“I think this early on in the season, to see the tremendous amount of grit and fight that the team as a whole has showed, with so many new players in our program, that’s an extremely positive sign,” said head coach Julie Woodward. “Stephanie [Verdoia]’s finish was clinical and it’s something she’s worked on in the offseason and I’m proud of her. Moving forward, we have a lot to improve on as a team. It’s better to have this happen earlier in the season than later when we’re preparing for conference play.”
Kentucky would take the first two shots, but Natasha Howe (Mission Viejo, Calif.) would have the Redhawks’ first early chance to score towards the end of the ninth minute.
Howe and Jennifer Plummer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) would have another two opportunities later in the half, but neither shot was able to reach the net.
UK’s best chance in the first half came in the 40th minute as Arin Gilliland took a free kick, saved by Brianna Smallidge (Port Orchard, Wash.)
The game scoreless at half, Gilliland would break through with her second goal of the season on an assist by Cara Ledman to lead, 1-0. The shot sailed from the far left side to the back right corner of the net.
The Wildcats controlling the ball for the majority of the early second half, the Redhawks would begin to control later in the half, with several late scoring opportunities.
With just over a minute remaining in the second half, Howe passed the ball down field to Stephanie Verdoia (Salt Lake City, Utah) just near the 18 yard mark, who drove it straight into the center of the net. Taylor Braun attempted a diving save for Kentucky, but was unsuccessful as the score tied, 1-1, to end the second half.
Gilliland picked up the overtime period where she left off with an early shot, nearly into the goal, but hitting the post in the 92nd minute.
In the 97th minute, Ledman took a corner kick, which sailed directly into the goal for the game-winner as the Wildcats won, 2-1.
Verdoia and Howe led the Redhawks with three shots apiece of the team’s eight total shots. Gilliland led the ‘Cats with seven.
In goal, Smallidge made five saves and allowed two goals while Braun allowed one goal and made no saves.
Seattle U returns to action next weekend, taking their first road trip of the season to Honolulu, Hawaii for the OHANA Hotels and Resorts No Ka Oi. While there, they will face Northern Illinois on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. PT and host Hawaii on Monday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. Stay tuned to GoSeattleU.com, Seattle U Athletics and Seattle U Women’s Soccer on Facebook, @seattleuwsoc and @su_athletics on Twitter, and seattleuwsoc and su_redhawks for all the latest on the team.