Wildcats continue hot start to new season with 2-1 win over Purdue


Jackson Dunavant

The Wildcats celebrate during UK’s game against Bellarmine on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-0. Photo by Jackson Dunavant | Kentucky Kernel

Ali Cetinok, Reporter

Kentucky womens soccer (3-0-0) defeated Purdue 2-1 Thursday night at the Bell, remaining undefeated in the new season.

Having scored seven goals in their first two games of the season, the Wildcats were eager to start early and set the tone against the Boilermakers.

Kentucky would eventually open the scoring with fast-paced ball movement, opening space on the left side of the attack for senior Hannah Richardson to serve a cross to Hailey Farrington-Bentils, who finished with her right foot to make it 1-0.

The Cats would continue to apply pressure early in the first half, creating a number of chances to double the lead.

They were able to do exactly that in the 14’ as Ulfa Ulfarsdottir played the ball to the middle of the pitch for senior Jordyn Rhodes, who fired the shot from long range that flew past Purdue goalkeeper Sara Mile to make it a 2-0 UK lead.

Despite the early lead, Kentucky was still not in the clear as Purdue got one back in the 17’ after a ball from a corner by Sabrina Blount hit the crossbar and fell to Sydney Dautre, who headed it into the back of the net for a Boilermaker goal.

After the goal Purdue was able to create more pressure in the game, but strong defense from the Wildcats made sure it was unable to find an equalizer before the halftime whistle.

Entering the second half, the game slowed down significantly with neither side creating significant scoring chances for much of the period.

Kentucky’s game-clinching moment would come courtesy of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Tallulah Miller, who stood strong in a one-on-one against Purdue forward Kayla Budish, making an important save in the 88’ to ensure victory for the Cats.

With the final whistle blown, ball movement and smart defending were ultimately the deciding factors that allowed UK to find itself victorious over the Boilermakers.

Kentucky womens soccer is set to return to action this Sunday, Aug. 28, as it welcomes in-state Eastern Kentucky University. Kickoff against the Colonels is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST and will air on SEC Network+.