Cats wins third in a row to close out non-conference schedule

Abbie Long

For the third straight game, the UK women’s soccer team held their opponent scoreless, as they beat Lipscomb 2-0 on Friday night at The Bell.

The win capped off the Cats’ competitive non-conference schedule with their third-straight win and their fifth non-conference win of the season. UK is now over .500 going into SEC play on Sunday.

The Cats were without two of their starting players for this match, freshmen midfielders Yuuka Kurosaki and Hollie Olding, due to injuries.

The first half started off at a standstill. Both teams were threatening to score, but no shots were falling for either team. By the 32nd minute both teams only had one shot on goal. This was very much a tough defensive matchup.

The score remained tied at the half. Both teams ended the first half with four corner kicks a piece.

The first UK goal of the game came at the beginning of the second half from a header scored by junior defensive player Payton Atkins in the 49th minute. This was Atkins’ first goal of the season, making the score 1-0 in favor of the Cats.

UK had a chance to make the score 2-0 with a penalty kick coming after a foul on Lipscomb in the 59th minute, however the shot by junior forward Sophie Babo went too wide.

It looked like Atkins’s goal sparked the UK offense. Immediately after substituting into the game, freshman forward/midfielder Julia Grosso scored her first career goal of the season in the 65th minute, growing UK’s lead to 2-0.

UK’s defense continued to play tough throughout the second half, as they held Lipscomb to two total shots on goal.

“I’m feeling amazing (after first career goal), I can still feel my heart beating so fast,” Grosso said. “We just need to keep working hard while still being composed. We also need to keep possession of the ball and not turn the ball over. We need to work together as a team and keep playing for each other.”

The Cats are back in action on Sept. 17, opening SEC play with a road game in Knoxville against Tennessee at 6 p.m.