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.
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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.