Oct. 30, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's soccer team will play its final regular season match on Thursday night with a chance to share the Southeastern Conference regular season championship. The Wildcats will be traveling to No. 18 South Carolina in a match slated to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. ET at Stone Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
Kentucky enters the season's final regular season match 13-4-1 overall, and 7-3-0 in the SEC. The Wildcats currently trail SEC co-leaders Florida and Texas A&M by three points entering the final match day. The Gamecocks are currently sitting third on the SEC table at 22 points, one point ahead of UK, with a 7-2-1 conference record and 14-2-2 overall.
Both Kentucky and South Carolina enter Thursday night's match needing the same scenario in order to win a share of the conference title. Both need a win in addition to both Florida (at Georgia) and Texas A&M (vs. LSU) losing their matches.
Thursday night marks the 20th all-time meeting between the Wildcats and the Gamecocks, with UK holding the 12-6-1 series advantage. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings, both by a 1-0 score line. USC had won all five matches between 2006 and 2011 before Kentucky went to Columbia two years ago and upset nationally-ranked USC, 1-0.
South Carolina checks in at 17th in the latest NCAA RPI release, and is fighting for a national seed in the tournament. USC is under the direction of Shelley Smith, who is in her 14th year at the helm of the Gamecocks.
Kentucky is No. 26 in this week's NCAA RPI and one of seven SEC teams in the top 50, joining Florida (12), South Carolina (17), Ole Miss (29), Texas A&M (30), Georgia (38) and Tennessee (48).
The Wildcats have already locked up an SEC Tournament berth for the fourth-straight season, and first-round bye into the Wednesday quarterfinal round. UK joins Florida, Texas A&M and South Carolina as the four schools who have locked up first-round byes. There are four teams (Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Auburn) competing for three spots in Orange Beach on Thursday.
The SEC season traditionally ends on a Thursday night, with Kentucky 4-0-0 in the last four seasons in the Thursday night season finale.
For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.