Soccer Hits Road for First Time in SEC
Sept. 30, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – With a five-game home stretch complete and Southeastern Conference play started, the Kentucky women's soccer team travels to Athens, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend, hitting the road for the first time in league play.
After facing a pair of top-25 teams last weekend in Florida (No. 7) and South Carolina (No. 21), the road doesn’t get any easier for Kentucky in Athens. The Wildcats will be looking for their first win over the 17th-ranked Bulldogs since 1999. UK is 4-10-2 all-time against Georgia.
It marks the first of four straight road matches for Kentucky as they will travel to Baton Rouge and Fayetteville the following the weekend.
“While there’s a great excitement about playing at home, when you get on the road you’re total focus is on the games,” said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. “You obviously take care of academics on the bus or when you’re flying, and then everything is about soccer. You’re together all day, so there’s a sense of closeness and unity that comes from traveling that’s very important for a long season.”
The young Cats will need that closeness and unity as they take on their third straight ranked opponent and sixth of the season in Athens.
“We’ve had a very difficult schedule; this is our sixth ranked opponent,” said Lipsitz. “We’re very young and we’ve been pretty decimated by injuries recently so our lineup has not been able to get set in anyway; every time we think we’re set, it changes again another weekend. When you’re playing against ranked teams and competing in a league like the SEC and trying to do new lineups every time, it’s a great challenge. One of the things we’ve been talking to the team about is that we need other people to step up. We need to have everybody ready and everybody focused on the details that we need to be successful, and then we’ll just worry about ourselves.”
The Bulldogs have one of the top attacks in the SEC, leading the league in goals with 22 and rank second in the conference in corner kicks taken with 63.
“We know Georgia is a tremendous team, very well coached. They are wonderful in possession and very dynamic in their attack,” Lipsitz said. “I really like the way they play and I really respect the way they play. Our team knows that and now that we know a few details about the way they do things we’ve just got to take care of ourselves.”
Kentucky and Georgia have always played each other close. In the 16 matches between the two schools, eight contests were decided by one goal, one finished in a tie while another match had to be decided by penalty kicks.
The Kentucky offensive attack is spearheaded by junior Kelsey Hunyadi and freshman Taylor Parker. Hunyadi has posted a team best 10 points on five goals while Parker leads the team with five assists and is second, behind Hunyadi, with seven points.