NASHVILLE, Tenn. -Vanderbilt soccer will play its final game of the regular season Friday night at Kentucky at 6 p.m. CT at the UK Soccer Complex.
The Commodores are 9-7-1 and in 10th place in the Southeastern Conference with a 3-6-1 mark. The Wildcats have lost six of their last seven matches and are 4-12-1 overall and in 11th place in the league with a 2-7-1 mark.
VU is still in contention for the eighth and final spot in the SEC tournament that begins next week in Orange Beach, Ala. The Commodores need a win over the Wildcats, plus help from other schools to get the spot. Alabama needs to beat Auburn, LSU needs to beat Arkansas and Mississippi State needs to beat Ole Miss. In this scenario, the eighth and final spot would be decided between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss with both teams finishing with identical 4-6-1 league marks. According to SEC rules, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition. The teams tied 0-0 last Thursday in Nashville. The next tiebreaker is goal differential. Vanderbilt has been outscored by two goals this year, while Ole Miss and its opponents have scored the same amount.
The Commodores are led in scoring by sophomore midfielder Molly Kinsella who has a career best eight goals on the year. Goalkeeper Rachel Bachtel has been in net for two straight shutouts and has a 1.25 goals against average entering Friday’s contest.
The Wildcats are led in scoring by sophomore forward Laura Novikoff who has six goals and an assist this year (13 points). Freshman goalkeeper Laura Burton has a 2.48 goals against average and is expected to start in net for the Wildcats.
Vanderbilt holds a 11-10 series advantage and is 5-5 in games played in Lexington. Kentucky has won the last two meetings in the series and seven of the last eight.