Soccer Drops 2-1 Match to Tennessee in SEC Tournament
Nov. 2, 2011
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Despite grabbing an early 1-0 lead, the UK women's soccer team (13-7-0) was unable to hold on dropping a 2-1 match to Tennessee (15-5-0) in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Wildcats owned possession of the ball right out of the opening kickoff and it showed as they created several chances.
Kelsey Hunyadi got the Wildcats on the board in the 11th minute on an outstanding attempt from the top right of the 18-yard box. Hunyadi controlled the ball inside the box with a Tennessee defender on her. She made a move to free herself, turned and fired from 20 yards out and buried it inside the far post for her 13th goal of the season.
The Wildcat lead was short-lived as Emily Dowd dribbled right through the UK defense and took a shot from just outside the top of the 18-yard box that snuck just inside the left post for the equalizer less than two minutes later.
Molly Huber had a pair of opportunities in the 41st minute to regain the lead for UK. The ball was served into the box where Huber rose up and sent a header towards the goal that bounced of the post. Huber collected the rebound, took a dribble around Tennessee goalie Julie Eckel and took a shot, but again found the post.
The two teams remained tied for the rest of the half, but the Wildcats controlled play, outshooting the Lady Vols 11-6 and generating more scoring opportunities.
Caitlin Landis had an attempt to break the tie in the 70th minute. Ashley VanLandingham took a free kick off a Tennessee foul just inside the mid-field line. VanLandingham put the ball in front of Landis who chased it down and took a shot from the top corner of the 18-yard box. Eckel had to make a leaping attempt at the ball, but was just able to poke the shot away.
Tennessee grabbed its first lead of the match in the 77th minute off a set piece. The Wildcats were whistled for a foul just outside the top of the 18-yard box. Off the kick, Kylie Bono touched the ball over to Chelsea Hatcher who fired inside the right post for the goal and UT lead.
"We gave tremendous effort," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "When you get into the postseason, little moments decide games; we made a couple mistakes and got punished for them. That's part of our learning curve as we develop the program, being in these pressure filled matches and being able to battle as hard as we did but also stay calm in possession. I don't think we stayed as calm as we needed to in order to possess the ball."
The Wildcats must now await their NCAA postseason fate. Selection for the 2011 NCAA Tournament is Monday, Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. and can be seen on NCAA.com. Kentucky was ranked 17th in the most recent release of the NCAA RPI on Wednesday.