UK fans are again geared up for another Championship run
|USA Today Coaches Poll|
|17||San Diego State||31-5||251|
UK one of just 10 schools to chart 25-plus wins five consecutive seasons
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After its school-record fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fifth consecutive season with 25-plus wins, the Kentucky women’s basketball team has earned top-15 preseason rankings by in several preseason publications, including Athlon Sports Magazine, Lindy’s Sports Magazine and Sporting News.
Kentucky, which finished 26-9 in 2013-14 and advanced to its third straight Sweet 16, is ranked No. 11 by Athlon Sports, No. 12 by Lindy’s Sports and No. 15 by Sporting News.
Seven letter winners return from last season’s squad, including top scorer and Southeastern Conference Co-6th Woman of the Year Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.), and starters Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Janee Thompson (Chicago). O’Neill, a 5-foot-6 senior guard, dropped in a team-high 12.6 points per game last year, while Goss, a 5-10 senior guard, was the team’s third-leading scorer with 10.2 ppg. Thompson, a 5-7 junior point guard, averaged 8.6 points per game a year ago, while dishing out a team-best 107 assists. Also returning is senior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) who saw action in all 35 games last season with five starts and senior forward Jelléah Sidney (Queens Village, N.Y.) who averaged 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and was second on the team in steals with 41. The dynamic sophomore duo of Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) look to pick up where they left off last season. Harper, a 5-8 guard and member of the SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Tournament team, averaged 6.9 points per game overall, including 9.5 ppg in postseason play. Epps, a 5-10 guard, was one of the team’s best shooters, hitting .483 percent from the field (56-of-116).
New additions to the roster this season include junior college transfer and 6-foot-6 center Ivana Jakubcova (Bratislava, Slovakia), freshman shooting guard Jaycee Coe (Gainesboro, Tenn.), freshman and forward/center Alexis Jennings (Madison, Ala.) and freshman center Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg, Ohio). Sophomore forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Lebanon, Ky.) also will be available for action after sitting out last season with a pulmonary embolism.
The Wildcats open up the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Pikeville on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free and the game will be streamed live on SEC Network +. Events on SEC Network + are exclusively available on SECNetwork.com and on WatchESPN via computers, smartphones and tablets.
Follow UK Hoops on Twitter and Instagram at @UKHoopCats and on Facebook by liking University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball.
- South Carolina
- Texas A&M
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- Oregon State
- South Carolina
- Notre Dame
- North Carolina
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- West Virginia
- Michigan State
- Brigham Young
- Penn State
- Oregon State
- Norte Dame
- South Carolina
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Cabot, Lindsey sweep diving events as Wildcats downed by perennial powerhouse Florida
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Highlighted by two wins each from seniors Christina Bechtel and Christa Cabot and freshman Levi Lindsey, the Kentucky swimming and diving team lost to perennial powerhouse Florida Thursday night at the Lancaster Aquatics Center. The women fell 161-137 while the men lost 164-128 to the defending Southeastern Conference champions.
“We knew it was going to be tough, but I thought we fought hard today,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “We made some progress in certain areas and had some good races, but we just need to continue to get better for NCAAs. Florida is the defending SEC Champions so they are really good on the men’s side. We need to get better, but that’s ok because it’s still early. We’ll keep on building towards March.”
Bechtel, who won three events in last weekend’s season-opener, claimed wins in the 100 and 200 butterfly. The Franklin, Tenn., native won both events with NCAA B qualifying times.
Led by Cabot and Lindsey, UK swept all four diving events. A two-time All-American in 2014, Cabot won the 1- and 3-meter competition, both with season-high scores. Lindsey won the first collegiate event of his career in the 3-meter before a win in the 1-meter.
“Overall I thought, the team had a very positive attitude,” head diving coach Ted Hautau said. “Levi Lindsey stood out, he had a great event in the 3-meter which was huge for him. He is a very inexperienced diver and he performed really well. The men went 1-2 on 1-meter which was huge for both of them. Stephen Jou dove great. Christa Cabot won both events and did a phenomenal job. I thought the girls stepped up, especially Christa.”
Sophomore Kyle Higgins added a win for the Wildcats in the 200 butterfly as Kentucky also recorded 17 runner-up finishes.
Kentucky hits the road for the first time this season, Oct. 31 in Knoxville, Tenn. The Wildcats face SEC foe Tennessee and Indiana at 2 p.m. ET. UK returns home Nov. 7 and 8 for a quad meet featuring Missouri, Northwestern and Southern Illinois. Competition begins at 1 p.m. with the diving events, while swimming commences at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Lancaster Aquatics Center. Nov. 8’s schedule will be announced at a later date, tentatively set to begin at 9 or 11 a.m.
Cabot claimed her first victory of the season with a 327.83 in the 3-meter event. The senior bested Florida’s Kahlia Warner by just over four points. In the 1-meter event, Cabot tallied a 327.45, also a season-best to win by over 20 points over Warner.
Lindsey earned his first collegiate victory on 1-meter with a career-best 307.43. The first-year diver beat out teammate and fellow freshman Stephen Jou, who finished second with a career-high 292.28. On 3-meter, Lindsey won with a 360.75 to cap a perfect night for the UK divers.
Bechtel notched UK’s first win of the day with a 1:57.70 in the 200 yard butterfly. The senior finished over four seconds faster than the second-place swimmer, Florida’s Alyssa Yambor-Maul to post an NCAA B qualifying time in the event.
In the very next event, UK posted a 1-2 finish in the men’s 200 butterfly. Higgins won with a season-best 1:49.96, ahead of teammate Isaac Jones, who touched the wall in 1:50.54.
After an NCAA-best time in the 100 butterfly last week, Bechtel bested her time with a 53.03 to win the event Thursday. A member of the USA Swimming National Team in 2014-15, Bechtel’s win in the 100 butterfly was her team-best fifth of the young season.
UK’s runner-up finishes, 17 in all, was headlined by Bechtel, who finished second in three events, and sophomore Brandon Flynn and freshman Isaac Jones, who both recorded two runner-up finishes.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.
(Photos by Tammie Brown – Camen Media)
UK football team to play eight home games at The New CWS in 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The fall of 2015 will start a new chapter for the University of Kentucky football program with the opening of The New CWS, and fans can now start making plans for fall trips to Lexington as the Wildcats’ 2015 schedule, including eight home games, was released Tuesday night.
The challenging 2015 schedule includes non-conference home games against UL Lafayette, EKU, Charlotte and Louisville. Kentucky will play an eight-game Southeastern Conference schedule, facing SEC Eastern Division opponents Florida, Missouri and Tennessee at home and South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt on the road. UK will host Auburn on a Thursday night in Lexington, before traveling to Mississippi State the following weekend to complete play against SEC Western Division opponents.
Kentucky will start its 2015 season at home on Sept. 5 against UL Lafayette, marking the second straight season UK has opened a season at home after neutral-site or true road game season openers the previous six seasons. The Wildcats start SEC play at Williams-Brice Stadium against South Carolina on Sept. 12, before returning to Lexington to start a four-game home stretch, including contests against Florida on Sept. 19 and Missouri on Sept. 26 to complete the month of September.
The Wildcats will leave conference play to start October, hosting in-state foe EKU on Oct. 3, before an open date on Oct. 10 and a Thursday home game vs. Auburn on Oct. 15. It will be Kentucky’s first-ever Thursday home game. Kentucky concludes the month of October by traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 24 and hosting Tennessee on Oct. 31. It will be the earliest UK and UT have met since 1909.
UK starts November on the road, traveling to Georgia on Nov. 7 and Vanderbilt on Nov. 14. The VU game will conclude SEC action for the Wildcats as they play host to Charlotte on Nov. 21 and in-state rival Louisville on Nov. 28 to conclude regular-season play. It will be the first time UK has ended the regular season with consecutive non-conference games since joining the SEC in 1933.
For the 24th consecutive year, the 2015 regular season will culminate with the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 5 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The complete 2015 schedule and notes about the schedule are below.
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2015 Schedule Notes:
- UK has eight home games in 2015, the most in a single season since UK also had eight in 2007.
- It will be Kentucky’s first-ever meeting against UL Lafayette and Charlotte. Charlotte is currently a FCS Independent school, but will play its first season as an FBS team (Conference USA) in the fall of 2015.
- For the second consecutive season, the UK-UofL game will be on the final weekend of the regular season. Prior to 2014, the UK-UofL game had been played early in the season since the series renewed in 1994. The 2015 game will be the 22nd straight year the two rivals have met.
- Kentucky and Tennessee will face off in the month of October for the first time since 1909. It will only be the fourth time in UK’s 125-year history it has faced Tennessee in the month of October.
- It will mark the 111th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Tennessee, the most for UK vs. any one opponent. The two teams have met annually since 1919, except for 1943, when Kentucky did not field a team.
- Kentucky will start SEC play against South Carolina for the first time in program history. UK had opened SEC play each of the past six seasons against Florida.
- The Wildcats will have a four-game home stretch from Sept. 19 to Oct. 15, marking the longest home stand since the 2001 team started the season with four straight home games.
- UK’s open date will be Saturday, Oct. 10. UK has had two open dates each of the past two years.
- Kentucky’s game against Auburn will be on Thursday, Oct. 15. It will be the first Thursday home game in program history. UK has played several Thursday road games over the past few seasons (2007 at South Carolina; 2011 vs. WKU in Nashville, Tenn.; 2013 at Mississippi State).
- It will be Kentucky’s first meeting against Auburn since the Tigers’ National Championship season in 2010.
- UK’s permanent SEC West opponent, Mississippi State is on the schedule for the 26th straight season.
- Kentucky and EKU will meet for the first time since 2009. UK leads the series 3-0.
- UK ends the regular season with consecutive non-conference games for the first time since it entered the SEC in 1933.
2015 Kentucky Football Schedule
Date Opponent 2014 Record 2014 Ranking (as of Oct. 12)
Sept. 5 UL LAFAYETTE 2-3 not ranked
Sept. 12 at South Carolina 3-3 receiving votes in AP
Sept. 19 FLORIDA 3-2 not ranked
Sept. 26 MISSOURI 4-2 not ranked
Oct. 3 EKU 6-0 No. 12 in FCS Coaches’ Poll
Oct. 10 Open date – –
Oct. 15 (Thu.) AUBURN 5-1 No. 6 AP; No. 8 USA Today
Oct. 24 at Mississippi State 6-0 No. 1 AP; No. 1 USA Today
Oct. 31 TENNESSEE 3-3 not ranked
Nov. 7 at Georgia 5-1 No. 10 AP; No. 10 USA Today
Nov. 14 at Vanderbilt 2-5 not ranked
Nov. 21 CHARLOTTE 3-4 not ranked
Nov. 28 LOUISVILLE 5-2 receiving votes in AP
Sophomore Outfielder Marcus Carson Goes 3-for-3 with Two Stolen Bases
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sophomore outfielder Marcus Carson had a three-hit, two stolen base day to highlight a five-inning Kentucky baseball fall intrasquad scrimmage, on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
A native of London, Ky., Carson was 3-for-3 with two steals to highlight the scrimmage. Carson, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound speedy left-handed hitter, hit .364 (12-for-33) as a true freshman in 2014, with two doubles and nine RBI, stealing two bases. Carson shined situationally in 2014, going 4-for-11 as a pinch-hitter and collecting five of hits and five RBI with two outs.
Sophomore outfielder Storm Wilson – who tied for the SEC freshman lead in 2014 with four homers – tallied the other multi-hit game for the Wildcats, going 2-for-3 with a steal. Wilson joined junior outfielder Kyle Barrett, freshman first baseman Evan White, freshman infielder Riley Mahan and freshman catcher/infielder Marshall Gei with hits.
On the mound, junior right-handed starters Zach Strecker and Taylor Martin each worked two shutout innings. Freshman lefty Jared Proctor tossed two shutout innings, striking out three, with Dylan Dwyer and Matt Snyder each working shutout frames.
Kentucky will scrimmage three more times during the week, resuming on Friday at 2 p.m., returning at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Available parking for Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be in Parking Structure #7 for $2.00/hour.
Two goals on each side of half help UK extend unbeaten run
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Two goals before half, and a three-goal onslaught in the second period gave the Kentucky men’s soccer team, a 5-1 win at Evansville on a rainy Wednesday night at McCutchan Stadium.
The win was Kentucky’s third straight; it’s longest streak of the season and extended the team’s unbeaten run to five. The Wildcats improved to 7-3-3 (2-0-2 Conference USA) on the year, while Evansville fell to 4-7-1.
“It’s always nice to score that many goals and to get lots of different scorers involved,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “It’s also nice to get everyone that travelled playing time. This was Noah Hutchins’ first minutes of the year and Stuart Ford’s first competitive minutes in goal.
“It’s nice to do that. Preparing for Evansville, watching them on tape, they have a couple of guys who are very special. We tried to get the guys fired up in different ways to try to stop them from playing their game. In the end we did that very well because that’s a good team that’s much better than its record.”
Justin Laird and Ryan Creel scored 10 minutes apart in the first half, while UK’s defensive midfielders – Kristoffer Tollefsen and Paul Sime – each scored early in the second half to remove all doubt from the result by the hour mark.
Evansville’s Dylan Terry pegged a goal back on 70 minutes, but Kevin Barajas notched his first goal of the season just five minutes before full time.
Tollefsen’s goal came on a nicely taken direct free kick. The goal was his second of the season. Sime scored his first of the year after making a run more than half the length of the field as he was played in by Laird.
Jason Pitts, who scored on Sunday, assisted Barajas’ goal.
With five goals in the game, UK tied the fifth-most goals in a game and marked the 15th time in program history UK has scored five goals. UK’s five-goal outburst marked its most goals in a game since a 6-1 win over Florida Atlantic last season in Lexington. It was UK’s first five-goal performance on the road since 2012 at Florida International.
The comfortable victory served as a tune-up for UK’s return to C-USA action this coming Saturday.
The Wildcats will host ninth-ranked New Mexico on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. The match will be a showdown between the second and third-place teams in Conference USA as the Wildcats are on eight points in league play and the Lobos
Justin Laird and Ryan Creel were both on the mark 10 minutes apart to give UK soccer multiple first-half goals for the first time this season.
Justin Laird gave the UK soccer team a 1-0 advantage with a 25th minute curler from the top of the box. Laird’s goal was his team-leading fourth of the year.
The goal was assisted on a counter-attack by Napo Matsoso, who notched his team-leading fourth assist of the year.
The goal came on the break as Evansville was caught with numbers forward for a wide-set piece and calling for a penalty.
After the free kick pinged around in the box, it hit a UK defender in the midsection from extremely close range and the Evansville Players appealed to the ref for a spot kick, but nothing was giving.
With the Purple Aces focused on the referee, the Wildcats set about on the counter. Napo Matsoso played a ball from midfield to Laird, who dribbled to the top of the box found a bit of space to curl a left-footed shot across the goal and into the top left corner.
Ten minutes later UK would take a 2-0 lead. Ryan Creel’s glancing header off a Charlie Reymann corner trickled through multiple defenders and across the goal line.
The goal was Creel’s second of the season, and Reymann’s assist getting him back to tied for the team lead with Matsoso on four.
SETTING THE STAGE
The Wildcats were coming off two-straight wins, including a 1-0 victory at No. 21 UAB and a 2-0 result over Marshall at home on Sunday. The win over UAB was UK’s second road win over a ranked opponent this year as the Wildcats also defeated then-top-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend last month.
Evansville (4-6-1) entered the matchup coming two straight wins, including a 2-1 win over Bradley last Saturday.
UK head coach Johan Cedergren named an unchanged side from the one which had won each of the last two games.
Napo Matsoso set up at the heart of the attack in the central attacking midfield role as he was coming off a career day vs. Marshall. The sophomore scored a penalty after drawing the spot-kick and assisted the second goal.
The UK defense remained the same as it had ever since the second match of the year with Callum Irving in goal, and Charlie Reymann, Kaelon Fox, reigning C-USA defensive player of the Week Jordan Wilson and Matt Quick stretched across the back line from left to right.
That lineup kept two more clean sheets last week to give them eight this year, which ranks second nationally. UK also ranks third nationally in goals-against-average as the Wildcats are letting in less than a half a goal per game (0.40).
UK also began Wednesday’s match having posted a C-USA best eight shutouts to tie for third in the NCAA.
The Wildcats offense had also begun to click during the recent run of strong form. Bryan Celis became the second Wildcat to notch multiple goals this year as he netted the winner from distance at UAB. Justin Laird leads UK with three goals this year.
Provided by UK Athletics
Here are the BluegrassPreps.com Football Rankings for 10-13
1. Mayfield vs. Fulton County
2. Beechwood at Dayton
3. Pikeville vs. Phelps
4. Williamsburg at Berea
5. Frankfort at Bracken County
6. Raceland at Fairview
7. Hazard at Jenkins
8. Russellville vs. Fulton City
9. Holy Cross (Louisville) vs. Caverna
10. Paintsville vs. Nicholas County
1. DeSales vs. #3 Christian Academy-Louisville
2. Caldwell County at #6 Murray
3. Christian Academy-Louisville at #1 DeSales
4. Owensboro Catholic at Union County
5. Bardstown at Washington County
6. Murray vs. #2 Caldwell County
7. Danville at Middlesboro
8. Prestonsburg — OPEN
9. Newport Central Catholic vs. Bishop Brossart (10/16)
10. Glasgow vs. Green County
1. Belfry at Lawrence County
2. South Warren vs. Monroe County
3. Central at #10 Henry County
4. Corbin vs. #5 Bell County
5. Bell County at #4 Corbin
6. Garrard County at Western Hills
7. Paducah Tilghman vs. Trigg County
8. Bourbon County vs. Powell County
9. Russell vs. Lewis County
10. Henry County vs. #3 Central
1. Highlands at Holmes
2. Owensboro — OPEN
3. Johnson Central at Rowan County
4. Madisonville-North Hopkins at Calloway County
5. Lexington Catholic — OPEN
6. Boyle County at Marion County
7. Knox Central at Rockcastle County
8. Franklin-Simpson vs. Breckinridge County
9. Covington Catholic vs. Harrison County (10/18)
10. Ashland at Greenup County
1. Bowling Green at #3 Warren Central
2. Pulaski County vs. South Laurel
3. Warren Central vs. #1 Bowling Green
4. Anderson County at Franklin County
5. Bullitt East vs. North Bullitt
6. Southwestern vs. Lincoln County
7. Bullitt Central at Shelby County
8. North Laurel vs. #10 Madison Southern
9. South Oldham vs. Scott
10. Madison Southern at #8 North Laurel
1. Male at #4 Trinity
2. Scott County at #9 Bryan Station
3. St. Xavier vs. #5 Manual
4. Trinity vs. #1 Male
5. Manual at #3 St. Xavier
6. Meade County at #7 Central Hardin
7. Central Hardin vs. #6 Meade County
8. Simon Kenton at Dixie Heights
9. Bryan Station vs. #2 Scott County
10. McCracken County vs. Daviess County