Cats Outduel Chippewas in Overtime

Sept. 2, 2011

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The UK women's soccer team (4-0-0) kicked off the 2011 Courtyard by Marriott Airport Cardinal Classic with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over Central Michigan (3-1-0).

In a starting lineup that saw senior Natalie Horner make her first appearance of 2011, UK played well out of the gates, possessing the ball for most of the opening 15 minutes of play.

Kentucky got on the board in the 19th minute with an unassisted goal from sophomore Taylor Parker. Stuart Pope started the action in the midfield, stealing the ball from the CMU center midfielders, and then working the ball to the top of the 18-yard box. Pope then dished it off to Parker who took the initial shot, and had it blocked. The rebound came right back to the cleats of Parker, and she drilled it into the back of the net to put the Wildcats on top. The goal was the first of the year for the Tega Cay, S.C. native, and the third of her career.

"I told them that we just needed to attack more," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "That's not a secret. We were getting opportunities, but we weren't finishing. I just wanted us to go for it."

Kentucky's Emma Brown had a great scoring opportunity in the 31st minute, when she snuck in behind the Central Michigan defense on the left side and unloaded a shot that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and straight down. The rebound was quickly cleared by the Chippewas.

The Cats dominated the first half of the game, outshooting Central Michigan 9-4, recording two corner kicks, as well as putting three shots on frame to CMU's one.

In the second half, CMU struck in the 49th minute off a corner. After the initial service, the ball was poked around the defensive end, and never cleared. Central Michigan's Tammy Long gathered control at the top of the box, and fired in a pass to the waiting Laura Gosse who put it past Kayla Price to tie the game.

After a stagnated period in the game where neither team grasped any control, Kentucky had a few chances to convert, but never could.

At the end of the 90-minute regulation period, it was 1-1, and extra time followed.

Central Michigan had a golden chance in the second minute of overtime, but Laura Gosse couldn't find the pace on a defender misplay to put it past the waiting Kayla Price.

Kentucky drew a corner kick in the fifth minute of overtime. Hunyadi took it with her right foot, and served it into the box. It was immediately headed by Stuart Pope who knocked it home for the game-winner.

"We had worked on our corners in practice this week," Lipsitz said. "We weren't really happy with our service on set pieces, and so we made some changes. I am thankful for players like Kelsey Hunyadi and Stuart Pope for stepping up and being willing."

The game was the first overtime game of the year for UK, as well as the first overtime win in the tenure of head coach Jon Lipsitz.

"I put it in our preseason book that we have never won an overtime game in my time here," Lipsitz said. "I told that we need to get over that hump, and tear that page out, and I'm happy that we can now do that."

With the win, UK is now 10-0-1 all-time versus the Mid-American Conference. This was the first meeting between Central Michigan and Kentucky.

UK will next take to the field in its second game of the Cardinal Classic against the Baylor Bears. Kickoff is slated for noon on Sunday afternoon. Live stats will be available at UKathletics.com.