Women's Soccer Closes Regular Season with Vanderbilt
Oct. 24, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - On the heels of back-to-back weekend sweeps, the University of Kentucky women's soccer team will play its final regular-season home game on Thursday night, as the Wildcats welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores to Lexington, Ky., for a 7:00 p.m. ET game at the UK Soccer Complex.
"We have talked a lot these last few weeks about how we are going to treat every game as a single-elimination tournament," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "As a team, we can't be worried about where we are as far as postseason, we just have to worry about Vanderbilt. They are extremely well coached by Derek (Greene), and present many challenges. They are fighting for their lives, and we know they will be ready for us."
For the first time since the 2003 season, the Wildcats have won four-straight regular-season SEC games, charting wins over Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn. The wins over UT, Georgia and South Carolina were all in shutout fashion, as goalkeeper Kaya King went a career-high 322 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
The Kentucky offense has picked up in recent games with the addition of Arin Gilliland on the front line. The Lexington, Ky., native has scored seven points since being inserted up top, including scoring a goal in three-straight contests. Gilliland leads the Wildcats with seven goals on the season and a career-high five assists.
UK has clinched a spot in the SEC Tournament for the third-straight season regardless of the outcome of Thursday night's game. The Cats can be as high as the three seed in Orange Beach, Ala., and as low as the six seed depending on the outcome of other SEC action. The Wildcats scenarios are as follows:
UK win, Missouri loss, Tennessee loss
UK win and, Missouri loss OR
UK win and Tennessee loss
UK win, Tennessee win, Missouri win OR
UK loss and Arkansas loss
UK loss and Arkansas win
Vanderbilt currently sits at 13th on the SEC table, marking a 5-9-5 overall record and a 2-6-4 record within the league. The Commodores are holding at 10 points and will need a win over the Wildcats plus help to make it to Orange Beach. Vanderbilt's four SEC ties are the most in the league.
Kentucky picked up a 4-2 win in Nashville a year ago to take the 13-12-0 lead in the all-time series with Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are outscoring VU 13-5 in the last six games, as UK holds a 5-1-0 record in the last six contests.
Kentucky will be honoring its senior class of Natalie Horner, Brooke Keyes, Cassie Ransdell, Kirsten Robinson and Alyssa Telang before the game. The class of 2012 will go down as one that changed the culture and face of the program, racking up 41 wins in four years, five wins over top-25 teams; all while helping lead UK to three-straight SEC Tournaments and leading Kentucky to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in over five years.
"This senior class has been crucial to the success of the program over the past few years. They have dedicated numerous hours on and off the field to make sure this program was better off now then when they got here. They have displayed tremendous leadership on implying the foundation of family, character and leaving a legacy." Lipsitz said.
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