Women's Soccer Drops 1-0 Match to Tennessee
Oct. 4, 2009
LEXINGTON, KY - The UK women's soccer team (3-6-3, 0-4-0 SEC) showed more signs of life offensively than in recent games, but was still unable to record a goal, dropping a 1-0 match to the Tennessee Lady Vols (6-5-1, 2-2-0) on Sunday.
The Wildcats managed nine shots, five on goal, the most they've taken in a league game this year in both categories.
"A lot of that improvement comes from two players," said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. "Laura Novikoff was everything we know that she can be today. She was very special holding onto the ball. She was great at laying the ball off and it was by far the most vocal I've heard her this year. Everything we expected out of Laura Novikoff, we got from her today, so I thought she was a big difference. But I really think a huge difference in our front line is Katie Fahey. Katie is starting to feel that it's coming to an end. I'm very proud of Katie because I don't think it's a secret that she got in a little trouble during a game a couple weeks ago. I think it says a lot about her character on how she's responded, and one thing you can always count on with Katie is she's going to play her hardest. I really thought the two of them led us today. I thought they were tremendous and if they continue to play that way, we'll find the net."
The Lady Vols cashed in the 28th minute on a goal from Amy Harrison. Lara Langworthy sent a pass into the box, where Harrison controlled the ball, made one move and pushed a roller past UK goalie Sydney Hiance just inside the left post for the 1-0 Tennessee lead.
Following the Tennessee goal, the Wildcats appeared to settle in and take control of the game.
"I felt like after the first 20 minutes of the game we played extremely well, we built some rhythm," said Lipsitz. "We had quality opportunities and we really made a decision we weren't going to settle for just average opportunities, but we were going take responsibility for great ones. It's disappointing to have three times where we were in behind, on breakaways, and not to get off a goal, and or even to get an opportunity off that is very disappointing and something we'll work on this week. We lost two games this weekend 1-0 and both on soft goals. Balls that are bouncing around the box and we pride ourselves on how good we are in our box and we have to get better at that. Those goals are absolutely against everything we care about and work on and they can't continue."
Kentucky had their best opportunity to tie the game eight minutes into second half; Novikoff blew through UT defense and centered a pass to Fahey. Fahey got tied up in a tackle with a Tennessee defender, but was able to push the ball back to Stefani Kildare who fired a shot on goal, but Lady Vol goalie Molly Baird was there for the save.
Novikoff had another opportunity in the 74th minute off a Kentucky corner kick. Kelly Browning sent a high service towards the back of the goal where Novikoff got a head on the ball, but Baird was able to pounce on the ball before it went in.
Giuleana Lopez pressed the issue with just over five minutes left in the match when she found a seam in the Tennessee defense at the top of the box and rifled a shot that was inches outside the left post.
UK had one final chance with 1:33 left in the match when Tennessee was whistled for a foul. Kildare took the free kick from 30 yards out and sent a shot at the goal, but a leaping Baird was able to pull the ball in to preserve the win.
Novikoff led the Kentucky offense with three shots, two on goal, a season high for the junior. Kildare finished with two shots, both on goal. UK goalie Sydney Hiance finished with six saves, giving her 26 on the season, the second most in the conference.
Kentucky returns to action next weekend, hosting the LSU Tigers and the Arkansas Razorbacks.