Women's Soccer Records Fifth-Straight Shutout in 2-0 Win
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team collected another three points in Southeastern Conference play on Sunday night as the Wildcats beat No. 23 Georgia for its fifth-straight win, and fifth-straight shutout, 2-0 at Turner Soccer Stadium in Athens.
“Our games with Georgia every year is a great game that involves a lot of great possession,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “We know that Steve (Holeman) and his staff will do great things with his team going forward and we have confidence in them. We today were able to find great moments that pushed us over the top. I’m proud of the team for the way we are playing, but on the same token, we know that we need to continue to grow everyday in training this week and beyond because we need to get better as the season continues to play out.”
With the win on Sunday night, the Wildcats secured a top-three finish in the SEC this season, as well as locking up an opening-round bye in the 2014 SEC Soccer Tournament to be held in Orange Beach, Ala., in two weeks’ time.
Kentucky now sits on 21 points this season in SEC action, and is assured of a second-place or third-place finish in the conference. The Texas A&M Aggies will lead the field with 25 points heading into the final match day and Florida, the only team that can beat TAMU, sitting on 24 points.
Sophomore Zoe Swift scored her third goal in the last four matches in the 12th minute as the sophomore took advantage of a Georgia mistake along the backline and then was able to go 1v1 with the goalkeeper from 10 yards out from the left side. Swift beat the goalkeeper with pace and height over the top of the outstretched arms of Louise Hogrell to lock up the 1-0 lead, and third game-winning goal in the last four matches.
At halftime, it was an even match with UK outshooting UGA 9-7 at the break, and only forcing freshman goalkeeper Taylor Braun to make two saves in the opening 45 minutes of action.
In the 55th minute, Kentucky doubled its lead at 2-0 off of a corner kick from Kaitlin Miller, to advance its lead to 2-0. Miller sent in a great corner kick from the right side which was overhit and then sent back across the face of goal, on a down-header by Alex Carter. Carter’s ball was then heading across the mouth of the goal before UGA keeper Louise Hogrell’s left thigh redirected it and knocked it into the back of the net.
Kentucky would then close out the game rather easily withstanding and absorbing the Georgia pressure for the final minutes of the match to post the 2-0 shutout win.
UK’s win on Sunday marks its fifth-straight in league action and also the fifth-straight shutout for Wildcats keeper Taylor Braun, who was only forced to make three saves in the 90-minute affair. The Wildcats back line has now not allowed a goal in 450 consecutive minutes of action, which is a stretch of time spanning since Oct. 5 when UK allowed a goal to No. 4 Texas A&M.
In UK’s stretch of five-straight wins, the Wildcats have knocked off three top-25 teams, in No. 24 South Carolina (1-0), No. 4 Florida (2-0), and No. 23 Georgia (2-0). The stretch of matches marks the first time in program history that Kentucky has ever beaten three ranked teams in the same season.
Reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week, Swift ended the match with a team-high four shots, with two of them being on goal, and then registering her fifth goal of the season. Going along with her assist on Friday night’s game-winning goal against LSU, Swift now has seven points in the last three matches, including three goals.
Kentucky this season is now 11-1-0 when scoring the match’s opening goal.
UK ended up outshooting UGA 15-14, with six corner kicks to the Bulldogs’ four.
The Wildcats are back in action on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET as they face off against the third-place Alabama Crimson Tide at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex. The match is also Senior Night, as UK will honor its four seniors, Emma Brown, Maddie Lockridge, Arin Gilliland and Stuart Pope.
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.