#25 Kentucky Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats

Overall Rank: #25
#4 SEC
#25 Kentucky Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Kentucky Team Page


It was another very successful season in 2013 for Kentucky women’s soccer. The Wildcats returned to the NCAA Tournament once again and made it to the second round before falling to eventual national champion UCLA. Head Coach Jon Lipsitz has steadily built this Kentucky program into an emerging power in the Southeastern Conference and nationwide.

2013 Record: 14-7-1, 7-4-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jon Lipsitz

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Arin Gilliland, Senior, D, 12
Assists: Arin Gilliland, Senior, D, 10
Shots: Arin Gilliland, Senior, D, 100
Saves: Ayanna Parker, Sophomore, GK, 1

Other Key Returnees: F Zoe Swift, F Cara Ledman, F Kelli Hubly, M/F Stuart Pope, M Alex Carter, M Kaitlin Miller, M Olivia Jester,

Key Losses: GK Kayla King, F Caitlin Landis, M Danielle Krohn, D Kacie Kumar

The experience and clutch play of the three captains for 2014 is huge, including Arin Gilliland who is one of the best attacking defenders in the nation. Stuart Pope, and Courtney Raetzman are also going to be key leaders this season. Pope is the biggest wildcard as she was on pace for a tremendous season with ten goals and seven assists before a season ending injury. Raetzman also returns from injury and will be a stabilizing force in the midfield this season. Also, with three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, this team now has the culture of winning.

The defense has to be better in 2014 as the Wildcats allowed 26 goals last season. For Kentucky to take the next step and go deeper in the postseason they have to cut that number down to about 15 goals allowed. The goalkeeper position will be interesting to watch as sophomore Ayanna Parker will have to step up as the starter and help the backline as they come together early on in the season. If Parker can have a save percentage that gets into the 80 percent range, that will make a big difference for the Wildcats this season.

Final Projection:
The schedule starts with a very difficult trip out to Seattle to take on Washington and Seattle University. Both the Huskies and the Redhawks are potential NCAA Tournament sides and if the Wildcats can get results in both that will be a great tone setter for the season. The rivalry showdown with Louisville on the road and a home match with Pepperdine are the other signature matches of the non-conference schedule. The conference schedule is not too bad with Florida and South Carolina coming to Lexington. The toughest road match in SEC play will be at Texas A&M on October 5th. Overall, if this Kentucky side stays healthy than watch out as they will be a tough battle for everyone on the schedule.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.95 (46th in nation, 4th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.294 (171, 9)
Shutout Percentage: 0.273 (185, 10)
Save Percentage:  0.729 (262, 11)


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