Soccer Downs South Carolina for First Time Since 2006
Sept. 30, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team (9-2-0, 2-1-0 SEC) continued to exercise some ghosts from UK soccer past, picking up its first win over South Carolina (7-5-0, 1-2-0 SEC) since 2006 and its first win in Columbia since 2005. The Wildcats defeated the Gamecocks 1-0 on Friday night in front of 1,403 people at Stone Stadium.
"This is a special win for our program," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "We have tremendous respect for South Carolina. They not only beat us on our home field last year, but also knocked us out of the SEC tournament as well. We know exactly how great of a program they are, so to get a win here feels fantastic."
UK jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute when Kelsey Hunyadi intercepted a pass from a bad South Carolina clear, and took advantage of it. Hunyadi was just steps from the midfield logo when the ball came right to her feet from a South Carolina defender. The UK senior captain quickly took a touch to the near side and fired a one-touch pass right up the middle to Caitlin Landis who was making a run on the far side. Landis took control of the ball with a touch to the defender's backside, and the ball was in her control at the top of the 18. Landis ended up pushing the ball to the far side, where she was 1v1 with the keeper, and blasted home a shot into the back corner of the net.
"It feels good to finally be getting back into an offensive rhythm," Landis said. "I am really happy with the way I am progressing this year, and I think this was a big win for us."
The goal was Landis' third in two games as the sophomore from New Columbia, Pa., scored two goals on Sunday in Kentucky's 4-1 win over Alabama.
Hunyadi was credited with the assist, netting her 21st point on the season, and tallying her team-high seventh on the year. With the assist, Hunyadi has now scored a point in four of Kentucky's last five contests.
South Carolina's best scoring opportunity came in the 76th minute when UK goalie Kayla Price made an amazing save to keep the game at 1-0. Price was able to deflect a bullet that came screaming into the box. South Carolina grabbed the rebound and fired a shot back to Price, who made a remarkable save diving to her right.
"Part of my brain is telling me that that is her job," Lipsitz said. "If we make a mistake on the back line, it's her job to bail us out. The other part of me is jumping up and down because that was something special."
For the UK freshman, it was her fourth shutout of the season and her first career SEC shutout.
Kentucky was able to withstand a South Carolina barrage of shots in the final minutes to finalize the score at 1-0. The Gamecocks outshot the Wildcats 11-5 in the second half, including five shots on goal. In the game overall, South Carolina held a 14-12 edge in shots.
The win was the first over South Carolina since 2006 when UK beat the Gamecocks 1-0. Also with the win, UK got their first win in Columbia since 2005. Kentucky improves to 11-6-1 all-time vs. the Gamecocks.
The Wildcats close out their season-long five-game road trip on Sunday in Gainesville, Fla. where they take on the ninth ranked Florida Gators. The game will be televised live on Comcast Sports South (CSS) with a 2:00 p.m. ET scheduled kickoff.
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log onto UKAthletics.com.