Soccer Defeats Mississippi State 5-1

Oct. 24, 2010

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The UK women's soccer team (9-6-2, 3-4-2 SEC) found their offensive touch in a 5-1 victory over Mississippi State (7-12-0, 0-10-0) on Sunday at the UK Soccer Complex.

The five Kentucky goals were a season high and the most scored by a Wildcat team under Jon Lipsitz. UK also managed 25 shots, the most for the Cats in the SEC this season and most since attempting 25 against South Alabama.

More importantly, the win kept UK's hopes of returning to the SEC Tournament alive. The Wildcats are currently in a position where they must win their final match against Vanderbilt on Friday to guarantee themselves a spot in the tournament. A tie or loss would end the Cats' season.

Kentucky jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, but Mississippi State managed to tie the game 1-1 in the 20th minute. The Wildcats recorded another goal before halftime for a 2-1 lead at intermission. It was all Kentucky in the second half as UK netted three more goals for the final 5-1 margin.

"We talked about speeding up the play," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "How fast can we play with balance? How fast can we move the ball? And how fast can we throw the ball in and keep play moving? We also talked about how scoring fast sometimes to players means they have to score fast, and that's not the case. We talked about having to take ten, 20, maybe even 30 passes to break them down defensively and try to score."

The Cats were extremely successful off set pieces today, netting three goals.

"We as a team work very hard on our set pieces, and to be honest, we weren't really happy with the way that we had played on set pieces both offensively and defensively," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "We have been writing on a board the number of goals we have scored and given up on set pieces. To be honest, I purposefully put it up there on the board to get under their skin a little bit and finally today, we are in the positive on that."

The Wildcats wasted no time, taking a 1-0 lead in the first minute. Natalie Starr sent a ball ahead to Kelly Browning who crossed it over to Natalie Horner. Horner settled the ball, took a dribble and buried a shot from 10 yards out for the score.

Mississippi State scored the equalizer in the 20th minute on Elisabeth Sullivan's sixth goal of the season. Rachel Wannek pushed a pass ahead through the UK defense to Sullivan to put a shot inside the left post for the score.

The Bulldogs threatened to take a 2-1 lead in the 29th minute when UK was whistled for a foul in the box. MSU's Madison McKee took the penalty kick, but Sydney Hiance guessed right, diving to her right to make the save.

Kentucky reclaimed the lead in the 37th minute. Kelsey Hunyadi got a hold of ball the Bulldogs were trying to clear and looped a pass back towards the MSU goal to Laura Novikoff. Novikoff the ball drop once, turned and fired a shot in for her first of two goals on the day giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead heading into halftime.

Kentucky made it a two-goal lead in the 52nd minute off the foot of Novikoff again. This time Mississippi State was whistled for a foul just over the midfield line on the far side of the field. Novikoff took the free kick and blasted a shot just inside the left post from 45 yards out for her second score of the day.

Kelsey Hunyadi scored her team leading seventh goal of the season in the 63rd minute off another set piece for the Wildcats. Caitlin Landis led the UK attack on a breakaway, but was pulled down by a MSU defender just outside the top of the 18-yard box. Hunyadi took the free kick and sent a shot to the left of the Bulldog wall and inside the left post for a 4-1 Kentucky lead.

Taylor Parker closed out the scoring for the Cats with five minutes left in the match, again off another UK set piece. Alyssa Telang took the Kentucky corner kick and bounced the ball off the crossbar. Natalie Horner chipped a pass back out to Parker who fired a shot just under the cross bar for her second goal of the season and the final 5-1 tally.

Parker finished the day with a game high six shots, but it was Novikoff's two goals that paced the Wildcat offense.

Sydney Hiance finished the day with five saves while allowing just one goal.

The Wildcats close out the regular season on Friday night, celebrating Senior Night against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The game will be televised live on FS South at 7:00 p.m. ET.

UK Post Match Notes

•UK scored a season high five goals.

•It was the most goals scored by Kentucky under Jon Lipsitz and the most goals by the Wildcats since they netted seven in a win over Eastern Kentucky in the 2006 season.

Caitlin Landis has 53 shots on the season, third most by a freshman in UK history.

Laura Novikoff recorded two goals in a match for the second time in her career.

•Novikoff's multi-goal game was the second for Kentucky this season. Kelsey Hunyadi netted two goals in the season opener against Coastal Carolina.