeated home record for the Gamecocks and the best winning percentage in the program’s history.

UK was outshot in the match 16-7 by South Carolina, and the Cats were given three corner kick opportunities compared to South Carolina’s 11.

UK will go into the SEC Tournament on Nov. 6 with a first-round bye. The Cats, seeded fifth, will play fourth-seeded University of Mississippi at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Orange Beach, Ala.