UK Women's Soccer Hosts In-State Rival Louisville
Sept. 8, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky women's soccer team (5-0-0) looks to improve on its best start since 2001 this weekend when the Wildcats host the Tropical Smoothie Invitational. Kentucky welcomes Louisville, Butler and Southeast Missouri to the UK Soccer Complex in Lexington, Ky.
The opening game of the weekend will be contested between Butler (4-2-0) and Southeast Missouri (3-1-0). Kickoff is slated for 5:00 p.m.
In-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville serve as the nightcap on Friday at 7:30 p.m. UK leads the all-time series with the Cardinals 6-2-1 and has outscored Louisville 18-6 overall in the nine meetings.
UK head coach Jon Lipsitz knows what the rivalry means, but he also understands the long term implications of preparing, not just for this match, but the remainder of the season.
"We really spend a lot of time focusing on ourselves," Lipsitz said. "Right now, this early in the season, it's us focusing on the little details that make us better every day. We've been doing that well, but we have to continue to get much better to be successful against Louisville and all our other opponents."
He wants to make sure though that fans understand that he understands what the rivalry means.
"When I was hired here at UK two and a half years ago, I didn't understand what this rivalry meant," Lipsitz said. "I don't think you truly understand it until you're immersed into it. My first year here, we're hosting Louisville and the crowd is so big and it's so loud the players can't hear me on the field when I'm yelling instructions to them. I remember looking at the crowd and saying, `Now I get it.'"
The Cats are coming off a weekend that saw them hoist the 2011 Cardinal Classic Championship in Louisville after defeating Central Michigan and Baylor in the weekend tournament. Kelsey Hunyadi had three points in the championship game against Baylor on Sunday, including the assist on the game-winning goal scored by Arin Gilliland off a corner kick in the 84th minute.
Hunyadi leads the charge offensively for Kentucky. She has scored four goals in the first five games of the season, which ranks second in the Southeastern Conference. The senior captain, and Louisville transfer, is ranked in the top four in eight of the nine offensive statistical categories in the SEC. Hunyadi ranks first in assists, with three so far in 2011, as well as points per game, averaging 2.20 ppg.
Kentucky is looking to grasp back-to-back home victories against Louisville, as UK shutout the Cards 1-0 back in 2009.
The Wildcats are the only team remaining in the SEC without a loss in the 2011 season. The Cats also rank second in the SEC with a +7 goal differential, trailing Ole Miss who is pacing the conference with a mark of +10.
The last time Kentucky was undefeated this late in a season was ten years ago in 2001, when the Wildcats started the season 7-0-0 before losing their eighth game of the season to Arizona State.
On Sunday afternoon, Louisville plays Butler at noon, while UK faces off against Southeast Missouri to close out the Tropical Smoothie Invitational.
Kentucky has faced Southeast Missouri one time in program history, which resulted in a 2-1 SEMO victory in the 2002 season.
A live stream will be available for games involving UK at UKathletics.com/allaccess. Live stats will be available for all four games at UKathletics.com.
Lipsitz previews Louisville, talks beard