Women’s soccer aces Evansville

By Bobby Reagan

The UK women’s soccer team extended its winning streak in home openers to 10 last night, defeating Evansville 4-1 at the UK Soccer Complex.

The Cats (2-0-1), known more for their defensive prowess, showed they can win with offense as well.

Senior forward Callie Lanphier first put the Cats on the board 8 minutes into the match.

On the scoring play, junior midfielder Nicola Holdsworth fed senior midfielder Sarah Gaunt a pass down the left sideline. After waiting for her teammates to set up inside the box, Gaunt delivered a cross that found Lanphier, who nudged the shot to the left of the goalie.

“I know I was able to run in and get my hip on the ball,” Lanphier said, “and I guess that was enough.”

The Purple Aces (2-1-0) wasted no time to recover from the deficit, as they knotted the score less than 4 minutes later. Junior midfielder Nicole Moyen fired a 30-yard shot to the upper right corner of the net.

Moyen’s goal was the first allowed by the Cats this season. They set a school record by not allowing a goal in the season’s first 212 minutes.

Despite the goal, freshman keeper Laura Baker gained confidence from her first home game and continues to believe her defense is as strong as ever.

“I feel very comfortable with the four girls in front of me,” Baker said. “They never give up and communicate very well.”

The Evansville goal seemed to wake the Cats, as the UK offense began to pick up at the end of the first half. Freshman defender Kelly Browning placed a cross along the goal-front as Evansville goalkeeper Theresa Bagby misplayed the ball. However, there were no Cats in the area, and the Purple Aces cleared the ball.

Sophomore forward Cindy Abbott’s first career goal came with 4 minutes left in the first half and gave the lead back to UK. Abbott collected the ball at midfield before darting through the defense and firing a shot from 20 yards out. Her initial shot bounced off an Evansville defender before senior forward Kate Rowlands collected the loose ball.

Rowlands immediately passed it to Abbott, who blasted a 15-yard shot into the left corner of the net.

The Cats wasted no time extending their lead into the second half, as freshman forward Laura Novikoff scored her second goal of the season 44 seconds after the whistle.

“It’s good to see everyone get in the mix and knowing we can finish,” Lanphier said. “Having different goal scorers allow us to kick the ball around and have someone just rip a shot.”