Soccer Eliminated from SEC Tournament on Shootout
Nov. 4, 2010
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – On the second, first day of the 2010 SEC Soccer Tournament, the wind replaced the rain, but play was able to resume and the UK women’s soccer team (10-7-3) had their season ended with a 3-2 loss in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie with 13th ranked and second seeded South Carolina (14-4-3) in the quarterfinals.
Originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, the first day of the tournament was washed out due to torrential rains in the area.
As the rain and clouds died out, the wind speeds picked up, consistently topping 20 mph or more throughout the match, the Wildcat attack was stymied a bit in the first half as they played into the wind.
The Cats did control the second half, pressing the issue more, this time with the wind at their back, using it to their advantage.
“The wind was a huge factor, not for one team or the other, it just made the game sloppy and ugly,” said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. “I thought the tie was a very fair result after a lot of kids on both teams battled through 110 minutes. It completely changed our game plan. The last 25 minutes in the second half with the wind and the first 10 minutes of overtime when we had the wind we played with four forwards. We played a 4-5-1 the last 10 minutes into the wind. It was almost like two totally different games with the wind and against the wind.”
After falling behind early, Alyssa Telang scored the equalizer off a corner kick in the 84th minute, bending the kick in, just inside the far post for her third goal of the season and a 1-1 game.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the two teams decided the match on penalty kicks.
Freshman Caitlin Landis missed high on UK’s first attempt, as did South Carolina’s Kortney Rhoades. Natalie Horner’s shot was blocked by USC goalie Mollie Patton and South Carolina’s Brooke Jacobs converted her attempt. Danielle Krohn and Laura Novikoff were both successful for UK, while South Carolina’s Kelsey Barr converted her attempt, but Brittiny Rhoades missed hers making it a 2-2 affair heading into the final kick. After Kelsey Hunyadi pushed her shot wide left, USC’s Kayla Grimsley converted her attempt for the win.
“I thought we played very well and I thought South Carolina did extremely well,” Lipsitz said. “They’re a fantastic team; we have great respect for them. We felt coming in that this was a game we could win and I think we’re a little stunned that we didn’t, but at the same time you have to give them credit. They found a way to win the penalty kick shootout. It was a tie, I’m proud of that result, but we wish that we were advancing. Congratulations to South Carolina, we’ll be back.”
South Carolina had the game’s first scoring opportunity in the eighth minute when Danielle Au pushed the ball the through the Kentucky defense and fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that was headed just under crossbar but Syndey Hiance jumped up to pull the ball in.
The Gamecocks did find the back of the net in the ninth minute. Au found Brooke Jacobs in front of the goal and Jacobs chipped it past Hiance for the score and 1-0 South Carolina lead.
The Wildcats managed to keep the ball in the South Carolina defensive third of the field long enough to generate their best scoring opportunity of the first half. Kiondra McGee took a shot that ricocheted off a Gamecock defender over the endline. Telang took the corner kick and delivered a ball 15 yards in front of the goal where Danielle Krohn got a solid head on the ball, but sent it wide right.
Coming out in the second half with the wind at its back, Kentucky nearly tied it in the 55th minute off another corner kick. Telang took the kick and delivered a well placed ball inside the box. Krohn won the 50/50 ball and headed a shot towards the goal, but USC defender Brittiny Rhoades was standing on the goal line and headed the ball away.
“I’m incredibly proud of this team and the leadership of our seniors. If you look where we were six weeks ago, the first time we played South Carolina, to now it’s like night and day. I’m so proud of the work this group and the coaches that I’m fortunate enough to work with have put in. To develop this much in six weeks is exciting. It’s exciting for now and it’s also exciting for the future.”
The Wildcats end the season having shown drastic improvement in Lipsitz’s second season. In addition to a return to the SEC Tournament, the Wildcats saw their overall win total improve by five and their SEC wins jump by three.
UK Post Match Notes
- Kentucky’s all-time record in the SEC Tournament moves to 12-12-2.
- This was the first meeting between UK and USC in the SEC Tournament.
- The Wildcats lead the all-time series with the Gamecocks 10-7-0.
- Kentucky has played six overtime matches in the SEC Tournament and has a 2-2-2 record.
- This was the second time UK has gone to penalty kicks at the SEC Tournament. The Cats lost a penalty shootout to Georgia in the 1999 tournament.
- UK is 0-2-3 in overtime games this year and 26-25-37 all-time.
- Prior to today’s match, the last time Kentucky played an overtime game in the SEC Tournament was in 2005, a 3-2 overtime win against Ole Miss.