Kentucky Drops Spring Finale
CARMEL, Ind. – The Kentucky women’s soccer team fell to Illinois on Saturday, Apr. 22, 1-0 at the Crossroads of America Showcase hosted by the Carmel United Soccer Club. The match was the featured college game of the event and was played at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind., just north of Indianapolis.
After 10 minutes of play, the Illini took control of the game, establishing a rhythm and maintaining possession while enduring the Kentucky pressure. Quality chances were limited for both teams until Illinois broke through in the 36th minute. A ball served into the UK back line resulted in a loose ball behind the Kentucky defense about 40 yards from goal. UK was whistled for a foul during the ensuing confrontation for the ball. Illinois junior forward Jessica Bayne took the pass off the restart and from 25 yards out drilled home the game’s only goal, beating UK junior goalkeeper Anne Ogundele.
The second half started with the Illini pushing hard for a second goal. The UK defense was in scramble mode to deflect their early opportunities. Kentucky then began to create some counter-attacking opportunities and goal-scoring chances of their own. The game began to open up and the fans got their money’s worth in the second half with some exciting end-to-end action. The Cats had solid scoring chances from junior Betsy Holbrook, sophomores Callie Lanphier and Ashley Menick, and two from freshman Katie Rice. None, however, found the mark.
The Illini were not without their chances during the second half. A highlight came in the 78th minute when Ogundele appeared to be caught off her line by a shot from distance. The junior out of Ontario, Canada, went high to parry the ball over. The ball hit the crossbar off the parry, and came down in front of the UK goal. Ogundele scrambled to her feet and smothered the oncoming Illini forward’s chance for the rebound goal, but the ball sprung out from her hands upon impact. The officials ruled she had control and gave a free kick to UK.
“There were some exciting moments on both ends in that second half,” said head coach Warren Lipka. “I am proud of my team for adjusting and fighting back. Illinois forced us to get some things sorted out in our midfield both in the attack and on defense. They transitioned very well and gained shape quickly. Our young players made the adjustments, and performed better in the second half. Our freshman backline was exposed a few times tonight, but they hung tough and this will only make them better. I was disappointed we could not get a goal in that second half, but Illinois is a talented team and this was a good way for our players to learn that there is still work to be done over the summer.”
Kentucky finished the spring season with a 10-2-2 record which included victories over Indiana and Wake Forest.
“I think in terms of the amount of quality work that was put in by our players and staff, this was a very productive spring semester,” commented Lipka. “Coaches Sydes and Willis, our strength coaches, have really pushed the players hard, and kept them on their toes this off-season with some creative workouts. Many gains by individuals were seen in this area, but also in their performance on the field. We will have to maintain and still improve over the summer if we are to achieve our goals next fall. We are looking forward to seeing where we can go with this group.”
Kentucky opens the fall season on the road at Cincinnati on Friday, August 25. The complete fall schedule will be released in the near future.