No. 19 Kentucky Travels to Miss St., Vanderbilt

Oct. 3, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team hits the road this weekend, as the Wildcats  travel to Starkville, Miss., for an 8:00 p.m. ET match on Friday night at MSU Soccer Field, and will conclude the weekend in Nashville, Tenn., for a Sunday showdown with Vanderbilt at 2:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports South.

Junior Stuart Pope scored her team-high ninth goal in the 71st minute to give Kentucky the 1-0 win on Sunday afternoon over Georgia in Kentucky’s annual Kick-Cancer match on CSS. Pope received a sliding pass from sophomore Kelli Hubly at the top of the box. Pope then took a left-footed shot into the far post to give UK the win. The win over UGA was Kentucky’s first over the Bulldogs in Lexington since 1999. 

Kentucky has won eight of its last nine games, including wins over two ranked teams in No. 10 West Virginia (4-2) and No. 19 Georgia (1-0). The Wildcats went 7-1-0 in the month of September, tying the program record for most wins in September (2000). UK defeated No. 10 West Virginia, No. 19 Georgia, Louisville, Dayton and picked up its first SEC road-opening win since 2004 at Auburn 1-0 all in September.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs enter Friday night’s match with an overall record of 3-7-0 with wins coming against Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic and Jackson State. MSU has lost to Missouri, Texas A&M and LSU so far in conference play. The Bulldogs are led by first-year head coach Aaron Gordon who took over in the offseason. The leading scorer for the Bulldogs is Elizabeth Sullivan who has 23 points on the year with 11 goals and one assist. Meara Johnson and CJ Winship have split time in the goal, with Johnson earning eight starts and Winship getting six. The team GAA for the season is 2.86. 

Friday’s match will be the 15th all-time meeting between the two sides, with Kentucky leading the all-time series 11-3-0. The Wildcats have won the last three meetings, including a 2-0 win in 2011, the last time UK traveled to Starkville. UK has shutout MSU seven times, and leads the all-time goal differential by a count of 33-7 (+26). The +26 margin is the highest of any SEC opponent with the exception of Missouri and Texas A&M, who joined in 2012-13.

The Vanderbilt Commodores enter the weekend with a 3-6-2 record with three wins on the year coming against Memphis, Wisconsin and Georgia State. The Dores have already played three overtime games this season, including a double-overtime match. VU has one of the most potent offenses in the conference, as nine different players have scored a goal in 2013, and the team has scored 24 goals already in 11 games. Cheyna Williams leads the offensive charge for VU as she has charted nine goals and two assists for 20 points. Olivia Liebman has played most of the season in goal for Vandy, sporting a 2.65 GAA in her 11 appearances.

The match on Sunday will mark the 27th all-time meeting between VU and UK, with the Wildcats leading the all-time series 14-12-0 and winners of the last three matches. Kentucky has outscored Vanderbilt 43-39 in the 25 previous meetings and has shutout the Dores seven times, including 2012 where Kentucky collected a 3-0 decision in Lexington.

Sunday’s match with the Commodores will be televised live on Fox Sports South beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Dave Baker (pxp) and Katie Witham (color) will have the call live from Nashville.

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