Women’s soccer finds success on the road


The Women’s soccer team plays IU at Soccer Complex on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. Photo by John Foster

By Brandon Thomas

UK women’s soccer has moved through the first two games of its four-game road stretch without adding a mark to the loss column.

UK traveled to Georgia in the first game and left with a 1-1 tie with the Bulldogs. The Cats had multiple chances to collect the win, but they were unable to find a second goal. The Cats defense also proved resilient as it stood strong in opposition of the Lady Dogs.

Following the Georgia game, UK traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Volunteers, where they prevailed with a 1-0 victory. The Cats were able to pull out a win, despite having to start six freshmen in comparison to the Lady Vols, who started none.

In fact, the freshmen propelled the Cats to their results. Freshman forward Caitlin Landis was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week after contributing an assist in the Georgia game and scoring the game-winning goal against Tennessee.

“We were able to prove ourselves, as a team and individually, despite difficult situations on the road,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “We left some opportunities out there on the field this weekend but, overall I’m happy with the results, not satisfied.”

The Cats haven’t escaped the fire yet. Though they have two road games under their belt, they still have three remaining against Louisiana State, Arkansas and Ole Miss. The mark for UK in the remaining two games of the road trip is simple — to compete and to play strong.

“We need to continue to play well and continue to get better as we continue on through the remainder of our games,” Lipsitz said.

Lipsitz and his staff are working diligently to do all they can to prepare this team not just for games remaining on the regular season schedule, but also for games in the postseason tournaments.

“We set goals of being our best day to day and game to game,” Lipsitz said. “At this point in the season we are repeating many of the things we have been working on all season. It’s time for us to polish these things that we’ve been working on.”

The task that lies ahead of the Lady Cats is to reach postseason play. The SEC tournament is still not within the grasp of UK, and thus reaching the tournament has become one of main goals for the remainder of the season.  After missing the SEC tournament last year, Lipsitz has his team working hard to reverse its luck.

“We’re not going to think about the tournament right now,” Lipsitz said. “We’ll begin talking about the tournament when we know we’re in.”

The Cats currently do not have enough points to get into the SEC Tournament, although they have seven games left. They must work down the stretch to get the remaining points needed. Wins in either of the upcoming away games would be huge to help UK with postseason play. Lipsitz believes 15 points is the magic number for the Lady Cats.

“Five wins should get us in,” Lipsitz said. “If we get five wins then we’ll have 15 points, and no team recently has been left out of the tournament with 15 points.”