Rivers’ Overtime Winner Lifts Cardinals Past Kentucky

Posted at 12:55 AM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-01 00:55:05-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  – Kentucky put in its best overall performance of the season Friday night in the annual derby showdown at Louisville, and the defensive organization and execution was as strong as it’s been all year – but the Louisville Cardinals found a late golden goal in overtime to secure a 1-0 win in the 92nd minute off the foot of Brooklynn Rivers.

The loss for Kentucky drops the Wildcats to 3-2-0 on the season. UL moves to 5-0-0 on the year.

UK will return home to The Bell on Sunday afternoon for a matinee match with Eastern Kentucky at 2 p.m. ET. The match will air live on the SEC Network+, ESPN app and ESPN+.

Kentucky had two quality chances to win the match in regulation, but they both were just missed. In the 60th minute, Marissa Bosco caught UL keeper Gabrielle Kouzelos off her line, and chipped the ball with pace from distance over her head, but it banged off the crossbar and was cleared by the UL defense.

In the final 90 second of regulation, the Wildcats countered down the left side and Gretchen Mills was able to create space for Yuuka Kurosaki to make a run into the penalty area. Kurosaki beat a defender, got endline and served in a cross that was over the head of two Wildcats making far-post runs.

The match winner for UL came in the 92nd minute as Brooklyn Rivers scored her fourth goal of the season from 21 yards out on a touch-and-hit finish past a diving Hannah Leonard to her left. Leonard had a career-high eight saves in her best performance as a Wildcat on Friday night.

Kentucky dictated the tempo of the early stages in both halves and then were dangerous on the counter late in both periods. Ultimately, it was a run through midfield by Rivers in an otherwise cagey match up the middle that opened up the space for the winner and golden goal.

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