Soccer's Season Ends in NCAA Tournament Penalty Shootout Loss

Nov. 12, 2011

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The UK women's soccer team's season came to a heartbreaking end Saturday night at the UK Soccer Complex when they played to a 1-1 draw, but lost a penalty shootout 4-2 to the Washington State Cougars in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The score and stats indicated how equal the two squads were. Each team finished with one goal, 14 shots and two corner kicks.

"I'm not surprised how close the game was," UK head coach Jon Lipsitzsaid. "I think the shot totals were exactly the same. The corners were exactly the same. I think they're a very good team, and it makes me feel good to know what a great game it was and how far we've come to be playing them. There were a lot of ebbs and flows in the game. There were times when we seemed to be in control of the game, and so they made adjustments that I thought gave us trouble. We made adjustments to answer that. You could see those ebbs and flows. It seemed like one team was in control and then we switched."

For the second straight match, the Wildcats (13-7-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead, but were unable to hang on.

The Wildcats drew a penalty kick in the 40th minute when the Cougars (12-6-4) were whistled for a handball in the box. Senior captain Kelsey Hunyadistepped up and calmly pushed the kick to the right giving the Cats a 1-0 lead.

"We served it into the box and Natalie (Horner) slashed through in the penalty box," Hunyadi said. "Their player literally took her arm and hit the ball."

Kentucky held that lead until nine minutes in the second half when Washington State's Ali Fenter took a cross from Rachael Doyle scored her first goal of the season, tying the match at 1-1.

The score didn't change for the remainder of the match, although both teams had their opportunities.

For Washington State, it came in the 65th minute. The Wildcats were whistled for a foul resulting in a WSU indirect kick, requiring the ball to be touched before a shot can be taken. The Cougars however attempted a shot off the free kick and knocked it in the back of the net, however the goal was waived off.

For Kentucky it came six minutes into overtime. UK was on the attack and Hunyadi served a ball over the top of the Washington State defense to Caitlin Landis. The ball took one bounce, Landis fired a shot, but she got just under the ball and sent it high off the cross bar and over the goal.

Following the second overtime period, the two teams went into a penalty kick shootout. The Cougar' Jocelyn Jeffers was successful on her attempt, but Danielle Krohn's shot hit the inside of the right crossbar and skipped away. Jaquelyn Roth of Washington State made their second attempt, but UK's Alyssa Telangsent her attempt high over the goal. That was all Washington State needed as they went on to collect the 4-2 shootout victory.

Hunyadi ended one of the most remarkable single-season individual performances in school history. She broke the school record for shots with 90 shots and finished second in points (38), goals (14) and assists (10).

The Wildcats have plenty to look forward to as they return 18 players of this year's squad, but it's what this year's squad accomplished that excites Lipsitz, not what's ahead.

"I'm very excited for the future of this program," Lipsitz said. "We have a lot of great players coming back and obviously I can't talk about specifics, but we're very excited about our classes coming in. One of the things I said to Kiondra (McGee) and Kelsey (Hunyadi) is that, `I'm so glad you guys got to play in the NCAAs because otherwise it would have been you guys coming back in future years and me saying to you, look what you did. Look at this, this is you. You did this.' It sure is a lot more fun to say, `You did this and you got to play in the NCAAs.' One of the reasons we're so excited for the future is because of how far we got this year. We came further than we were supposed to. We're excited because of now, not because of the future."