Kentucky womens soccer draws Florida 1-1; earns first result in SEC play under Troy Fabiano


Jack Weaver

Kentucky players celebrate after a goal during the Kentucky vs. EKU womens soccer game on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Grace Kennedy, Reporter

Kentucky womens soccer (7-7-1) reached a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon against Florida (2-11-1) at the Bell, marking the first point earned in conference play for first year head coach Troy Fabiano. 

Despite the physical play between both teams, possession was split evenly for the first 20’, but Florida mostly took control for the last 25’ of the first half.

The Kentucky defense held strong until the 33’ when Delaney Tauzel scored after being assisted by Julianne Leskauskas to make the score 1-0 in favor of Florida. 

Kentucky was pressured by the Gators and, although the Cats had a few attempts, the Wildcats were unable to break through.

Head coach Troy Fabiano did not appear satisfied with his team in the first half. 

“We tried to play a little bit faster to create more opportunities as we’re chasing the game,” Fabiano said. “We need to find a better way to finish (and) this doesn’t mean just goals.”

Kentucky came out more aggressive in the second half, pressing the Gators early and often.

All eyes were on Hannah Richardson as she threatened to score for Kentucky in the first 15’ of the second half, but her break-away led to a disappointing slip on the wet pitch at the top of the box.

“It’s an outdoor sport so you deal with it,” Fabiano said. “The biggest thing with Hannah’s pace (is that) they’re always going to force her inside where they’re helpless. So, I think what she did with the slick grounds is she got caught trying to go inside and just slipped. It’s part of being outdoors.” 

Just when it seemed Florida would close out the match with the 1-0 advantage, Kentucky midfielder Madison Jones put the ball past Florida goalkeeper in the 79’ to equalize the match for the Cats.

The assist on the goal came from Emilie Rhode, marking her first of the season.

Both teams were eager to score another point to secure a win, but neither were able to do so.

Fabiano looked for a positive in the final score, which came out to be a draw, with Kentucky receiving their first result in SEC play. 

“It’s nice to get a point, but we were hoping for more,” Fabiano said. “Getting the tie is better than the loss.”

The Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Oct 20, as they battle Mizzou in Columbia with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and being streamed live on the SEC Network+.