BATON ROUGE – Following its 2013 home finale against Georgia on Friday night, the LSU Soccer team will wrap up the regular season with a pair of road games over the next week as the Tigers first travel to Lexington, Ky., on Sunday afternoon for a match against the 22nd-ranked Kentucky Wildcats that will kick off at noon CT at the UK Soccer Complex.
The Tigers (9-6-2, 5-3-1 SEC) are looking to snap a three-game losing skid in Southeastern Conference play after falling to the Bulldogs by a 2-1 margin in Friday’s home finale.
The Wildcats (12-4-1, 6-3) hope to bounce back from a defeat of their own after also dropping a 2-1 decision on their home field after falling to Missouri in double overtime on Friday night. Kentucky is ranked as high as No. 22 nationally in this week’s Soccer America Top 25, while the side is also No. 23 in the Soccer Times Top 25 and No. 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25.
Kentucky is just two points clear of the Tigers in the SEC standings with just two matches to play as the teams are fighting for postseason positioning in the 2013 SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament.
Texas A&M is top of the table heading into Sunday’s action with a league-best 8-1 mark and 24 points in conference play. Defending SEC champion Florida follows in second place with a 7-2 mark and 21 points in league play, while South Carolina is in third place with 19 points, Kentucky is in fourth place with 18 points and LSU and Ole Miss are tied for fifth place with 16 points apiece.
The Wildcats emerged victories in the last meeting between the two sides with a 2-1 overtime victory at the LSU Soccer Stadium on Sept. 23 of last season.
The Tigers took home a 2-0 victory in their last meeting at the UK Soccer Complex in Lexington two years ago en route to a second-place finish in the final SEC standings with an 8-3 mark and 24 points in 2011. The Tigers are looking to improve upon their 4-10-2 mark in the all-time series, while they boast a 4-2-2 record against Kentucky in the eight previous seasons under head coach Brian Lee.
Junior striker Arin Gilliland and junior midfielder Stuart Pope lead the Wildcats in the attack while each scoring a team-leading 10 goals on the season. Gilliland has certainly solidified her First-Team All-SEC status earned as a sophomore a year ago as she has already surpassed the seven goals and 21 points she scored during the 2012 season.
Freshman striker Zoe Swift is also a dynamic talent as she has added seven goals in the Kentucky attack after joining the collegiate ranks this season as one of the top recruits in the country for the Class of 2013.
After facing the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon, the Tigers will wrap up the 2013 regular season on Thursday of next week with a trip to College Station, Texas, to battle the 24th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies in a match that is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at Ellis Field. The 2013 SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament will then follow from Nov. 4-10 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala.