Editors Note: NCLL is excited to have Mike Wells back for another season to capture as much Midwest/Deep South Conference action as possible. Mike not only takes great photos but keeps notes on all the action. Here’s his latest report.
The University of Tennessee Chattanooga rolled into Kentucky with 11 players in toe. Not the strongest numbers to have when you’re facing the 5th ranked team in the land. Especially when that 5th ranked team has plenty of depth at every position.
Kentucky wasted little time exploiting their superior numbers, going on the attack after winning the initial draw. Wildcat attackman Keegan Puffer put the Cats on the board fist, after the Mocs netminder had made 2 solid saves.
The Wildcats won the ensuing face-off and quickly pushed to add to their one goal lead, but Isaac Williams came through with another big save for UTC and the Mocs scored on the counter attack to tie the game, 1-1.
Kentucky would then go on a 3-0 run, with goals by Jack Lenehan, and two goals by middie Pat McKay.
UTC Head Coach, Sam Hobbs addressed his players at the end of the first quarter down 4-1, ensuring his club they could get back in the game despite the 3 goal deficit.
The Mocs would respond by netting a man up goal early in the 2nd quarter to shrink the Wildcat lead to just 2. Three minutes later, Charles DeSimone would answer for Kentucky and stretch the lead to 5-2. On the other end of the field, Kentucky netminder Cameron McMillan made several nice stops in goal, but UTC managed their 3rd goal to close the gap once more.
With just under 4:00 remaining in the half, Parker Shellhaas of Kentucky would be penalized for a cross check. UTC would capitalize and close to within 1 goal of the Wildcats with 1:45 remaining in the first half.
But the third quarter was all Kentucky, as Zach West, DeSimone, Chip Whittington, and Ryan Shahidehpour all found the net for the Cats. Kentucky took a comfortable 8-4 lead into the final quarter.
UTC scored quickly to open up the fourth quarter, but Kentucky answered with another score by West. Jack Lenehan and Keegan Puffer would score before the 9:00 make to make the score 11-5.
But he Mocs didn’t give up. They came on strong late in the 4th and added 2 goals to pull within 4 at 11-7, with 6:00 to play. Lenehan added 3rd goal of the day from far out that broke the Mocs momentum.
UTC would add another goal with 1:02 to play, but that would be as close as it would get. Kentucky advances to 2-0 on the season with the 12-8 win over the UTC. The Mocs fall to 0-2 in the year.