Women's Soccer Opens Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team will open the new $7.7 million Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex this weekend, as the Wildcats will host the Francis Marion Patriots at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday night, followed by a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Ohio Bobcats on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.
The stadium dedication will take place on Sunday afternoon at the entrance to the Bell Soccer Complex at Noon ET, with the event open to the public, and the first 500 fans in attendance receiving a free soccer ball bell.
Friday night's match against Francis Marion will be `Free Food Friday', where fans will have the opportunity to win free food during the match. The first 100 students into the match will automatically receive free food as well.
The Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex houses separate facilities for the men's and women's programs, including new team rooms, player lounges, locker areas, coaches offices, press box and a gorgeous new grandstand. Combined with the 2011 additions of a $600,000 playing surface, a new video tower and a video board, it will immediately set the standard for college soccer facilities.
There will be stadium tours from 12:15-12:45 p.m. ET inside the new Bell Soccer Complex open to the public before the women's soccer team faces the Ohio Bobcats at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Kentucky enters the weekend at 1-1-0 overall on the season through the opening two matches. The Wildcats rebounded after a loss on Friday to collect a 2-1 overtime win over the Seattle U RedHawks, the defending champions of the Western Athletic Conference. UK got a direct goal off a corner kick from Cara Ledman in the 97th minute to rescue the match for the Wildcats after Seattle U tied the match with just 1:07 remaining in regulation.
UK's Arin Gilliland started off her Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Award campaign with a bang, as she recorded a goal in both of Friday and Sunday's matches. She is now tied for the lead in the Southeastern Conference in both goals and points through the opening weekend.
Francis Marion enters the weekend at 0-1-0 overall through the first round of matches, as the Patriots suffered a 2-1 loss to Georgia Southern on opening night last weekend. The Patriots are under the direction of third-year head coach Frank Pitt, who is 9-27-1 in his three year period in charge in Florence, S.C.. FMU returns eight starters from a year ago, while only losing three. This will be the first all-time meeting between Francis Marion and Kentucky in women's soccer.
Ohio University enters the weekend 0-2-0 after dropping tight matches to Butler University (3-2 OT) on Friday and Purdue (2-0) on Sunday afternoon to start its season. The Bobcats are under the direction of second-year head coach Aaron Rodgers, who has strong ties to Kentucky. Rodgers was an assistant coach for the first four years of Jon Lipsitz's tenure in Lexington from 2009-2012 before leaving Lexington for Athens. Rodgers helped lead UK to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 2012 when UK knocked off the UT Martin Skyhawks in overtime during the first round.
Ohio was picked to finish third in the MidAmerican Conference (MAC) East Division in 2014, as OU returns five of its top six goal scorers from a season ago. Both defender Gabby Hausfield and forward Alexis Milesky were named to the 2014 All-Preseason MAC team. Kentucky is 4-0-0 all-time against the Bobcats, with the teams' last meeting coming in 2011, a 2-1 UK win in Lexington.
Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex Opening Weekend Schedule
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014
7:30 p.m. ET - Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion (free admission)
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014
Noon ET - Stadium dedication ceremony begins
12:15 p.m. ET - Stadium Tours
12:45 p.m. ET - Free soccer clinic for all 8th graders and under
1 p.m. ET - Face painting and inflatables
2 p.m. ET - UK women's soccer vs. Ohio University (free admission)
5 p.m. ET - UK men's soccer vs. Belmont (free admission)
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.