Women's Soccer Kicks off SEC Play at No. 22 Auburn
Sept. 22, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After one of the best non-conference performances in program history, the University of Kentucky women's soccer team travels to Auburn, Ala., to begin the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule, clashing with the nationally-ranked Auburn Tigers on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. EST at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
Kentucky had a remarkable start to the 2011 season, netting seven wins in its first eight games, while ranking fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) regional poll and also receiving votes in the NSCAA National coaches poll for the first time in over five years.
The Wildcats enter conference play tied atop the SEC East division with Tennessee, boasting the best record in the SEC. The 7-1-0 record marks the best start in 10 years, since UK went 7-1-0 to begin the 2001 season.
Auburn posted a 6-1-1 record in non-conference play, including wins over Middle Tennessee, Duke and Denver. Katy Frierson, a member of the 2011 Hermann Trophy watch list, leads the Tigers offensively. Frierson has already netted eight points so far this season, including two goals and four assists.
The Tigers are either ranked or receiving votes in all four of the major polls, including a high ranking of 22nd in the Soccer America poll, released Monday. Kentucky continues to receive votes in the NSCAA National Coaches poll, sitting just outside the top 25.
Senior captain Kelsey Hunyadi, who is off to one of the best years in program history, leads the offensive charge for the Wildcats. Hunyadi already has tabbed a team-high 15 points thus far consisting of five goals, including one game-winner. The Dublin, Ohio native has also been creating offense for others, recording a SEC-leading five assists. Hunyadi is ranked in the top five in eight of the nine offensive statistical categories kept by the SEC.
UK's offense, ranked sixth in the SEC, looks to continue its blistering start, as the Wildcats have scored multiple goals in seven of their first eight games. UK's freshmen have continued to play a big roll on the offensive side of the pitch, recording seven of the team's 16 goals. Molly Huber and Arin Gilliland have each accounted for two goals, while Stuart Pope has recorded three goals, including two game-winners.
Kentucky ranks third in the SEC with just six goals allowed and is led in-between the pipes by freshman Kayla Price. Price, a SEC Freshman of the Week award winner, hoists a goals against average of 0.75, while charting a save percentage of .826, good enough for third in the SEC.
Kentucky and Auburn met once in 2010, resulting in a 1-1 draw in Lexington, Ky. UK is 7-7-3 all-time against Auburn, and is looking to capture its second win in the last three tries against the Tigers. Jon Lipsitz is 1-0-1 all-time vs. Auburn.
The Wildcats are looking to improve on a 2010 SEC season that saw UK make it to the SEC Tournament for the first time in the Jon Lipsitz era. Kentucky posted a 4-5-2 SEC record back in 2010.
For live stats of this contest and continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKAthletics.com.