Kentucky to Open 2012 NCAA Tournament on Friday vs. UT Martin
Nov. 8, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team will begin its quest for a spot in the 2012 NCAA Women's College Cup in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. ET as the Wildcats host the UT Martin Skyhawks.
"We are honored to get to host again," said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz, who has guided Kentucky to back-to-back NCAA appearances. "UT Martin is incredible on offense. They are the second-leading team in the nation on offense right now. They have many great goal scorers and I really like the way they possess the ball and attack out of the back."
UK will be hosting the first round of the tournament for the second-consecutive season, after drawing over 1,000 people to the UK Soccer Complex in 2011. Kentucky will be one of 32 host sites in the first round in games that are played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"The crowd makes such a huge difference," Lipsitz said. "You can look at our home record and see what the Big Blue Nation does for us. This would be huge for us. We need the help of our fans. We need them there and we need them to be loud."
Tickets for the Lexington portion of the 2012 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship went on sale Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET out of the UK Ticket Office. Tickets for Friday's match can be purchased by contacting the UK Ticket Office between 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET or by calling 1.800.928.2278.
Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for students (2-18 years old), $3 for senior citizens (65+), with children under the age of two admitted for free. As the same with the 2011 Lexington Regional, all UK students presenting a valid student ID at the gate will get in free of charge.
UK closed the season on fire, winning five of its last six games within the parameters of Southeastern Conference play. Included in those five wins were three-consecutive shutouts of Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. The Wildcats would go on to come from behind to defeat Auburn 2-1 and knock off Vanderbilt 3-0 on Senior Night to finish the regular season with five-straight wins.
Kentucky and UT Martin have never met in program history, but the Wildcats hold a strong 8-1-1 record versus Ohio Valley Conference opponents. Lipsitz has never faced UT Martin in his 11 years as an NCAA head coach.
The Wildcats finished as one of the best teams in the country at home, logging a 9-1-1 record in games played at the UK Soccer Complex, joining only Florida and Tennessee out of the SEC to tally one or fewer losses on the home pitch. UK has also enjoyed success under the lights, marking an 8-3-1 record in games played at night.
This is Kentucky's ninth appearance all time in the NCAA Tournament after making its return in 2011 after a five-year absence. With UK being a host site again in 2012, it marks the first time since 1995-96 that Kentucky has hosted in successive seasons.
UK will be in search of its first-ever NCAA Tournament win on Friday night, as the Cats enter the game with a 0-7-1 all-time record in NCAA games. Kentucky fell short in 2011 in a penalty kick shootout vs. Washington State, as well as suffering two other overtime defeats in 1999 and 2001.
Friday night's game between Kentucky and UT Martin will kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET in Lexington with the winner advancing to the round of 32 in San Diego, Calif., and will take on the winner of the (3) UCLA/Wisconsin match.
Kentucky vs. UT Martin:
How they got here:
UT Martin - Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Champions
Kentucky - Received one of 34 at-large bids
UT Martin - 13-5-3, 8-1-1 OVC
Kentucky - 13-6-1, 8-5-1 SEC
UT Martin - Phil McNamara (Third season at UT Martin)
Kentucky - Jon Lipsitz (Fourth season at Kentucky)
UT Martin - Saphrya Coombs-James (10 goals, 4 assists, 24 points)
Kentucky - Arin Gilliland (7 goals, 6 assists, 20 points)
UT Martin - Mariah Klenke (12-5-3, 0.96 GAA, 19 GA, 6 ShO)
Kentucky - Kayla King (12-3-0, 0.79 GAA, 10 GA, 5 ShO)
NCAA Tournament Programs:
The official program of the 2012 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship can be found using the link provided here: http://www.ncaa.com/diWomensSoccer
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.