Dawgs Fall 2-0 To Kentucky In Home Finale
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State wrapped the 2011 home slate with a tough 2-0 setback to Kentucky Thursday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
Mississippi State fell to 5-9-3 overall and 2-6-1 in league play. The Bulldogs also slid out of eight place in the quest for an SEC Tournament berth after Alabama upset Tennessee 1-0 in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide now stands three points ahead of the Bulldogs with two matches left. State travels to Nashville at 2 p.m. Sunday to meet a Vanderbilt squad that lost 3-0 to Ole Miss in Oxford. Alabama heads to Athens to meet Georgia.
On a cold night at the MSU Soccer Field, the Bulldogs were unable to cash in on five on-goal opportunities, while Kentucky capitalized on a pair of Kelsey Hunyadi goals.
"I was disappointed in our performance tonight. I didn't think we had the same toughness we've shown the past several matches," MSU head coach Neil Macdonald said. "You have to give a lot of credit to Kentucky. They are a good team who came out here tonight and really played well. We still have a shot at making the SEC Tournament, so we have to get back to work getting ready for a huge match at Vanderbilt on Sunday."
Mississippi State junior goalkeeper Skylar Rosson, a Soccer America National Team of the Week member, stopped 12 shots in the match, but the Bulldog offense was not able to get any of its attempts past Kayla Price, who saved all five shots she faced.
State escaped a 1-0 deficit 40 seconds into the match. Arin Gilliland dribbled past the Bulldog defenders, but her empty net attempt from left of the MSU goal sailed wide.
Senior Tarah Henderson countered for MSU and created a shot from along the left side of the UK box that Price made a diving stop on.
The Wildcats, however, converted the winner in the 19th minute. Caitlin Landis deflected a ball off an MSU defender, and Hunyadi picked it up, dribbled down the left side and beat Rosson on the breakaway to the lower-right corner of the net.
Sophomore Elisabeth Sullivan had a chance to tie in the 22nd minute with her lone on-goal chance. The Memphis, Tenn., native fired a shot from the left side, but Price made the save.
A minute later, Price denied junior Jasmine Simmons' equalizing opportunity. Kentucky countered with a scoring chance, but Rosson made one of four first-half saves.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, Henderson fired a curling ball that Price managed to deflect around the far post. Seconds later, freshman Amy Hoover had her shot from 22 yards away sail just high of the crossbar.
Kentucky took the 1-0 lead to halftime after it had a shot with 7:40 left hit off the crossbar.
State found the going tougher in the second half, managing just two shots over the final 45 minutes.
After Hunyadi converted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to extend the UK lead to 2-0, Sullivan was unable to convert on State's best look of the final stanza. She made a splendid run past the Wildcat back line, but her 1-v.-1 attempt against Price carried just over the crossbar.
Rosson and the MSU defense kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard the rest of the way, as the Edmond, Okla., native made eight of her 12 saves in the final 45 minutes.
Kentucky12-5-0 (5-4-0 SEC) vs. Mississippi State5-9-3 (2-6-1 SEC)
Date: Oct 20, 2011 Attendance: 587
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Kentucky............ 1 1 - 2
Mississippi State... 0 0 - 0
1. 18:07 UK Kelsey Hunyadi (9) (Caitlin Landis) - flicked off defender, dribbled left side shot right bottom corner
2. 52:37 UK Kelsey Hunyadi (10) Penalty kick
Shots: Kentucky 31, Mississippi State 10
Saves: Kentucky 5 (Kayla Price 5), Mississippi State 12 (Skylar Rosson