Women's Soccer Blanks Cardinals
Aug. 29, 2009
Lexington, Ky. - The UK women's soccer team brought their `A' game defensively posting a 1-0 shutout against the Louisville Cardinals, their first since 1996, in front of over 1,000 fans at the UK Soccer Complex.
Junior goalie Sydney Hiance recorded her first shutout of the season and the ninth of her career, one away from fourth on UK's all-time shutout list.
"The whole team worked hard to keep the ball out of the net," said Hiance. "It was a total team effort. Everybody was playing defense on the whole field and I'm so happy the way we worked hard to keep the victory and dominate the state."
Hiance has allowed only one goal in 180 minutes of action this season.
"I think we're very good at team defending," said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. "We talk about attacking as a team and defending as a team, rather than a back line versus our forwards or something like that. I think we're an extremely good team defending as a group and we work on that and we know we have to survive on that."
The Wildcats struck first off a perfectly executed set piece. Jenna Goblirsch took a corner kick from the left of the goal and struck a ball towards the back post. Giuleana Lopez elevated above a Cardinal defender and put a header over Louisville goalie Taylor Vancil for a 1-0 UK lead.
"The ball came to me and I just went up for it," said Lopez. "Somebody was going to get on the back of that ball and it was just my turn. Coach puts us in a lot of situations, we practice a lot of corner kicks, a lot of free kicks. You just get up, face towards the goal and let the ball hit you."
"One of the things about coaching is you have to play to your strengths," said Lipsitz. "I'm not going to give away too much information, but we made some very specific changes on our set pieces for exactly that call. We'll continue to change our set pieces to try and stay ahead of the scouting report all the time. What feels good is that when you work on something that's new that we didn't do last game and the players care enough about the details to do exactly what you asked them to do and that's what that play was."
The Cardinals nearly tied the game with 18:30 left in the first half off a Kentucky miscue in the box in front of Wildcat goalie Sydney Hiance. The Wildcats deflected a ball that was headed toward the goal, but Hiance made a perfectly timed dive to coral the ball and keep the Cardinals at bay.
Kentucky appeared ready to grab a two-goal lead in the 51st minute when Lopez had a good look at the goal and fired a shot from eight yards out that went between Vancil's hands. Vancil was able to scramble back and deflect the ball away just before it crossed the goal line. However the ball rebounded directly to Samantha Au who took a shot, but again Vancil was there to knock the ball away.
In addition to the defense, Lipsitz also pointed to the crowd support the Wildcats received, commenting that he didn't feel they could have won without the crowd.
"The fans here at UK are really special. I love being in a university town, I love being in a place that is so passionate about all athletics, from women's soccer to our rifle team that is number two in the nation, it doesn't matter. Everybody here, every sport from football and basketball all the way through to our (Olympic) sports are cared about and I think that comes from our administration first. Our administration has said, `All sports matter.' We could not have won this game today without this crowd. It was very, very special."
The Wildcats now lead the all-time series with the Cardinals 6-1-1, with five of the six wins coming by way of shutout.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, hosting ACC power Wake Forest at the UK Soccer Complex.