Our 'friends' from down the road are making their first appearance in the city for this 2016-17 year. Women's soccer is the first of the many highly anticipated U of L-UK rivalry match-ups. The Wildcats look to get their first win of the season when they arrive at Lynn Stadium Friday night.
Louisville (3-0-1), who has been on a hot streak early in the season, has found early success on the offensive side of the ball. The three wins ended in scores of 4-0, while the draw was 1-1. Having outscored opponents 13-1 so far has proven to be a simple task for the Cards.
Kentucky (0-2-1) has had little success this season. However, the Wildcats' losses came against No. 25 Pepperdine and No. 23 South Florida. Their only draw came against Long Beach State in the season opener. Kentucky has been outscored 7-3.
What to watch for
-U of L gets aggressive on offense and stays aggressive. Even when up by two or three the Cards continued to push until the last minute. Gabby Vincent was hot last match and hopes to continue it Friday.
-Kentucky has gone with freshman goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie this season. In three games she has recorded seven saves. Opponents have averaged over 14 shots per game and Soucie has done a fine job keeping balls out of the net.
-Taylor Bucklin has had few shots come her way this season, much to the thanks of the defensive line. With co-captain Inger Katrine Bjerke heading up the defense, Bucklin has been able to sit back and relax for a majority of the time, but still has recorded five saves and has allowed only one goal all season. Many games have been blowouts so backup Tori Gabor has come in late to give Bucklin a rest. Gabor has recorded a save and allowed no goals in about 36 minutes played.
If Kentucky gets on top early it could provide a little stress and panic to the Cards, especially with so many young players on the pitch. However, if Louisville gets on top early look to see the Cards continue to stay aggressive to put the pressure on the Cats. Louisville's home field advantage should help play a factor in the game.
Prediction Louisville's offense loses some of its momentum, but a late goal seals the deal at Lynn against the rival Wildcats. We'd all love to see another 4-0 won, especially against a rival, but Kentucky is better than some of the teams Louisville has previously faced this season. Cards win 2-1.