Women's Soccer Set for Senior Night vs. Alabama
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team will look to continue its winning ways on Thursday night in the 2014 SEC regular season finale against the Alabama Crimson Tide at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky will be looking to build on a current season-high five-match winning streak, in which UK has posted shutouts in all five matches. The Wildcats have knocked off No. 24 South Carolina, No. 4 Florida and No. 22 Georgia in a matter of three weeks and now sport and RPI of 22 and a national ranking of 24/18.
The Thursday night matchup with the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama will be Senior Night as well, as UK will honor its four seniors, Arin Gilliland, Maddie Lockridge, Emma Brown and Stuart Pope in a pre-match ceremony. The four seniors will go out as one of the most winningest class in program history with over 50 wins in their four years in the Blue and White kits.
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.
UK is locked into the SEC Tournament as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. UK can be the No. 2 seed with a win coupled with a Florida loss. Any Florida point, and UK is then locked into the No. 3 seed.
Alabama enters Thursday night’s match with 10 wins and even with a loss on Sunday, one of the SEC’s hottest teams. The Crimson Tide were not even picked to make the 10-team field of the SEC Tournament, but currently sit fourth on the SEC table. The Crimson Tide have wins over Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, and LSU in conference action, combined with wins over Kennesaw State, Austin Peay and UAB in the non-conference. Bama currently sports an RPI of 45 and is on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.
This weekend’s matchup marks the 17th all-time meeting between the Wildcats and the Crimson Tide. Kentucky has won 11 of the 17 matches, with one tie, recorded in 2005. The Wildcats have won four of the last six meetings, including five of the last six in Lexington. UK leads the overall goal count in the series, 40-21.
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.
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.