University of Kentucky women’s soccer coach Jon Lipsitz said he wanted a test to begin the regular season, and that’s exactly what his young Wildcats got on Friday night.
Kentucky traveled to California for a pair of games to start the 2016 season and came away with a 1-1 double-overtime tie at Long Beach State in the opener.
“I’m incredibly proud of this team for getting a hard-fought result against a fantastic team like Long Beach State,” said Lipsitz, who started five freshman Friday night. “We came here for a reason, and the main reason being we knew Long Beach would test us in areas that will help us down the road. I have an immense amount of respect for LBSU and I wish them the best of luck.”
Kentucky junior Katy Keen got the scoring started with a goal off a rebound in the 30th minute. Long Beach State equalized in the 37th minute on a goal by Ashley Gonzales.
The Cats had two good chances to score in the overtimes. LaMaya Williams’ shot from 27 yards out was saved. Then, with 15 seconds left, UK served in a corner kick that was headed away by Long Beach State.
UK’s five freshman starters included goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie, who made a pair of saves.
“We played a lot of freshman tonight, and at moments it showed. However, you’re always nervous in your first collegiate match, and I thought that they all brought things to the table that we are going to be very glad to have going forward.” Lipsitz said.
Kentucky returns to action Sunday at 4 p.m. at Pepperdine.