Women’s soccer sets its sight on Tennessee



By Tom Hurley | @TomHurleyKernel

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UK women’s soccer completes a four-game road trip this weekend looking to get its push for an SEC tournament berth back on track.

With a 3-4-1 conference record (8-5-1 overall), the Cats occupy sixth position in the SEC standings with five games remaining.

The top 10 teams in the final standings will advance to postseason play, making it vital that UK head coach Jon Lipsitz’s side get back to its early-season form.

A four-game winless streak has seen the Cats slip to within the grasp of a hoard of teams that could overtake them in the SEC standings depending on results this weekend.

The Cats have collected one tie and three losses in the four games played since a 2-1 overtime win over LSU in Baton Rouge, La., on Sept. 23.

First up for Lipsitz’s team is a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., Friday to take on 5-2-1 (10-3-2 overall) Tennessee.

UK will step onto the Regal Stadium field against a team on a hot streak, as Tennessee heads into the game on the back of three consecutive 1-0 victories.

“I have really been impressed from what I’ve seen from Tennessee,” Lipsitz said.

With nine shutouts on the season and an offense with four players tied for the team lead in goals scored, Lipsitz appreciates the work of Lady Vols head coach Brian Pensky.

“They are a tremendous defending team and have given up very few goals in the SEC, but they are also very dangerous on attack,” he said.

Following Friday’s encounter, the Cats make the short journey south for a Sunday matinee against 2-4-2 (6-7-2 overall) Georgia.

While the Bulldogs have recorded two wins since the end of August, few teams have enjoyed successful visits to Athens this season.

Only Missouri and New Mexico have walked out of the visiting locker room at the Turner Soccer Complex with wins in 2012.

If that trend continues Sunday, the Cats could find themselves on the outside looking in at the SEC tournament qualification picture as they return to Lexington to close out the regular season with a three-game home stand.