Kentucky continues SEC losing streak; falls to Georgia 2-1


Kentucky’s Jordyn Rhodes (30) reacts after missing a shot at goal in the second overtime period of the University of Kentucky vs. University of Dayton women’s soccer game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK tied with Dayton 0-0. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky (6-7-2) women’s soccer fell short 2-1 in Athens against the Georgia Bulldogs (10-3-1). The loss gives the Wildcats a losing record for the first time this season, extending their SEC losing streak to six games.

After an extremely lopsided second half, the Bulldogs outshot Kentucky 22-13 in attempts and 12-5 in shots on target. Kentucky goalie Laura Nielsen managed to rack up eight saves in the contest, but Georgia’s Emory Wegener only needed four to win the game for the Bulldogs. 

The Wildcats entered the contest after a 4-1 loss at home against the reigning SEC champions in the Vanderbilt Commodores. Freshman Lilly Huber left the game with an apparent leg injury, and was unable to return. Huber, a frequent starter, was not on the starting list for Georgia, and ultimately did not play in the contest.

Kentucky came out aggressive from the first whistle. Having lost four games by one goal this season, they were determined to get on the board first.

The ‘Cats were successful in that mission with a goal in the fifth minute of play when Jordyn Rhodes bagged her tenth goal of the season. Hannah Richardson had taken a shot that was deflected back to the striker, which allowed her to assist Rhodes on the goal.

Unfortunately for Kentucky, the lone goal wouldn’t be enough to secure the win as just three minutes later, Mollie Belisle got one past Nielsen for the Georgia equalizer. She was assisted by Daniella Murguia on the scoring play.

Not satisfied with just the one, Belisle would score her second goal for the Bulldogs in the 17’ to give Georgia the lead. She was unassisted on the deep shot that found the top left corner of Kentucky’s goal.

Both teams continued to put up shots with several near goals for both teams, but the score remained 2-1 as the first 45 minutes came to a close. Kentucky led in both shots attempted and shots on target, but Georgia won in saves 4-1.

Coming out of the break, neither team was able to find the net after the half, but it wasn’t from a lack of attempts. In the end, Nielsen accrued eight saves in the second half of play as the Bulldogs continuously launched shot attempts throughout the half. Kentucky was unable to get a single shot on target.

Down one goal with time ticking away, the Wildcats were once again unable to find an equalizer. The final whistle was blown and UK had lost yet another one score match. 

Kentucky returns home to The Bell on Thursday, Oct. 14, to duel the LSU Tigers. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m. E.T and will air on the SEC Network.