No. 15 UK Set for Conference Derby v South Carolina

Broadcast | Match Stats

LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Fifteenth-ranked Kentucky and No. 17 South Carolina will rekindle the only men’s soccer rivalry in the Southeastern Conference at The Bell on Sunday at 1 p.m.

More importantly because the two teams compete in Conference USA in men’s soccer, the match will have serious implications atop the league table. Both teams are unbeaten in conference play this year. 

South Carolina (W-L-D=4-0-0 in C-USA) and Kentucky (3-0-0 in C-USA) are the only remaining teams without a blemish in league play. The Gamecocks top the table on 12 points, while UK sits in third with nine, behind No. 9 Old Dominion (3-0-1 in C-USA) on 10 points.

The match has been designated as a Blew Out. Kentucky supporters who wear blue will receive free admission and the first 250 Cats fans through the gates to The Bell will receive BlueVuzelas (blue vuvuzelas). 

The match will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

The setup
Kentucky (7-3-1 overall) and South Carolina (7-4-1 overall) are the only two SEC schools that sponsor varsity men’s soccer. As such, the fixture is colloquially known as the SEC Championship. 

Kentucky had its five-game winning streak snapped midweek against Ohio State. The loss was UK’s first at The Bell this season. UK’s 2015 home record is 5-1-1. 

The Wildcats are 5-1 in their last six outings with a goals scored-conceded ratio of 15-2.

Fifteen of Kentucky’s 20 total goals this season have come after the halftime break.

The opponent
Kentucky and South Carolina split the series last season, with both matches ending in thrilling fashion.

Last October at South Carolina, Kentucky let a 3-0 lead evaporate before Ryan Creel scored the winner with just seconds remaining in the second overtime interval. In November, South Carolina won 2-1 in the first round of the 2014 C-USA Tournament in Norfolk, Virginia. USC scored the winner with 11 seconds remaining.

South Carolina leads the all-time series 6-5-3. Kentucky has a 3-2-1 lead in games contested in Lexington.

South Carolina is coming off a midweek loss to No. 23 North Carolina State.

The logistics
Tickets are free for Wildcats fans wearing blue apparel. Gates will open at Noon.

The first 250 Cats fans through the gates to The Bell will receive a BlueVuzela.

Otherwise, tickets are $5 for the general public and $2 for youth and seniors. Fans can call (800) 928-2287 for tickets, or purchase at the ticket window at The Bell. 

Kentucky’s 600-plus season ticket holders can wear their 2015 Kentucky Soccer scarves to gain admission.

Kentucky has welcomed a record 12,218 fans to men’s soccer games at The Bell this season, an average of 1,745 per game, which has given the Wildcats one of the best gameday atmospheres in the country.

Parking for the match is first come first served located outside the stadium’s main entrance. Overflow parking will be available above the soccer practice field as directed by UK event staff.