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No. 10 South Carolina Comes Back to Top Kentucky, 2-1

UK Soccer 300COLUMBIA, S.C. (11/1/13) – The No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks scored two second half goals in the 53rd and 83rd minutes to cap off a late comeback to down the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team, 2-1 at Eugene Stone Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
 
The Wildcats took the lead 15 minutes into the match as freshman Kaitlin Miller played a long-range set piece into the box from 38 yards out, which was touched home off the head of sophomore Cara Ledman. Miller played the ball into the top of the box, and Ledman flicked it up in the air and the ball floated far post and into the back of the net. The goal was Ledman’s second of the season, and it was Miller’s third goal of the season.
 
“Obviously, set pieces are something that we have not been good at this year,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “It is certainly something that we have talked a lot about the past couple of weeks. You can see the improvement that we have made in that area, but it isn’t enough when you can’t close out games. You aren’t supposed to give away games like that when you have the early lead. Give all the credit there to South Carolina. They were so much tougher than us and I thought that their will to win was so much greater than ours. It was a just result based on effort tonight.”
 
South Carolina then scored the final two goals of the match to clinch the win, 2-1.
 
The first of South Carolina’s two goals came in the 53rd minute off a penalty kick. Kayla King came out charging for a ball at the top of the box and was whistled for a foul that stopped the clock and gave the Gamecocks the chance to capitalize on a PK.
 
Senior Danielle Au stepped up from the spot and nailed it to the upper left of the net, and put it past King to equalize.
 
The ensuing 30 minutes would see action even, with neither side able to capitalize or gain any special scoring chances for the majority of the second half.
 
Carolina put the game away in the 83rd minute with a goal that was off a slight counterattack down the flank and slotted far post to give USC the lead, which they held for the final seven minutes on the clock.
 
The loss snaps a two-match winning streak over the Gamecocks, as the Wildcats were 2-0-0 the last two meetings, earning 1-0 wins in 2012 and 2011.
 
Kentucky finishes the regular season with a 13-5-1 record, and 7-4-0 in the Southeastern Conference. With the 7-4-0 SEC record, Kentucky ends on 21 points and finishes fifth in the SEC standings.
 
The Wildcats have the No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament, and will play the No. 4 seeded Ole Miss Rebels at 8:30 p.m. ET in Orange Beach, Ala., on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals. The match will be broadcast live on the SEC Digital Network.
 
“It comes down to a question of will now,” Lipsitz said. “The question now is who are we going to be? With so many of our starters out, we need to realize that being a tough team and determined team can go a long way in extending our season as long as we want.”
 
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.

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