5:44:16:Women's Soccer vs. Murray State

Kentucky Wildcats forward Hannah Richardson (8) tries to the steal the ball during UK’s game against Murray State on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-2. Photo by Jackson Dunavant | Staff

Kentucky women’s soccer (6-2-2) shut out Bellarmine (2-1-5)  4-0 at The Bell, concluding their non-conference schedule with a record of 6-1-2 as they prepare for SEC play going forward.

Kentucky bested Bellarmine in nearly all metrics of the game, excluding saves. The ‘Cats put up 19 shots with nine on target compared to Bellarmine’s three shots with none on target. Kentucky also finished with fewer fouls than the Knights with nine compared to the latter’s 12. Kentucky also won the battle for the ball, controlling possession for 58 percent of the matchup.

Kentucky entered the Sunday’s battle looking for a bounce back performance after falling 0-3 in their SEC opener against Texas A&M. Laura Nielsen was unable to snag any saves in the matchup that ultimately ended the ‘Cats three game win streak.

Both teams came out ready for what would be a stubborn first ‘25. Neither team was willing to give an inch as there were only two shots in the first 15 minutes. Though Kentucky’s offense came to life as the period progressed — they were still unable to find the back of the net as Bellarmine goalkeeper Elyssa Francis racked up three saves on six total Wildcat attempts.

The stalemate ended in the 30th minute when Hannah Richardson was able to get one to the top left corner past Francis to put the Wildcats up 1-0. Richardson’s good fortunes didn’t end there, though, as just three minutes later she once again found the net off the assist by Sara Makoben-Blessing for her second goal of the first half.

Not two minutes later another Wildcat — this time Miranda Yimenez — got one past the Knights unassisted to add yet another goal to Kentucky’s total.

The Wildcats took a three goal lead into halftime, but the lead was in more than just goals scored. Bellarmine was unable to fire off any shot attempts in contrast to Kentucky's 14, eight of which were on target.

Kentucky wasted no time after the half immediately putting up another shot in the first minute back on the field. While it looked like a routine save for the Knights’ new goalkeeper Bailee Witt, she bobbled the ball allowing it to bounce past her into the goal. Maria Olsen was credited for the unassisted Wildcats goal.

The ‘Cats continued to put up shots, though none were on target. As the rain began to come down, Kentucky put in their reserves to finish the battle. Neither team was able to find the net for the rest of the second half.

Kentucky travels down to Florida to resume their conference schedule against the Gators this Thursday Sept. 23. That game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.