Kentucky women’s soccer falls short to first SEC opponent


Junior Forward Foster Ignoffo kicks the ball down the field during Kentucky’s game with SIUE on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Abbie Long

After a much needed 1-0 win against Furman at the Bell on Sunday afternoon, UK women’s soccer traveled to Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday to open SEC play. UK fell to Missouri 1-0.

Kentucky entered the match with a 4-4 overall record and Missouri was sitting at 2-4-1 after completing a tough non-conference schedule. The Tigers also entered the match with momentum after defeating Gonzaga 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.

The Cats and the Tigers were stuck at 0-0 entering halftime, but both teams showed life on offense. UK took seven shots and Missouri took 13 in the first half.

UK’s freshman goalie Hannah Leonard showed her defensive toughness by having four crucial saves in the first half to keep the Tigers scoreless.

The first score of the game didn’t come until the 51st minute. A foul on UK led to a penalty kick for the Tigers. Sophomore midfielder Cassidy Nurnberger made the shot, making the score 1-0 with 39 minutes to go in the match.

Fouls were a significant problem for both teams. Missouri committed 18 and UK had 10, including a yellow card shown to UK junior forward Foster Ignoffo in the 70th minute just two minutes after a yellow card was shown to Missouri freshman midfielder Hailey Blanchard.

In the 85th minute, UK redshirt senior forward Tanya Samarzich was shown a yellow card as well.

With 40 seconds left in the match, Samarzich took one last shot at the goal in hopes of tying the game and earning more game time, but the shot soared too high, ending the game in regulation.

Missouri beat UK on the board as well, ending the game with 22 shots, seven shots on goal and nine corner kicks, compared to UK’s 13 shots, two shots on goal and five corner kicks.

This puts UK at 4-5 on the season and 0-1 in SEC play.

Next up for the Cats is another road game against non-conference opponent Lipscomb in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday night. Game time is set for 7 p.m.