Women's Soccer Opens Stadium With 5-0 Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team collected a 5-0 win over the Francis Marion Patriots on Friday night, as Michaela Dooley, Arin Gilliland, Courtney Raetzman, Jade Klump and Kennedy Collier all netted goals in Friday night's win.
"Obviously, we're really excited to get home," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "We've talked all week about how special it is to play in front of the Big Blue Nation. We just want to put on a show in this beautiful new stadium and we can't wait for the official dedication on Sunday and we want to put on another show.
Friday also marked the opening match at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, the Wildcats' new home, which included renovated press boxes, hospitality suites, locker rooms, team lounges and more.
Kentucky dominated Friday night's match, not allowing a single shot or corner kick from the Patriots all night long, as well as dictating the pace of play, holding possession and creating endless scoring opportunities.
The ice was broken in the 15th minute when sophomore Michaela Dooley netted her first-career goal as a Wildcat to give UK the early 1-0 lead. Dooley was slipped a thru ball from Gilliland, and finished it to the keepers' right side into the net for the strike. The sophomore transfer scored multiple goals for USD in her time at the West Coast power, and slotted her first goal on Friday night in the Blue and White.
The MAC Hermann Award Watch List candidate, Gilliland, was then credited with a multi-point match when she scored her third goal in as many matches in the 25th minute to give UK the 2-0 lead. Gilliland was given the ball from Alex Carter at the top line of midfield before finishing the ball into the back of the net far post.
Gilliland now has three goals and two assists on the season, and takes sole possession of the Southeastern Conference lead with nine points on the 2014 campaign as of Friday night.
Courtney Raetzman made it 3-0 in the 47th minute when she put home a rebound off of a corner kick from Kelly Novak. Novak swung in the ball from the right side, where Gilliland got a head on it, saved by the FMU keeper and then was thwarted into the back of the net by a crashing Raetzman.
UK would add to its lead in the 50th minute when Jade Klump scored her first goal of 2014, and second-career goal to make it 4-0 Wildcats early in the second half. Klump, similar to Raetzman's goal, put home a rebound opportunity after multiple scoring chances from Raetzman, Stuart Pope, who was credited with the assist, and then Klump was there to clean it up.
"We didn't finish very well early in the game." Lipsitz said. "One of the things we have to work on is finishing those chances early in the game because it changes the dynamic of the match. We really challenged them at halftime and we scored a couple of goals early in the second half, and then we get to relax."
Kennedy Collier would score her first-career goal in the 88th minute to put the icing on the opening-night cake for the Wildcats, to increase the UK lead to 5-0. Collier was fed a thru ball in from Kelli Hubly 30 yards from goal, beat the keeper to her left and then passed it into the back of the net for her first-career goal.
Kentucky with the win improves to 2-1-0 on the season.
Friday night marked the fifth time in six tries that UK has won its home opener under Lipsitz, with the lone exception coming in 2013, when UK tied Utah.
The Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex will officially be dedicated on Sunday afternoon, with ceremonies commencing at Noon ET on the main staircases. UK faces Ohio University at 2 p.m. ET, followed by the UK men's soccer team facing Belmont at 5 p.m. ET.
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.