Cats women’s soccer split pair against conference foes



By Kevin Erpenbeck

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After losing for the first time in seven games on Friday, UK women’s soccer got back on the winning track with a 1-0 victory against the University of Georgia at the UK Soccer Complex on Sunday.

After expressing displeasure with his team’s lack of attention to details in Friday’s loss to the University of Arkansas, 3-0, UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said he was much more impressed with the team’s play against No. 13 Georgia.

“I thought today was our best performance of the year,” Lipsitz said. “The details we talked about in order to beat a team like Georgia were accomplished today. We saw how difficult it was going to be, so for us to get this win means the world to us.”

On Friday, UK had 23 shots during the match, but only two of those of shots were on goal. On Sunday, UK recorded 2 shots on goal in just the first half. The Cats had 11 total shots for the match, four of them on goal.

Junior midfielder Stuart Pope was responsible for two on-goal shots, including the match’s single goal of the night in the 70th minute. It was Pope’s ninth goal of the season, which gives her the fourth most goals in the SEC.

Pope said she just wanted to have impact on the game against Georgia after only playing for 37 minutes against Arkansas.

“I was not happy with myself, my performance and the overall team’s performance on Friday,” Pope said. “So I focused on helping the team in any way I could today.”

Pope agreed with Lipsitz about the challenge that Georgia presented for them.

“When you’re playing a team as good as Georgia, every ball and pass is not going to be perfect,” Pope said. “You have to find your moments. We waited for our moment and capitalized on it.”

Pope played all 90 minutes of the match.

The win by the Cats snapped the Bulldogs’ nine-game winning streak. It was highest such streak in the program’s history.

The win also marked the fifth shutout of the season for senior goalkeeper Kayla King. That ties her personal record of shutouts in a season, which was set a year ago. King recorded 14 stops and two saves on the night, including one save that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar.

“When the ball hit off the crossbar, my first thought was ‘They’re not going to score here’,” King said. “My team was doing their job, so I had to do mine. It was one of those moments where Georgia could have won there, but they had to go through me.”

The match was UK’s 2103 Kick-Cancer Match, where the team wore special gold jerseys for the event. The jerseys, Lipsitz’s game-worn tie, and the game ball will be auctioned off in support of research for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The match was in honor of Allison Berger, a 10-year-old girl of Pikeville, Ky., who died of an aggressive form of brain and spinal cord cancer in 2011. Her parents, Crystal and Steven Berger, were present to receive the honor in the pregame ceremony.

“I was crying before the game when the Bergers walked out on to the field,” Lipsitz said. “The thought of being in our gold jerseys on national television, doing that for Allison…there’s nothing better than that.”

The Cats will travel to Starkville, Miss. to take on the University of Mississippi State on Friday, Oct. 4. The Bulldogs are 3-7 on the season. The match will begin at 8:00 p.m.

Arkansas shuts down Cats offense in win

By Kevin Erpenbeck

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UK women’s soccer’s seven-game win streak came to an end on Friday after a 3-0 defeat by the University of Arkansas.

The loss was the first home defeat the No. 25 Cats had suffered since a 2-1 overtime loss to the University of Alabama on Sept. 30, 2012. UK had been 9-0-1 after that match.

No. 23 Arkansas snapped a two-game losing streak of their own while ending UK’s winning streak.

The Cats started playing behind after the 29:40 mark, when sophomore forward Ashleigh Ellenwood scored the match’s first goal for the Razorbacks. It was Ellenwood’s fifth goal on the season.

UK’s head coach Jon Lipsitz was not pleased with the way his team came out for the first half.

“Everything we said in the scouting report and everything we worked on was gone when the game began,” Lipsitz said. “We came out flat, and Arkansas punished us for it. We got what we earned tonight.”

The second half of the match did not go as planned for the Cats either, as an own goal was charged to UK at the 56:44 mark. The ball went off of junior forward Arin Gilliland when Arkansas booted it with a corner kick.

“It definitely was a downer,” Gilliland said. “That was on me. I turned, and it hit off of my back shoulder, and it went in.”

Gilliland said the team kept its hopes up, however, as the pride of being at their home field was enough to keep the Cats going.

“Even when we’re down, we never turn down our energy,” Gilliland said. “We always still work to try and get a goal. We still had shots in the last two minutes of the game, so it didn’t deflate us.”

By then, the Cats were facing a 3-0 deficit, thanks to a goal by Arkansas junior forward Jeriann Okoro. Okoro also dished out an assist for the night off of Ellenwood’s goal.

UK had actually outshot Arkansas 23-15 for the match, but only two of those shots were on goal for UK, while Arkansas had four. Lipsitz said there were more than enough opportunities for UK to score a huge number of goals for the match

“It’s about taking care of details,” Lipsitz said. “We shot everything near post and everything wide. And then with the own goal, the game is going to blow up on you, and it did.”

Gilliland and freshman forward Zoe Swift combined for 13 shots on the match, but Gilliland was the only one of the pair to record a shot on goal. Swift said Arkansas’ physicality led to the minimal offensive output.

“They were strong and physical all night with us,” Swift said. “They played their game, and we just couldn’t get it together. You have to give them credit for that.”

The three goals on the night tied for the most goals senior goalkeeper Kayla King had allowed all season. She previously allowed three goals in the season-opening loss to the University of Wake Forest.