Kentucky Downs No. 11 Portland on Road in Exhibition
PORTLAND, Ore. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team closed out its 2014 exhibition schedule with a 3-1 win over the No. 11 Portland Pilots on Saturday night, as the Wildcats dominated all facets of the match in the win.
“It’s always good to win an exhibition match, but even better when you play the quality of opponent that Portland is,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said after the match. “We played well in spurts, but know that in order to accomplish our team goals, we need to clean some things up in areas and become a better team. The reason that we play these matches are to get better and I felt like we took steps forward tonight. Merlo Field and Portland are such iconic parts of women's soccer and the histroy of our sport that we feel that it was an incredible privilidge to play there. The fans and community were pure class and we apprecaite that very much."
Kentucky collected the match’s opening goal in the 19th minute as Zoe Swift scored on an Arin Gilliland cross to give the Wildcats the early lead. Gilliland received the ball from a far-side run from Cara Ledman before Gilliland played a service ball into the box which was touched home by Swift.
UK would increase its lead to 2-0 just 25 minutes later, as a Portland own goal pushed the Wildcats to a two-goal lead. Gilliland got her head on a service ball played in from a wide back and it was headed with pace into the Pilots defense, which got a head on it, and was considered an own goal.
Portland would pull a goal back to make it 2-1 later in the second half as Madeline Dieker capitalized on a UK turnover and scored.
Kelly Novak put the match away just 40 seconds after Portland pulled within one goal, as the Wildcats went up 3-1 and put UK ahead by two goals. The goal was assisted by Michaela Dooley, as the two newcomers came up with the insurance goal in the match.
UK led in all statistical categories, winning the shots battle, 18-6, and winning the corner kicks battle 4-1. The Portland keeper was forced to make seven saves, with Taylor Braun only called upon twice in the match.
Kentucky will kick off the 2014 season in Seattle, Wash., against the Washington Huskies at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 22 followed by a match against Seattle U on Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. ET.
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.