Freshman forward Jayden Barrett
Oct. 1, 2009
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team will wrap up its season-long, five-match road trip over Oct. 2-4 by venturing down I-40 to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt (6-3-1, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET, before heading north to Lexington, Ky., to battle Kentucky (3-4-3, 0-2 SEC) on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET live on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).
Vanderbilt has, at times, been a thorn in the side of the Big Orange, as the Commodores lead the all-time series between the two clubs, 8-6-2. After dropping the first four matches against the Black & Gold prior to Angela Kelly becoming head coach, UT has managed a 4-2-1 record over the last seven meetings and is 6-4-2 against VU under Kelly's guidance. The series with Kentucky also turned with Kelly's ascension to the head coaching position after UT dropped the first four matches in the series from 1996-99. Since 2000 the Lady Vols are 10-3 versus the Wildcats and have won the last two meetings.
The Lady Vols christened their league schedule last weekend with a 1-0 triumph at Arkansas before dropping a tough 5-1 decision at LSU. Senior forward Mick Imgram tallied both of Tennessee's goals to give her a team-best six scores on the season to go along with four match-winners. The Clifton, Va., native is currently tied for second in the SEC in goals scored and is deadlocked for the top spot in the league in game-winning tallies. She has scored 19 goals during her career in the Orange & White, needing just one more to equal former Lady Vols Lyndsey Patterson and Ali Christoph for 10th all-time in UT history. Imgram also sits just outside the Lady Vol Top 10 for career points with 57 (19 goals, 19 assists), just seven from tying former UT stars Patterson and Kim Patrick for ninth all-time.
With nine starters back for Vanderbilt head coach Ronnie Woodard, the Commodores have gotten off to a strong start in 2009 with a 6-3-1 overall record highlighted by a perfect 6-0 home mark at the VU Soccer Complex. Included among their six wins are shutout victories over Mercer, Murray State, Belmont and UT-Martin with perhaps the most prolific coming on Sept. 6 in Nashville in a 3-1 win over Oklahoma. After five straight triumphs to start the campaign, VU is just 1-3-1 over its last five match-ups, most recently losing last weekend on the road at SEC Eastern Division foes #11 South Carolina (1-2) and #10 Florida (1-5).
The Commodore offense has been productive thus far in 2009, scoring 21 goals in 10 matches to rate sixth in the league. Leading the way for Vanderbilt are junior forwards Nicole Lukens (six goals, one assist) and Molly Kinsella (four goals, league-leading eight assists), who both currently rate in the SEC top 10 in total points. In all nine different VU players have tickled the twine at least once in `09 with freshman midfielder Chelsea Stewart owning three goals and senior midfielder Megan Forester and junior Megan Kinsella two scores each.
Junior Rachel Bachtel (6-2-1) has played in all 10 matches between the pipes for the Commodores, allowing 11 goals over 836 minutes of action with a .750 save percentage and two solo shutouts. As a back-up to Bachtel, freshman Jessica Amlaw (0-1-0) has permitted two goals in 84:30 of work.
Heading up the Kentucky program in 2009 is first-year head coach Jon Lipsitz. He ventured to the Bluegrass from Charlotte, where he led the 49ers to last year's NCAA Tournament and a 2-0 opening round win over the Tennessee Lady Vols in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Wildcats, who returned eight starters from last season, have been involved in a myriad of close matches thus far in 2009, playing five one-goal contests and having four matches require overtime. UK's 3-4-3 mark is somewhat deceiving as Kentucky has been battle-tested, playing and losing close matches against #9 Wake Forest (0-1), Texas (0-2), at #10 Florida (1-2) and at #11 South Carolina (0-1). UK has struggled to score, tallying just seven goals through 10 matches, but has balanced that out with solid defense and goalkeeping.
Between the pipes, junior Sydney Hiance has allowed just seven scores, while playing every possible minute in goal for the Wildcats (969:17), has made 36 saves and totaled five solo shutouts. Her current goals-against-average (GAA) of 0.65 ranks her fourth in the SEC, while she's deadlocked for second in shutouts.
Redshirt junior forward Giuleana Lopez and sophomore defender/midfielder Jenna Goblirsch lead the way offensively for the `Cats with two goals apiece, while freshman forward Kirsten Robinson, senior forward Stefani Kildare and junior midfielder/forward Sam Au have each contributed one score.