Kentucky outshoots Murray State, steals overtime victory


Kentucky’s Hannah Richardson (8) races for the ball during 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

Barkley Truax

Kentucky (5-1-2) couldn’t finish the Racers off in regulation — but stole the win at home 37 seconds into overtime off the leg of Hannah Richardson for the 3-2 victory.

It took 20 shots (eight on goal) for Kentucky’s women’s soccer team to finish off Murray State (4-3) Sunday afternoon. The Racers were aggressive themselves with 13 shots, five of which were on goal as well. One overtime shot on goal later was all Kentucky needed for their fifth victory of the season. 

Kentucky is coming off a 6-0 victory over EKU on Thursday, which was their first road win since Sept. 2019 — where they defeated EKU. Ironically, the six-point victory is the largest margin of victory coached by Ian Carry since 2013 where they defeated EKU yet again, 7-1.

Kentucky’s quick offense was matched with even better defense from Murray State’s defenders and goalkeeper Jenna Villacres out of the gates Sunday afternoon, who had her hands full while Kentucky attempted three shots in the first five minutes. 

Kentucky kept the pressure on and forced a penalty kick in the 26th minute where junior forward Jordyn Rhodes found the back of the net for the first score of the game. 

Murray State’s Izzy Heckhan crossed the equalizer into the right corner of the goal, just high enough to sneak past freshman goalkeeper Laura Nielsen in ’40 right before halftime. Nielsen finished with with three saves against the Racers.

By halftime, Kentucky outshot the Racers 11-5 overall and 4-1 on goal. Each squad had four corner kicks, though possession total was won by Murray St 51-49 despite Kentucky’s hot start.

Kentucky came out aggressive start to the second half with five straight shots within the first 10 minutes. Despite controlling the possession out of the locker room, the Racer’s Chloe Barnthouse — 30 seconds after checking in — broke free toward the middle of the field, baiting Nielsen out of the box, finding the back of the net to put Murray State in the lead.

Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir came through for Kentucky right when they needed her in ’66 off an assist from Rhodes to tie the game up at two a piece.

Three more shots on goal (four total in the second half) later for the Wildcats wasn’t enough to finish the game during regulation and for the third time this season, they headed to overtime where Kentucky won in the first golden goal period off the foot of Richardson.

Kentucky will take the field once again at The Bell this Friday, Sept. 17 when they open SEC play against Texas A&M at 7 p.m. E.T. live on ESPN+.