Kentucky Hosts No. 5/1 Florida on Thursday in SEC Opener
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Southeastern Conference season kicks off at the Bell Soccer Complex on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET live on the SEC Network as the Kentucky women’s soccer team will host the No. 5/1 Florida Gators.
The game will be shown live on the SEC Network, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app as the SEC Network kicks off its third season of unpresented women’s soccer coverage. FOX World Cup play-by-play announcer Jenn Hildreth will call the match with former U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Mitts.
The first 250 fans into the Bell Soccer Complex on Thursday night will receive UK Women’s Soccer Thunderstix.
Kentucky (2-2-1, 0-0-0 SEC) is coming off a stellar weekend. The Wildcats picked up their first two wins of the season, including a sixth-straight win in the “Battle of the Bluegrass” against rival Louisville, 3-1. After falling behind in the 8th minute, UK scored three unanswered goals en route to the win.
On Sunday, junior Tanya Samarzich had two goals and freshman goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie recorded her first-career shutout as the Wildcats blanked High Point, 3-0, at The Bell. For her efforts, Soucie earned the SEC Freshman of the Week award, from the league office on Tuesday. She is now at a 1.53 goals against average in her 470 minutes in net on the season with 17 saves made and eight goals allowed. The Milford, New Jersey., native has led Kentucky to a 2-2-1 record.
The No. 5/1 Gators (4-1-0, 0-0-0 SEC) are off to a flying start in 2016 with a 4-1-0 record through the first three weekends of the season. UF scored a whopping seven goals in one half alone in a thrashing of Oklahoma State on Sunday, which gave the Gators their fourth win of the season. The Gators, led by head coach Becky Burleigh, lead essentially every statistical offensive category in the SEC, including a monstrous 3.8 goals per game, having already played four ranked opponents. UF has scored 19 goals all together this season, with Savannah Jordan tallying six goals in five games.
This week’s matchup marks the 27th all-time meeting between the Wildcats and Gators, with this the 11th meeting in Lexington between the two teams. Kentucky has had the better of the two late, having gone 2-1-1 against the Gators in the last four years, with both wins coming at the Bell
Soccer Complex (2012, 2014). Last season the Wildcats held on for an impressive 1-1 draw in Gainesville despite being outshot 26-7 in the match. UK would advance up to No. 9 in the nation, its highest-ever ranking following that result. UF leads the all-time goals count in the series, 59-24, but in the last four years, it’s 5-5 in goals.
Match Day No. 6
No. 5/1 Florida at Kentucky
Bell Soccer Complex, Lexington, Ky.
TV: SEC Network (Jenn Hildreth, Heather Mitts)
Live Stats: UKathletics.com
Tickets: $5 adults, $2 children (6-18) and seniors (65+), FREE (5 and under)
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.