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Men's, women's soccer in good position with NCAA play on horizon

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The way things look right now, soccer fans in Lexington might have a few more chances to see matches after the end of the regular-season schedule.

Both the Kentucky men's and women's soccer programs appear to be locks for the NCAA Tournament and, with the two programs riding late-season hot streaks, hosting a game or two is looking like a more realistic possibility.

Let's take a look at the resumes for each:

Men's soccer
Record: 9-6-1 (4-1-1 Conference USA)
Last five matches: 4-1-0 (won four straight)
RPI: 14 (best in school history)
Key RPI wins: at No. 8 Louisville, at No. 22 Tulsa, at No. 26 UAB
Worst loss: at No. 57 Dayton

After starting the season 1-4-0, the Wildcats have put together a remarkable six-week stretch against one of the nation's toughest schedules in Johan Cedergren's first season as head coach.

UK has two regular-season games remaining against UCF and South Carolina on Wednesday and Sunday, both at home. After that, the Cats will travel to Birmingham, Ala., for the Conference USA Championship from Nov. 7-11. The bracket for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Nov. 12.

Forty-eight teams receive bids to the NCAA Tournament in men's soccer, with 16 receiving first-round byes. Teams seeded 17-32 will host first-round games on Nov. 15 against teams seeded 33-48 for the right to travel to face the top-16-seeded teams in the second round on Nov. 18.

With UK's strong RPI, a first-round bye is not out of the question, particularly with a solid finish over the next two weeks.

Women's soccer
Record: 13-5-1 (8-4-1 Southeastern Conference)
Last five matches: 5-0-0
RPI: 26
Key RPI wins: No. 9 Florida, at No. 13 Tennessee, at No. 39 Louisville
Worst loss: No. 128 Samford (played in Louisville)

Outside of a six-match stretch during the middle of the season when UK won just once in six tries, it has been a banner season for Jon Lipsitz's team. The Cats are the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament and will play fifth-seeded Missouri on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET with potential semifinal and final matches to be played on Friday and Sunday before NCAA selections are announced on Nov. 5.

A victory in the conference tournament would likely assure Kentucky of hosting an NCAA Tournament game for the second time in as many seasons. Sixty-four teams will be in the field, with the top 32 hosting first-round matches Nov. 9-11.

With No. 9 Florida and No. 31 Missouri on UK's side of the SEC Tournament bracket, the Cats will have opportunities to grab resume wins and potentially the right to host beyond the first round.

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