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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 16:
Women's soccer: Kayla King
Junior Kayla King helped anchor the UK defense in two SEC games as UK upset No. 13 Florida (2-1) and knocked off undefeated Mississippi State (3-0). King made nine saves on the weekend, while only allowing one goal, which was a PK on Friday. The Louisville, Ky., native also tallied her first individual shutout of her career Sunday, as UK notched its fifth shutout as a team in just eight games.
Men's soccer: Matt Lodge
Senior midfielder Matt Lodge netted one of the biggest goals of his decorated career in leading UK to a monumental 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night ... Lodge's third goal of the year came in the 38th minute at UofL, in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a UK men's soccer game, 5,583 fans at Cardinal Park ... His tally was a gorgeous strike on a free-kick opportunity from just outside of the 18-yard box, bending it around the wall and past the diving keeper at the far post ... The goal was Lodge's 20th career, ranking his sixth-best in UK annals ... He also ranks sixth in UK career history with his 55 points, adding 15 assists in his 59 career games.
Women's soccer: Courtney Raetzman
Freshman Courtney Raetzman scored the game-winning goal Friday night against No. 13 Florida in the SEC season opener off a corner kick in the 47th minute. The goal was the first-career goal for Raetzman. The freshman from Elk Grove, Ill., also notched two assists in the 3-0 win Sunday afternoon over undefeated Mississippi State, giving her four points on the weekend.
Men's soccer: Jack Van Arsdale
Junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale turned in the best game of his career in leading the Wildcats to a thrilling 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night in front of 5,583 at Cardinal Park - the most fans to ever witness a UK men's soccer game ... A native of Richmond, Va., Van Arsdale saved a career-high six shots in his first career clean sheet ... Among his remarkable saves in an electric atmosphere, Van Arsdale thwarted a breakaway with a kick save, extending his right leg out to narrowly stop a scoring chance ... His performance helped UK post its first win at Louisville since 2004 ... The transfer from Virginia Commonwealth saved shots in the ninth, 22nd, 36th, 47th, 72nd and 83rd minutes ... On the year, Van Arsdale has started in three games and played in four, owning a 1.12 goals-against average in 320 minutes with 15 saves ... In his two-year UK career, Van Arsdale has a 1.47 goals-against average in seven games, with 21 saves. "Jack you could see in him today that he made up his mind he was going to keep a clean sheet," UK head coach Johan Cedergren said of Van Arsdale's outing. "To come in here at Louisville to keep a clean sheet is a fantastic feeling." ... "Jack kept us in the game," UK senior co-captain Matt Lodge said. "He must have made about 10 saves in the second half. Credit the back four as well, Stevie (Perinovic), Dylan, Speed and Kemper they all played really good tonight."
Four days following the big upset of No. 18 Louisville, the University of Kentucky men's soccer team has wasted no time shifting the focus to its next opponent: East Tennessee State on Wednesday.
The Wildcats dropped four one-goal games in their first five games before pulling out a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals last Friday evening at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Ky. Not only did the Cats start the 2012 season with an uphill climb after four losses in their first five games of the year, but they had played three ranked opponents in those contests.
Louisville was next up on the brutal schedule, but UK found a way to win and may have turned their season around. Kentucky has a stretch where they have an opportunity to roll off a winning streak and get some confidence built.
In their next three games the Cats will face ETSU at home, and Evansville (Sept. 22) and IPFW (Sept. 25) on the road. Head coach Johan Cedergren sees this as an opportunity to right the ship and get back to an even record.
"We are 2-4 so we need a couple to get back to .500," Cedergren said. "I think we are ready for it. Like I've have said all along, it's a good team and it's just a matter of putting it all together. Now we know that we can do it in a hostile environment against a very good team. So let's show our home fans on Wednesday that we can do it back-to-back."
However, East Tennessee will be no slouch when the Buccaneers come to the UK Soccer Complex on Wednesday. They own a 4-2 mark on the year, including a 1-0 victory in double overtime over Conference USA foe, No. 17 UAB.
Cedergren is aware of ETSU and what it can bring, but knows that if his team plays with the same energy that it brought against Louisville, the Wildcats can beat anyone in the country.
"We have a brutal schedule, and ETSU and their coaching staff have a very good program," Cedergren said. "They have had success, been to the tournament (2010), have a wonderful facility down there and have some very special players going forward. We are definitely going to have to be on our toes, but at the same time if we can beat Louisville and can put that kind of performance together on Wednesday then I will feel pretty good about our chances."
After recording his first shutout of the season against Louisville, junior goal keeper Jack Van Arsdale received two weekly awards for his performance. Van Arsdale was named to the national team of the week by College Soccer News and the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week.
Van Arsdale and the defense are taking that step forward that Cedergren has been preaching all season. Along with the Louisville match, the defensive unit has posted a shutout against St. Joseph's and held No. 4 Charlotte scoreless in the second half in its last three contests.
The Wildcats took a beating with the early schedule but Van Arsdale likes his team's chances the rest of the season.
"It gives you confidence that if you are playing the best teams in the country to start out with, theoretically it gets easier from here," Van Arsdale said. "Our conference is really tough with really good teams. Basically, we need to take what we have learned from these games and use them going forward."
Senior forward Matt Lodge scored the winning goal against the Cardinals on Friday and was awarded the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week. The win over Louisville was huge for Lodge in particular, considering it was the first time he had tasted a victory over the archrivals.
Lodge was pleased with the UK fan turnout in Louisville and is excited to play in front of the home crowd on Wednesday. The Rossington, England native believes that Friday's win will persuade the fans to keep supporting the Cats this season.
"Yeah, especially after the Louisville game," Lodge said. "We had a lot of fans there and they saw us win, so hopefully they will be at our home game against ETSU. I don't know a whole lot about them but I know they are a solid team. They beat UAB so it's going to be a test."
Cedergren has been consistent since the offseason and the kickoff to the season. He has constantly talked about his team getting better every day in training and games. The record didn't always show it, but only he and the rest of the team have really been able to see what's going on day in and day out.
After topping the Cardinals, the Cats now can show the rest of the world what they are made of and how much they have improved since the start of the season. No more playing well for stretches at a time or for just one half and then having the wheels fall off. This team appears to have grown in maturity and experience that is ready for the long haul.
"We are at the point now where we can put together a good performance for ninety minutes," Cedergren said. "The guys were really passionate, and we came out on fire against Louisville. That surprised us a little bit, and that gave us confidence. Then from that point we were just trying to sustain what we had done. I think we are a really good team. We just need to realize that ourselves and put it together now for several games in a row."
- Junior tailback Jonathan George had a career game, scoring three touchdowns - two rushing, one receiving - in Kentucky's 32-31 overtime loss to Western Kentucky on Saturday. George finished the game with 13 rushes for 51 yards, adding a career-high six catches for a career-best 54 yards. The junior was the first player to score two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score in the same game since Randall Cobb in 2010 vs. Auburn.
- Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith three for 300-plus yards for the second-consecutive game, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Mike Hartline in 2010.
- Defensively, Collins Ukwu, Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Avery Williamson, Taylor Wyndham, Mister Cobble and Martavius Neloms all had career-high tackles. Williamson led the way with 14 stops.
- The Kentucky volleyball team opened SEC action with a home contest against No. 13 Florida. The Wildcats suffered a 3-0 loss to the Gators in front of more than 1,800 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
- Senior libero Stephanie Klefot had a season-high 18 digs in a three-set match.
- Junior Alexandra Morgan matched a career high with 10 kills to lead the offensive effort for the Blue and White.
- Kentucky will now hit the road for its first two-match conference set with dates at LSU on Friday and Texas A&M on Sunday.
- Kentucky upset No. 13 Florida Friday night 2-1 in a game that featured a PK from each team before freshman Courtney Raetzman scored her first-career goal in the 47th minute to notch the game winner. The win over the Gators was the Wildcats' first since the 2006 SEC Championship game.
- UK ended Mississippi State's undefeated season Sunday, collecting three goals from three different players in a 3-0 win. The win marked the third-consecutive win over MSU for the Wildcats.
- Sophomore Arin Gilliland scored a goal in each game this weekend, charting the equalizer in Friday night's upset on a PK in the 30th minute, and also scored in the 50th minute vs. Mississippi State on a rebound.
- Junior Kayla King recorded her first-career shutout Sunday afternoon in a 3-0 win over MSU. In addition, King was in the cage for the entire 90 minutes, collecting the win Friday over No. 13 Florida as the Louisville native recorded six saves.
- The Kentucky men's soccer team continued its stiff schedule to open up the non-conference season, traveling to No. 18 Louisville and springing a thrilling 1-0 win on Friday in front of 5,583 fans at an electric Cardinal Park.
- Kentucky faced its fourth ranked foe in the first six games of 2012 on Friday night in an intense, rivalry atmosphere in the Derby City. The Wildcats struck for a free-kick goal on the boot of senior midfielder Matt Lodge in the 38th minute and used a heroic defensive effort from goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale, defenders Steven Perinovic, Jacob Speed, Dylan Asher and Jacob Kemper, with midfielder Cameron
Wilder also starring in the winning effort.
- The win for UK was its first at Louisville since 2004 and snapped a three-game winning streak in the series for the Cardinals, the 2010 NCAA College Cup runner-up.
- Lodge continued to move up the record books with his goal on Friday night, giving him 20 goals, 15 assists and 55 points in his career, ranking sixth in UK history in goals and points.
- The UK men's golf team opened up their 2012-13 year with a fifth place finish at the Wolf Run Invitational this past weekend.
- Stephen Powers and Will Bishop finished in the top-20, posting scores of 5-over-par and 7-over-par, respectively.
- The women's golf team kicked off their 2012 fall schedule with a victory at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational, winning the tournament by two strokes with a score of 14-over.
- Ashleigh Albrecht led the Wildcats with a 1-over-par, sixth place finish.
- Freshman Cylia Damerau also recorded a top-10 finish, placing ninth with a score of 4-over. Damerau was huge down the stretch for the Cats, shooting 3-under the final two rounds.
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Men's soccer hosts ETSU - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21
Women's soccer at Arkansas - 8:00 p.m.
Men's tennis at Louisville Invitational
Women's golf at Mason Rudolph Championship(Nashville, Tenn.)
Volleyball at LSU - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Football at Florida - 12:21 p.m.
Cross Counry at Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational - 10:00 a.m. (Charlottesville, Va.)
Men's tennis at Louisville Invitational
Women's golf at Mason Rudolph Championship (Nashville, Tenn.)
Men's soccer at Evansville - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23
Volleyball at Texas A&M - 2:00 p.m.
Women's soccer at LSU - 2:00 p.m.
Men's tennis at Louisville Invitational
Women's golf at Mason Rudolph Championship(Nashville, Tenn.)
Midfielder Matt Lodge on goal at U of L
Goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale on weekly honors
Record Last Week: 1-0-0, 0-0-0 C-USA
Friday, Sept. 14 - won at No. 18 Louisville, 1-0
Upcoming Schedule (times eastern)
Wednesday, Sept. 19 - vs. East Tennessee State - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22 - at Evansville - 8 p.m.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
R-Jr., GK, Jack Van Arsdale (Richmond, Va.)
NOTES: Junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale turned in the best game of his career in leading the Wildcats to a thrilling 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night in front of 5,583 at Cardinal Park - the most fans to ever witness a UK men's soccer game ... A native of Richmond, Va., Van Arsdale saved a career-high six shots in his first career clean sheet ... Among his remarkable saves in an electric atmosphere, Van Arsdale thwarted a breakaway with a kick save, extending his right leg out to narrowly stop a scoring chance ... His performance helped UK post its first win at Louisville since 2004 ... The transfer from Virginia Commonwealth saved shots in the ninth, 22nd, 36th, 47th, 72nd and 83rd minutes ... On the year, Van Arsdale has started in three games and played in four, owning a 1.12 goals-against average in 320 minutes with 15 saves ... In his two-year UK career, Van Arsdale has a 1.47 goals-against average in seven games, with 21 saves. "Jack you could see in him today that he made up his mind he was going to keep a clean sheet," UK head coach Johan Cedergren said of Van Arsdale's outing. "To come in here at Louisville to keep a clean sheet is a fantastic feeling." ... "Jack kept us in the game," UK senior co-captain Matt Lodge said. "He must have made about 10 saves in the second half. Credit the back four as well, Stevie (Perinovic), Dylan, Speed and Kemper they all played really good tonight."
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Sr., MF, Matt Lodge (Rossington, England)
NOTES: Senior midfielder Matt Lodge netted one of the biggest goals of his decorated career in leading UK to a monumental 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night ... Lodge's third goal of the year came in the 38th minute at UofL, in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a UK men's soccer game, 5,583 fans at Cardinal Park ... His tally was a gorgeous strike on a free-kick opportunity from just outside of the 18-yard box, bending it around the wall and past the diving keeper at the far post ... The goal was Lodge's 20th career, ranking his sixth-best in UK annals ... He also ranks sixth in UK career history with his 55 points, adding 15 assists in his 59 career games.
The Kentucky men's soccer team continued its stiff schedule to open up the non-conference season, traveling to No. 18 Louisville and springing a thrilling 1-0 win on Friday in front of 5,583 fans at an electric Cardinal Park, the largest crowd to ever witness a UK soccer game. UK will return to action on Wednesday, hosting East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (2-4-0) faced its fourth ranked foe in the first six games of 2012 on Friday night in an intense, rivalry atmosphere in the Derby City. The Wildcats struck for a free-kick goal on the boot of senior midfielder Matt Lodge in the 38th minute and used a heroic defensive effort from goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale, defenders Steven Perinovic, Jacob Speed, Dylan Asher and Jacob Kemper, with midfielder Cameron Wilder also starring in the winning effort.
The win for UK was its first at Louisville since 2004 and snapped a three-game winning streak in the series for the Cardinals, the 2010 NCAA College Cup runner-up. UK owns a 10-5-4 all-time record against the Big East power Cardinals, including a 6-1-2 record in Louisville, and the win was UK's first over a top-25 foe since a 5-1 smashing over No. 15 Brown in 2011.
Lodge continued to move up the record books with his goal on Friday night, giving him 20 goals, 15 assists and 55 points in his career, ranking sixth in UK history in goals and points.
On the year, UK has eight goals in six games, owning 11.5 shots per game and a 42-33 advantage in corner kicks. Lodge leads UK with three goals, while Tyler Riggs has two goals and one assist and Charley Pettys has two goals. Freshman Bryan Celis has added UK's other goal, while freshman Kristoffer Tollefsen paces the club with two assists. Kemper and freshman Jacob Scearce each have an assist. In goal, Van Arsdale has a 1.12 goals-against average in four games, recording 15 saves. Freshman Callum Irving has seven saves and one clean sheet in three games, sporting a 2.00 goals-against average.
UK will return to the UK Soccer Complex on Wednesday for a matchup with East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will conclude the week with a Saturday night trip to Evansville to face the Purple Aces at 8 p.m. ET.
Instead, the men's soccer Wildcats put the past behind them, went into Cardinal Park and shocked nationally ranked Louisville, 1-0. It was a much-needed win for the Wildcats after opening up the 2012 season with a 1-4 record.
Kentucky's record was deceiving coming into the game though. The Cats had played three ranked foes through their first five games and competed to the last whistle in every one of them. Louisville showed off its talent and firepower, but in the end it was the team with the heart, belief, confidence and desire to win that came out on top - the Kentucky Wildcats.
UK head coach Johan Cedergren was quoted as saying this was a chance for his team to make a statement. Entering a house that was packed with thousands of U of L screaming fans and in-state pride on the line, the Wildcats played toe to toe with one of the top teams in the country.
"I couldn't be any more excited for the guys, this is a huge game for us," Cedergren said. "I think for Louisville, maybe it's just one game because they have been there and done that. For us we are trying to make little steps every game. We were really good in training this week and overall I thought it was a good defensive performance. We have talked about the back four before and it was good to see them come up and save us. The back four and (goalkeeper) Jack Van Arsdale had a fantastic game."
Senior Matt Lodge got the Cats on the board in the 38th minute on a free kick from about 20 yards out. It gave UK a huge boost going into halftime with a lead and it was extra special coming from a senior who has fought his whole career trying to beat the rivals.
Lodge's kick bent right around the wall formed by U of L defenders and snuck right inside the left post. That feeling basketball players get when the ball leaves their hand and they know it's going in; that's exactly what Lodge felt as he attempted the free kick.
"It felt amazing," Lodge said. "Best feeling I've ever had. The stadium was full and give credit to Louisville and UK fans as they turned out in full force. As soon as I kicked it I knew it was going in and I just wanted to go over to my teammates and celebrate."
Van Arsdale stepped up huge for UK and made sure the lead held up. All game, especially in the second half, the Cardinals kept attacking and wouldn't go away. It seemed like every possession they had in the second half they had a shot at equalizing the match.
Van Arsdale thought differently. He recorded six saves on the night and it seemed like 20. Louisville created multiple, crafty set pieces that probably should have found the back of the net numerous times, but Van Arsdale came up with a big-time save every time.
"It's easy when you are engaged the entire game and that's what I was," Van Arsdale said. "Saves right from the beginning, saves at the end, my teammates helped me out a lot by blocking a lot of shots and winning a lot of headers for me. All around it was a great team effort."
The Wildcats led Northwestern 1-0 going into halftime at the Gamecock Classic before surrendering two goals in the second half to the 25th-ranked Wildcats. At times it looked as though Louisville would eventually tie the game and maybe deja vu would strike.
Kentucky grinded down and stuck together throughout the second half to hold off the Cards. This may have been what the Cats needed to get over the hump and give them that extra boost of confidence heading towards conference play.
It's hard not to think about the previous hiccups in the season and had Cedergren even scoreboard watching at the time.
"For the last 25 minutes, I kept looking back over at the clock and it seemed like it was going so slow," Cedergren said. "It's good and I think it shows what kind of team spirit we have that the guys will not stop fighting. We were 0-3 and 1-4 and its easy for the seniors to say it's not going to happen this year. We were really sharp in training this week and you could just see how much it mattered to them today in the game. They were diving around and doing everything they could to protect the goal. It was a huge effort and huge credit to our team."
Going on the road and defeating a nationally ranked opponent is always a huge boost to a team. Beating your rival puts icing on the cake. The Wildcats can take the momentum from this game and use it towards the rest of the season. The Cats were waiting for a moment like this and this may be the game puts Cedergren's squad on the path to turning the corner for good.
Next up, the Wildcats take on East Tennessee on Wednesday, Sept. 19. UK has to build on this and stay humble. The focus will quickly return to what it has been all season: improving daily.
"Every game and every training we want to become better and we did that tonight," Cedergren said. "But we can't become big-headed because we have a game again in a couple of days. We are training tomorrow and I think tomorrow will be good to maybe knock them down to get them ready again. In general, to be able to play in front of a crowd like this, in front of this quality of a team like Louisville, to be able to come away with a win will serve really big for our confidence moving forward."
The Wildcats dominated St. Joe's with a 20-2 shot advantage and freshman goal keeper Callum Irving posted the first shutout of his young career in a 2-0 victory, giving UK and first-year head coach Johan Cedergren their first win of the season.
Although Kentucky came up short in a 1-0 defeat against Charlotte, the defense looked very sharp in the match. The Wildcats limited the offensive attack of the 49ers to just one shot on goal, which happened to find the back of the net.
After allowing eight goals through the first three games, Cedergren is pleased with the strides the defense is making and feels the team is ready to breakout.
"This week in training we have focused again on how to defend better and how to work on the back four as a unit," Cedergren said. "Every training and game we want to get better, that's my number one goal. I think so far we are. It's unfortunate we are 1-4 but I think we are going in the right direction and I think we are going to pop real soon. They are working hard and that's all we can ask for."
UK has had a tough schedule to open the season to say the least. Through the first five games, the squad has faced three ranked foes and has a huge test on Friday against rival No. 22 Louisville.
The Wildcats allowed four goals against Dayton, and two to both Northwestern and St. John's, who are very good teams with good offenses. The Cats may have allowed a few goals this season that could have been prevented but the defense is not letting it get to them and they are working hard to get better every day.
"You can see the emphasis we put on that unit and how they are gelling and are really growing together," Cedergren said. "You have to give them some credit as well because it's easy for your head to go down when you are not having success and things are not going your way. They know that they have been at fault for some of the goals. They come and are very motivated in training and work really hard and don't shy away from knowing they have caused some goals."
Junior defender Steven Perinovic was named to the Kentucky Invitational All-Tournament team after an impressive display last weekend. The Delafield, Wisc., native was a big contributor to the shutout effort against St. Joe's and gave Charlotte all kinds of problems on their attacks. Perinovic's athleticism makes him a valuable asset to the team and Cedergren expects to see more out of him than just on defense.
Freshman Jacob Speed is another defender that has shown improvement over the last couple of weeks and he and Perinovic are starting to click.
"I think they are both very good center backs and they play well together," Cedergren said.
"Steven is a fantastic player in the air, there aren't a lot of headers he will lose and he loves to tackle. Jacob is really tall and I think he is still growing into his frame as a freshman. Together I think it's a very good pairing. Steven had two good games this weekend and we are hoping we can get some offensive production from him on set pieces because he is so good in the air. They are great kids, great leaders and want the team to do well."
UK plays with four defenders on the backline, which means two other Wildcats have had to step up this season on defense. Seniors Jacob Kemper and Charley Pettys have filled the roles and are getting better every time they see action, whether it be on the practice field or in games.
While Kemper and Pettys are primarily defenders, Cedergren brings an offense style that encourages outside backs to become attacking midfielders at times. This gives the offense another dynamic and allows Kemper and Pettys to play both sides of the ball.
Like the rest of the team, Cedergren sees positive signs they are making the turn and will play a vital role in the team's success the rest of the year.
"I think they are doing great, because in our system, the way we play, the fullbacks are our midfielders and we want to play out through them," Cedergren said. "The player with the most completed passes on Friday was Jacob Kemper. That shows you when you take an attack-minded player and you convert them to a defender and you can use his positive attributes to help you play out.
"I think Charlie is the same, where he is a good passer, he's good at dribbling so when we need to play through those two guys they are doing really well. They are seniors and they are both committed to Kentucky and really want to have one good year before they leave. Every day in practice they try to get better and they try to get the rest of the guys to get better as well."
Friday marks a huge game for the Cats as they travel to Louisville to face the nationally ranked Cardinals. U of L is one of seven teams on the Wildcats' grueling schedule ranked in the top 25.
Rivalry games always give players and coaches that extra motivation to get pumped up. A game like this might be just what Kentucky needs to turn the corner. If the Cats can pull off the upset, it would give the team a major boost and an extra sense of confidence.
Cedergren likes the opportunity to go to Louisville and see what his team is made of. This is a chance for his team to play in a big moment, in front of a large crowd and could help the Cats heading into conference play.
"With us being 1-4, them being in the top 25 and in front of 6,000 fans is a wonderful opportunity to make a statement," Cedergren said. "I think that's what we ask for. I don't see us at all being outmatched, or out powered or out fought. I think we are ready, we are organized and we have abilities on the ball so I think it's going to be a great game tomorrow."