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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 October 2nd – October 8th. 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 (2-2-5, 4th in the ASUN at 1-1-1)

Bellarmine 1 IUPUI 1

Bellarmine Earns Road Point With 1-1 Draw Against IUPUI

After a heartbreaking loss in their last outing, the Bellarmine men’s soccer team displayed resiliency on Tuesday by rallying for a 1-1 draw at IUPUI. The Knights found themselves trailing in the second half after Josemir Gomez put IUPUI ahead 1-0 in the 64th minute. But Bellarmine did not panic. Instead, they kept battling and found an equalizer in the 76th minute through junior Chris Shust, who slotted home his first goal of the season off an assist from freshman Alex Halevy. The Knights were also forced to dig deep into their roster with several key players out. But their depth stepped up to help secure the stalemate.  

Bellarmine owned decisive 12-8 and 6-2 edges in overall shots and shots on goal. Their effort and energy was noticeably higher in the second half. Earning results without some top players is a promising sign for the Knights as they continue to develop their young roster.

The draw gets Bellarmine back on track following the heartbreak against Lipscomb in their last ASUN contest. They’ll look to build on the solid showing at IUPUI when they face Queens in their next conference clash on Saturday.

Bellarmine 1 Queens 0

Shust’s Last-Second Heroics Lift Bellarmine Over Queens 1-0

After heartbreak in their last outing, the Bellarmine men’s soccer team experienced jubilation on Saturday thanks to a storybook finish. Junior forward Chris Shust scored with just 4 seconds remaining to give the Knights a dramatic 1-0 road victory over Queens in ASUN play. The game-winner came off a beautiful buildup in the closing seconds. Austin Yowell initiated the play from 30 yards out, finding Brock Pope who headed across goal to a diving Shust for the winner. The clutch goal set off a wild celebration for Bellarmine and avenged the pain from last week when they conceded a crushing last-second goal to Lipscomb. 

Shust now has goals in back-to-back games as he rounds into form for the Knights. Meanwhile, the Bellarmine back line was stout, limiting Queens’ chances to preserve the shutout. Goalkeeper Matthew Brozovich came up big as well with five key saves, moving him up the program’s career shutout list.

Riding high off this storybook victory, the Knights head on the road next Saturday to face FGCU. This result should provide a major boost as Bellarmine looks to build on the signature win.

Women (4-4-5, 9th in the ASUN at 1-2-3)

Bellarmine 4 Jacksonville U 2

Offense Explodes as Knights Make History in Jacksonville Triumph

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team brought some long-awaited offensive fireworks Thursday night, setting a Division I program record with four goals in an electrifying 4-2 win over Jacksonville under the lights. Four different Knights lit the lamp, spearheaded by seniors Brielle Heuglin and Emily Passini, as the attack came alive to secure Bellarmine’s first-ever DI conference victory. Heuglin factored in two goals, including a clutch late PK, while Passini ignited the outburst by rocketing a 25-yard screamer just 13 minutes in for her first collegiate goal. Also getting in on the frenzy were Sidney Rigsby and Emma Nicholson, with Rigsby opening the scoring off a corner. It was a special night for the sophomore defenders. Despite a late Jacksonville charge, the Knights held on behind a raucous home crowd. The breakthrough win will resonate for a program making history.

After five straight road matches, Bellarmine returned home in style. Thursday showed this team’s tantalizing potential when the offense clicks. The four goals tied a D1-era record. But with confidence now soaring, the Knights expect even bigger fireworks ahead. The ASUN better be on notice—a Bellarmine attack loaded with weapons and motivation is ready to make this a season to remember.

Bellarmine 1 North Florida 1

Orozco Strike Earns Point for Knights in North Florida Draw

The Bellarmine women’s soccer team secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw against North Florida on Sunday, led by Alexa Orozco’s first half strike. Orozco headed home a corner kick in the 25th minute from freshman Sydni Whitehead, staking the Knights to a 1-0 lead despite early pressure from the Ospreys.

North Florida owned an 11-3 edge in first half shots, but keeper Cambria Kingman made six saves to help Bellarmine take a lead into halftime. The Ospreys leveled early in the second half via a penalty kick, but both sides had chances down the stretch to grab a dramatic winner. 

Lindsay Durham nearly clinched it for the Knights, but her late rip sailed just high, leaving the teams deadlocked. Earning a point against the pressing Ospreys exemplified Bellarmine’s grit. The stalemate also extended their ASUN unbeaten streak to four. With Orozco’s consistent attacking threat and Kingman’s heroics in net, the Knights continue gaining confidence.

They’ll carry positive momentum into a Thursday road tilt with Central Arkansas as they aim to translate draws into victories.

Eastern Kentucky (4-7-4, 3-2-3 in the ASUN – 4th in conference)

EKU 0 at North Alabama 0

The Colonels extended their unbeaten run to 6 matches as they secured their 3rd straight shoutout in their 0-0 draw on Thursday against the Lions of North Alabama.

As the scoreboard suggests, the match was a largely defensive affair, with 8 shots on target combined by both sides (5 for EKU and 3 for UNA). However, the EKU attack was again dangerous, forcing the Lions defense to make plays and stop them. Krick made 3 saves in the match, as she secured another shutout on the year.

The Colonels are rolling after a rough non-conference schedule as they climb up the ASUN standings.

EKU 1 at Central Arkansas 2

EKU’s unbeaten streak was snapped on Sunday after a rough 1st half and a comeback that fell just short against Central Arkansas. The match was EKU’s 2nd conference loss of the year.

The Sugar Bears got their pair of goals within 10 minutes of each other, netting the 1st in the 36th minute, and the 2nd off a PK right at the end of the half in the 45th minute. The Colonels were able to get one back in the 79th minute when Anderson set up Herranz for her 2nd goal of the year. Krick did pick up 3 more saves in this match.

The Colonels will return home to host both matchups this week. On Thursday, October 12th they will host Stetson at 4 pm EST/2 pm CST before hosting Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, October 15th at 12 pm EST/1 pm CST.

Kentucky

Men (3-6-2, 0-3-1 in the Sun Belt)

UK 1 vs. Indiana 1

The Cats finally ended their scoreless streak on Tuesday night in their 1-1 draw to fellow struggling preseason highly ranked foe Indiana. The Cats scoreless streak ends 

Women (7-0-4, 1-0-3 in the SEC)

UK 2 vs #9 Alabama 1

The United Soccer Coaches better put some respect to the Wildcats as they have yet to drop a match this season and have now a victory over a top 10 opponent for their first win in SEC play. 

The Cats star Jordyn Rhodes is now the all time scoring in program history as she netted a brace to secure the historic victory over the Tide. Rhodes would tie the record with her 8th goal on the year and 44th of her career in the 60th minute before the Tide answered right back in the 70th minute to bring the game level. Rhodes would then become UK’s all time leading scorer (men’s or women’s) with her 45th career goal when she netted the game winner for the Wildcats in the 75th minute.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will finally get some respect in the national rankings, but according to the NCAA RPI system they are only 30th in the country, so it may take some dominate wins on the road at Tennessee on Thursday, October 5th at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST and at home against Vanderbilt on Sunday at 3 pm EST/2 pm CST to get that top 25 respect.

Louisville

Men (6-2-1, 4th in the ACC Atlantic Division at 1-2-1)

#8 UofL 0 UVA 3

No. 8 Louisville Suffers Disappointing 3-0 Road Loss at Virginia 

The 8th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team hit a bump on the Road to the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, falling 3-0 at Virginia for a disappointing result. Louisville struggled to generate many dangerous chances and never seemed to find an offensive rhythm. 

Virginia controlled play from the outset and struck twice in the first half to grab a 2-0 lead. The Cavaliers added their third goal in the 71st minute to put the match out of reach as Louisville’s offense went dormant. Virginia dominated possession and outshot the Cardinals 16-7 on their way to the clean sheet.

The loss snapped a brief two-match winning streak for Louisville after rebounding from their first defeat of the season last time out against NC State. But the Cardinals took a step backward with this lackluster performance.

Head coach John Michael Hayden has to be frustrated by the team’s inability to threaten the Virginia goal. After finding the net five times last match, Louisville’s attack was missing in action.

The Cardinals will look to regroup quickly with a non-conference home match against Kansas City coming up on Monday. But this loss served as a reminder that Louisville still has plenty of room for improvement.

At 6-2-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the ACC, Louisville remains in decent shape to make the NCAA Tournament. But replicating the inconsistent offense and energy from the Virginia loss will make contending in the ACC extremely difficult. The Cardinals must get back on track if they hope to meet their lofty goals for the season. Their response to this disappointing result bears watching.

Women (2-6-4, 10th in the ACC at 1-2-1)

UofL 0 #10 Notre Dame 3

No. 10 Notre Dame Too Much for Cardinals

The Louisville women’s soccer team faced a stiff test on the road Saturday night, falling 3-0 to the 10th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The talented Irish side proved too much for the Cardinals to handle.

Notre Dame seized control early when they scored just three minutes into the match. Despite some key saves from goalkeeper Erynn Floyd, the Irish took a 1-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, Notre Dame extended their advantage with goals in the 62nd minute and 78th minute to put the game out of reach at 3-0.

While the result was disappointing, Floyd delivered an admirable performance with eight saves to keep Louisville within striking distance for a while. The Cardinals were simply overmatched against the skilled Irish side. 

Louisville will look to regroup with a two-match homestand upcoming, beginning with Florida State on Thursday. The Cardinals have proven they can compete with elite competition this season. Finding more consistency and productivity on the attack remains the missing piece.

Morehead State (3-5-5, 2-1-2 in the OVC)

Morehead St. 1 at Eastern Illinois 1

The Eagles received a gut punch in their 1-1 draw to the Panthers of Eastern Illinois on Thursday. The result extended the Eagles unbeaten run to 5 matches as they continued their strong start to conference play.

The match would be a largely defensive affair, with only 8 shots on target and 5 corner kicks combined from both teams. The Eagles would draw first blood in the 68th minute when star Colleen Swift netted her 4th goal on the year with assists from Fite and Burke. However, the gut-punch would come with just 26 seconds left in the match when the Panthers found the equalizer in the 90th minute.

The draw is the 2nd straight for the Eagles, but was the first time they surrendered a goal in 3 matches. The Eagles will need to start converting ties to wins though if they want to have a winning season.

Morehead 1 at Southern Indiana 2

The Eagles would be their own worst enemy in their 2-1 defeat to Southern Indian on Sunday afternoon. The results snaps the Eagles 5 match unbeaten run and is the first time 2 goals have snuck past the defense in 4 matches.

Morehead would technically open the scoring, when an own goal in the 25th minute would give Southern Indiana an early lead. The Screaming Eagles would add to that lead in the 67th minute before Ornberg would get one back for Morehead in the 79th minute but the comeback was not meant to be.

The Eagles still remain 2nd in the OVC and will look to bounce against Southeast Missouri at home on Sunday, October 8th at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST for their only match of the week.

Murray State (2-7-4, 9th in the MVC at 0-1-4)

Murray State 0 University of Illinois at Chicago 1

Racers’ Unbeaten Streak Ends with Narrow Loss to UIC

The Murray State women’s soccer team faced a formidable challenge when they clashed with the UIC Flames in Chicago on Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Racers couldn’t maintain their winning streak, falling to UIC with a final score of 1-0, thus ending their three-match unbeaten run.

The turning point of the match occurred in the 20th minute when UIC’s Makenna Meloy scored the game-winner. Sophia Jaime’s precision corner service set up the goal, leaving the Racers chasing the game early on.

Despite a slow start and being outshot in the first half, Murray State displayed resilience as the match progressed. By the end of the game, they managed to match UIC in shots, tallying eight each, showcasing their determination and fighting spirit.

Notable performances came from Morgan Parker, who made an impact with two shots, one on target, during her 63 minutes on the field. Kate Stordy and Hannah Carter also contributed with a shot on goal each, maintaining pressure on the UIC defense.

Impressively, almost all Murray State starters played the full 90 minutes, highlighting the team’s endurance and commitment in the face of adversity.

The Racers now shift their focus to an upcoming match against Valpo in Valparaiso, Indiana, scheduled for Sunday, October 1, at 1 p.m. CT. It presents an opportunity for Murray State to bounce back and continue their quest for success in the conference. Following this narrow loss to UIC, they’ll be eager to regain their winning form and leave their mark in the upcoming encounter with Valparaiso.

In the collegiate soccer realm, every match offers a fresh chance, and the Murray State Racers will undoubtedly seize it as they aim to climb the conference standings and pursue their championship aspirations.

Murray State 1 Valparaiso 1

Racers Earn Hard-Fought Draw Against Valpo

 The Murray State women’s soccer team battled Valparaiso to a 1-1 draw in a closely contested match at Brown Field in Valparaiso, Indiana on Sunday. The Beacons wasted no time taking the lead, finding the back of the net in the second-minute courtesy of Addy Joiner. However, the Racers swiftly responded, with Mary Hardy heading in a flick pass from Sydney Etter in the box, leveling the score just under five minutes later. This goal marked Hardy’s third of the season and Etter’s first assist.

In the first half, Murray State had opportunities to pull ahead, but an offside call nullified a shot at the end of the 24th minute. The Racers were agonizingly close to a go-ahead goal in the dying moments of the match, but once again, they were thwarted by an offside decision in the final 70 seconds.

Mary Hardy showcased her scoring prowess, placing three of her four shots on target during her 83 minutes on the pitch. Hailey Cole also demonstrated her attacking intent, taking three shots, while Etter and Reyna Mijangos added two shots each. Hannah Carter, Morgan Parker, and Megan Wilson also contributed to the offensive effort with attempts on goal.

Key players like Carter, Audrey Henry, and Morgan Bodker showcased their endurance, playing the full 90 minutes. Notably, Henry and Bodker have maintained a streak of playing the entire duration of every match this season. Griselda Revolorio, guarding the Racer’s goal, made three critical saves out of the 17 shots she faced during the 90 minutes of action.

Looking ahead, Murray State returns to their home pitch at Cutchin Field, where they will face Northern Iowa on Thursday, October 5 at 3 p.m. The Racers will aim to capitalize on their resilience from this match and secure a victory on their home turf as they continue their season.

Northern Kentucky

Men (2-5-3, 1-3-0 in the Horizon)

NKU 2 vs Western Illinois 1

The Norse would finally get their 2nd win of the year in their 2-1 victory over non-conference opponent Western Illinois on Tuesday evening.

The Leathernecks would get on the board first, scoring in the 7th minute but freshman winger Jason Purks would get his first collegiate goal to level the match at 1 all in the 18th minute. Sam Robinson would be the hero on the night for NKU, finding the back of the net in the 89th minute for the game winner. NKU would dominate the entire match, with that early goal being their only real mistake that came back to bite them.

NKU will need to bring the performance into conference play, however, as they have been struggling against Horizon league foes.

NKU 1 at Cleveland State 2

The Norse conference struggles continue as they give up an early lead to fall 2-1 on the Vikings of Cleveland State. The result is the Norse 3rd loss in 5 matches as they continue to struggle in the 2nd half defensively.

Sam Robinson would get the Norse’s sole goal right after half time in the 47th minute on a PK but Cleveland would answer quickly, equalizing in the 54th minute before delivering another gut punching late goal in the 90th minute. Late game winners by opponents have been haunting the Norse all season, even into conference play.

NKU will have a tough task ahead of them as they face #5 Akron tomorrow night on the road at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST before hosting Horizon opponent Green Bay on Saturday, October 7th at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST for Alumni/Family Day.

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

NKU 1 vs Milwaukee 3

The Norse defense finally cracked in their 3-1 loss at home on Saturday afternoon. The result is just the 3rd time this season that the Norse have allowed multiple goals, and the 1st match they have dropped with a multi goal deficit.

Kowalski would still put in a strong 5 save match despite letting in 3 goals, but the attack would be the ones to majorly struggle in this match, registering only 4 shots (3 on target) with 4 corner kicks. Senior forward Sofia Wilmes would get the lone goal for the Norse in the 65th minute for her 2nd on the year with help from Lehker but by that time Milwaukee had already built a 2 goal lead and would cap of the night in the 71st minute.

The Norse will look to bounce back on the road against Green Bay on Thursday at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST before hosting Cleveland State on Sunday at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST.

Western Kentucky (3-2-7, 5th in the CUSA at 1-0-2)

WKU 2 Chicago State 0

Lady Toppers Finding Their Form with Shutout of Chicago State 

The WKU women’s soccer team appears to be turning a corner after picking up a solid 2-0 home victory against Chicago State on Sunday afternoon. The Lady Toppers got goals in both halves and their sixth shutout of the campaign.

After a slow start to the season, WKU now sits at 3-2-7 overall and has lost just once in their last six outings as they find their form; that loss was to Purdue. 

Olivia Cooke opened the scoring by finishing off a rebound and Aspen Seaich added an insurance tally in the second half courtesy of a rocket from distance. WKU dominated the match, outshooting the Cougars by an 11-0 margin. The Lady Toppers started eight new players to get valuable experience. The rotation allowed the team to rest key veterans after a grueling non-conference slate and grinding conference opener at Jacksonville State. Goalkeeper Emma Tompkins, making her season debut, anchored the clean sheet to preserve the confidence-building result.

With contributions up and down the roster, WKU appears to have turned the corner. They’ll look to sustain momentum when conference play resumes next week on the road against UTEP. After early struggles, the Lady Toppers are hitting their stride at the perfect time as they vie for a Conference USA title.


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

#40: Finally we got things sorted out

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