Women's Soccer Opens SEC Tourney with Sixth-Seeded Auburn
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team will look to extend on its six-match winning streak as the focus of the 2014 season now moves into the postseason phase, beginning with the No. 6 seeded Auburn Tigers on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the 2014 SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala.
The match will be shown live on the SEC Network beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET, or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the day’s opening quarterfinal featuring (10) Tennessee and (2) Florida, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.
Kentucky is now nationally ranked at No. 20/17 and has only allowed one goal in its past six matches. UK in that stretch has collected three wins over ranked teams (#24 South Carolina, #4 Florida, #22 Georgia), all by shutouts. The Wildcats’ RPI was sitting at No. 59 three weeks ago, but UK is now locked in the NCAA Tournament at No. 21 and fighting for a top-16 national seed, which would be the first in program history.
Arin Gilliland was named the 2014 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, it was announced by the conference office on Sunday afternoon. Gilliland’s honor is one of five total All-SEC accolades won by the Wildcats, as Jade Klump, Taylor Braun and Courtney Raetzman all took home All-SEC honors in addition to Gilliland. For the third-straight year running, both junior midfielder Courtney Raetzman and sophomore forward Jade Klump were named Second Team All-SEC, while goalkeeper Taylor Braun was named to the 2014 SEC All-Freshman Team.
Auburn arrives in Orange Beach, Alabama with an 11-5-3 overall record and 5-3-3 record in conference play. The Tigers enter the SEC tournament coming off a four-match winning streak tallying wins over LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and Arkansas. AU has quality wins this season over Memphis, Minnesota, Milwaukee and UC Irvine, with a quality loss to Clemson as well in their resume. Auburn is led offensively by Kristen Dodson, who has three goals and 10 assists on the season for a team-high 16 points. Casie Ramsier, Brooke Ramsier and Tori Ball are the lead scorers this season with four goals. The Tigers are under the direction of 16th-year head coach Karen Hoppa.
Wednesday will be the 23rd all-time meeting between Auburn and Kentucky in soccer and second meeting this season, with UK leading the series, 10-8-3. The Wildcats have won the last three matchups between the two sides, and have gotten results in five of the last six fixtures. Kentucky and Auburn have played annually since SEC soccer began in 1992.
UK has never won an SEC Tournament match under head coach Jon Lipsitz, as the Wildcats are 0-4-0 in his four tries. This is UK’s fifth-straight season qualifying for the SEC postseason under Lipsitz. Kentucky defeated Auburn 2-1 in Lexington on a late header off of a corner kick from Zoe Swift back on Sept. 28 in the third SEC match of the season.
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