UK Women's Soccer Notebook: Wildcats Ranked, Braun Honored
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team has climbed back into the national rankings this week, as the Wildcats are now ranked in the top 25 in all five major women’s soccer polls, as well as the NCAA ratings percentage index (RPI) for the first time in the 2014 season.
Kentucky has won five straight matches, all by shutouts, and all within the Southeastern Conference. UK has collected wins over No. 24 South Carolina, No. 5/4 Florida and No. 22 Georgia within a three-week span, shutting out those teams by a combined score of 5-0. The Wildcats have secured a top-three finish in the SEC for just the second time in program history (2006), and will be a top three seed at the 2014 SEC Tournament to be held next week in Orange Beach, Ala.
In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, Kentucky is slotted No. 24 and into the top 25 for the first time all season. Also, the Wildcats have joined the Soccer America top 25 checking in at No. 18 in UK’s first appearance in the national poll this season. The Bennett College Soccer ranking system has Kentucky at No. 14, and the Massey computer rankings have the Wildcats sitting at No. 14 in the nation through 10 weeks of action.
In the NCAA RPI released Monday afternoon, UK is No. 22 in the country, and would be in a position to host an NCAA Tournament match for the fourth-straight year. The top-32 teams will host the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, with eight four-team pods hosting the next two rounds leading up to the Elite Eight. In the Elite Eight, there will be four host sites that host four matches, before the 2014 NCAA Women’s College Cup featuring the final four teams the following weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
In the NSCAA South Regional poll, Kentucky moved up to No. 4, only trailing Texas A&M, Florida and South Carolina, in which UK has wins over two of those three teams.
Taylor Braun Honored
After posting five-straight shutouts, including two this past weekend on the road at LSU (2-0) and No. 22 Georgia (2-0), UK goalkeeper Taylor Braun was honored for the second time this season as the SEC Freshman of the Week, it was announced by the league office. Braun made six saves over the weekend, and ran her UK-record streak to 450 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal. Braun now boasts an SEC-leading 0.45 goals against average and has only allowed three goals in her seven SEC matches. Braun also leads the league in save percentage, with a 0.880 save percentage on 22 saves this season. Braun also has been named the league’s defensive player of the week one time in addition to her two freshman of the week awards this season.
Braun was also honored as the SEC overall player of the week according to CollegeSportsMadness.com for her two shutouts last weekend. It is the second time that the freshman from Colleyville, Texas, has won the SEC Player of the Week award.
2014 SEC Soccer Tournament
The 2014 SEC Soccer Tournament will be held next week (Nov. 3-9) in Orange Beach, Ala., with the top 10 regular season finishers securing a spot in the field for the annual championship. Kentucky has already clinched its spot in the field, and is playing for seeding on Thursday night with provisional No. 4 seed Alabama (7:30 p.m. ET – Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex).
The Wildcats have secured a top-three finish in the SEC for just the second time in program history (2006), and will be a top three seed at the 2014 SEC Tournament to be held next week in Orange Beach, Ala.
All nine matches of the SEC Tournament will air live on ESPN networks, with the SEC Network airing the opening round (Monday), quarterfinals (Wednesday) and semifinals (Friday) before ESPNU takes over to air the championship match at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.