Women's Soccer
Kentucky Returns Home to Play South Carolina on Sunday Afternoon

Kentucky Returns Home to Play South Carolina on Sunday Afternoon

by Chandler Brandes

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team is back in action on Sunday afternoon as South Carolina comes to Lexington to continue Southeastern Conference play. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

Admission to all matches at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex will be free to the public for the 2021 season. For those unable to attend in person, the game will be carried on SEC Network+ with Dave Baker and Payton Atkins on the call.

Kentucky, who enters Sunday’s contest with a 6-3-2 (0-2) record, is seeking its first SEC win this season after dropping a 1-0 decision at Florida on Thursday. The Wildcats are 5-1-1 at home, having only lost to Texas A&M in the conference opener on Sept. 17. 

UK has posted four shutouts so far this season — including three on home turf — while three Wildcats in Marissa Bosco, Jordyn Rhodes, and Hannah Richardson all have at least one multi-goal game under their belt. Richardson paves the way with a trio of two-goal games on the year against Louisiana, Oakland, and Bellarmine, while Jordyn Rhodes netted the second hat trick of her career versus Marshall.

Rhodes and Richardson lead UK with eight goals apiece, good enough to rank second in the SEC standings while the dynamic duo’s 0.73 goals per game is tied for third. Additionally, Rhodes’ 21 points on the year sits in second on the conference leaderboard while her 1.91 points per game and 36 shots both rank third. 

Between the posts, Laura Nielsen has recorded 44 saves to rank second in the league as her four saves per game is third. Her .815 save percentage ranks fifth and her career-high 11 saves against Dayton is the second most any SEC goalkeeper has recorded in a single contest.

Collectively, Kentucky’s 27 goals on the year are tied for third amongst all SEC teams while its 187 shots rank fourth.

South Carolina will arrive in Lexington with a 7-2 mark on the year and are 2-0 in conference play after taking down Missouri, 2-1, and Vanderbilt, 1-0. The Gamecocks received votes in the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll and were ranked No. 19 by TopDrawerSoccer. The team is led by head coach Shelley Smith who has amassed a 272-124-48 record in her 21 years at the helm.

Eveleen Hahn and Corinna Zullo pace the Gamecocks with four goals each while Ryan Gareis has dished out six assists. In net, goalkeeper Heather Hinz has recorded 24 saves for a .800 save percentage. As a team, South Carolina’s 17 goals rank seventh for all SEC teams while its 123 shots rank ninth.

Sunday will be the 27th meeting between the Wildcats and Gamecocks in program history, with Kentucky holding a slight edge in the all-time series record at 13-12-1. The last meeting between the two teams was on Oct. 4, 2020, in Columbia with the home team winning, 1-0. 

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer program, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

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