Sept. 27, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team (6-2-1, 1-0-0 SEC) will continue its Southeastern Conference opening weekend on the road. The Crimson Tide will head over to Lexington, Ky. to face the Kentucky Wildcats (2-5-2, 0-0-1 SEC) on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Noon CT at the UK Soccer Complex. Alabama is coming off a 2-0 win at Vanderbilt while Kentucky tied Auburn 0-0 to open the SEC schedule.
Who to Watch: Alabama sophomore midfielder Brooke Rogers came off the bench to lead the Crimson Tide over the Vanderbilt Commodores to open the SEC schedule. Rogers scored and then handed out an assist to give Alabama a 2-0 win on the road in Nashville. The three points in the contest was a career best for the Cincinnati, Ohio native. Rogers now has five points on a goal and three assists. Her three assists is currently tied for the team lead. The midfielder tallied eight points and scored three times last season.
Last Time Out: The Alabama soccer team opened its SEC schedule in impressive fashion as they handed the SEC Eastern Division leader Vanderbilt a 2-0 defeat Friday night at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The win is the first on the season for the Crimson Tide on the road and it also marks the first loss at home for the Commodores in 2008. The shutout is the fifth in a row for Alabama and marks just the second time in the series and for the first time since the 1999 season UA had beaten VU. Sophomore midfielder Brooke Rogers came into the contest off the bench and made the most of her minutes as she tallied an early goal for the Tide and handed out an assist on the late insurance goal by Kelsey King.
Scouting Kentucky: The Wildcats sport a 2-5-2 record and a 1-1-2 mark at home thus far this season. Kentucky only has two wins to its credit in 2008, earning its first of the season at Cincinnati and then closing out non-conference action with a 4-0 victory against Cleveland State at home. As a team the Wildcats have netted nine goals and allowed 14. Laura Novikoff enters the weekend tied for first in the SEC in goals scored with five and points with 11. Julie Hull paced the Wildcats in the non-conference schedule in assists with three. In net, Sydney Hiance has done all the goaltending for the Cats this season. Hiance has made 31 saves and sports a 1.70 goals against average. Both her wins on the season came by the way of the shutout. The Wildcats have made it to the SEC postseason tournament for 14 straight seasons.
Alabama vs. Kentucky: The Series Sunday's meeting will mark the 12th time the two programs square off. Alabama defeated Kentucky 2-1 in Tuscaloosa last season. The Crimson Tide has not had much success in Lexington as Kentucky sports a 4-1 mark on its home field. The Wildcats have out-scored the Crimson Tide 13-3 in Lexington. The last time the two teams played on the Kentucky campus, Alabama fell 3-0 on Oct. 1, 2006.
Shutout Record: Alabama has posted five straight shutouts which marks a new school record. The Crimson Tide posted four consecutive in 1987 and tallied three consecutive shutouts in 1994. Alabama started the streak with back-to-back 1-0 wins over Samford and Wright State and then added to it with a 5-0 drubbing of UTC and then a 1-0 blanking of Mississippi Valley State. The Crimson Tide opened SEC play with a 2-0 win over Vanderbilt. UA has posted five straight at home which breaks a school record to start a season. Kara Gudmens has earned a shutout in her last four starts.
SEC Openers: Alabama earned its first SEC opening match victory since 1999. Oddly enough that last win came against Vanderbilt in Tuscaloosa and that win also marked the last time the Crimson Tide had beaten the Commodores. Alabama handed head coach Todd Bramble his first career SEC win at the helm of the Tide in his first attempt with a 2-0 victory at VU on Friday. The win also marks the first road victory for Alabama in 2008.
Next Time Out: Alabama will return home and continue SEC play. The Crimson Tide will welcome the two schools from Mississippi. UA will host Mississippi State on Friday, Oct. 3 and then close out the weekend against Mississippi on Sunday, Oct. 5. Both games will be played at the Alabama Soccer Complex.