Women's Soccer Upsets No. 13 Florida in SEC Opener

Sept. 14, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Freshman midfielder Courtney Raetzman scored her first-career goal in the 47th minute off a corner kick in what ended up to be a golden goal as the University of Kentucky women's soccer team (6-1-0, 1-0-0 Southeastern Conference) knocked off the No. 13 Florida Gators (3-3-1, 0-1-0 SEC) 2-1 on Friday night in front of 1,348 people at the UK Soccer Complex. It was the Wildcats first win over Florida since the 2006 season.

"One of the things that we talked about before the game and at halftime is the best way to play against a great possession team is to possess the ball," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "I just think we needed to stay calm and needed to possess the ball. Florida is the benchmark of our conference. They have been for a long, long time. I have such unbelievable respect for the way they play, their talent and their coaching. I knew in order to play against them, we had to possess the ball. I thought that we stayed on course." 

The opening goal of the game was notched in the 13th minute by UF's Mckenzie Barney off of a penalty kick. The goal was the second of the season for Barney after UK was whistled for a foul inside the box for tripping.

Just 17 minutes later, when the clock read 30 minutes, the Wildcats earned their second PK of the season after a foul was committed inside the area by the Gators. Sophomore defender Arin Gilliland calmly stepped up and knocked in her second goal of the season past the keeper into the upper-left corner of the net.

After the Wildcats knocked around the ball with possession before earning a sequence of corner kicks, resulting in the game-winning goal from Raetzman. The ball was served in by junior Danielle Krohn into the 18 before fellow junior Caitlin Landis got a foot on it and knocked it down to a waiting Raetzman. The freshman dumped the ball past a diving keeper to the far side, tallying the 2-1 lead for the Cats.

After multiple scoring chances went by the wayside for the Gators in the second half, UK withstood a barrage of shots in the final minutes to close out its first win over Florida since the 2006 season in the SEC Tournament Championship game.

Junior Kayla King continued to be solid in net, charting six saves in her 90 minutes in the cage. King had many diving saves that kept the Wildcats ahead in the second half, as the Louisville, Ky., native faced 11 Gator shots in whole.

UK came into the game raking first in the conference in corner kicks and added to it on Friday night. The Wildcats earned nine set pieces from the corner while just allowing Florida to notch one corner all night long.

The back line of Gilliland, Natalie Horner, Alyssa Telang and Ashley VanLandingham had another solid performance in front of King, whipping multiple chances away from UF in the game and allowing one or less goal for the sixth time in seven games in 2012.

UK next faces undefeated Mississippi State (7-0-1, 0-0-1 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex. It will also be UK's Kick-Cancer Match in which there will be many promotions to support pediatric cancer research at UK. Kick-off is slated for 1:00 p.m. ET.

For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.