Ex-Cats

One of Kentucky’s top athletes is headed overseas. See where she’ll be playing.

Arin Gilliland played for Kentucky from 2011 to 2014.
Arin Gilliland played for Kentucky from 2011 to 2014. UK Athletics

Arin Gilliland, the former three-time All-America soccer player at Kentucky, will return to Australia this winter to compete professionally for the Newcastle Jets on loan from the Chicago Red Stars.

Gilliland, 24, of Wilmore, Kentucky’s Miss Soccer for West Jessamine High School in 2010, just completed her third professional season with the Red Stars. Chicago finished fourth in the National Women’s Soccer League standings and made its third straight playoffs appearance last month.

Gilliland’s Red Stars contract was recently renewed for 2018. She has been a standout in the professional ranks since she was drafted No. 8 overall in 2015. In 2016, she earned NWSL First XI honors in a season where she was among the finalists for defensive player of the year. Last fall, she earned an invitation to the U.S. Women’s National Team camp.

Gilliland started 22 of 23 games for the Red Stars this season as an outside back.

This will be Gilliland’s second loan from Chicago to Newcastle where she played more in the midfield last winter and quickly became one of the Jets’ key performers. Her exploits there included a hat-trick game that helped put the Jets in contention for a playoff spot.

Newcastle’s W-League season begins Saturday and runs for 12 regular season games through Feb. 4. The NWSL 2018 season begins in April.

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