UK women’s soccer bounces back with a win against Western Illinois


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Abbie Long

The UK women’s soccer team had another “Friday Night Lights” game against Western Illinois to kick off “Hero’s Weekend.” 

With many of the men and women of the armed forces and first responders looking on in the stands, the Fighting Leathernecks were looking to earn their first win of the season as they entered the bell, but the Cats did not let that happen, as UK defeated Western Illinois 1-0.

The Cats were coming off two tough losses to Louisville and Florida State last weekend. They are also trying to work out some kinks as senior and leading scorer Tanya Samarzich is now out for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL.

UK was down another key player on Friday night, starter and freshman midfielder Yuuka Kurosaki had to sit on the sidelines with a right leg injury.

The team was looking for new leader with the loss of Samarzich and freshman forward Eva Mitchell was the girl for the job in the first half. Mitchell scored in the 20th minute, earning her second goal of the season. 

The goal came off an assist by senior midfielder Katy Keen, making the score 1-0.

UK’s defense held strong during the first half. Western Illinois spent virtually no time on the Cats’ end of the field. By the end of the first half Western Illinois had no corner kicks and no shots on goal. 

The score at the end of the half remained at 1-0.

By midway through the second half Western Illinois still showed no sign of life as UK’s defense showed the Fighting Leathernecks no mercy.

Despite the final score being 1-0, the Cats ended the game with a total of eight shots on goal. The shots just weren’t falling in the second half.

“I was feeling pretty good after the goal in the first half. It was a good assist by Katy Keen,” Mitchell said. 

In regards to Samarzich’s injury, Mitchell explained briefly on how the team is trying to handle it.

“It’s really sad that Tanya’s out, but with her being out we all have to pick it up and score more,” Mitchell said. 

UK will be heading to Ohio for a road game against Ohio University on Sunday at 2 p.m.