LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s soccer team closed 2018 on a high note Thursday night, scoring a 2-1 Senior Night win over Georgia, while down to 10 players after a red card was assessed in the 63rd minute and the match tied 1-1.
The Wildcats had been equalized at 1-1 in the 62nd minute, and less than a minute later, were down to 10 players for the rest of the match after the UK defense was assessed with a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity by the center referee. Miranda Jimenez then struck gold on UK’s goal of the season with an unbelievable wonderstrike from 20 yards out with a powerful, clinical, far-post finish to put UK up 2-1 with 12 minutes remaining.
The goal would stand as the winner for UK as the Wildcats took home the three points on Senior Night at The Bell. Senior Payton Atkins had the assist on the game-winning goal to Jimenez, her third of the season.
Both Atkins and senior Tanya Samarzich were honored in the pre-match festivities.
After a scoreless – and rather uneventful first half, the sparks began to fly in the second 45. Kentucky got on the board first with Hikari Yamada scoring her first-career goal on a finish from wide service along the right flank from Abby Steiner. It was Steiner’s team-leading fifth assist of the season.
The Bulldogs pulled even against the run of play in the 62nd minute though the boots of Katie Ralys, who scored her second of the season from inside the six. It was the only goal that Payton Woodward allowed all night, earning her first-career win in the net for UK. She had five saves, one off of her career high.
The Bulldogs then mounted a counter off of a UK offensive threat less than a minute later, and were 1v1 with the UK backline. There was a foul called against the Kentucky back three, and resulted in a sending off for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. UK then responded just 16 minutes later and scored the match winner.
With Thursday night’s result, Kentucky finishes the 2018 campaign 5-14-0 overall and 1-9-0 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia ends 2018 at 4-9-5 overall and 1-6-3 in SEC play.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.