RICHMOND, Ky -- Kentucky (5-0-2) defeated Eastern Kentucky (1-6-0) by a score of 2-0 on Thursday afternoon in Richmond. A late goal from freshman midfielder Alex Fava followed by a goal in the final second of play by freshman forward Hannah Richardson made the difference as the Wildcats secured their fifth-straight win of the season and remained undefeated on the year.
This is the first time UK has been unbeaten through its first seven matches of a season since 2011 and the first 2-0 start in road games since 2001. Additionally, Kentucky’s four-straight shutouts is the first time that has happened since the 2014 season and this fifth win of the season matches last season’s win total.
The first 85 minutes of the match were deadlocked between the Wildcats and Colonels with UK taking up much of the possession, but unable to find a real chance. EKU played well throughout the 90 minutes, continuing on with an aggressive style of play that kept the side in the game.
That all changed in the 87th minute when freshman Josie Knight delivered a great ball into the box that was met by the head of Fava and driven past the keeper to put Kentucky up a goal with only three minutes remaining. Shortly after, Richardson left no doubt in the outcome of the game with one second left when a ball that was launched forward from midfield was played by junior Julia Grosso who tapped it to Richardson at the top of the box who then fired it home.
Overall, while today’s game wasn’t the easiest or prettiest game of the season, the Wildcats fought through to the end to ensure another win for the year. Freshman goalkeeper Steph Stull put in another strong shift in goal with four saves, including two important saves early on in the game.
Head Coach Ian Carry
“We dug deep for 90 minutes, especially when we were put under a lot of pressure,” Kentucky head coach Ian Carry said. “I felt like we gave their backline a little too much room to play the ball around and we didn’t press the way that we wanted to in the first 45 minutes. At halftime we spoke with the team and were very straight to the point and we told them that this is what we worked for all preseason and we needed to put in an important second half performance. I’m so happy for Alex Fava with her first collegiate goal and then Hannah Richardson with a typical poacher’s goal. She’s the type of kid that you just can’t leave alone on the field. Overall, today was another learning experience. This team is a lot different than a team like last year’s that wouldn’t be able to withstand pressure from a team like tonight. Coming away with a victory at a difficult place to play, I couldn’t be prouder of the group.”
Kentucky hosts Indiana on Sunday at 2 p.m. at The Bell.