Kentucky Settles for 1-1 Draw vs. Valparaiso
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s soccer (2-0-1, 0-0-0 SEC), erased an early deficit but was unable to find a go-ahead goal, drawing the visiting Valparaiso Beacons (2-1-1, 0-0-0 MVC), 1-1, on Sunday afternoon at the Bell Soccer Complex.
Jordyn Rhodes scored for the third-consecutive game, netting her fourth goal of the 2023 season and the 40th of her collegiate career. She is now just four goals shy of Kim LaBelle for the most goals scored in program history.
Valparaiso struck first in the 20th minute, putting Kentucky behind for the first time this season when forward Addy Joiner connected from 18-yards out with a curling right-footed shot into the top right corner.
The Cats mustered an equalizer less than 10 minutes later when Rhodes headed home the tying goal in the 29th minute. Kentucky freshman Grace Hoytink collected a Beacons’ turnover just past midfield and fed a pass to the right corner flag for Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir. Úlfarsdóttir one-timed a right-footed cross into the box, where Rhodes directed a powerful header off the hands of the Valparaiso keeper and into the back of the net. The assists for Úlfarsdóttir and Hoytink were the firsts of the season for both players and gave the freshman Hoytink the first point of collegiate career.
As the first half wound down, Úlfarsdóttir peppered her first two shots on frame of the season, but the teams ultimately remained even heading to the break.
The lone shot on frame in the second half came off the left-foot of Kentucky’s Grace Phillpotts in the 80th minute. The senior defender blasted a shot from beyond the 18-yard box which forced a leaping save from the 2022 MVC Goalkeeper of the Year, Nikki Coryell. In the 84th minute, Valpo’s Allie Anderson was sent off on a red card after she denied a goal-scoring opportunity by taking down Kentucky’s Maya Lacognato on a potential breakaway.
For the match, the Beacons were issued five yellow cards and one red card. Kentucky led in shots (17-1), shots on goal (4-1) and corners (8-0).
The Wildcats are back in action this Thursday, Aug. 31, when they take on UT Martin for a 7:30 p.m. match back at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.