Kentucky's NCAA Tournament victory over Ohio State last week represented a leap forward for the Wildcats' women's soccer program.
For the first time, UK has advanced to the tournament's second round in back-to-back seasons.
And this season looks a lot like last season in one other important way. Awaiting the Wildcats in the second round again is UCLA.
The Bruins ended UK's season with a 5-0 victory in San Diego last year. Friday night, the teams collide again in Los Angeles, with the Pacific-12 Conference champion Bruins ranked No. 2 in the nation. Kentucky is not ranked.
UCLA is making its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance and its 17th in a row. The Bruins have reached the finals three times but never won the title.
In last season's match, UCLA outshot Kentucky 22-4 but did not punch in its first goal until the 39th minute. The Cats then collapsed under an avalanche of four second-half goals.
The Bruins are 9-1-1 against teams that made the NCAA Tournament this season, their only defeat coming at North Carolina (1-0) on Sept. 6.
Kentucky is 2-5-1 against teams in the NCAA field, having beaten Louisville and West Virginia, tied Utah and lost to Wake Forest, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina.
The Wildcats are coming off a 3-1 victory last Friday over Ohio State at UK.
Leading scorer Arin Gilliland (12 goals, 10 assists this season) led the way against the Buckeyes with a goal and an assist.
Stuart Pope (10 goals, seven assists) and Zoe Swift (nine goals) are also big contributors offensively. In goal, Kayla King holds a 1.24 goals-against average with five shutouts.
The Bruins have outscored opponents 43-7 this season. Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Darian Jenkins leads the UCLA attack with 11 goals. Keeper Katelyn Rowland has a 0.30 goals-against average with 11 shutouts.
Kentucky at UCLA
What: NCAA Tournament second-round match
When: 10:30 p.m.
Where: Drake Stadium in Los Angeles
Records: Kentucky 14-6-1, UCLA 18-1-2
Series: UCLA leads 1-0
Last meeting: UCLA won 5-0 on Nov. 16, 2012, in NCAA Tournament second-round match at San Diego
At stake: Winner advances to Sweet 16 on Sunday to play either South Carolina or Stanford at Drake Stadium.