UK Soccer Closes Weekend with 2-1 Win at Auburn

Oct. 18, 2009

 

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AUBURN, AL - It was a successful weekend on the Plains for the UK Athletics department as the UK women's soccer team (5-7-4, 2-5-2 SEC) ended the weekend on a positive note and kept its SEC Tournament hopes alive with a 2-1 win at Auburn (6-7-3, 3-5-0).

Feeding off the UK football team's win at Auburn on Saturday, the UK women's soccer team collected its first win over the Tigers since 2001 and its first road win this year.

"I'd like to give credit to (UK head football) Coach (Rich) Brooks and his men," said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. "Them coming in here last night and showing what can happen on the road, here in Auburn, was very inspirational for us and I think really showed us that this can be done."

UK made a few strategic changes, the most noticeable being a goalie change and moving Jenna Goblirsch, who has started all season on the back line, to the top to help force the issue more. The team responded with one its best performances this season.

"I thought we responded well with by far our best performance of the year," said Lipsitz. "Our ability to possess the ball in the second half was better than it has been the entire year. Auburn is a fantastic team and for us to play the way we did, on a Sunday, on the road, really says something special about the heart of this team. Yesterday was a difficult day as a team, we watched a lot of film, and we spend a lot of time together. I think we did a lot of soul searching and came out with our best performance of the year against what I think is a very special team and a well coached team."

Burton saw her first action of the season, making her first start this year and she responded with seven saves, tying her career high, while facing a career high 22 shots.

The game was back and forth with UK taking a 1-0 lead in the first half. Despite Kentucky owning the second half, Auburn tied it in the 64th minute, but UK was not to be denied, claiming victory in the 74th minute off Laura Novikoff's first goal of the season.

"There wasn't a tactical moment at halftime," said Lipsitz. "Everything we talked about was about what kind of heart we had and how much we had left in us. Basically I said you've got to play like heck or you've got to quit and there's no between. That was our quote last night and we carried it into today. I told them they'd make a decision on who they were every moment in the second half and I think it was obvious what they decided."

The Cats took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute off Alicia Browning's first goal of the season. Auburn was whistled for a foul about 10 yards inside the midfield line. Stefani Kildare took the free kick and serviced a ball in front of the goal where Giuleana Lopez rose above everybody and headed the ball down. Browning was there to tap the ball in for her first goal and the early lead.

The Wildcats had another opportunity in the 52nd minute when Kiondra McGee drove down the field on the far side and sent a centering pass through the box that rolled just in front of the goal. Laura Novikoff chased it down and pushed it back to Lopez who took a shot from 10 yards out, but Howard was there for the save.

The Tigers tied the game in the 66th minute off a Caitlin King goal. King received a pass from Ana Cate, found herself one-on-one with Burton and poked it just to the left of a charging Burton for the equalizer.

Burton came up with a key save with 18 minutes left when King, once again, found herself one-on-one with the goalie again. Burton came out to cut down on the angle and corralled King's shot to preserve the tie.

UK reclaimed the lead with 15:30 left when Jenna Goblirsch centered a ball into the box that Novikoff misdirected with a header just inside the far post for her first goal of the season and a 2-1 UK lead.

Lopez led the Wildcats with three shots, all on goal, while Alicia Browning and Ashley Stack both finished with two shots.

The Wildcats return home to celebrate Senior Night on Thursday, hosting Ole Miss. The first 500 students will receive a wristband for access into the UK Men's Basketball student-only practice on Friday at 1:30 pm