Jordyn Rhodes: The title of “all-time leading scorer” may be forever associated with senior Jordyn Rhodes in the narrative of Kentucky women’s soccer, but the full impact of this achievement is yet to sink in for the accomplished player.
“Honestly, I am still trying to soak it all in,” Rhodes admitted. Her focus, however, remains on the team’s collective success. She finds greater joy in her accomplishments because they contribute to the team’s overall prosperity, deflecting attention away from individual success.
Rhodes secured her place as UK’s all-time leading goal scorer with a remarkable performance, netting two goals in a historic win over then No. 9 Alabama. This victory marked UK’s first against a top-10 team since 2014 and earned Rhodes the prestigious SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors. With 45 goals to her name, she surpassed the previous record held by Kim LaBelle since 1997.
Despite her prolific goal-scoring record, Rhodes remains humble about her abilities. She attributes her success to hard work, finding herself in advantageous positions on the field, and the ability to finish effectively. Rhodes, who leads the SEC with five game-winning goals this season, acknowledges the continuous effort and practice that went into developing her game.
Jordyn Rhodes, a pivotal player in the under-17 national championship team from Cincinnati in 2017, found her way to Kentucky after a twist of fate following her decommitment from Indiana. Reflecting on her unconventional recruitment, Rhodes, now the leading scorer in the SEC, shared, “It was kind of weird the way it happened.”
Despite growing up just 2½ hours from Lexington in Lebanon, Rhodes wasn’t initially a UK fan. Her family’s allegiance lay more with the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds than college sports. However, she has successfully converted many to become UK fans, building on the existing Kentucky fanbase in her hometown. Rhodes expressed gratitude for the consistent support from her family and friends.
Kentucky boasts an impressive lineup of female athletes, including Rhyne Howard, Madison Lilley, Abby Steiner, Kayla Kowalik, and Jensen Castle. Rhodes, part of this esteemed group, remarked on the honor of being recognized alongside such incredible athletes, forming lasting friendships with some.
The resurgence of the women’s soccer team has garnered increased attention from fans and media. With an undefeated record of 8-0-5 overall and 2-0-4 in SEC play, Kentucky’s recent 2-0 win over Vanderbilt added to the team’s success. Despite not scoring in this particular match, Rhodes contributed her third assist of the season, complementing her nine goals.
Basketball coach John Calipari’s presence at matches and social media praise has further boosted the team’s visibility. Tanner Strickland, daughter of former Calipari assistant Rod Strickland, is a freshman midfielder and a consistent starter.
Rhodes acknowledged the incredible support from fans, crediting Calipari for contributing to the enthusiastic crowd. As Rhodes pursues a Master’s in health promotion, having already earned a Kinesiology degree, she remains focused on the current soccer season. Regarding her post-soccer career path, she said, “I will cross that bridge when I get to it, but right now I am just enjoying what we are doing.”
Jordyn Rhodes has much to celebrate, now holding the title of UK’s all-time leading scorer and leading the SEC in goals this season.