UK women’s soccer to test winning streak against Arkansas and Georgia



By Kevin Erpenbeck

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UK women’s soccer will look to extend its winning streak to eight games when the Cats take on the University of Arkansas on Friday. UK has not had an eight-game winning streak since 2000.

The Cats are led by junior forwards Arin Gilliland and Stuart Pope, who lead the team in assists and goals, respectively.

Gilliland’s eight assists are the second-most in the NCAA and her .89 assists per game is enough for third-most in the nation.

Pope is fourth in the SEC both for total goals (eight) and for total points (18).

UK enters the Arkansas matchup ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll, the first time the Cats are ranked in the poll this season.

In’s Top 25, the Cats are No. 23 in the nation.

The Cats opened their Southeast Conference portion of the schedule Friday, Sept. 20, by defeating the University of Auburn, 1-0.

Pope scored the lone goal against the Tigers, and Gilliland recorded the assist. It was the fourth time this season that the two have hooked up for a goal-assist combination.

“We complement each other very well,” Pope said. “We both want to score or be involved in a play that gets a goal. As juniors, we feel an obligation to be leaders on this team and have an impact on the field.”

Senior goalkeeper Kayla King earned her fourth shutout of the season against the Tigers by stopping all 12 shots and recording six saves.

The win was the first SEC-opening win on the road for the Cats since 2004.

The match against Arkansas marks the home opener of the SEC portion of UK’s schedule.

After facing the Razorbacks, the Cats will take on the University of Georgia on Sunday.

Georgia ranks No. 13 in the nation in the NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI list. The Razorbacks, meanwhile, are ranked No. 23.

“Arkansas and Georgia are both very good at what they do,” Pope said. “To win this weekend would be a huge step for our program. It’s an amazing challenge that we’re going to try to overcome and excel at.”

In the last eight games combined, UK has outscored its opponents 20-4. Six different players have scored for the Cats, including freshman forward Zoe Swift, who has six goals of her own in that span.

The match against Arkansas will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the Georgia game will begin at 6 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will take place in the UK Soccer Complex.