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Kentucky Soccer Roundup: Thrills, Draws, and Dominance in the Commonwealth’s Collegiate Clash

Hello, and welcome to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Soccer Recap for the week of September 11th – 17th. This is a weekly recap that will recap all Division 1 soccer programs, in the beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky, matches from the previous week with some small bits of analysis in there. 

For coverage on the college programs that are NCAA D2/D3, NAIA, or NCCAA, please check out our weekly score report. Note: The BGSC College Cup is a competition for all levels to see who is the best (men or women) college soccer program in the state.

Now, let’s check in on how Kentucky’s big dogs did this past week –

Please note that we would love to give in-depth analysis of all matches but we are just 3 freelancers doing our best to give coverage to all things soccer in our beloved Commonwealth. Records are presented in (Win-Loss-Draw) format.

Bellarmine

Men (1-1-4)

Bellarmine 1 Central Arkansas 1

Bellarmine and Central Arkansas Battle to 1-1 Stalemate in ASUN Opener

The Bellarmine men’s soccer team opened ASUN conference play on Saturday night, exchanging first-half goals with Central Arkansas in a tightly contested 1-1 draw on the road. The Knights struck first in the 17th minute when senior defender Brock Pope finished a cross from sophomore Ben Griffis to grab a 1-0 advantage. But Central Arkansas equalized in the 34th minute thanks to some nifty passing that set up Andres Robles for the finish, knotting the score at 1 heading into halftime.

The second half saw both squads generate chances but ultimately unable to break the deadlock. The Knights had a couple of dangerous rebounds that nearly led to a go-ahead goal. Meanwhile, Central Arkansas missed a penalty kick in the 73rd minute that could have been the difference.

In the end, Bellarmine had to settle for a point in this conference road battle. But Chastonay focused on the positives as the team continued gaining experience. The Knights’ journey continues Saturday at home against defending ASUN regular season champion Lipscomb in a crucial early-season conference showdown.

Women (3-3-2)

Bellarmine 1 Austin Peay 2

Late Rally Attempt By The Knights Falls Short in ASUN Opener at Austin Peay

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team dropped its ASUN opener 2-1 at Austin Peay on Thursday after a late comeback bid came up just short. Austin Peay built a 2-0 lead on goals in each half before Bellarmine got on the board in the 75th minute. Freshman Rachel Skyberg cut the deficit to 2-1 with a rifle from 20 yards that dinged in off the crossbar. The Knights nearly equalized in the waning moments but a sprawling save by Austin Peay’s Katie Bahn on senior Brielle Heuglin preserved the win for the Lady Govs. Despite 13 shots and a 9-6 edge in shots on goal, Bellarmine couldn’t overcome the early two-goal hole in conference play.

Skyberg’s second tally of the year provided a bright spot on a tough night. With aspirations of contending in the ASUN, Bellarmine needs to find its finishing touch. The Knights remain in search of their first DI conference victory. They will aim to quickly rebound when Lipscomb visits on Sunday.

Bellarmine 0 Lipscomb 0

Early Onslaught Stifles Knights in Loss to Lipscomb

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team found itself in an early hole Sunday and couldn’t recover, falling 2-0 at home to ASUN favorite Lipscomb. The Bisons struck just two minutes in on a goal by Lucy Ream. Reigning conference Player of the Year Kelli Beiler then made it 2-0 three minutes later off an assist from Ream. That quick barrage was all Lipscomb needed, displaying the offensive firepower that makes them the ASUN front-runner. 

To their credit, the Knights held strong defensively after the shaky start, keeping Lipscomb off the board for the final 86 minutes. But the early damage was done, as Bellarmine failed to generate any momentum and managed just one shot on goal all day. The loss dropped the Knights to 0-2 in their maiden ASUN campaign. They’ll look to turn the page Thursday at Kennesaw State.

While Lipscomb lived up to its billing, Bellarmine gained exposure against an elite conference foe. With improvement, the Knights’ day to contend may still come.

Eastern Kentucky (2-6-1, 1-1 in the ASUN)

EKU 0 at Lipscomb 1

The Colonels losing streak was extended down in Nashville when they fell 1-0 to Lipscomb on Thursday in their first ASUN conference match of the season. The result extended the Colonel’s losing and scoreless streaks to 3 matches.

As noted above, the Colonels have been struggling to find an attack as of late, managing only 2 shots on target in this match. The lack of attacking appears to have boiled into some frustration as EKU committed 13 fouls while picking up both of the matches 2 yellow cards. Marah Krick does continue to be solid in net for EKU, logging 4 saves in the effort with the backline being even more solid by sending 10 shots off target.

Lipscomb is one of the better teams in the conference, finishing 2nd behind Liberty (who have since left the conference) in the regular season last year. So, while not a fully positive result, the match could be proof that the tough non-conference schedule that the Colonels staff picked for this year is paying off.

EKU 1 vs. Austin Peay 0

The Colonels took out 3 straight matches of anger on the Governors of Austin Peay in their 1-0 win on Sunday afternoon. The results ended EKU’s 3 match losing and scoreless streaks.

Freshman winger Paula Herranz (Madrid, Spain) would be the hero on the afternoon for the Colonels as they continue to rely on freshman to find the back of the net. Herranz would bag the lone goal of the match very early in the 5th minute of the match with Mackenzie Burdick picking up the assist in the effort. The Colonels defense would once again shine in this match, holding the Govs to only 2 shots on target and just 1 corner kick. EKU’s strength is heavily with their backline, and if they are able to find some dangerous attacking threat, then they could be a dark horse in the ASUN.

The Colonel’s will travel for both their matches this week, first traveling out to Charlotte to face Queens on Thursday, September 21st at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST before going down to Georgia to take on Kennesaw State on Sunday, September 24th at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST.

Kentucky

Men (3-3-0, 0-1-0 in the Sun Belt)

#24 UK 0 vs. South Carolina 1

The Wildcats fell in the unofficial SEC Championship game on Friday night being shut out for the 2nd time this year. The 1-0 result also starts the Cats on the wrong foot in their double conference title defense.

Carolina would get their lone goal in the 27th minute, and would basically park the bus from that point on. Kentucky would manage to launch 4 shots on target with 10 total shots in the match while picking up 8 corners. The attacking struggles continue to the Wildcats as they have slowly began their drop out of the top 25, which I expect them to fully fall out of by Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats travel up to Columbus to face Ohio State on Thursday, September 21st at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST before returning to conference play on the road in Virginia against Old Dominion on Sunday, September 24th at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST.

Women (6-0-2, 0-0-1 in the SEC)

UK 1 at Texas A&M 1

The Cats traveled down to College Station to kickoff conference play on Friday night, escaping with a 1-1 draw against the Aggies. The result ends the Cats 4 match winning and shutout streak, but extends their unbeaten run to 8 matches.

Rhodes would end her streak of 2 matches without a goal when she netted her 7th goal on the year in the 40th minute, but sadly the lead was not to be as the Aggies equalized right before the half in the 44th minute. The Cats would dominate the game in the 2nd half, forcing the Aggies defense to step up and maintain the level score. The Cats were not able to breakthrough, but the result is a positive one as they had struggles mightily against SEC competition last year.

The Cats will host their first SEC opponent of the year in South Carolina on Thursday, September 21st at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST before traveling down to Florida to take on the Gators on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm EST/1 pm CST.

Louisville

Men (4-1-1, 0-1-1 in ACC)

#5 UofL 1 VaTech 2

No. 5 Louisville Suffers First Loss in Shocking Upset by Virginia Tech

The 5th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday night, falling 2-1 at home to Virginia Tech in shocking fashion. The Cardinals got off to a fast start when Quinton Elliot scored just six minutes into the match. However, Virginia Tech took control from there and Louisville never regained their footing.

The Hokies outshot Louisville 18-10 overall, consistently applying pressure. Virginia Tech found the equalizer late in the first half, then capitalized on a Cardinal turnover to score the game-winner with just two minutes remaining.

It was a stunning upset for Louisville, who entered the match undefeated at 4-0-1. The Cardinals were in the driver’s seat early but failed to sustain their energy and focus for a full 90 minutes. The loss was a tough one for head coach John Michael Hayden and his squad to swallow. But it also serves notice that there are no easy nights in the gauntlet that is ACC play. The conference figures to be ultra-competitive this fall, with six ACC teams currently ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll. Louisville found that out the hard way against a resilient Virginia Tech group.

The Cardinals will need to regroup quickly as they hit the road to face Evansville next in a competitive non conference match. The sting of this defeat should serve as motivation for Louisville to get back on track. While the loss is certainly disappointing, one match does not make or break a season. Louisville still has their sights set on contending for an ACC championship. But Friday’s result reinforces just how hard that task will be.

Women (1-4-4)

UofL 1 #20 UVA 1

Roberts Goal Earns Draw with No. 20 Virginia

The Louisville women’s soccer team picked up their first-ever point against Virginia on Saturday night, battling the 20th-ranked Cavaliers to a 1-1 home draw. The point could prove pivotal as the Cardinals look to turn around their season in ACC play.

After a scoreless first half, Louisville struck first in the 58th minute. Lucy Roberts finished off a cross from Fiona Gaißer for her first goal as a Cardinal. It was only the third goal allowed by Virginia’s staunch defense all season. The Cardinals nearly doubled their advantage in the 69th minute, but Addie Chester’s shot was turned away by the Virginia keeper. The Cavaliers found the equalizer in the 80th minute when Meredith McDermott snuck a shot inside the right post. But Louisville held on from there to secure a critical conference point. 

While Louisville is still seeking more offensive consistency, the back line was strong behind keeper Erynn Floyd. After several near misses in non-conference play, the Cardinals showed they can go toe-to-toe with elite competition.

Louisville will look to grab their first ACC win on Thursday against Pitt at home. If the Cards can sustain this defensive focus and get increased production up top, they could begin climbing the standings soon.

Morehead State (2-4-3, 1-0 in the OVC)

Morehead St. 2 vs. UNC Asheville 2

The Eagles bounced back from their in-state loss to the Norse with a 2nd half thriller of a match in their 2-2 draw with UNC Asheville on Thursday.

The match would have very little defense, as a total of 31 shots were fired by both sides, with 14 in the first half alone. However, only 12 shots were on target, with the Eagles managing to get 8 of their 16 shots on frame. 

Senior defender Anna Lohrer (Cincinnati, Ohio) would open the scoring in the 57th minute, being assisted by Faloon and Ledin. UNC Asheville would get the equalizer in the 68th before Colleen Swift would net her 3rd goal of the year in the 80th with help from Hochstadt to give the Eagles the late lead, but UNC Asheville would again equalize with just 2 minutes left in the match.

Morehead 1 at Little Rock 0

The Eagles would finally manage to win to end their winless run at 6 matches when they traveled out to Arkansas to kickoff OVC play in their 1-0 victory.

5th year senior defender Chelsea Elmore would put the Eagles ahead just before the half in the 42nd minute with help from Swift and Fiantco. However, Gibbs and the backline would once again shine as they earned their first shutout win on the season, with Gibbs raking up 3 saves and the backline holding Little Rock to just 3 shots on target despite 9 shots and 6 corner kicks.

Morehead will host a 2 OVC matchups this week, facing UT Martin on Thursday the 21st at 4 pm EST/3 pm CST followed by Western Illinois on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST. 

Murray State (2-6-0)

Murray State 0 Missouri State 0

Racers Battle to Scoreless Stalemate with Bears

The Murray State women’s soccer team kicked off their Missouri Valley Conference schedule with a 0-0 draw against Missouri State on Sunday. 

In a rematch of last year’s conference title game, the Racers and Bears played to an even first half. The second half saw Murray State generate more chances, but neither team could break through. Mary Hardy led the Racers with 4 shots, 3 on goal, as Murray State outshot Missouri State 14-12 overall. But the Bears’ goalkeeper made some key saves to preserve the shutout. On the other end, freshman keeper Griselda Revolorio was up to the task, recording 6 saves to notch her first collegiate clean sheet. 

Coach Matt Lodge praised his team’s effort against the reigning MVC tournament champions. He felt the Racers created enough opportunities to win but was satisfied coming away with a point. Earning a draw against a talented Missouri State side is a positive result for Murray State as they kick off their conference schedule. They’ll look to build on the stalemate when they face Belmont on Thursday.

Northern Kentucky

Men (1-2-3, 1-1-0 in the Horizon)

NKU 1 at Bowling Green 2

The Norse fell on the road at Bowling Green (OH) on Tuesday 2-1, to extend their winless run to 5 matches. The result is also the 2nd straight 2-1 loss for the Norse who continue to struggle offensively.

Sam Robinson would net his 2nd goal of the year to give the Norse an early 1-0 lead in the 34th minute but Bowling Green would equalize in the 39th before netting the game winner in the 71st. Ben Hegge would assist Robinson in his effort.

NKU’s backline was a bright spot in this match despite the loss, holding Bowling Green to just 5 shots on frame out of their 17 total shots and 5 corners. The attack and discipline is where the Norse need to improve as they only managed 9 shots with only 3 on target but picked up double (15) the amount of fouls as Bowling Green (7).

NKU 3 at Oakland 0

NKU finally found their offensive spark in the 3-0 win over Oakland to earn their 1st win of the 2023 season during the critical time of conference play.

The Norse would be held scoreless until the 2nd half, and then the flood gates opened. First in the 49th minute by junior midfielder Simon Knuewe, with help from Hegge for Knuewe’s first of the year. NKU would then add their 2 insurance goals within 10 minutes of each other, first from senior transfer forward Nico Stoddart (Knuewe with the assist) in the 68th minute before Sam Robinson would grab his 3rd goal on the year, and his 2nd in as many games to cap off the dominant performance. Nic Lemen would shin between the post, making 5 saves on the night.

The Norse will travel to take on Southern Indiana on Tuesday night at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST before returning home for a Horizon League matchup against Detroit Mercy on Saturday night at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST.

Women (3-2-4, 0-1-1 in the Horizon)

NKU 1 vs. IUPUI 1

The Norse shutout streak finally came to end in their 1-1 draw against conference opponent IUPUI on Thursday night. The streak ends at 5 matches, but their unbeaten run gets extended to 7.

Freshman forward Megan Molner (St. Louis, MO) would give the Norse an early lead in the 18th minute, but the Panthers would equalize in the 25th. Both sides would have a number of chances throughout the 2nd half trying to find the game winner but both keepers stood strong with Kowalski picking up 4 saves to add to her growing total. 

The Norse will need to find some of the attacking magic they had against EKU and Morehead as they look to bounce back from their rough year last season in conference play.

NKU 1 at Youngstown State 2

NKU’s unbeaten run has finally come to an end in their 2nd conference match on the road against Youngstown. The 2-1 result is just the 2nd time all year that an opponent has scored more than 1 goal on the Norse.

The Penguins would get both their goals early in each half, with their 1st in the 16th minute and their 2nd just 3 minutes into the 2nd half in the 48th minute. The Norse would get a goal thanks to a PK from Lydia Self in the 56th minute but their comeback efforts would fall short. NKU did dominate this game offensively with 17 shots, 7 on target, and 6 corner kicks, the match was just not meant to be in their favor.

The Norse will look to bounce back on the road against Oakland on Thursday at 5:30 pm EST/4:30 pm CST before hosting Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST.

Western Kentucky (2-2-5)

WKU 3 MTSU 0

WKU Makes Statement Win Over Bitter Rivals MTSU; Could This Spark a Lady Topper Turnaround?

The WKU women’s soccer team earned a pivotal 3-0 victory over rival Middle Tennessee in their Conference USA opener on Thursday night. The emphatic win could prove to be the catalyst that turns around the Lady Toppers’ frustrating start.

Veterans Katie Erwin and Olivia Cooke powered the offense, with Erwin netting two goals and Cooke converting a penalty. It was the breakout performance WKU’s attack desperately needed. 

The Lady Topper defense was also stifling, limiting MTSU to zero first-half shots and just three after the break. Goalkeeper Maddie Davis secured her fifth shutout. After managing just one goal over their previous five matches, WKU finally showed signs of life at the perfect time against their heated conference foe.

With the rivalry win, the Lady Toppers move to 2-2-5 overall and 1-0 in C-USA action. There is now renewed hope and positivity surrounding the team. While WKU still has work to do, this result demonstrated their potential. If the veterans lead the way and the defense stays stingy, the Lady Toppers could yet make noise in conference play.

The early C-USA victory over MTSU could prove to be a turning point if WKU sustains this level. After a rocky start, brighter days may lie ahead. The Lady Toppers go again Next Sunday (Sept. 24th) at Jacksonville State.  

That wraps up this week of the Bluegrass D1 Recap, tune in all season long for updates on your favorite college teams throughout the beautiful commonwealth, and make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 

Authors

  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

  • Jimmie Martin

    Jimmie Martin is a charismatic soccer podcast host from Kentucky who passionately advocates for Promotion and Relegation in US Soccer. With infectious enthusiasm and a lighthearted sense of humor, he engages fellow enthusiasts on the Bluegrass Soccer Cast. Jimmie's goal is to promote the growth of soccer in the US while entertaining and educating his audience.

Kentucky Soccer Roundup: Thrills, Draws, and Dominance in the Commonwealth’s Collegiate Clash

#36: Women College Soccer in KY |

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