Wildcat Soccer Defeats Arkansas 1-0
FAYETTEVILLE, AR ? Two weeks ago, the Kentucky women?s soccer team was on the outside looking in at the 2006 SEC Soccer tournament, now with a 1-0 victory over the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (10-7-2, 3-6-2), the Wildcats are the overall second seed in the tournament.
UK (11-6-3, 6-3-2) closed out the regular season on a four-match unbeaten streak going 3-0-1 to secure 20 points in the SEC standings. The Wildcats were in a three-way tie with Tennessee and Vanderbilt, but victories over both schools gave the Cats a runner-up finish in league play.
It was another defensive gem for Kentucky as they recorded their 13th shutout of the season. To add icing on the cake for the defensive unit, it was defender Kate Hughes that scored the game-winning goal for the Cats, doing so in the 80th minute. Tara Herold took a corner kick for UK, sending it perfectly in front of the goal where Hughes elevated above everyone else and put a head on the ball for her first goal of the season and the sixth of her career.
?We had our early chances that we couldn?t finish,? said head coach Warren Lipka. ?It was just sheer desire by Kate (Hughes), getting herself in the right position on the corner kick and finishing it. The girls are playing real well heading into the end of the year and it?s just real exciting.?
The Wildcats controlled the ball for the majority of the first half and made the most of their opportunities out shooting the Lady Razorbacks 7-5, but neither team was able to scratch a goal, even though UK came away with two shots on goal. Kentucky?s seven shots in the first half were the most since they tallied eight against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on October 20.
The Wildcats finished the match out shooting the Lady Razorbacks 14-9, while tallying six corner kicks to Arkansas? one.
UK?s 11 wins are the most since the 2002 squad posted 11 victories and the team?s six SEC wins are the most since the 2000 team also recorded six conference wins.
Kentucky will return to action in the first round of the 2006 SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama where the Wildcats will take on the seventh seeded Ole Miss Rebels. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available at www.ukathletics.com and www.secsports.com.