Kentucky falls 1-0 to LSU; losing streak extends to six matches


Kentucky Wildcats forward Emily Hähnel (29) dribbles past defenders during UK’s game against Marshall on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, at Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-0. Photo by Jack Weaver

Hunter Shelton

Kentucky women’s soccer dropped their sixth consecutive match on Thursday, falling 1-0 to LSU at The Bell in Lexington. 

The loss keeps the ‘Cats winless in SEC play, dropping to 0-6. The win for LSU snapped a five-match losing skid for the Tigers.

It was all Wildcats through the first ten minutes, keeping possession in the LSU half. The eighth minute saw a UK shot ricochet off of a Tiger defender, an appeal for handball was made, but not given by the referee. 

The Tigers would get their first chance of the match soon after, as a pass sent forward Alesia Garcia through-on-goal, but the senior striker was dispossessed before shooting. 

Hannah Richardson would find the first big chance of the night for the Wildcats, as the junior found herself one-on-one with LSU goalie Mollee Swift. Richardson’s shot would roll to the right of the right post, spoiling a golden opportunity for the ‘Cats.  

LSU would apply pressure after the missed chance, compiling three corner-kicks over a ten-minute span, all of which were cleared by UK. 

Kentucky would record the first shot-on-goal of the match, as Gretchen Mills fired a shot directly at Swift that would be saved by the junior keeper. 

The Wildcats would not see another decent chance for the rest of the half. LSU’s Riley Dixon maneuvered into the Wildcat penalty box before having her shot deflected for a corner kick. 

LSU would pile on as the half drew to a close, senior striker Tinaya Alexander dribbled past two ‘Cats en route to having her shot blocked by the UK defense. 

The first half would finish scoreless, though the stat-sheet would suggest otherwise. LSU outshot UK 10-3 and held possession for 62 percent of the first 45 minutes. Kentucky conceded six corners to the Tigers while recording zero of their own. 

Kentucky would get off on the front foot in the second half, holding possession, eventually leading to a shot fired by midfielder Marissa Bosco that would be saved by Swift. 

The teams would trade counter-attacks, with neither able to find positive results.

Meghan Johnson would attempt to break through for LSU, as she found herself through-on-goal, however Nielsen would make the sprawling save, keeping the match scoreless.

Alexander would pour on the attempts for the Tigers in minute No. 65, she forced another save from the Wildcat goalie. Nielsen would finish the match with seven saves. 

Corners would pile on for LSU, as they logged four more in just a five minute span. The Tigers finished the match with 11 corner kicks. 

The 73rd minute saw UK defender Sara Makoben-Blessing commit a foul in the box, resulting in a penalty for LSU. 

Surprisingly, it wasn’t an outfield player that would step up to the penalty spot for the Tigers. Goalkeeper Mollee Swift would be the one to take the penalty, which she would bury past Nielsen, giving LSU a deserved lead. 

LSU wasn’t satisfied with a one-goal advantage, Alexander would nearly double the lead as her finesse shot rattled off of the left post.

With time running out, the Wildcats would attempt to find an equalizer, sending long-balls into the box, hoping they would find the head of a teammate. 

The 89th minute saw UK earn a freekick, which would ultimately result in a clearance by LSU. The final whistle would blow, ending in a one-goal loss for the ‘Cats. 

Kentucky will search for their first conference victory of the season next on Thursday, Oct. 21, as they travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. The match is set to kickoff at 8 p.m. E.T.