Women’s soccer drops first home game of the season

By David Schuh

After an exciting overtime win over Arkansas on Friday, the UK women’s soccer team took the field Sunday looking for their 11th win of the season. But, LSU’s quest for a 10th would be the only mark reached at the UK Soccer Complex.

The Cats’ (10-4-1, RPI No. 10) offense was held in check by a physical LSU defense, as the Tigers won the game 2-0.  An all too familiar slow start plagued UK, who recorded no shots on goal from their forwards in the first half.

“We can hold possession forever,” freshman defender Arin Gilliland said. “But when it comes to that final ball we can’t seem to convert. We’re working really hard on offense in practice and it’s coming.  I promise, it’s coming.”

Those finishes did not come Sunday, though. UK’s offense was in control of the ball for much of the second half, creating multiple scoring chances including eight corner kicks.  None, however, found the back of the net due to a combination of poor offensive positioning and phenomenal backline defending by LSU.

“We were not good in the first half and had to make adjustments, and they were very good in the second half,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “We have to do a better job of getting more people in position to score.”

Sunday’s game was also the inaugural “Kick Cancer” match with proceeds going to the UK HealthCare Pediatric Unit. The Cats wore pink jerseys that were auctioned off following the game, with proceeds also going to the pediatric unit. After the game, there was an on-field ceremony honoring anyone who had been affected by cancer.

“It’s always been about more than soccer here; it’s about life lessons,” Lipsitz said. “I wanted there to be a time for the community to come together and share the memories of people that we’ve lost.  Soccer brings us all together, but it’s not as important as doing things like this.”

The Cats return to the field Friday night against No. 20 Tennessee. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.