Women's Soccer Opens SEC Play
Sept. 25, 2008
Lexington, Ky. - The Wildcats open league play this weekend, hosting the Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide at the UK Soccer Complex.
UK (2-5-1) seems to have turned the corner offensively at just the right time, heading into SEC play. After managing just three goals through its first six matches, Kentucky has shifted gears on the offensive end, firing off 82 shots in the last three matches, compared to just 27 through the first five matches. After netting only three goals through their first six matches, the Cats have tallied six in their last two. "We're excited to get into conference play," said UK head coach Warren Lipka. "The non-conference schedule was a challenging one, but I think it helped us learn what we needed to improve upon for the SEC. League play is always exciting, no matter who the opponent is. It's such a grind each and every match, but that's what is expected year in and year out from the SEC."
Kentucky got four goals from four different players their last time out, a 4-0 win over Cleveland State. Katie Fahey, Nicola Holdsworth and Giuleana Lopez all netted their first goals of the season, while Laura Novikoff added her team leading fifth goal of the season. Sydney Hiance also recorded her second shutout of the season and the sixth in her young career.
Novikoff enters the weekend tied for first in the SEC in goals scored with five and points with 11. Julie Hull paced the Wildcats in the non-conference schedule in assists with three.
The Auburn Tigers hold a 7-6-1 advantage over Kentucky, and have won five in a row in the series. The Tigers defeated the Wildcats 4-1 in Auburn last season, their most recent meeting.
On the flip side, Kentucky is 7-3-1 all-time against the Crimson Tide, which includes a 4-1-0 mark in Lexington. The Wildcats are 5-1-1 in their last seven matches against the Tide, but UK did drop last year's meeting in Tuscaloosa, 2-1.
UK senior defender Tara Herold looks to keep a couple streaks intact through the weekend. Herold is currently on a 73-match starting streak, dating back to UK's first match of the 2005 season, her freshman year. Herold has also played every minute of every match this season, totaling 740 minutes.
The Wildcats and the Tigers are scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Friday night, while UK and Bama will kickoff on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Friday night is UK Student Night, which kicks off the Wildcats' SEC attendance promotion. UK students who attend all six home SEC matches this season will be entered into a drawing for a $200 prize pack from the UK Bookstore.