STARKVILLE, Miss. – Elisabeth Sullivan scored her 12th goal of the season as the Mississippi State soccer team fell to Kentucky 3-1 Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
The Bulldogs fell to 3-8 overall, 0-4 in SEC action. Kentucky improved to 9-2-1 on the season, 3-1 in league play.
Sullivan matched her season high set last season and tied for second-most in a year, three back of the school record set by Amy Van Zandt in 2001.
The strike came in the 69th minute as a loose ball found its way to freshman Kayla Puzas for a flick over the top of the defense to Sullivan, who ran in and deposited the shot past UK keeper Kayla King to the far post.
Sullivan nearly had a second goal in the final minutes of the second half, beating King with a shot from a tough angle only to have it cleared off the line by a Wildcat defender.
Following the contest, head coach Aaron Gordon applauded his team’s fight but felt the squad left some chances on the table.
“I am disappointed with the result because I thought we left some goals on the table. Kentucky is a talented team, but I came into this game thinking we could get something out of this result. When you host teams, you have to expect to get a result,” head coach Aaron Gordon said. “I thought we played fairly well in the first half, but we left some chances on the table. In the second half, we had some good moments, but we have to be more consistent.”
The Bulldogs had six of their on-goal chances turned back by King.
One of those came off the foot of junior Dana Forbes moments after Cara Ledman’s 57th-minute goal past senior CJ Winship put the Wildcats in front 3-0. The Whitby, Ontario, native fired a rocket from the left side toward the far post, but King dove and managed to tip the ball away at the last moment.
Ledman’s goal followed a 49th minute rebound from Kelli Hubly. It extended a 1-0 halftime advantage that Caitlin Landis established with a volley past freshman Meara Johnson in the 37th minute.
Johnson registered nine saves in the contest, while Winship had one save over the final 35 minutes.
The Wildcats out-shot State 28-16, but claimed just a 15-10 advantage in the second half.
The Bulldogs return to the road Sunday, venturing to Fayetteville to meet Arkansas in a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sunday.Fans can follow Bulldog soccer on Twitter (@HailStateSOC), Facebook (Facebook.com/HailStateSOC) and Instagram (HailStateSOC). Mississippi State athletics can also be found on FanCred by going to http://www.fancred.com/go/hailstate/.