Women’s soccer looks for turnaround season


The UK Women’s soccer team plays Ole Miss at the Soccer and Softball complex on Thursday night, Oct. 21, 2009. Photo by Adam Wolffbrandt

By Matt Levine
[email protected]

After a sub-par season last year in which the women’s soccer team finished 5-10-4 and missed the postseason, the Cats look to rebound and have a successful season this year.

UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said the improvement will have to start with recruiting.

“Our main point of recruiting was to create a dramatic improvement on our athleticism,” Lipsitz said. “As a result of this considerable increase of athleticism, the players are stronger and more fit.”

Proof of the increase in athleticism can be found in the 4-0 season opening win over Coastal Carolina on Aug. 21. It was the first time UK scored four goals since 2008.

Lipsitz says that the team worked very hard on making their scoring attack more creative and he noticed how enjoyable it has been to watch the team follow that mindset. 

“We spent a lot of time on varying our attack on how we can score,” Lipsitz said. “It feels good as a coach to know that the plan has paid off.”

Junior forward Kelsey Hunyadi, who redshirted last year, stole the show in the opener against Coastal Carolina. Hunyadi scored two of the Wildcat’s four goals, both coming in the first half. Freshman Taylor Parker added a goal, the first of her career, and Caitlin Landis capped the scoring in the 74th minute.

Lipsitz said that Hunyadi’s performance was remarkable, but he was not surprised by it.

“Kelsey’s performance was impressive, but not surprising,” Lipsitz said. “She has a knack for finding ways to be dangerous. She has a special talent of putting pressure on the other team’s defense.”

Hunyadi will be expected to have more performances like the season opener because she is looked up to as a leader on the team. 

“The team expects a lot from Kelsey Hunyadi because they picked her as team captain,” Lipsitz said.

Although the Southeastern Conference champion is determined by wins and losses, Lipsitz does not just focus on team record.

“We do not talk about wins a losses, we just worry about getting better as a team,” Lipsitz said. “We focus on what we can control by setting goals on our players being the best they can be.”

Lipsitz, going into his second year as coach of the Wildcats, said the players’ familiarity with the game plan has increased over the past year.

“I cannot imagine this season being any more different than last season,” Lipsitz said. “Last season, every player was a freshman because they all had to learn new things. This season, half the team knows what I am talking about when it comes to our game plan.”