LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A pair of second half goals were enough to lift visiting Kentucky to a 2-0 win over the 12th-ranked Louisville women’s soccer team on Friday in front of a school record crowd of 3,520 at Cardinal Park for the opening day of the Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Airport Cardinal Classic.
Suffering their first loss of the season, the Cardinals dropped to 4-1-0 overall, while the Wildcats improved to 5-0-0 on the season. Friday’s game marked just the second time in the history of the series that both squads entered the rivalry game unbeaten.
“Overall, Kentucky deserved to win tonight and there’s no question about that,” said Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. “The good news is that it’s only Sept. 7 and our goals are still our goals. This game, just like it did last year and just like every game we play, will teach us a valuable lesson that we will learn from and grow from. We will be a better team from tonight’s game. I’m certainly disappointed and there are some things we will address with the players, but we’re going to be fine. We’re a very good soccer team and we have a lot of great people in this program.”
After the two teams played an energetic, but scoreless first half, Kentucky took command early in the second half when Natalie Horner connected on a header near the left side of the goal line following a corner kick from the right from Danielle Krohn. The goal for Horner was her team-leading third of the season.
Less than 20 minutes later, the Wildcats turned a scoring chance for the Cardinals into their second goal of the night to put the game out of reach. After UK was called for a foul in the penalty box in the 79th minute, Wildcats’ goalkeeper Kayla King made a diving save on a penalty kick by Louisville junior Charlyn Corral (Mexico City, Mexico/Tecnologico de Monterrey) to maintain the advantage.
Kentucky followed the save on the PK by moving the ball quickly down the field where Kelli Hubly took a cross on the right side from Arin Gilliland and beat Cardinals’ senior goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Divine Saviour HS) inside the near post for a 2-0 lead in the 80th minute. The goal for Hubly was her first of the season.
At the end of 90 minutes of action, Kentucky finished with a 19-17 advantage in shots, including a 7-6 edge in shots on-goal. The Cardinals had an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks with seven of those coming in the second half. King, who came off the bench as the Wildcats’ goalkeeper when starter Kayle Price was injured in the fourth minute, finished with six saves to record her first solo shutout of the season. Kiefer had four saves in the losing effort for Louisville.
Friday’s game included a short delay in the seventh minute after Price was injured in a collision with Louisville junior Christine Exeter (Pickering, Ont./Pickering HS) and suffered a lost tooth. Price left the game and did not return after the collision, while Exeter returned to action with her head bandaged when play resumed.
Up next, the Cardinals will conclude the Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Airport Cardinal Classic on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., ET against Toledo. The final day of the event will begin at noon with Samford, which earned a 1-0 double overtime win over Toledo on in Friday’s opener, playing Kentucky.