LEXINGTON, Ky. – After recording her first-career hat trick on Friday night by scoring three times in Kentucky’s 4-1 win over Tennessee, University of Kentucky women’s soccer player Arin Gilliland was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
“It is such an honor to be named SEC Offensive Player of the Week,” Gilliland said. “As cool as it is for me to score goals and get the publicity for scoring, I also have to give an infinite amount of credit to my teammates and coaches. A lot of credit is due to them, and in specific, Caitlin Landis. Caitlin applied everything that we worked on in training up to the game, shot far post each time, and was a key factor in our win on Friday night. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for a couple of those goals.”
Gilliland had six points on Friday night, finding the back of the net three times, with goals in the 8th minute, 25th minute and 40th minute to record her first-career hat trick.
For the 2012 season, Gilliland has scored seven goals, and notched eight assists for 22 points on the season. The Lexington, Ky., native trails only Stuart Pope on the team, who currently has 23 points via nine goals and five assists, including one on Friday night.
Gilliland, who is a MAC Hermann Award finalist, was also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week earlier in the season on Sept. 16, when she scored two goals and assisted on two goals in Kentucky’s 4-2 upset of No. 10 West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va.
This is the fifth-career SEC award for Gilliland, who in addition has been named to the All-SEC Freshman Team and Second Team All-SEC in 2011, and was named First Team All-SEC in 2012. This is the fourth SEC weekly award for Kentucky as a team in the 2013 season.
The Wildcats are currently sitting in a tie for second (South Carolina, Texas A&M) on the SEC table one game past halfway of the conference season, with 15 points through the opening six matches of the SEC season. Kentucky is just one point shy of LSU, who leads the conference with 16 points and a 5-0-1 SEC record. The 2013 marks the first time since 1999 that Kentucky has won five of its first six conference matches.
“This team is doing tremendous things,” Gilliland said. “They continue to amaze me, and we keep getting better as the season progresses.”