Haeussler Boots Kentucky to 1-0 Win over South Carolina
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Alli Haeussler’s goal off of a 26th-minute corner kick proved to be all Kentucky would need Sunday, as the Cats held off South Carolina for a hard-fought 1-0 win at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky’s first major scoring opportunity arose in the 24th minute. Kristin Jedlo directed a free kick into the penalty box, but Haeussler headed the ball well over the crossbar. However, Haeussler capitalized two minutes later after Courtney McCrudden sailed a corner kick in front of the goal. A Gamecock defender headed the ball away from the goal but into a crowd of Wildcats. Haeussler booted in the loose ball from four yards out to score Kentucky’s first goal in three matches. South Carolina’s Sarah Lentz headed in a corner kick in the final minute of the first half, but the goal was nullified by a Gamecock foul in the penalty box, preserving the 1-0 Wildcat lead.
Lentz would get her head on corner kicks in the 51st and 72nd minutes, but Kentucky goalkeeper Liz Butler recorded saves on each occasion. South Carolina controlled possession through much of the half, registering nine second-half shots to Kentucky’s two. South Carolina had one last chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Butler escaped her box and swatted away a Gamecock shot as time expired. Butler corralled seven saves and was aided by a collective Wildcat defensive effort, as the Cats turned away six corner kicks in the second half to preserve the shutout.
“This was a hard-fought win for our kids today,” UK Coach Warren Lipka said. “We withstood a lot of pressure from South Carolina throughout the second half. This was another big SEC game, so I’m happy to take the three points from the victory.”
The seeding for the SEC Tournament is based on the number of points accumulated by conference teams throughout the season. Three points are awarded for wins while one point is distributed to each team for a tie and no points are awarded in a loss. Kentucky now holds 10 points by way of its three victories and one tie in the conference. Lipka, a former All-American goalkeeper at South Carolina, now holds an 8-2 advantage against his alma mater.
Kentucky improves to 6-6-1 and 3-2-1 in the SEC while South Carolina drops to 6-7-2 and 0-4-2 in the conference. The Cats hit the road next weekend to meet Georgia and SEC East frontrunner Tennessee.
Goal: UK - Haeussler (McCrudden, Moyer), 25:12 Goalkeepers: USC – Lindsay Thorstenson – 1 goal, 3 saves; UK – Liz Butler – 0 goals, 7 saves Attendance: 407