#Women College

Overhauled Wildcats look to bounce back in 2023

Enter his 2nd season as head coach; Troy Fabiano has overhauled the 2023 UK Women’s Soccer roster from last season – a squad that went 7-9-2 but was winless in SEC play, going 0-8-2. The 2023 Wildcats are returning just 10 out of 32 players from the 2022 squad – a squad that had 22 players that were freshmen through juniors. 

Coach Fabiano is going for an improvement in conference play this year. As noted above, his side did not win a single game in SEC play in his first season in Lexington, and he hopefully has done that with the 25 new players that he has brought into the squad with 11 freshmen, 4 graduate transfers, and 10 transfers. 

Among the returners are notable stables junior goalkeeper Tallulah Miller (who logged 3 clean sheets and a GAA of 1.35), sophomore midfielder Mallory Glass (who led the team in minutes as a freshman), graduate student defender Maggy Henschler (who started in all 17 games she played), and senior midfielder Anna Young (who appeared in all 18 games for the Wildcats). Both leading goal scorers for the Wildcats last season, senior midfielder Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir and graduate student forward Jordyn Rhodes, who logged 6 goals last year.

The other returners are junior defender Dana Dahm, sophomore defender Maddie Eastman, senior defender Hadley Williams, and graduate student forward Lesley Kiesling. 

A majority of the fresh faces for the Wildcats appear on the defensive side, with 10 new defenders coming in to solidify a backline that allowed 24 goals across 10 games in conference play, with the offense scoring just 7 goals in that span for a goal difference of -17.

However, the best addition (in my opinion) is graduate transfer keeper Marzia Josephson, who comes to Lexington after spending 4 years as a Tarheel in Chapel Hill. While playing under legendary coach Anson Dorrance, Josephson appeared in 26 matches with 23 saves and a GAA of 0.414. Josephson is also 1 of 5 players that appeared for Lexington SC and Racing Louisville’s W-League squads this past summer. Alongside Josephson at Lexington SC were Lesley Kiesling and Anna Young. While Mallory Glass and Jordyn Rhodes competed with the Lavender Ladies.

Fabiano will have a tough task ahead of him this season in the SEC, with 2 ranked opponents on the schedule – all in the top 15 of the country and 2 other opponents receiving votes in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll. Does the retooled roster have what it takes to bring Fabiano his first SEC win, or will this be another year of figuring out how to compete in one of the toughest conferences in college soccer? Fabiano has what it takes to learn from last year’s mistakes and build a program that could be level with the men’s team. Still, success this season will heavily depend on the leadership and experience of the transfers Coach Fabiano brought in and how well the 11 freshmen adapt to SEC soccer.

Notable Additions – Outside of Josephson

Katherine Trutt (Fr.) – Forward from Lexington Catholic 

Claudia Najera (GS) – Midfielder transfer from Iowa State

Maya Lacognato (GS) – Forward from IUPUI

Maria Castaldo (GS) – Defender from UT Martin

Notable Matches – Top 25 opponents (+ those who got votes) and in-state matchups

Home opener vs. EKU – Thursday, August 17th at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST

At Murray State – Thursday, August 24th at 5 pm EST/4 pm CST

At Texas A&M (SEC) – Friday, September 15th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST

Vs. #12 S. Carolina (SEC) – Thursday, September 21st at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST

Vs. #7 Alabama – Friday, September 29th at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST

At Georgia – Thursday, October 19th at 6 pm EST/7 pm CST

Final game at Ole Miss – Thursday, October 26th at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST

Make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media 

platforms) for full coverage of the UK Wildcats Women’s soccer team and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 

Author

  • 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

Overhauled Wildcats look to bounce back in 2023

#27: What is going on with the

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *