Women's Soccer
Women’s Soccer Faces Florida Sunday on ESPNU

Women’s Soccer Faces Florida Sunday on ESPNU

by Greg Welsh

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s soccer (6-0-3, 0-0-2 SEC) is set for a nationally televised showdown with the Florida Gators (4-3-2, 0-2-0 SEC) Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Wildcats have earned draws in their opening two SEC matches, including a 0-0 result against No. 7/8 South Carolina last Thursday. Kentucky is the only team in the SEC unbeaten on the 2023 season and one of just 15 sides in Division I without a loss.

With two points in conference play, UK has already equaled its 2022 SEC point total. The Cats tied Texas A&M in College Station for their first point against the Aggies since 2012, before earning the program’s first result against the Gamecocks since the 2014 season their last time on the pitch.

The Wildcats nine-match unbeaten streak to start the season is its longest to begin a year since they got results in their first 11 matches in 2005. Kentucky has gotten results in its first two SEC matches for the first time since 2015.

Offensively, the Cats have been led by the combination of fifth-year forward Jordyn Rhodes and freshmen midfielder Tanner Strickland. Rhodes has scored seven goals this season, giving her 43 goals for her UK career, just one goal shy of Kim LaBelle for the program’s all-time record. Strickland has a goal and four assists in her debut season, tying her for the most assists by a freshman in the SEC alongside LSU’s Ava Galligan.

In goal, Marz Josephson leads the conference with six total shutouts, two more than any other keeper in the SEC. Josephson and the Kentucky backline have conceded just three goals this season, the fewest in the conference and tied for the fourth fewest goals allowed in Division I.

Florida has dropped its opening two SEC matches, most recently losing at Tennessee, 2-0. A young Gator side is led offensively by a pair of freshmen in Megan Hinnenkamp and Lena Bailey. Hinnenkamp has a team-high four goals on the year, while Bailey has tallied three goals of her own. Sophomore Lauren McCloskey has also been effective this season, registering three assists thus far.

UK trails the all-time series against UF, 5-25-4 and is looking for the program’s first ever win in Gainesville. The Wildcats and Gators battled in Lexington last year, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw.

For the latest on UK Women’s Soccer, follow the Wildcats on X and Instagram at @UKWomensSoccer, on Facebook and on the web at UKathletics.com.

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