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Women's Soccer to Face No. 5/6 UCLA in NCAA Tournament

  • Written by UK Athletics

A week after the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team (14-6-1, 8-5-1 SEC) earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory 1-0 in overtime against UT Martin, the Wildcats will be back in action on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET looking to earn the school’s first Sweet 16 appearance as they take on the No. 5/6 UCLA Bruins in San Diego, Calif.

 

“Obviously, we are very excited to still be training,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “There are only 32 teams in the country still training at this point. Friday was a big moment for this program. I think we all felt the pressure to get over the hump. That moment was something special,”

Kentucky’s Kelli Hubly delivered the game-winning goal over UT Martin in the 93rd minute of overtime on Friday night, propelling UK to a Friday night match against UCLA, with the winner getting the winner of the San Diego State/California game.

Kentucky’s Kayla King has posted shutouts in five of the last seven games, including a stretch in which the junior net minder went over 420 minutes without allowing a goal in Southeastern Conference play. The UK back line made things easy on King a week ago, not allowing UT Martin to even record a shot in the final 56 minutes of action in the opening round.

UCLA comes into Friday night as one of the PAC-12’s best teams, hoisting a 16-2-2 record on the season, with a 8-2-1 conference record. The Bruins stood at 16-0-1 before falling in its last two regular season games to Southern Cal and No. 1 Stanford in back-to-back games. UCLA defeated Wisconsin 1-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament behind steady defense and a barrage of 18 shots in the game compared to the Badgers two.

“We are going to go have fun and play hard,” Lipstiz said. “I have all the respect in the world for UCLA and all the respect in the world for what they have accomplished in the past and what they have accomplished this year. I think there are four or five teams in the country being talked about as a team that can win a national championship, and they are one of them,”

The Bruins are led in scoring by Zakiya Bywaters, who has scored 13 goals on the season coupled with four assists in 20 games of action leads the team with 30 points on the season, more than 10 points more than any other player on the Bruins’ roster. UCLA goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has started in 17 games this season, collecting a 15-2-0 record and a 0.55 GAA.

Kentucky vs. UCLA:

How they got here:

UCLA – Received one of 34 at-large bids, Def. Wisconsin 1-0 in 1st Round on Saturday

Kentucky – Received one of 34 at-large bids, Def. UT Martin 1-0 in 1st Round on Friday

Records:

UCLA – 16-2-2, 8-2-0 PAC-12

Kentucky – 14-6-1, 8-5-1 SEC

Head Coaches:

UCLA – BJ Snow (Second season at UCLA)

Kentucky – Jon Lipsitz (Fourth season at Kentucky)

Top Scorers:

UCLA – Zakiya Bywaters (13 goals, 4 assists, 30 points)

Kentucky – Arin Gilliland (7 goals, 7 assists, 21 points)

Goalkeepers:

UCLA – Katelyn Rowland (15-2-0, 0.55 GAA, 9 GA, 10 ShO)

Kentucky – Kayla King (13-3-0, 0.76 GAA, 10 GA, 6 ShO)

NCAA Tournament Programs:

The official program of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship can be found using the link provided here: http://www.ncaa.com/diWomensSoccer

(Photo courtesy of UK Athletics)

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