Soccer Opens SEC Schedule on the Road in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The LSU soccer team, off to one of the program’s best starts in history, will face the Kentucky Wildcats to open Southeastern Conference play on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT at the UK Soccer Complex.
The Tigers (7-1-1) are facing the Wildcats for the first time since the 2000 season when Kentucky registered a 2-0 win in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga. LSU is 0-6 all-time versus Kentucky but the Tigers are looking to start 1-0 in league play for the fourth-straight season. LSU began 2-0 in the SEC last season with victories over Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
“This is going to be a very big weekend for our team and program,” said LSU head coach George Fototpoulos. “We are now starting the most important part of our season because we are facing teams in our conference and they do not get any bigger than these. We are facing a good team in each game and we need to play good, solid soccer if we want to win.”
LSU enters Friday’s match having outscored the opposition 37-6 through the first nine matches this season. The Tigers’ only blemishes this season are a 1-1 tie with Tulane in double overtime and a tough 4-3 loss, also in double overtime, to nationally-ranked Texas on Sept. 14 in Austin. Texas. The Tigers have recorded five shutouts this season and enter the weekend with a 33-4-3 mark against non-conference competition under Fotopoulos.
Freshman forward Stacy Bishop, a native of Land O’Lakes, Fla., leads the team and is second in the conference with 10 goals this season. Bishop is also second in the conference in points and shots and ranks first in both points and goals per game. The Tigers scored only 57 goals last season. Junior forward Artie Brown is second on the team with nine goals and is now third all-time in school history with 22 goals scored. Brown is one score away from tying former teammate Mandy Heintz for second place. Senior midfielder Stephanie Keating also needs just one assist to tie teammate Rachel Cohen for the school record in assists with 20. Cohen broke the record by tallying her 20th in a 4-0 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 19.
Kentucky enters the contest with a 3-5-1 record but are 1-0 in conference play after a 1-0 win versus the Tigers’ opponent on Sunday, Vanderbilt, on Sept. 26 in Nashville, Tenn.
LSU will face Vanderbilt on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CDT in a match that will be televised live on SEC-TV (Fox Sports Net South, Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge) to complete the road trip. Kentucky will host Arkansas on Sunday at 2 p.m.