After a scoreless draw on Thursday night, the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team will look to put a tally in the win column on Sunday when it hosts Oakland at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex at 4 p.m. ET.
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.
The Wildcats enter Sunday’s contest with a 2-1-2 record on the year, with their only loss coming at No. 15 South Florida on Aug. 29. After a 1-1 draw in the season opener at Purdue, Kentucky posted back-to-back shutouts over Marshall and Louisiana at home. UK is coming off a 0-0 tie in a hard-fought battle with Dayton on Thursday.
Fresh off a career-high 11 saves versus the Flyers, Laura Nielsen has recorded a league-leading 31 saves on the year. Through the first five matches of her UK career, her 6.2 saves per game also tops the Southeastern Conference standings while her .912 save percentage ranks second.
Leading the Wildcats’ offense is Jordyn Rhodes, who has recorded four goals, 10 points, 20 shots, and 10 shots on goal so far this season. She notched all three goals against the Herd for the second hat trick of her career, becoming just the second UK player to ever record more than one. She is currently tied for second in the SEC in shots (20), ranked third in shots per game (4), and tied for fourth in points (10), points per game (2), and goals (4).
Joining Rhodes on Kentucky’s explosive frontline is Hannah Richardson, who recorded the first multi-goal game of her career versus the Ragin’ Cajuns. Marissa Bosco and Sara Makoben-Blessing both have one goal on the year while Miranda Jimenez, Maria Olsen, Rhodes, and Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir all have two assists.
Oakland will arrive in Lexington with a 1-4 record on the season, most recently dropping a 1-0 decision against Toledo on Sept. 2. The team is paced by Macey Wierenga and Jackie Reilly who both have one goal on the season, while goalkeeper Noemi Stadelmann has made 15 saves for a 0.600 save percentage.
The Golden Grizzlies are led by Juan Pablo Favero, who has amassed a 20-40-10 record in his five years at the helm. Oakland was picked to finish third in the Horizon League preseason poll, its highest prediction since Favero was named head coach.
Sunday will mark the third meeting in program history for the Wildcats and Golden Grizzlies, with UK leading the all-time series record at 1-0-1. The last meeting between the two teams was on Aug. 19, 2011, when Kentucky posted a 3-0 shutout on the road.
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.
– GO CATS –
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