LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Louisville women’s soccer team defeated Kentucky 3-1 in the Battle of the Bluegrass on wet and rainy Friday Night at the Bell Soccer Complex. Freshman Emina Ekic scored two goals to lead the Cardinals to the fourth win of the season.
“It’s always a hard fought battle when the Cardinals and the Wildcats play,” said head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. “Certainly very happy with our performance from start to finish. Now we focus on SEMO.”
The first half started out even, both teams looking to generate some offense. Kentucky had the first chance in the fourth minute off a free kick from just outside the box, but the Cardinals’ defensive wall blocked the shot. The Cardinals possessed the ball the majority of the time after a corner kick in the ninth minute. Price’s header off the kick went high.
The Wildcats regained control with a breakaway but the Louisville defense stopped it just inside the box and regained possession. Ekic had shots on goal in the 14th and 15th minute but both were saved by Kentucky keeper Evangeline Soucie. Brooklynn Rivers had a breakaway but Soucie made the save again in the 19th minute.
Louisville was awarded a free kick just outside the box and Ekic scored a beautiful goal to put the Cardinals up 1-0 with 20:23 on the clock. In the 32nd minute Callie McKinney took a shot off a corner kick but hit the post, Ekic took the rebound and it was blocked then Inger Katrine Bjerke took that rebound and it was blocked as well.
Ekic took a corner kick in the 42nd minute and placed it to Price who slipped it past the keeper for a 2-0 Louisville lead. The Cardinals finished the first half with an 8-3 shot advantage and a 4-0 corner kick advantage.
The Cardinals possessed the ball early in the second half. Kaela Dickerman had her shot hit the crossbar in the 51st minute and Mollie Rouse‘s shot off the rebound went wide. Rivers had a shot hit the post and Ekic gathered the rebound and blasted a shot past the keeper for a 3-0 lead in the 55th minute.
The Kentucky offense pressed forward looking for the first goal of the match. They had several chances in a five minute span that paid off in the 77th minute with a corner kick. Gabby Kouzelous went up for the grab and fell while UK’s Miranda Jimenez took advantage slipping the ball over the line.
Kentucky had another chance in the 80th minute but Kouzelos made the grab for the save. The Cardinal defense kept the Wildcats at bay, securing the 3-1 win.
Louisville finished the match with a 17-10 shot advantage and an 8-3 corner kick advantage. Kouzelos finished with one save while Kentucky finished with four. The Cardinals also continued their five game streak of not giving up a goal in the first half.