Wildcats Upset Rebels in Overtime Thriller
The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team pulled a dramatic upset in the opening game of the 2005 Southeastern Conference tournament as the No. 7 seeded Cats defeated the No. 2 seed Ole Miss Rebels 3-2 in overtime. UK battled back from a 2-0 deficit with less than 10 minutes to play to advance to the semifinals by upsetting the SEC Western division champs. Ole Miss falls to 14-4-2 on the year, while UK is now 8-5-7 with the win.
“This was the most incredible game I’ve ever been a part of,” said head coach Warren Lipka who is the only coach to have a team in all 13 SEC tournaments. “This team has been on the verge of something big all year. Getting them to believe in themselves when they’re down is tough because they’re a really young team. We had to keep our composure at halftime and believe we could come out and win this game and that’s exactly what they did.”
The Wildcats trailed 2-0 and were on the verge of a shutout until the 82nd minute when freshman Nicola Holdsworth scored from 25 yards out on a rebound from a free kick. The Rebels threatened to score during the 80th minute but junior goalkeeper Anne Ogundele made one of many athletic stops to keep the 2-1 score in tact.
The Cats took the ball down the field and tied the game at 2-2 in the 87th minute as senior Jen Weakley pushed the ball past the Ole Miss keeper to tie the score. Fellow senior and All-SEC First Team selection Courtney McCrudden recorded the assist on the game-tying goal and set up the overtime heroics.
The Rebels controlled the ball early in the OT but Ogundele and the UK defense continued to shut down the Ole Miss attack. Sophomore Callie Lanphier then took the ball down the field and made a pass to McCrudden on the left side. McCrudden made a sliding shot to the far post that went past the Ole Miss goalie to give the Cats the dramatic 3-2 victory in the 97th minute.
“This has to be, by far, the biggest win of our season,” said McCrudden. “After Nicola Holdsworth scored that goal, this team was on fire. Everybody on our team played the best they’ve played all year and this is the best feeling in the world.”
The overtime game was the ninth for the Cats this season who are now one OT away from tying the national record set by Southern Methodist in 2002. This was just the second overtime win for the Cats who tied a national record with seven ties this season.
The Rebels took an early lead as Chrissy Strini scored on a pass from Christine Breaux just one minute and 17 seconds into the opening half. Ole Miss made it a 2-0 lead when Amy Bayles scored on a pass across the penalty area from SEC Freshman of the Year Jessica Hance during the 36th minute.
The No. 7-seeded Cats will face No. 6 Auburn on Friday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. ET.