Women’s Soccer Opens 2015 with No. 20 Washington, SDSU
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team will open the 2015 UK Athletics calendar year on Friday night with one of just three top-20 matchups in the country on opening night, followed by a match with the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday at the Bell Soccer Complex. Kentucky will open with Washington at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday before a weekend capper on Sunday slated for a 7 p.m. ET first touch.
Both Friday and Sunday night’s matches will be shown live on the SEC Network+, WatchESPN, the WatchESPN app and ESPN3 with Neil Price calling the action from The Bell. The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team will see unprecedented media coverage in the 2015 season, as the Wildcats will see all of their games featured on SEC Network+, as well as WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. In addition to all 13 home matches being available on SECN+, Kentucky’s entire SEC slate of matches, home and away, will also be featured on SECN+. The 15 SECN+ matches are in addition to the three already scheduled televised matches, which will remain the same, as the Wildcats will face Ole Miss, Wisconsin and Tennessee on the SEC Network.
Both matches this weekend are also “Back 2 School” matches, where fans who bring a school supply at the gate will be admitted free of charge into the Bell Soccer Complex. All of the school supplies donated will go towards the Lexington area’s Fayette County Family Resource Center.
Kentucky was picked to finish third in the 2015 Southeastern Conference season, the league’s head coaches predicted in the annual coaches poll that was released last week. Kentucky finished third a season ago in the SEC, matching its program-best finish. With 140 points, Kentucky also received one first-place vote. This year marked the first time under head coach Jon Lipsitz that Kentucky has received a first-place vote.
The Wildcats lose Arin Gilliland and Stuart Pope as starters from its Sweet 16 team a year ago due to graduation. Gilliland was drafted No. 8 overall in the 2015 NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars, and has already tallied two points (2A) on the season. Pope is entering her first season in pharmacy school.
UK lost to Washington 4-1 to open the 2014 season last August in the schools’ only other prior meeting. This will be the first meeting for UK and SDSU since 1999.
Washington enters the 2015 season fresh off a Sweet 16 appearance from 2014. The Huskies went 16-9-2 overall last season, and finished with a 5-4-2 record in the PAC-12. UW went 7-4-2 last season away from Seattle, and went 8-4-0 at home. Washington is under the direction of Lesle Gallimore, now in her 21st season with the Huskies - the longest tenure of any coach in the PAC-12.
SDSU enters Sunday’s game with a 15-5-2 record from a season ago, in which they made the NCAA Tournament before falling to the California Golden Bears 1-0 in overtime to end the season. The Aztecs finished 9-2-0 in the Mountain West Conference, and won the league with that mark before doing the double and winning the conference tournament championship 1-0 in OT over Wyoming.
2015 UK Women’s Soccer Opening Weekend
Friday, Aug. 21 – Washington vs. Kentucky – 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network+
Sunday, Aug. 23 – SDSU vs. Kentucky – 7:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network+
Friday, Aug. 21 and Sunday, Aug. 23 – “Back 2 School”, free posters, post-match autographs
Kentucky vs. Washington
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.