Second Half Surge Powers Kentucky to Shutout Win over Murray
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a lackluster first 45, which featured only six combined shots and one on goal in the first half, the Kentucky women’s soccer team opened the flood gates in the second half, scoring four goals all within 11 minutes of each other en route to a 5-0 blanking of the Murray State Racers on Sunday night at the Bell Soccer Complex.
“You learn a lot about your team by how they respond,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “I got on them pretty hard in the locker room at halftime, probably harder than I have all season, and the players came out and played a fantastic second half. I thought we got back to focusing on us in the second half and took care of the small details that won us the game. I’m proud of our effort in the second half and the way we played. Now we will focus on sustaining that for a full 90-minute match.”
Kentucky (3-3-1, 0-1-0 SEC) had four different goal scorers in the match, with Kaitlin Miller scoring the match’s opening goal on 37 minutes – and then Tanya Samarzich (58’), Gina Crosetti (61’) and Zoe Swift (63’) all scoring in addition to an own goal by the Racers in the second half.
Murray State drops to 1-3-1 with Sunday’s result.
The opening goal of the match came in the 37th minute as Miller scored her second goal of the season off a corner kick that was headed in off service from Katy Keen. It was Keen’s first assist of the season. Miller arose off the MSU defenders and headed it past the keeper to her right for the goal.
After the halftime whistle blew, Kentucky picked up a 2-0 lead when a Samarzich low, driven ball with pace was brought into the area that deflected off a MSU defender for the own goal. Zoe Swift shielded the defender and the keeper, but did not get a touch on the ball in the area.
It would be 3-0 just six minutes later as Samarzich netted her team-leading fourth goal of the season off another long-range free kick. The ball was served into the area from 40 yards out by Keen, and freshman Foster Ignoffo – a finalist for Woman of the Match – shot it and it was well saved by Murray keeper Alex Steigerwald, before the rebound came out to Samarzich – who finished.
The fourth Kentucky goal came less than three minutes after as the Wildcats would make it 4-0 in the 61st minute on a gem from freshman Gina Crosetti, her second of the season. Crosetti got the ball at her feet off a perfect feed from Bosco, and then Crosetti did all the rest, cutting back a wide back and turning and facing goal and looping one over the keeper far-post for the strong finish from 15 yards out from the left side.
The fifth UK goal came off the head of Zoe Swift on 63 minutes in the match as Bosco served in another spectacular ball to the head of a slashing Swift to the post, and the combination was finished to make it 5-0.
Ayanna Parker got her first action this season in net, playing 11 minutes and making a fantastic save to preserve the clean sheet. Starting keeper Evangeline Soucie earned her second clean sheet of the season and made two saves in the 78 minutes she was in the match.
Kentucky also had 10 corner kicks in the match, five goals, five different players record an assist, and held the Racers without a shot for the entire first half.
The Wildcats will play a rare Wednesday night match on the 14th at 7:30 p.m. ET against the SEMO RedHawks this week before returning to Southeastern Conference play on Sunday vs. Alabama. Both matches will be at the Bell Soccer Complex and shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.
**Scoring decision updates** - After reviewing match film, there were three scoring changes. The second UK goal will be credited to Tanya Samarzich citing NCAA rule 10.4.2 in the rulebook. In addition, there was an addition to Kaitlin Miller assisting UK's fourth goal, and Alex Carter assisting UK's third goal.