LEXINGTON, KY. - Mississippi State (2-14-0, 1-8-0) fought hard throughout, but three first half Kentucky (9-6-2, 4-3-1) goals did them in, as the Bulldogs fell 3-0 in Lexington. With the loss, MSU is officially eliminated from SEC Tournament contention.
Kentucky wasted no time getting on the board. At the 7:41 mark, after a State penalty, Tara Herold scored on the ensuing free kick from 21 yards out, handing the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
Herold had another chance six minutes later off another free kick. Herold's kick was headed toward the right corner. However, MSU netminder Taryn Holland made a diving save to keep the deficit at one.
But, UK added a second goal in the 29th minute. Caitlin Coughlin sent a pass up the middle to Giuleana Lopez, who split the defense and beat Holland to the left side of the net, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage.
Eight minutes later, the Kentucky struck again. Cindy Abbott passed the ball to Coughlin up the right side. Coughlin sent a cross towards the front of the net, where Kristin Kover headed the ball past a moving Holland into the right corner to put UK up 3-0 heading into halftime.
UK outshot the Bulldogs 8-2 in the first half. Holland made three saves for State.
As the second half started, Kentucky kept the pressure on. Twice in the first ten minutes, UK had corner kicks. But the MSU defense collapsed in front of the net, and kept the ball out of the goal.
Mississippi State had its first scoring chance of the game in the 58th minute. After a Kentucky foul, Katie Lynn Harden's free kick was blocked and deflected toward Bethany Frazier. Frazier sent a shot from 25 yards out that UK goalkeeper Anne Ogundele snared.
Kentucky outshot MSU 21-6 for the game. Stephanie Dallas made four second half saves.
The Bulldogs return home Sunday for a 1:0 p.m. (CT) match against Vanderbilt. You can follow all the action live at www.mstateathletics.com.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State lady netter Elna de Villiers has advanced into Saturday's round of 16 in the B Draw at the ITA South Regional Championships after posting two straight-set wins Friday in that division.
The sophomore claimed a 7-5, 6-3 first-round victory against Stetson's Maya Miladinovic in B Draw competition. De Villiers' then cruised past Gulsah Esen of UAB 6-4, 6-2 to move into the round of 16. The Grunau, Namibia, native will match up there with Suzanne Jones of Troy.
"Elna has been playing really good tennis," said MSU head coach Tracy Lane. "She has been coming out real aggressive and has been playing competitive tennis for us."
In A Draw consolation action Friday, State's Martina Banikova defeated Auburn's Fani Chifchieva 7-5, 6-4 in one of the best matches of her Lady Bulldog career to move on in that draw.
"Martina had a really good win today," Lane said. "She won against the same player that she lost to at Roberta Alison last month. It is very comforting to us both to know that she came back."
In first-round Draw B doubles play Friday, Lady Bulldogs Renee Joseph and Valeriya Makarycheva, who received a first round bye, claimed a hard-fought round of 16 victory 8-6 against Auburn's tandem of Kelly Adams and Jil Hasternath. They will play Saturday versus UAB's Magdalena Czernik and Antonia Nugent in the quarterfinals. Banikova and de Villiers fell to the 33rd-ranked team of Whitney Benik and Nina Suvak of Florida in an 8-1 decision in the opening round of A Draw.
After losing her B Draw first round match 7-5, 6-2 to South Florida's Ann-Marie Madric, Lady Bulldog Tatiana Feit came back to win her consolation match 6-0, 6-1 versus UAB's Seden Soyalp.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four Mississippi State men's tennis players moved into the second round of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Friday in Lexington, Ky. Bulldog sophomore Eric Lim advanced after winning his qualifying match and his first-round match while Pjotrs Necajevs, Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux all moved on after first round victories.
Lim opened up play in qualifying with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Austin Peay's Leonardo Pocatelli. The Fort Lauderdale native then moved into the first round of the main draw where he knocked off Zach Itzstein 6-3, 6-4 and advanced to Saturday's second round. Necajevs advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Florida Atlantic's Olivier Sajous while Frayssinoux breezed to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Auburn's Stephen Nash. Bjelica, ranked 42nd-nationally, notched a spot in Saturday's second round with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over James Moye of Vanderbilt. The lone Bulldog to fall in singles Friday was sophomore Ryan Farlow who dropped a 6-3, 6-4 decision to Tennessee-Chatanooga's Razvan Axente in the first round of qualifying.
Three MSU doubles team were also in action late Friday night but results were not available. Saturday's action will begin with doubles at 8 a.m. CT, followed by second-round singles at 1 p.m. CT and third-round singles at 5:30 p.m. CT.