Soccer team to host Kentucky, Vanderbilt

In the midst of a five-match home stand, the Lady Vols, ranked 11th in the latest Soccer America magazine poll, host Southeastern Conference rivals Vanderbilt and Kentucky this weekend at the Regal Soccer Stadium. The Wildcats come in for Friday's match, set for a 7 p.m. start, while Sunday's contest against the Commodores is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

Tennessee is 7-3-3 on the year and 3-1-2 in league play. The Orange and White are tied for second with Vandy in the SEC East, two points behind Florida.

Redshirt freshman forward Mick Imgram of Clifton, Va., picked up her first national honor this week after being named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week. Imgram also garnered SEC Freshman of the Week accolades after tallying her first two-goal match in the 3-0 victory against Arkansas last Sunday.

The Lady Vols' defense will have to be on top of its game again, as it was in the triumph over the Lady'Backs. The squad held Arkansas to just six shots in the match and none on goal, making things easier on sophomore Sarah Kitchin in her first career start. Kitchin is the third goalkeeper used by the Lady Vols this season after Jaimel Johnson (shoulder) and Molly Baird (knee) were injured.

Kentucky enters Friday's match with a 7-5-2 mark overall and fresh off a scoreless draw against the Gators last weekend in Lexington, Ky. The Big Blue have shut out the opposition on eight occasions in 2006, with redshirt senior netminder Anne Ogundele having collected all eight clean sheets. The Wildcat offense is led by freshman forward Giuleana Lopez, who tops the squad with seven goals and 17 points on the year.

Vanderbilt holds a 7-2-5 record on the year entering the weekend. Senior forward Lea Lafield tops the Black and Gold's offensive attack, tallying six goals and two assists on the year. She is not the only capable scorer, as Vandy has seen seven different players hit a game-winning goal this year. Senior first-team All-SEC goalkeeper Tyler Griffin has collected six shutouts this year and has given up only seven goals this season.

The two closest rivals by proximity have been thorns in the Lady Vols' side in years past. Tennessee holds an 8-5 mark against Kentucky in history and bring a six-match winning streak into Friday night's match-up. Vanderbilt is one of two SEC teams to hold a lead in the all-time series, carrying a 7-4-2 record against the Big Orange coming into Sunday. Last year, the Commodores were the only SEC team that the Lady Vols did not beat after a 2-1 loss in Nashville in the regular season and a 0-0 tie in the SEC Tournament semifinals in Orange Beach, Ala. Tennessee did advance to the tournament finals via penalty kicks, 4-3, leading to the program's third SEC tourney crown.

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