The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team chose a good time to pick up its first victory of the season.
The Wildcats scored a 3-1 win at Louisville on Friday night for its sixth consecutive victory in the rivalry.
The match was the first meeting of the 2016-17 school year between Kentucky and Louisville in any sport. The schools collide in men’s soccer next week and volleyball the week after that.
“I thought tonight was a great display of heart and guts by the girls,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “Louisville came out and punched us in the mouth by scoring first and dominating the run of play early in the match and that’s a tremendous credit to Karen (Ferguson-Dayes) and her staff, who we have the upmost respect for.”
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Sarah Feola scored Louisville’s first goal against Kentucky since 2011 in the eighth minute.
After U of L (3-1-1) had the run of play for the majority of the first half, the game changed in the 32nd minute when Tanya Samarzich scored an unassisted goal to equalize the match for Kentucky.
At halftime, the teams were tied 1-1, with Louisville holding a 7-4 advantage in shots taken.
I was thrilled that we were able to solve the tactical puzzle on the field as the match grew on and we fought for the entire duration of the match.
Jon Lipsitz, Kentucky head coach
Kentucky (1-2-1) took the lead in the 51st minute. Kelly Novak received a corner kick and moved the ball to Kaitlin Miller, who punched the ball into the net.
“I was thrilled that we were able to solve the tactical puzzle on the field as the match grew on and we fought for the entire duration of the match. We were scored on and responded positively and that’s something that we’ve been working on all week.” Lipsitz said.
Zoe Swift added Kentucky’s third goal in the 75th minute. Marissa Bosco played a wide ball into space along the left flank, and Foster Igoffo served a perfectly weighted pass to Swift, who slotted it past the keeper after two touches in the box.
Louisville ended the night with an 18-7 edge in shots and a 7-3 advantage in corners. Kentucky freshman Evangeline Soucie made six saves for her first collegiate win in goal.
“Tonight’s result is certainly a difficult one because we were in control of the game for long periods of time,” Louisville’s Ferguson-Dayes said. “We came out strong and played very well in the first 30 minutes and as a byproduct of our performance, scored a great goal. We made a few little mistakes in a row that cost us the equalizer but heading into the break, we felt really good about how we were playing. The second half was back and forth and we gave up the winner on a set piece. I thought we played very well for long periods of time and the challenge for us moving forward is to learn how to win these games.”