Strong Second Half Lifts Kentucky Past Oakland, 4-1
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind three goals in the second half, the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team posted a resounding 4-1 victory over Oakland on Sunday at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 3-1-2 on the year while the Golden Grizzlies drop to 1-5.
It was back and forth between Kentucky and Oakland at the start of the opening frame, with each team having just one attempt in the first 25 minutes of action. However, the Golden Grizzlies got on the board first in the 27th minute when Macey Wierenga’s shot from the left side landed in the bottom right corner.
Less than 10 minutes later, Kentucky found the equalizer when a cross from Gretchen Mills connected with Jordyn Rhodes at the top of the box. Slipping between a pair of Oakland defenders, Rhodes’ pass found Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir who sent a strike into the lower left corner to tie the game in the 36th minute.
Despite heading into the break locked at one apiece, the Wildcats held a 7-2 advantage over the Golden Grizzlies in shots in addition to having a 5-4 lead in corner kicks.
Kentucky was aggressive coming out of the break, firing off five shots in the first half of the second frame. The pressure placed on Oakland’s backline finally paid off in the 69th minute when Hannah Richardson ripped a shot to the upper corner — doing so from nearly 25 yards out — to give the Wildcats a one-goal advantage.
Keeping the momentum going, UK extended its lead to 3-1 in the 81st minute. Getting the ball in UK’s half, Miranda Jimenez snuck around a pair of Golden Grizzlies to send a clean pass to Rhodes in the attacking third. Rhodes then got the ball through the legs of an Oakland defender, knocking it over goalkeeper Noëmi Stadelmann and into the back of the net.
With no signs of slowing down, the Wildcats once again extended their lead in the game’s final minute. Mills dispossessed an Oakland player in good position and was able to drive forward to send a pass to Richardson at the top of the box. Kentucky was once again able to get the ball through the legs of an Oakland defender, with Richardson sending a shot to the far post for her second goal of the day.
Richardson’s two-goal effort marked the second multi-goal game of her career, the first which came on Aug. 26 against Louisiana.
Kentucky had 17 shots to Oakland’s nine at the final whistle, and Úlfarsdóttir had a game-high six shots followed by Richardson with four. Laura Nielsen concluded the match with four saves in net for the Wildcats with Stadelmann making three for the Golden Grizzlies.
The Wildcats hit the road on Thursday, Sept. 9 when they travel to Eastern Kentucky for a 7 p.m. ET matchup at the EKU Soccer Complex.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer program, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook, and on the web at UKathletics.com.