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Women's NCAA Soccer: Kentucky advances to program's first Sweet 16

Kentucky players surrounded Zoe Swift (4) after she scored in the 53rd minute to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead over Arizona State. UK would hold that lead for a 3-1 win to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Kentucky players surrounded Zoe Swift (4) after she scored in the 53rd minute to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead over Arizona State. UK would hold that lead for a 3-1 win to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. UK Athletics

The University of Kentucky women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with its 3-1 victory over Arizona State on Friday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., behind goals from Courtney Raetzman, Zoe Swift and Cara Ledman.

"This is obviously a very special moment for our program here today," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "We came here to win games, and this is one."

The Wildcats dominated the possession game while outshooting the Sun Devils 12-9, including six shots on goal.

Raetzman's goal, her seventh on the season, came in the fifth minute off a Jade Klump assist to give UK an early 1-0 lead.

Arizona State tied it in the 50th minute on Whitney Kanavel's goal from 30 yards out.

Swift's goal three minutes later off an assist from Raetzman gave Kentucky a 2-1 lead it wouldn't lose. It was Swift's sixth goal this season.

Ledman's goal came unassisted in the 66th minute to extend the Wildcats lead.

Coach Lipsitz was pleased with his team's effort against the Sun Devils.

"I thought that we played very well today and I am very proud of the kids for taking the changes that we made in training and trusting us as a staff," Lipsitz said. "They executed the game plan very well, and they should be rewarded for that."

Kentucky will meet host Virginia on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Cavaliers are 19-2 on the season after defeating Rutgers 3-0 on Friday night.

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