Nov. 15, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team got three goals, all coming in the second half, by Caitlin Landis, Arin Gilliland and Zoe Swift to pick up the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament win on Friday night, as the Wildcats topped Ohio State, 3-1, at the UK Soccer Complex in the first round.
“First of all, congratulations to Ohio State for a great season and a great game today,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “Obviously, they are a great challenge for us. We played very well and I thought we put a lot of things together that we have been working on in training. I am not one for a lot of coach speak, so when I got interviewed this week I said, ‘Look this was the best week of training we had had and that we were really sharp and we have done the work and we have prepared and taking care of details and are ready.’ That is what I meant. We were ready and you could feel it throughout the entire week and you could feel it in each activity we did and it was just a commitment. That commitment goes from our players that are scoring and doing these things and playing and starting to the players that weren’t even on the bench today because of the NCAA rule of 22 (players).”
Kentucky dominated the run of play all night, controlling possession, and dictating scoring chances all game long. In the first half, even though Kentucky didn’t score, the Wildcats created chances, including hitting the post as Kentucky launched 12 shots to OSU’s four, as well as taking five corner kicks and not allowing the Buckeyes to take one.
In the second half, Kentucky got on the board first with Caitlin Landis’ fourth goal of the season in the 51st minute. Danielle Krohn took a corner from the left side of the pitch, and served a ball into the box that was sent in by Olivia Jester from 10 yards out. Ohio State keeper Jilian McVicker stopped the initial shot by Jester, but the rebound was throttled home by Landis right up the middle with pace for the lead.
Just three minutes later, Kentucky scored again to double its lead, as Gilliland picked up the game-winning goal in the 54th minute. Gilliland won a tackle at the midfield stripe, and then had a clear 50-yard path to the net. Gilliland took advantage of the Buckeyes’ high back line and then slotted the ball far post to collect the 2-0 lead.
After Kentucky then put numbers behind the ball, the Buckeyes responded to make it 2-1 in the 73rd minute on Nichelle Prince’s 13th goal of the season. Prince got the ball off a near-side run from Lindsay Agnew and then took a few touches at the top of the box. After beating her defender, she turned and faced, launching a ball past Kayla King for the goal.
Just three minutes later, Zoe Swift put the game on ice, scoring for the ninth time in 2013 and giving Kentucky the 3-1 lead in the 76th minute. Swift had a give-and-go with Gilliland from 40 yards out, and again took advantage of a high back line, leaving a lot of space between Swift and the keeper. Swift took a few touches towards goal and then stuck the shot to the right and far post, for the 3-1 lead.
Kentucky would control pace and possession, running out the clock on the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament win.
Overall in the game, Kentucky tallied 26 shots to Ohio State’s nine, eight corner kicks to OSU’s one, and only forced keeper Kayla King to make three saves.
Kentucky now leads the series with Ohio State 5-0-1 and are 4-0-0 all-time at the UK Soccer Complex. Friday night marked the first time that fans were able to sit in the newly-renovated UK Soccer Complex, as 984 fans turned out for the match.
With the win, Kentucky advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. The Wildcats face the winner of No. 2 UCLA and San Diego State (Friday – 10:30 p.m. ET). If UCLA were to advance, the match would be played in Los Angeles, Calif.
“Everyone is involved and everyone is special,” Lipsitz said. “One of the more special moments of the game is when there was a minute left and I walked down and pointed to the players that were on the other side of the fence and said, ‘Open up that gate and get ready because you are running onto this field. We couldn’t have done it without you.’ Those are special moments for us when we get to be a family and it is special to see all of your hard work realized with how well we played today.”
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, and updated NCAA Tournament information, log on to UKathletics.com.