Lexington, Ky.- The Cards came into Lexington with high hopes of taking all 3 points off of 17th ranked Kentucky after downing a top-15 team in UConn last Friday night. They charged out of the gate and looked strong early individually but lacked the cohesion needed to break down the staunch Wildcats defense.
That vein would undermine the Cards' play throughout the night.
The opening half hour was was not a pretty one, marked by sloppy balls, cagey defenses and broken up by cynical tackles by both sides. U of L had a 3-0 edge in shots by midway through the first period but neither side had more than a half chance on goal. The crowd was decidedly Kentucky biased, but the only voices that could be heard above shouts of the players were those of the traveling Louisville fans.
Turning back to the action, The Cards gave up a questionable free kick at the midway line as the game entered the final stages of the first half, and UK took the opportunity to send men into the Cards' box. The kick was driven into the box by Charlie Reyman and UK man Noah Hutchins nodded it over a flat-footed Stephen Cleveland in goal for the visiting Louisville outfit. The goal precipitated the first reaction out of the destitute UK crowd since the Mascot made a cameo in the first half, t-shirts in tow. UK maintained the lead heading into the break.
Louisville came back out of the intermission with a mission from coach Lolla- score. They generated several chances, but again lacked the killer instinct in the final third. By the time the game entered the 75th minute, U of L held a 12-2 edge in shots. By this point the UK defense which had conceded just once in the previous 3 matches, had shut down shop and made the task at hand much more challenging 'Boys in Red'.
The Cardinals held almost all of the possession in the last 10 minutes, pushing but the team wasn't quite all on the same page, leaving some left wanting inside the box. They never got the equalizer that they probably had deserved, and ultimately fell for the first time of the season, now holding a 2-1-1 record primed to start conference play later this week at Pittsburgh. UK improves to 3-0-1 on the year.