Ranked 16 by the NSCAA at the start of the season, Kentucky will begin conference play against the University of Mississippi this Friday.
Coming off one of their best showings in program history, the Wildcats ended the 2014 season 17-1-5 and ranked fourth in the SEC. They made program history by advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time and competed in the SEC Tournament Championship game against nationally ranked Texas A&M.
The Wildcats will be looking to hand Ole Miss their first lost this season while the Rebels look to maintain their unblemished record.
The Lady Wildcats may have beaten the Rebels 3-0 last year but Ole Miss has added players to its roster this year that have been key to the Rebels success, including freshman forward CeCe Kizer. Kizer is the leading scorer for the Rebels this year, helping the team record 4 shutouts and maintain a perfect record. She was named SEC freshman of the week and averages 1 goal a game for a total of 6 goals this season.
While the Rebels have the 5’7” freshman up front the Wildcats have some talented attacking players of their own. Returning for her third consecutive year, junior Zoe Swift will mostly likely start the game for the Wildcats. “My goal for this upcoming season is to score more goals and work towards being a bigger threat during games consistently” Swift says’. She has already played a total of 446 minutes this season and scored a total of 3 goals, the most on the team tied with junior forward Michaela Dooley.
Swift has shown she was a big time contender during her freshman and sophomore year. This year she leads her team in goals, points and shots on goal. She said knowing that she leads her team in those categories does a lot for her confidence, but that she also wants to work on finishing more of her opportunities.
When asked about how she felt about her teammate’s ability to contain Ole Miss and Kizer up top, she said “I do have faith in our back line and how organized they are to be able to deal with her”.
Swift has proven time and again that she is a forced to be reckoned with and a power house for Kentucky’s offense. She is a constant threat to teams with her speed quickness, and ability to make big time plays when the game is on the line.
Kentucky carries some players on its roster that were highly recruited. Swift say she thinks what makes a good soccer player and athlete is someone that knows that they can do better, takes accountability and is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful.
John Lipsitz and the Wildcats will take on the Rebels to see if they can get their first SEC win of the season.
Kentucky will face off against Mississippi this Friday in Oxford, Mississippi at 6:00 pm.