Cats Play to 0-0 Tie with Arkansas

Oct. 11, 2009

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LEXINGTON, KY - Coming off an emotional victory on Friday night, the UK women's soccer team (4-6-4, 1-4-1 SEC) was able to maintain its defensive intensity, recording its seventh shutout of the season in a 0-0 tie with the Arkansas Razorbacks (7-3-4, 1-3-2).

Despite less than favorable field conditions due to bad weather in the area over the last several days and being outshot 22-10, UK goalie Sydney Hiance and the defense were able to record their second shutout on the weekend.

"I don't think the pitch did us any favors because of the bad weather we had earlier in the weekend," said UK assistant coach Michelle Rayner. "We had to deal with playing Friday and coming out here today and dealing with heavy legs. It was a typical Sunday game against a team that came off their first win as well. It was more of an emotional battle than anything else."

After playing 109 minutes, the Razorbacks appeared to have the game won, however an offside call negated an apparent goal with 47 seconds left in the second overtime to help Kentucky preserve the shutout.

In the middle of a scrum in front of the Kentucky goal, Arkansas' Camille Flores headed a ball over Hiance into the back of the net. However, the far side official had his flag raised for offsides and the goal was wiped away.

"He made the right call, even their assistant coach said it was offside," said Rayner. "But it's our (responsibility) to do a better job defensively inside the box. We made that point before the game to battle and not allow them to touch balls, and make better clearances out of there which is what we're known for. You play over 90 minutes in a game, and things like that will happen."

After a scoreless first half that saw neither side get any serious scoring opportunities, the Wildcats came out firing in the second half. Laura Novikoff had one of the Cats' best looks a minute and a half into the second frame. Novikoff controlled a loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box and rifled a shot that sailed just over the crossbar.

Arkansas nearly took the first lead in the 53rd minute. Laurel Pastor sent a corner kick in front of the goal where Kelly O'Connor took a shot from 10 yards away towards the right post, but UK defender Brooke Keyes was on the goal line by the post to knock the ball away. Lauren Hallauer grabbed the rebound and fired another shot, but Novikoff was there for the block and cleared the ball away from danger.

Sloppy field conditions played a part in thwarting a possible Kentucky score in the 84th minute. Kirsten Robinson and Arkansas goalie Britni Williams charged a loose ball at the top of the box. Robinson arrived a fraction of a second before Williams poking the ball away. Robinson had a clear path to the ball and empty net; however, she lost her footing on the wet grass and was unable to get to the ball in time.

Jenna Goblirsch appeared to have the game won for the Cats with 2:47 left in the first overtime. She controlled a loose ball, beat a couple Arkansas defenders in the box and fired a shot on goal, but Williams was able to come up with a save.

Lopez had a shot at the golden goal nearly three minutes into the second overtime. Alyssa Telang dribbled into the box and pushed the ball to her left for Lopez who a gathered it up and fired a shot, but Williams made a diving stop to her left to preserve the tie.

Following Arkansas' goal that was waive off by the offside call, Kentucky wasted no time in their counter attack, driving the ball down the field and earning a corner kick with five seconds left. Kiondra McGee took the kick and delivered a ball just in front of the goal that was headed by Novikoff over the cross bar as time expired.

Arkansas outshot Kentucky 22-10, but opportunities were about even for both teams with the Razorbacks recording six shots on goal to UK's four.

UK finished the weekend picking up four big points in the SEC standings. The top eight teams in the league advance to the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach in November.

Kentucky hits the road next weekend for its final full road weekend, traveling to the Heart of Dixie where they will take on Alabama and Auburn.