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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 18th – 24th. 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 (1-2-4, 7th in the ASUN at 0-1-1)

Bellarmine 2 Lipscomb 3

Late Collapse Costs Bellarmine in 3-2 Loss to Lipscomb 

The Bellarmine men’s soccer team suffered an absolutely crushing defeat on Saturday night, surrendering three goals in the final 13 minutes to fall 3-2 against defending ASUN champion Lipscomb at home. The Knights controlled much of the match and held a commanding 2-0 lead late into the second half. Goals from Brock Pope and Jack Fischer had Bellarmine on the cusp of a signature win. But Lipscomb, owners of the ASUN’s top offense, rallied in the closing minutes. George Macready cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 77th minute. William Bryan then equalized in the 85th to stun the crowd. And the final blow came with just seconds left, as Tyrese Spicer won it for the Bisons after Bellarmine failed to clear the box.

The dramatic turn of events ruined what was shaping up to be a statement victory for the Knights. Instead, they again have to pick themselves up off the mat. Bellarmine’s journey continues Tuesday at IUPUI as they look to recover from this disappointing defeat. With conference play just beginning, their championship dreams certainly aren’t dashed. But closing out games is crucial, a lesson learned the hard way.

Women (3-4-4, 10th in the ASUN at 0-2-2)

Bellarmine 0 Kennesaw State 0

Knights Blank Kennesaw State for First ASUN Shutout

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team secured its first conference shutout Thursday, playing Kennesaw State to a 0-0 draw on the road. Led by goalkeepers Cambria Kingman and Shelby Smith, the Knights’ defense stifled the Owls attack. Each keeper made two saves in their half of action. Bellarmine had a couple of prime scoring chances, including a rocket by Emma Nicholson that struck the crossbar in the waning moments.  Earlier, Clara Spurlock was denied on a breakaway by a diving stop from Kennesaw’s Allanah Blye. Despite being outshot 10-4, the Knights back line held firm to earn a critical point in the ASUN standings via the clean sheet.

Still seeking its first DI conference victory, Bellarmine showed resilience after a slow start to league play. With their defense now locking in, the Knights next look to awaken their offense. 

Bellarmine 0 Queens University of Charlotte 0

Defense Reigns as Knights Blank Queens on Road 

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team played stingy defense once again Sunday, earning a 0-0 draw at Queens in ASUN action. Led by goalkeepers Cambria Kingman and Shelby Smith, the Knights notched their second straight shutout. It was a defensive battle throughout, with Queens holding an 8-2 edge in shots. But Bellarmine stayed organized and didn’t allow any breakthroughs. The stalemate provides the Knights their fourth shutout this year, highlighting defensive strength as a backbone.

Still seeking that elusive first DI conference victory, Bellarmine gained a road point and momentum entering a crucial home tilt.  The Knights will look to awaken their offense Thursday when Jacksonville visits, trying to translate their sturdy defending into ASUN success. With the defense now firing on all cylinders, Bellarmine appears poised to start converting draws into wins.

Eastern Kentucky (3-6-2, 2-1-1 in the ASUN)

EKU 0 at Queens 0

The Colonels continue their dominating defensive ways over the Royals of Queens in a 0-0 draw on Thursday afternoon to start off their conference road trip on the right foot.

While being unlucky in not finding the back of the net, EKU dominated this match on both sides of the ball from start to finish. Defensively, they held Queens to only 2 shots on target, and 6 total shots in the match while allowing only 2 corners and being more disciplined picking up less fouls. The attack certainly did everything in their power to get a much needed goal, firing off 14 shots with 6 on target and sending in 4 corner kicks.

The Colonels look to be gaining momentum after a rough non-conference schedule, are they going to be a dark horse for the ASUN crown?

EKU 3 at Kennesaw State 1

The Colonels took out their offensive frustrations on the Owls of Kennesaw in their 3-1 drilling of them on Sunday afternoon. The result brings EKU to a 3 match unbeaten run and brings them up to 5th in the ASUN standings.

3 different Colonels would score in the effort, all with their first goals of the year. After the Owls got on the board first in the 18th minute, senior defender/forward Maia Ransom (Fairlawn, Ohio) would equalize in the 38th minute with help from Kaia Griffin and Gretta Gunn to send the match tied going into the half. The 2nd half would be all Colonels, with freshman Italian midfielder Chiara Premoli breaking the tie in the 53rd minute off assists from Sophie MacAlpine and Kaitlyn Rowlett, before Gunn (junior forward from West Chester, Ohio) would cap off the scoring in the 65th minute unassisted. Let’s not forget about the defense, who while surrendering a goal, did not allow another shot on target the entire game and continued to show their discipline by committing only 8 fouls; 5 less than the Owls.

The Colonels host 2 conference foes this week. First, they will face North Florida on Thursday, September 28th at 4 pm EST/3 pm CST before they take on Jacksonville on Sunday, October 1st at 12 pm EST/11 am CST.

Kentucky

Men (3-5-0, 0-2-0 in the Sun Belt)

UK 0 at Ohio State 3

The Cats got shutout for the 2nd straight match in their 3-0 beating from Ohio State. The result is the 2nd straight loss for the once National Champion hopefuls as they also dropped out of the top 25 this week.

Very few notes from this match, as the Cats were dominated on both sides of the ball with their offensive struggles continuing after only getting off 3 shots on target. One note of positivity is that they only committed 3 fouls, but one could argue that is from a lack of passion and desire to win, then from UK being disciplined. Casper Mols did pick up 5 saves, but still allowed 3 goals in the span of 13 minutes early in the 2nd half.

I think it is safe to say that the Wildcats have lost all the magic from last year, and will be looking to lean heavily on younger players for the rest of the season to get experience for next year.

UK 0 at Old Dominion 1

For the 3rd time in 3 straight matches, the Wildcats have been shutout after falling 1-0 to Old Dominion on the road Sunday night. The result extends the Cats losing streak to 3 matches as they remain winless in the Sun Belt.

UK does have some hope coming out of this one, as they dominated the game on the attacking side with 10 shots (4 on target) and 10 corners but they can still not find the back of the net no matter how hard they try. The defense put in a strong effort, only allowing 2 shots on goal, but soccer is a cruel game and Old Dominion only needed 1, which they got in the 53rd minute.

The Cats will look to bounce back Friday, September 29th as the host the Knights of Central Florida at 5 pm EST/4 pm CST.

Women (6-0-4, 0-0-3 in the SEC)

UK 0 vs #7 South Carolina 0

The Cats remained unbeaten on the year as they battled to a 0-0 draw against the 7th best team in the country when they hosted South Carolina on Thursday.

Once again the defense has shown how dominant it can be, as they held South Carolina to 0 shots for the WHOLE MATCH. That is right, the #7 teams in the country could not fire off a single shot in 90 minutes against the Wildcats and only had 1 corner kick. The attack for the Cats did the best they could with 6 shots on target and 6 corners but the Gamecocks were not about to be dominated on both sides of the ball.

UK 1 at Florida 1

A little more exciting match then the one on Thursday, as the Wildcats have now tied all 3 of their SEC matches on the year, but extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches.

The Gators would get on the board first in the 37th minute and hold that lead for nearly 30 minutes before Maya Lacognato would net the equalizer in the 65th minute with help from Rhodes and Strickland. The defense put in another dominating performance by forcing 8 out of the Gators 11 shots to be off target and holding them to just 1 corner kick. 

The Cats will be looking for their first conference win as they host the Crimson Tide from Alabama on Friday, September 29th at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST.

Louisville

Men (6-1-1, 2nd in the ACC Atlantic Division at 1-1-1)

#10 UofL 2 Evansville 0

No. 10 Louisville Bounces Back with 2-0 Win at Evansville

The 10th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team returned to the win column on Tuesday night, defeating Evansville 2-0 on the road. The Cardinals scored twice in the second half to secure the victory.

It was a tight defensive battle for much of the match, with both sides struggling to create dangerous chances. The game remained scoreless deep into the second half before Louisville finally broke through. Freshman Ethan Subachan put the Cardinals on the board first in the 79th minute, finishing off a cross from Quinton Elliot. Subachan went top shelf for his second goal of the season at a critical time. Louisville then iced the game in the closing seconds when Damien Barker John drew a penalty kick, which he converted himself to make it 2-0. Goalkeeper Alex Svetanoff was solid once again for the Cardinals, recording his fourth shutout of the campaign with five saves. 

The win snapped a two-match winless streak for Louisville after suffering their first loss of the season last time out against Virginia Tech.  Head coach John Michael Hayden had to be pleased with his team’s response to get back on track with a gritty road victory. The Cardinals were resilient defensively and capitalized on their opportunities late. The result moves Louisville’s record to 5-1-1 after the hiccup against Virginia Tech, the Cardinals appear to have regained their form just in time for conference play to heat up.

#10 UofL 5 NC State 2

Cardinals Races Past Wolfpack for First ACC Win

The 10th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team secured their first conference victory on Sunday night, knocking off NC State 5-2 at home. The Cardinals’ offense came alive in the first half, netting four goals to set the tone.

Louisville was on the front foot right away, taking the lead in the 13th minute on a Josh Jones header off a free kick. The Cardinals kept rolling with Damien Barker John, Sander Roed, and Barker John again finding the net over the next 23 minutes. Barker John finished with two goals on the night, his best performance since joining Louisville. Meanwhile, Roed added his second tally of the campaign. The four first-half goals were the most for Louisville in a half against an ACC foe since 2017. It also gave the Cardinals a comfortable cushion to work with the rest of the way.

NC State finally got on the board in the second half but Louisville had already done its damage. The 5 goals were the Cardinals’ highest output in a match this season.

After suffering their first loss last time out, head coach John Michael Hayden had to be thrilled with the response. Louisville put together a complete 90-minute effort befitting of a Top 10 squad. At 6-1-1 overall and 1-1-1 in conference, the Cardinals will look to build on this momentum going forward. Up next is a Friday night road tilt against Virginia before returning home to face Boston College.

Women (2-5-4, 9th in the ACC at 1-1-1)

UofL 3 Pitt 2

Cards Offense Comes Alive in 3-2 Win Over Pitt

The Louisville women’s soccer team picked up their biggest win of the season on Thursday night, defeating Pitt 3-2 at home. The Cardinals attack stole the show, tying a season-high with three goals against the Panthers. Emma Hiscock opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a curling left-footed shot from distance for her first goal of the year. It remained 1-0 Louisville at halftime. In the second half, Emerson Jennings volleyed home a cross in the 58th minute to make it 2-0 Cardinals. After Pitt converted a penalty to cut it to 2-1, Louisville responded just one minute later when Mackenzie Geigle finished off a cross for her first career goal.

Pitt would add another late goal but could not complete the comeback. Louisville’s three-goal outburst was an encouraging sign from an offense that has struggled to score consistently this season.

Riding a three-match unbeaten streak, the Cardinals seem to be finding their form entering ACC play. The offensive momentum will be key for Louisville for the rest of the season. If Hiscock, Jennings, Geigle, and others can build on this performance, the Cardinals should continue climbing the conference standings.

UofL 0 Miami 1

Last-Second Goal Hands Cardinals Road Defeat

The Louisville women’s soccer team suffered an agonizing 1-0 loss at Miami on Sunday, conceding the game-winning goal with just two seconds left. The last-gasp defeat was a tough result for the Cardinals against the Hurricanes.

Louisville and Miami were deadlocked at 0-0 for most of the match. The Cardinals had the better run of play and chance creation throughout, but could not find the breakthrough. In the 60th minute, it appeared Louisville took the lead when Mackenzie Geigle finished off a scramble in the box. But the goal was disallowed after a foul call.

As time wound down, the game looked set for a draw. But Miami found the dramatic winner when Reese Wheeler converted at the death to steal the victory. While the loss was surely disappointing, Louisville can take some positives from their control of the match. If they continue improving in the final third, results should follow.

The Cardinals will quickly need to rebound with a tough road test looming next weekend at Notre Dame. Louisville has proven they can compete with top ACC teams, but now must find ways to get over the hump in conference play.

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

Morehead St. 2 vs. UT Martin 0

The Eagles continued flying high on Thursday as they blasted UT Martin 2-0 for their 2nd straight shutout win and their first win at home on the year.

Morehead would get a goal right before the end of each half, with both goal scorers netting their first goals of the year. Senior midfielder Sidney Palla (Apollo, PA) would open the scoring off an assist from Erin Fite in the 41st minute and then 5th year defender Sarah Faloon (Macomb, MI) would put the cherry on top to a dominating performance in the 82nd minute with help from Hannah Burke. Erin Gibbs would continue to be the Eagles shining star, making 5 saves in the match.

Morehead 0 vs Western Illinois 0

The Eagles extended their unbeaten run to 4 matches, as they picked up their 3rd straight shutout in the 0-0 draw against Western Illinois on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles currently sit in 3rd in the OVC standings.

Morehead would dominate this match from start to finish with their attack launching 24 shots (only 5 on target) on the Bulldogs while the defense only allowed 1 shot on target (which was saved by Gibbs) and 0 corners the entire match. The Eagles seem to be hitting their stride in conference play, and they just might get their first winning season in nearly a decade if they keep it up.

Can they keep the momentum rolling on the road on Thursday against Eastern Illinois at 2 pm EST/1 pm CST and at Southern Indiana on Sunday at 2 pm EST/1 pm CST. Both opponents do sit below the Eagles in the OVC.

Murray State (2-6-2, 7th in the MVC at 0-0-2)

Murray State 0 Belmont 0

Racers Battle to Second Straight Scoreless Draw

The Murray State women’s soccer team played to their second consecutive 0-0 draw on the road against Belmont on Thursday night. The Racers generated ample scoring chances, outshooting the Bruins 12-6. Mary Hardy led the effort with 6 shots, 4 on goal, but Murray State could not find the finishing touch.

Belmont’s goalkeeper made some key saves to keep the Racers off the scoreboard. On the other end, freshman keeper Griselda Revolorio recorded her second straight shutout, making 4 saves.

Coach Matt Lodge has to be encouraged by his team’s attacking play, which has improved after early season struggles. However, the Racers must start converting opportunities into goals as they move deeper into the conference schedule.

Earning back-to-back draws against Belmont and reigning MVC champ Missouri State shows Murray State can go toe-to-toe with any conference foe. The challenge now will be turning those one-point results into three points by striking first and maintaining leads. Murray State is still seeking more ruthless finishing but seems to be rounding into form.

Murray State 0 Evansville 0

Racers Battle to Scoreless Stalemate With Evansville

The Murray State women’s soccer team played to their third straight draw on Sunday, finishing 0-0 at home against Evansville. The Racers controlled the tempo, outshooting the Purple Aces 12-10 overall and 7-3 in the second half. But Murray State was unable to break through for a goal. Sydney Etter led the offensive charge with 4 shots, 2 on target. However, Evansville’s goalkeeper kept the Racers off the scoreboard with some key saves.

On the other end, freshman keeper Griselda Revolorio continued her strong play, recording her third consecutive shutout. She made 2 saves to preserve the clean sheet. While the Racers have shown improvement in generating chances, converting those opportunities into goals continues to be an issue. Murray State will need to find more ruthlessness in the final third as conference play progresses.

However, starting MVC play with 3 straight draws demonstrates the Racers can compete with anyone in the conference. Coach Matt Lodge will hope his team can turn those stalemates into wins during their upcoming road-heavy schedule.

Murray State remains undefeated, if still winless, in league play heading into a tough test at UIC on Thursday.

Northern Kentucky

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

NKU 2 vs Southern Indiana 3

The Norse fall again in another shootout on the road at Southern Indiana in their Tuesday night clash. The result did not affect their conference record.

The Eagles of Southern Indiana would get on the board first, building a 2 goal lead with goals in the 43rd and 54th minutes, but the Norse would battle back getting 2 goals within 5 minutes of each other to equalize the match with 15 minutes to go. Freshmen wingback Rashad Suhaiba would bag his 1st goal of the year in the 70th minute, followed by junior midfielder Simon Knuewe getting his 2nd in the 75th off an assist by Hegge. However, the draw was not to be as the Eagles netted the game winner in the 78th minute while down to only 10 men after receiving a red card in the 55th minute.

NKU 0 vs Detroit Mercy 1

The Norse rough week would continue as they fell 1-0 at home against conference opponent Detroit Mercy on Saturday night in another match that they dominated on paper, but could not take home.

The Titans would get the lone goal of the match in the 71st minute, but the Norse would be the better team on the night, forcing the Titans keeper to make 5 saves with 14 total shots and 6 corners. NKU’s defense would continue to be strong as they allowed only 3 shots on target and 2 corners.

The Norse will hopefully bounce back at home against Western Illinois on Tuesday at 6 pm EST/5 pm CST before they head up to Cleveland to face conference foe Cleveland State on Saturday at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST.

Women (3-2-6, 0-3-1 in the Horizon)

NKU 1 at Oakland 1

The Norse bounced back from their only loss in Youngstown to tie on the road 1-1 against the Grizzlies of Oakland in heartbreaking fashion.

NKU would get the 1st goal of the match when Shay Shipley dropped it off to Erykah Cornett, who netted her 2nd goal of the year in the 71st minute. Sadly, the Griz would get the equalizer with just 3 minutes remaining in the 88th minute. The match was a tightly fought affair with both sides controlling points of the match, NKU did take 6 corner kicks to Oakland’s 2 but could not find that insurance goal. Kowalski made 3 saves on the night.

NKU 0 vs Purdue Fort Wayne 0

The Norse would have another heartbreaking draw on Sunday afternoon as they could not find the back of the net in their 0-0 draw to the Mastodons of Purdue Fort Wayne.

NKU would dominate both sides of the ball, with the attack forcing the Mastodons’ keeper to make 9 saves in the match, and the defense holding PFW to just 2 shots on target, both saved by Kowalski. NKU needs to find a way to start finishing corners, as they had 9 corners in this match, and still walked away with 0 goals.

They will have a tough task ahead, but do have all week to prepare, as they face the #1 team in the Horizon League in Milwaukee on Saturday at home at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST.

Western Kentucky (2-2-6, 4th in the CUSA at 1-0-1)

WKU 1 Jacksonville State 1

 Lady Toppers Settle for Draw at Jacksonville State

The WKU women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 draw at Jacksonville State on Sunday afternoon in a Conference USA matchup. The Lady Toppers struck first when Rebecca Roth set up Katie Erwin for a goal in the 77th minute. It was Erwin’s fifth tally of the season. But Jacksonville State equalized late, scoring with under a minute remaining to salvage the draw. 

It was a heartbreaking result for WKU after they took the lead late. The Lady Toppers had some good attacking chances, outshooting Jacksonville State 9-7. But WKU couldn’t add an insurance goal and paid the price when the Gamecocks found the late equalizer.

WKU moves to 2-2-6 overall and 1-0-1 in C-USA action. The Lady Toppers will need to regroup quickly before returning home to host FIU on Friday night. Though disappointed to give away two points, WKU can take positives from Erwin’s continued goal-scoring form. But the team needs others to step up and convert chances to avoid more late heartbreak going forward.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

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