The Eastern Kentucky University soccer team fell short to in-state rival the University of Kentucky by a final of 2-0 on Thursday.
This was the first time in program history that the Wildcats made the trip to Richmond to face EKU.
A record setting 1,045 fans were in attendance for the in-state contest.
From the start, the Colonels came out with a lot of energy against UK after a 4-1 loss to Northern Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 8.
“I think the entire game had stretches of 10- 15 minutes where we controlled the rhythm of the game and possession of the game... I think Kentucky has talented players... It has to be a full 90 minutes,” head coach Matt Cosinuke said.
Last season, the Colonels defeated the Wildcats for the first time in EKU soccer history by a final score of 1-0 in Lexington.
Cosinuke does not think the win last year played a role in this year’s matchup, but recognizes the in-state rivalry surrounding the two teams.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily momentum but I think the results in the past don’t influence the present so for us it’s a local rival and there’s an extra ingredient there,” Cosinuke said.
The Colonels kept the match close until the 86 minute mark when freshman midfielder Alex Fava scored for the Wildcats on an assist by Marissa Bosco. Kentucky tacked on one more goal with one second remaining by freshman forward Hannah Richardson.
Cosinuke said games against tough opponents like UK gives his team a chance to learn, improve and prepare for the Ohio Valley Conference.
“The talent [UK has] because I think some of the dynamic and type of players that they have at the top really pushed our defenders to make correct decisions and to prepare us for conference,” Cosinuke said.
Cosinuke said that games are won and lost in the box and they want to focus on improving these next few days before conference play begins on Friday, Sept. 20 at Jacksonville State.
The Colonels open OVC action at home against Austin Peay at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4.
“We’re focused on conference, these results don’t matter as much as what is going to happen in October,” said Cosinuke.
EKU goal keeper Zoe Aguirre had three saves against the Wildcats. UK’s freshman goalkeeper Steph Stull had four saves.
Kentucky finished the match with 14 shots, eight fouls and one corner kick. EKU had 11 shots, 16 fouls and six corner kicks.
Senior midfielder Marian Wolski had three shots and one shot on goal for EKU along with junior forward Kylie Thompson with two shots and freshman midfielder Ali Kirk with two shots and one shot on goal.
After the win, Kentucky improves to 5-0-2 and EKU falls to 1-6 on the season. This is the first time UK has been unbeaten through its first seven matches of a season since 2011 and the first 2-0 start on the road since 2001.