Women's Soccer Blanks No. 23 Illinois, 1-0, at Nike Tiger Invitational
Sept. 1, 2002
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Elizabeth Ramsey's goal with less than five minutes on the clock proved to be the game winner as the University of Kentucky women's soccer team shutout No. 23 Illinois, 1-0, in the Nike Tiger Invitational at the Audrey J. Walton Soccer Field Sunday. The Wildcats improve to 2-0-0 on the season, while the Illini fall to 0-2-0.
"Our girls gave an outstanding effort," Coach Warren Lipka said. "We outshot our opponent, we had more corner kicks - it was a true team effort. Their work-rate was tremendous and that goal is a product of their hard work and determination."
Neither team found the net in the first period of play as UK outshot the Illini, 8-5, and attempted two corner kicks to UI's one. Keri Boyce led the Cats with two shots on goal and Liz Butler collected a save during the scoreless stanza.
The Wildcats maintained a potent attack throughout the second half of play, but UI sophomore goalkeeper Leisha Alicia made numerous spectacular saves to quell the UK scoring threats. However, the Cats wouldn't be caged. Erin Witchey fed a streaking Elizabeth Ramsey in the center of the box who went one-on-one with Alicia. Ramsey dribbled, juked left and netted her shot to the lower right of the UI goal at 85:44.
Illinois was forced to play the match without the services of 2001 MVP Tara Schuling. Schuling, a senior defender who started all 21 games for the Illini last season, was given a red card in the second half of UI's 2-1 double-overtime loss to Missouri Friday night and had to serve the mandatory one-game suspension Sunday afternoon.
Sunday was the first meeting between the two schools and UK now posts a 14-12-3 record vs. opponents from the Big Ten. Liz Butler earned her first career shutout in goal for the Wildcats to lead the Cats to their first win over a ranked opponent since a 4-2 win over 18th-ranked Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Nov. 8, 2001 in Baton Rouge, La. It was the first time UK defeated a ranked opponent in the regular season since a 1-0 double-overtime victory over No. 19 Michigan in Lexington on Oct. 31, 1999.
UK will next be in action on Friday, Sept. 6 as it travels to Provo, Utah, to face BYU in a 9 p.m. ET match. The Wildcats will complete the weekend by taking the field with the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. ET.