Soccer Claims 1-0 Double-Overtime Win over No. 14 Tennessee
Oct. 14, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Junior captain Natalie Horner picked the perfect time to pick up her second goal of the season, doing so in the 106th minute leading Kentucky (11-4-0, 4-3-0 Southeastern Conference) to a 1-0 double-overtime win over 14th ranked (Soccer America) Tennessee (11-4-0, 4-3-0).
Horner's timing couldn't have been better as the Wildcats picked up three crucial points in the standings towards the 2011 SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala. in the beginning of November.
Just as it looked like the two teams would play to a scoreless draw, with just over four and a half minutes left in double-overtime, Kelsey Hunyadi controlled the ball and sent a long pass across the field to Horner. Horner took a couple dribbles, faked the Tennessee defender and then fired a shot from the top corner of the six yard box over the outstretched arms of UT goalie Julie Eckel for the golden goal in the 106th minute.
"All I could see was net," Horner said. "I freaked out for a second because I didn't know for sure. I turned and saw Kelsey (Hunyadi) running full speed at me, so I knew it was in."
The goal was a bit of redemption for Horner and the Cats as they were growing frustrated by several missed opportunities.
"We were going at it like crazy and really getting frustrated in the second half," said Horner. "We felt like we should have been ahead. We knew eventually one of them was going to go in if we just kept going at them."
The Wildcats finished the night with 22 shots to the Lady Vols 11 while Kentucky attempted seven corner kicks to Tennessee's four.
"It is really about how hard we played and how well we played; I thought we played tremendously," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "I think this might be the best we've ever played in my three years here. We really knocked the ball around and created a huge amount of opportunities. Of course, there was frustration because we hit the post, there was a back save, we missed inches wide, but we really just kept saying, `Keep getting opportunities, keep getting opportunities.' Tennessee is a phenomenal team. They are nationally ranked for a reason and for us to play that well against a team that we respect so much says a lot about how we have developed this year."
Freshman Kayla Price collected her fifth shutout this season, moving her to a tie for second among UK's all-time freshmen.
One sequence of opportunities Lipsitz spoke of occurred in the first half. Hunyadi dropped a corner kick in front of the Tennessee goal where a scramble ensued. Stuart Pope had two good looks at the goal, fired her first shot right at Eckel who deflected the ball back to Pope. Pope took the rebound and fired another shot that a Tennessee defender knocked away. Hunyadi got the rebound and took another shot on goal, but Eckel made a diving save to knock the ball over the end line and end the Wildcat threat.
Another opportunity occurred in the 73rd minute when a shot from Hunyadi struck the crossbar.
The win was Kentucky's second straight over Tennessee, pushing the all-time series to 11-9-0 in the Lady Vols' favor, while Lipsitz improved to 3-1-0 against UT. It also marked the program's first win over a nationally ranked opponent since defeated 15th ranked Virginia early last season.
The Wildcats end the four-game home stand on Sunday, hosting the Georgia Bulldogs. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. with the game being televised live on ESPNU. Live stats will be available at UKathletics.com.