LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky women's soccer remained perfect on the 2022 season, picking up a 2-1 victory over Purdue on Thursday evening at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex to improve to 3-0-0.
The win was the first for the Wildcats against a power-five opponent in non-conference play since Sept. 2, 2016 when UK beat Louisville, 3-1. It also marks the first 3-0-0 start for the program since 2018.
A pair of goals in the first 14 minutes of play got Kentucky in front early. Hailey Farrington-Bentil started the scoring in the third minute, settling a cross from Hannah Richardson on the right side of the box and finishing past the keeper into the bottom left corner. The goal was the graduate-transfer's first in a Kentucky uniform and marked Richardson's second assist of the season.
Senior forward Jordyn Rhodes soon extended the Wildcats' advantage, notching her second goal of the year in the 14th minute with a perfectly-placed strike from more than 20 yards out into the right netting. Rhodes, who is third on the UK all-time scoring list, now has 32 goals in her collegiate career including two this year.
The Boilermakers generated a prompt response to the Wildcats early flurry as Sydney Duarte managed to get her head on the end of a corner from Sabrina Blount at '16 to bring the score to 2-1.
That score would remain for the duration of the first half as the teams headed to the locker rooms separated by a single goal.
With Kentucky maintaining its edge into the second half's latter stages, the visiting Boilermakers began to press forward, resulting in several quality opportunities.
Freshman Mallory Glass thwarted one such chance with a key tackle in the 77th minute. Then, with under three minutes to go in the match, Wildcats' keeper Tallulah Miller made her lone save of the match at a pivotal moment. After Purdue's Kayla Budish managed to get behind the Cats' defense, Miller charged and denied the Boilermakers forward to preserve the lead, and eventually, the win for the home team.
In the match, Kentucky outshot its Big Ten foe 19-8 overall. Shots on goal also favored the Wildcats eight to two.
Kentucky is back on the pitch this Sunday, Aug. 28 to take on Eastern Kentucky. The match will start at 1 p.m. at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex and will be streamed live on SEC Network+.