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Kentucky women looking to make their mark in NCAA soccer tourney

UK senior Arin Gilliland kicked around  Alabama's  Auburn Mercer, in her final home game on Thursday October 30, 2014  in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff
UK senior Arin Gilliland kicked around Alabama's Auburn Mercer, in her final home game on Thursday October 30, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff Herald-Leader

The University of Kentucky women's soccer team got what it wanted. Now it's time to show what it can do.

The Wildcats earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament national seed in the event's current alignment and will host Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex on Saturday night.

Kentucky is the No. 3 seed in the Charlottesville, Va., regional. The Wildcats will face the winner of the Northern Arizona/Arizona State match if they win on Saturday.

"You're looking at a senior class that is leaving quite a legacy," Kentucky Coach Jon Lipsitz said. "This is their fourth year in a row in the NCAAs and that's never happened before in this program. So it's something we want to be able to say about every class in the future, but we never take it for granted. Almost half of last year's field is not in this year and it says a lot about how competitive it's becoming in women's soccer and what a special thing it is for us to be here."

The Wildcats have reached the NCAA's second round each of the past two years but were knocked out by a higher-rated UCLA both times. Coming in as a No. 3 seed offers UK a potentially easier path.

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