UK women’s soccer’s home matchup with No. 25 Northwestern was canceled after only a half of play because of weather. But while it rained on the field, the cancellation didn’t dampen head coach Jon Lipsitz’s mood after the progress his team showed.
“I was really pleased with our enthusiasm, our intensity and our excitement to support one another in those 45 minutes,” Lipsitz said. “And that’s why I’m so disappointed that we didn’t get to finish, because I loved what I saw.”
Since it was out of the NCAA’s three-hour window to finish the match, the game was halted and will not be resumed.
The Cats entered Sunday’s matchup as a young team still looking for its first win on the season after suffering a collapse in its first home game last Thursday, when UK squandered a 2-0 lead in the first half and lost to South Florida 3-2. Lipsitz attributed the poor performance to the youth of the team and its lack of communication.
After focusing on that in practice the last few days, Lipsitz saw the improvement on the field
UK showed its strides in the first ten minutes of the half after great ball movement ended with a header off the post by junior forward Tanya Samarzich.
“I just thought, as the half went on, we were continuing to work on different ways to try to beat a team that was tremendous defensively,” Lipsitz said.
The communication carried its way into the defense as well as UK was able to hold strong in the single half despite giving up three corners.
The team covered one another well in those situations, and freshman goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie made one save. The teams combined for four shots with two on goal — one per team.
“We were unfortunately unable to finish the game,” Soucie said. “But the fact that we came into half with a clean sheet really just shows how much the backline and the team as a whole has been improving.”
Now the team’s attention turns to rival Louisville as the Cats will head down the road to face them Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Kentucky has five straight wins over U of L — the last four shutouts.
“One of the hardest things about playing Louisville is it usually isn’t the prettiest game,” Lipsitz said. “So we have to continue to dig deep and find an intensity that matches that rivalry.”
Kentucky at Louisville