Tennessee maintains an 11-9 all-time advantage in its series versus Kentucky, but UK is 4-3 against the Lady Vols over the last seven meetings. Included is a 1-0 (2OT) win for the `Cats in Lexington, Ky., back on Oct. 14. UT is 2-2 versus the Blue & White in four all-time match-ups at the SEC Tournament. The last meeting in the league's annual showcase was a 2-0 UK win back on Nov. 3, 2006, in Orange Beach, Ala.
The Wildcats enter this weekend with a 13-6 overall record and a 6-5 mark in SEC action to secure the sixth seeding in the tourney. In its most recent match on Oct. 28, UK topped Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., 4-2. Kentucky is 1-3 against ranked teams this year with that lone win coming over the Lady Vols. The `Cats are also a perfect 2-0 in neutral site matches.
Junior F Kelsey Hunyadi heads the Kentucky offense and is second in the league with 34 points on 12 goals and 10 assists, while sophomore F Caitlin Landis owns six goals and two helpers. 10 different Wildcats have goals, while six possess at least two scores. Freshman GK Kayla Price tallied a 1.21 GAA, 74 saves and a 13-6 record with six solo shutouts between the pipes.
Kentucky finished the regular season eighth in the SEC in total goals (33) for a 1.74 goal per match average, while Tennessee tied for third with 40 scores for a 2.11 per match mark. The Big Orange tied league champ South Carolina for the best defensive effort, allowing just 15 goals or 0.79 per match. UK tied Georgia for fifth, permitting 23 goals or 1.21 per contest.
Tennessee Soccer Free Kicks
The Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team boasts a strong history of success in the annual SEC Tournament, rating second all-time in league annals behind Florida with four titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2008). UT owns a 12-10-3 all-time record in the conference's yearly showcase with its 12 victories tying with Vanderbilt and Kentucky for second behind the Gators (35). Since the start of the 2002 event, the Big Orange is 12-5-3 with the four crowns. Unfortunately, the last Tennessee victory in Orange Beach came back in 2008 in the title match against Georgia. Over the past two seasons, the Lady Vols have lost in quarterfinal action, 1-0 (2OT) to #10 Florida (2009) and 1-0 (OT) to LSU (2010).
The dynamic Tennessee forward duo of senior Emily Dowd (six goals, four assists in SEC action) and sophomore Caroline Brown (four goals, five assists in SEC action) have been awarded ALL-SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM accolades while goalkeeper Julie Eckel (7-4 record, 0.97 GAA, 59 saves, five shutouts in SEC action) has been tabbed to the SEC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM for their outstanding efforts during the conference season. By virtue of their selections, they become the 24th, 25th, and 26th Lady Vols to be honored as All-SEC in program history and give the Big Orange 49 all-time nods to the all-conference squads. In all, 43 of those 49 selections have come during the 12-season tenure of head coach Angela Kelly.
Apparently a school record streak of 471:10 from Aug. 26-Sept. 23 of this season wasn't enough for the 2011 version of the Lady Vol soccer team. Entering the SEC Tournament, the Big Orange have KEPT THE OPPOSITION OFF THE SCOREBOARD FOR THE LAST 256:03 dating back to the first half against Alabama on Oct. 20. As of right now, it rates as the 15th longest shutout skein in school history. If UT were to blank Kentucky in regulation in the SEC quarterfinals, the occurrence would advance the current streak to seventh.
The combination of Tennessee's backline (most frequently made up of freshman Allie Sirna, junior Ali Hall and sophomores Tori Bailey and Caroline Capocaccia) and freshman goalkeeper Julie Eckel have worked to turn in one of the best defensive seasons in Lady Vol soccer history. UT has permitted JUST 15 OPPONENT SCORES OVER ITS OPENING 19 MATCHES, equaling the previous best goals allowed mark established by the 2004 Big Orange defense. That 2004 UT "D" was anchored by current Tennessee soccer assistant coach and then-senior All-American defender Keeley Dowling.