Women’s soccer opens with shutout victory


The UK women’s soccer team beat Marshall University 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Midfielder Alyssa Telang scored the only goal of the day. Here UK’s Caitlin Landis makes a pass under pressure from Marshall’s Jenna Goblirsch. John Foster

By Boyd Hayes

Before a crowd of 654 , the UK women’s soccer team pulled out a 2-0 shutout victory in Friday night’s home opener against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The win made for the fourth consecutive season in which UK has won its opening game.

The Cats had control of the ball for the majority of the game, with goals coming from junior Ashley VanLandingham and freshman Cara Ledman.

The Cats were in all-out attack mode from the opening whistle, recording a promising shot on goal during their first possession.

UK’s domination of the ball culminated in four total shots on goal and four corner kicks in the first half. The VanLandingham goal came on a free kick, with the junior defender placing the ball in the upper lefthand corner of the goal.

The first half proved fruitless for the Chanticleers (pronounced SHON-ti-clears), as they marked zero shots on goal, zero corner kicks and six fouls.

Tough defense from the UK back line of VanLandingham, senior Natalie Horner, sophomore Arin Gilliland and senior Alyssa Telang kept Coastal Carolina from proceeding more than a few yards into Kentucky territory throughout the first half.

Chanticleer junior goalie Megan Spencer was among the few bright spots for her team, given that she had to remain in near constant defense of her box. She recorded three saves on four shots on goal from UK in the first half.

The second half was nearly identical to the first, with UK coming out in full force, attacking the goal and locking down on defense.

The second goal of the game came on a rebound after a shot by UK junior forward Caitlin Landis hit the post. Ledman was positioned perfectly and finished off the rebound to make it 2-0 Cats.

Ledman is among four freshman starters for UK and is a member of one of the best freshman classes in the country for fourth-year head coach Jon Lipsitz, who credited Ledman’s hard work.

“That’s why I think she had as big an impact as anybody tonight,” Lipsitz said.

The Chanticleers were unable to piece anything together throughout the second half, with scattered spurts of offense that produced a single corner kick, compared with UK’s 13. Spencer recorded four more saves for the Chanticleers in the second half.

UK ended the night with 21 total shots to Coastal Carolina’s one.

At one point in the second half, UK was granted a penalty kick for a foul committed in the box. Freshman Courtney Raetzman took the kick and appeared to make it, but the goal was called back by the officials for penalty-box infringement.

On the re-kick, Raetzman glanced her shot off of the post, and the ball was snatched quickly by Spencer.

Also notable was the return of Gilliland, who suffered a knee injury last season that kept her from competing on the U-20 US Women’s team this summer. Had she been able to join the national squad, she would be missing the first month of UK’s season.

Lipsitz said in a press conference earlier in the week that Gilliland’s knee was at about 70 percent. She said she had pre-game nerves about the injury, but added that “once you get that first (tackle) and you’re good, and you’re up, you get back in the game.”

UK’s next match is Friday against Eastern Kentucky University. The game will begin at 7 p.m. at the UK Soccer Complex.