Women's Soccer Breaks Through To SEC Semifinals With 2-1 Win
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team picked up its first Southeastern Conference Tournament win under head coach Jon Lipsitz on Wednesday afternoon, downing the Auburn Tigers, 2-1 at the Orange Beach SportsPlex to advance into Friday's semifinal round.
Kentucky, the No. 3 seed in the tournament advances to play No. 10-seeded Tennessee in the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m. ET live on the SEC Network. Glenn Davis and former US Women's National Team player Julie Foudy will call the match from Orange Beach. Tennessee upset second-seeded Florida, advancing in penalty kicks 4-3 over the Gators on Wednesday.
"First of all, congratulations to Karen (Hoppa) and Auburn on a fantastic regular season," Lipsitz said. "We have all the respect in the world for them, and we know they will go on to do great things in the NCAA Tournament. We didn't play our best soccer tonight, but it feels good to win a game in this tournament that we respect so much. I thought we came out and played very well, and then Auburn took over and really pressed us. We know we have a lot of work to do to move on in this tournament. I'm proud of our girls for willing themselves to win. It is always good to learn through wins rather than losses. We have a lot of respect for Tennessee, and with their great postseason run, we know they will present a number of challenges to us on Friday."
Kentucky scored two early goals, in the ninth and 13th minutes, to take the 2-1 win, with the Tigers recording a goal in the second half that was not enough to topple the Wildcats on Wednesday night.
The first Kentucky goal came on an own goal in the ninth minute, after Kentucky came out and dominated the opening quarter of an hour of the match. Cara Ledman was serving a ball into the penalty area from 22 yards out across the grain of play that was then knocked into the back of the net by a Tiger defender off of the deflection.
Ledman won the ball on a steal from the wide left side of the pitch, cut across back into the middle of the field and served in the ball.
Just four minutes later, Kentucky would double its lead in the 13th minute as Kelli Hubly scored her second goal of the season to put the Wildcats up 2-0 early. Hubly got the ball in from the midfield and Courtney Raetzman played a ball to Hubly, who then got in behind and was 1v1 with the goalkeeper.
Hubly then slotted the ball to the far post from the edge of the top of the box past Auburn goalkeeper Alyse Scott to give UK the 2-0 lead.
Auburn pulled one goal back in the 65th minute on a long-range shot from Courtney Schell, who scored her fourth goal of the season from 35 yards out. The Tigers had been pressing for a majority of the second half before scoring the goal.
Kentucky ended up outshooting the Tigers 12-9 on the afternoon, with Taylor Braun making three saves on the four Auburn shots on goal. Braun picked up her seventh-straight win to move to 12-4-0 on the season in the net.
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.