State's Unbeaten Streak Ends With 3-0 Setback At Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a grueling double-overtime match on Friday matched the longest unbeaten streak in school history, the Mississippi State soccer team saw its run halted with a 3-0 setback at Kentucky Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs suffered their first defeat of the season as they fell to 7-1-1 overall, 0-1-1 in the SEC. MSU's eight-game unbeaten streak matched the 2009 team for the longest in school history.
Kentucky ran its record to 7-1-0 and 2-0-0 in the conference behind Kelli Hubly and Caitlin Landis, who had a goal and assist each.
UK claimed a 21-6 edge in shots and an 8-3 advantage in on-goal chances. Freshman Mary Kathryn Taylor paced Mississippi State with two shots.
"This was a valuable learning experience for our team," head coach Neil Macdonald said. "To be successful in the SEC, especially on the road, you have to be mentally prepared every match. We played two good clubs in South Carolina and Kentucky on the road, and now our younger players know what to expect from this league. We have to learn from this weekend and get ready to defend the home field against Vanderbilt and Tennessee next weekend."
Mississippi State was unable to convert on a couple of chances in the opening moments of the match. Kentucky countered at the four-minute mark and halted State's shutout streak at 578 minutes as Hubly dribbled down the right side of the 18-yard box and hit a shot past MSU senior goalie Skylar Rosson for the 1-0 lead.
Rosson saved five shots in the match as she saw her school-record run of consecutive shutout minutes halted at 549.
The Wildcats extended the advantage to 2-0 in the 12th minute as Hubly slipped a pass in front of the Bulldog net to Landis for the one-timer into the top shelf.
Kentucky's Cara Ledman had a breakaway opportunity two minutes into the second half, but Rosson came out to the top of the 18 and managed to deflect the ball away.
Three minutes later, the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead off a corner kick. Rosson came off her line to try and claim the kick by Danielle Krohn. The ball deflected up to Natalie Horner for a header that rattled off the bottom of the crossbar.
In the ensuing scrum for the loose ball, Arin Gilliland managed to head the ball into the back of the net.
State's best chance of the second half came off the foot of Taylor with 25 minutes left in the game. The Pace, Fla., native made a move toward the middle of the UK box, but her shot was challenged as she hit it and deflected just wide of the left post.
The Bulldogs open the home SEC slate next weekend, hosting Vanderbilt and No. 23 Tennessee at the MSU Soccer Field. Friday's kickoff against the Commodores is set for 7 p.m., while Sunday's contest against the Lady Vols is set for a 1 p.m. opening whistle.