Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 23:
Volleyball: Whitney Billings
Junior Whitney Billings guided the Wildcats to a big-time road victory at Texas A&M to help UK snap the Aggies' nine-match winning streak. Billings notched her 18th career double-double effort with season-high totals of 16 kills, 16 digs and six blocks. She also had a career-best five service aces in the win. Against LSU, she totaled 14 kills and added seven digs. For the week, she had team-highs in points (4.10), blocks (1.0) and aces (0.50).
Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot
For just the sixth time in her career, senior libero Stephanie Klefot posted back-to-back 20-dig matches this weekend in helping lead UK to a 1-1 weekend on the road. Klefot matched a career-high of 29 digs at LSU, and then charted 20 in a five-set win at Texas A&M to help snap the Aggies' nine-match winning streak. Klefot for the week, averaged 4.90 digs per set - well above her 3.96 season average. She topped 20 scoops in a match for the 25th and 26th times in her career. Furthermore, with the 49 digs, Klefot (1,641) officially moved into second place on the UK all-time career digs list passing BriAnne Sauer (1,634). That total also ranks 10th all-time in the SEC record books.
Women's soccer: Courtney Raetzman
Freshman Courtney Raetzman has been on fire for the Wildcats as of late, tallying 10 points in the last four games. The freshman charted a goal on Friday night on the road vs. Arkansas, and also scored two goals in UK's win over LSU. Raetzman scored all four of UK's points Sunday, scoring the go-ahead goal in the opening half as well as the golden goal in the 106th minute to give UK the 2-1 OT win. The freshman has scored four goals in four games, while also charting two assists in that time frame.
Men's soccer: Tyler Riggs
Junior forward Tyler Riggs had a prolific week in leading the Wildcats to a pair of wins ... During the two wins, Riggs totaled a goal and two assists ... In a win over East Tennessee State, Riggs contributed his second assist of the year ... On Saturday night at Evansville, Riggs netted the game-winning goal and later dished out an assist ... The Louisville, Ky., native played the full 180 minutes on the week, firing a total of nine shots ... His seven-shot outing at UE on Saturday marked a new career high and a season individual high for the Wildcats ... On the year, Riggs has three goals and three assists and in his career, Riggs has 19 goals, eight assists and 46 points.
Men's soccer: Jack Van Arsdale
Junior Jack Van Arsdale had another dominating week in between the pipes, leading the Wildcats to a pair of wins ... A native of Richmond, Va., Van Arsdale paced a stellar UK defensive attack in a 3-1 win over East Tennessee State on Wednesday, with the Bucs getting their goal on a penalty kick ... On Saturday, Van Arsdale notched his second shutout of the year in a 2-0 winning effort ... On the year, Van Arsdale has a 0.90 goals-against average in six games and 500 minutes, saving 18 shots ... Over the last three games - all UK wins - Van Arsdale has allowed only one goal in 270 minutes.
Football - The football team dropped its Southeastern Conference opener Saturday to No. 14 Florida 38-0 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. - Junior tailback Jonathan George led the team in rushing for the second-consecutive game, posting 52 yards on 13 carries. Overall, UK had 159 rushing yards against the Gators, which was the most a UK team has posted vs. UF since gaining 175 in 2003. - Sophomore linebacker Bud Dupree paced the UK defense with eight tackles and a sack. Junior Avery Williamson also gathered eight tackles in the game, while senior Martavius Neloms had an interception and Collins Ukwu blocked a field goal. Volleyball - UK dropped a heartbreaking five-set loss at LSU, before rallying for a five-set win that snapped a nine-match winning streak at Texas A&M. UK was led by senior Stephanie Klefot who put together back-to-back 20-dig matches for just the sixth time in her career. The 49 digs allowed her to chart 1,641 for her career and officially moved her into second place on the UK all-time career digs list passing BriAnne Sauer (1,634). That mark also ranks 10th all-time in the SEC. - Junior Whitney Billings also provided a spark for UK in the win in College Station. She had season-high numbers in kills (16), digs (16) and blocks (6), while also charting a career-high five aces. It marked the 18th double-double effort of her career. Senior Ashley Frazier launched 17 kills at LSU and followed that with 16 at A&M to lead the way offensively for UK.
Women's soccer - The UK women's soccer team split its first SEC weekend series, winning the Sunday game in overtime with LSU 2-1. - Freshman Courtney Raetzman scored one goal Friday night and two goals Sunday, including the golden goal in the 106th minute of the game to top LSU 2-1. The Elk Grove, Ill., native has tallied 10 points in the last four games. - The one goal allowed Sunday in the win over LSU was the eighth time in 10 games that the UK back line has allowed one or fewer goals in a game. Men's soccer - Kentucky won its third consecutive game with a victory at Evansville on Saturday to pull up to a .500 record after starting the campaign 1-4-0. The Wildcats used an explosive offensive attack and sterling defense during their three-game winning streak. - The Wildcats have been led offensively by Tyler Riggs in 2012, who has three goals and three assists in UK's first eight games of the year. - A native of Richmond, Ky., Jack Van Arsdale has allowed only one goal in his last three games, coming on a penalty attempt. He now owns a 0.90 goals-against average in six games and 500 minutes, saving 18 shots with two shutouts. UK freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving has also started three games, with seven saves and a 2.00 goals against average. - As a team, UK has averaged 1.62 goals a game and 11.8 shots a contest and a 53-43 advantage in corner kicks. Defensively, UK owns a 1.24 goals-against average.
Cross country - The women's cross country team finished second with 47 points at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational, its second runner-up finish of the year. The men's team finished seventh with 200 points. - Junior Cally Macumber led the women's cross country team at the Virginia/Panorma Farms Invitational, winning the 5K event with a time of 17:29.13. - Senior Chelsea Oswald and junior Allison Peare earned their second top-10 finishes of the year, with Oswald finishing sixth with a time of 17:53.34 and Peare finishing ninth with a time of 18:28.84. - Senior Luis Orta led the men's team in the 8K event, finishing 16th after completing the event in 24:37.73.
Women's golf - The UK women's golf team placed eighth at the Mason Rudolph Invitational. Ashleigh Albrecht finished with the lowest score for the Wildcats at 12-over par and was tied for 23rd individually. - Next up for the Wildcats is the Tar Heel Invitational, Oct. 12-14 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Men's tennis - The UK men's tennis team competed in its third tournament of the fall, as the Cats traveled to Louisville to take part in the Louisville Invitational. - Brett Johnson, Maks Gold, Beck Pennington and Michael Binder made the trip to Louisville for UK as both Johnson and Gold recorded wins in the singles draw. Upcoming schedule
Monday, Sept. 24 Men's golf at Saint Mary's College Invitational (Monterey, Calif.)
Tuesday, Sept. 25 Men's soccer at IPFW - 7:00 p.m. Men's golf at Saint Mary's College Invitational (Monterey, Calif.) Wednesday, Sept. 26 Volleyball hosts Tennessee - 8:00 p.m.
Overall Record: 4-4-0, 0-0-0 C-USA Record Last Week: 2-0-0, 0-0-0 C-USA
Recent Results Wednesday, Sept. 19 * won vs. East Tennessee State, 3-1 Saturday, Sept. 22 * won at Evansville, 2-0 Upcoming Schedule (times eastern) Tuesday, Sept. 25 - at IPFW - 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 - vs. Memphis - 2:30 p.m. DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE R-Jr., GK, Jack Van Arsdale (Richmond, Va.) NOTES: Junior Jack Van Arsdale had another dominating week in between the pipes, leading the Wildcats to a pair of wins ... A native of Richmond, Va., Van Arsdale paced a stellar UK defensive attack in a 3-1 win over East Tennessee State on Wednesday, with the Bucs getting their goal on a penalty kick ... On Saturday, Van Arsdale notched his second shutout of the year in a 2-0 winning effort ... On the year, Van Arsdale has a 0.90 goals-against average in six games and 500 minutes, saving 18 shots ... Over the last three games - all UK wins - Van Arsdale has allowed only one goal in 270 minutes.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Jr., F, Tyler Riggs (Louisville, Ky.) NOTES: Junior forward Tyler Riggs had a prolific week in leading the Wildcats to a pair of wins ... During the two wins, Riggs totaled a goal and two assists ... In a win over East Tennessee State, Riggs contributed his second assist of the year ... On Saturday night at Evansville, Riggs netted the game-winning goal and later dished out an assist ... The Louisville, Ky., native played the full 180 minutes on the week, firing a total of nine shots ... His seven-shot outing at UE on Saturday marked a new career high and a season individual high for the Wildcats ... On the year, Riggs has three goals and three assists and in his career, Riggs has 19 goals, eight assists and 46 points.
TEAM NOTES The Kentucky men's soccer team completed a dominating week with a win over Evansville on the road and a home 3-1 win over East Tennessee State. UK will return to action on Tuesday, traveling to IPFW for a road contest at 7 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (4-4-0) won its third consecutive game to pull up to a .500 record after starting the campaign 1-4-0. The Wildcats used an explosive offensive attack and sterling defense during their three-game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 6-1, including a 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville.
During the week, UK posted a 5-1 goal margin in its two wins, as the Wildcats got the first career goals from veterans Gabriel Conelian and Steven Perinovic and the third goal of the year from senior Charley Pettys. UK keeper Jack Van Arsdale was robbed of a clean sheet with a penalty kick chance. In the win at Evansville, UK got a goal from Tyler Riggs - his 19th career goal - and the team-leading fourth of the year from senior Matt Lodge. In the win at UE, UK owned a staggering 14-0 advantage in shots on goal and outshot the Purple Aces 18-6.
The Wildcats have been led offensively by Riggs in 2012, who has three goals and three assists in UK's first eight games of the year. Lodge has four goals, while Pettys has added three goals and one assist. Conelian, Perinovic and Bryan Celis have each added goals, while Kristoffer Tollefsen and Jacob Kemper each own two assists.
A native of Richmond, Ky., Van Arsdale has allowed only one goal in his last three games, coming on a penalty attempt. He now owns a 0.90 goals-against average in six games and 500 minutes, saving 18 shots with two shutouts. UK freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving has also started three games, with seven saves and a 2.00 goals-against average.
As a team, UK has averaged 1.62 goals a game and 11.8 shots a contest and a 53-43 advantage in corner kicks. Defensively, UK owns a 1.24 goals-against average.
UK will travel to IPFW for the Tuesday game and then return to the UK Soccer Complex to host Memphis in the Conference USA opener on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
UK defeated East Tennessee State 3-1 on Wednesday night at the UK Soccer Complex. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
After beginning the season 1-4, the University of Kentucky men's soccer team put together its first win streak of the season Wednesday evening, topping East Tennessee State 3-1. The Wildcats have improved their record to 3-4 on the year and seem to be playing with a sense of looseness and confidence.
Last Friday, the Cats defeated nationally-ranked Louisville on the road, standing tall in the face of several attacks from the Cardinals. Tonight, Kentucky played with the same energy it brought on Friday.
Kentucky got a first half goal from Gabriel Conelian in the 34th minute, taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. The Wildcats seemed to be fired up and ready to charge out of the gates in the second half. However, two minutes into the second stanza the Buccaneers equalized on a penalty kick. In the past, the Cats may have lowered their heads and started playing not to lose.
Instead, a more mature UK team responded with a goal in the 74th minute by Steven Perinovic and added an insurance goal by Charlie Pettys in the 83rd minute on a penalty kick.
"I think you can definitely see the confidence," head coach Johan Cedergren said. "They scored to equalize the game and our kids said 'Okay they scored, fine we will score another one.' I think that's the big change you see is that they know they can do so much better and they know they can play with anyone in the country."
Junior goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale has played huge for the Cats the last few games and has come up with some big-time saves. Van Arsdale held off the Louisville attack, recording six saves in the process to pick up the upset. With the score tied 1-all this evening, the Bucs had a chance to go ahead on a header midway through the second half but Van Arsdale made a tremendous save to keep the game even.
The Cats seemed to get a boost from the play and were able to get a set piece to Perinovic, who found the back of the net for the game winner.
"Jack has been coming up huge," Perinovic said. "In the Louisville game he had six saves and was named national team of the week and he has been playing out of his mind for us right now. He's been keeping us in a lot of the games."
Assistant coach David Casper works with the goalkeepers and has put in a lot of time trying to help Van Arsdale, Callum Irving and Dary DeWalt improve. Cedergren gives a lot of credit to Casper and feels that Van Arsdale is really thriving under his guidance.
Not only has Van Arsdale's play improved, but so has the entire defense. The Cats were a goal away from recording their third shutout in four games and they seem to be trusting each other more and building chemistry.
"We are finally becoming a cohesive unit," Perinovic said. "The more you play with each other it gets more solid in the back and you get to know what each other is going to do. (Jacob) Kemper played great tonight as he always does. (Jacob) Speed, it's been a good partnership with him and then Dylan (Asher) is always solid on the right so I think we have been coming along really well."
Perinovic's goal came on a header off a free kick from the left corner. Cedergren has talked about how great Perinovic is in the air and they have been working on set pieces attempting to get him opportunities to score.
Being good in the air is one thing but it's a two-way street. There needs to be a good service into the box in order for Perinovic to have a chance. Pettys served a great ball to the far post and Perinovic found the back of the net for his first career goal.
"It was great because we have been working a lot on set pieces in practice," Perinovic said. "It was nice to get one and especially to go up 2-1. Pettys kept trying to go near post but it was so crowded in there so I told him to go far post and he played a great ball in. Give him all the credit on the service."
Pettys is another player who has brought a lot of energy to the squad. He started the year playing outside back and has since made the transition to midfielder. The move looks to be brilliant as Pettys has brought another dynamic to the offense using his hustle and knowledge of the game.
Pettys is someone the Cats can play through because he is so smart with the ball and makes good decisions. He led the team in passing/completion ratio against Louisville at 93 percent and gives UK a chance with his lethal leg on free kicks.
It was Pettys' assist to Perinovic that gave UK the lead and he sealed the game as he stepped up and drilled a penalty kick.
"I think Charley's got an engine that never stops running," Cedergren said. "For Charley, I think that's sometimes his biggest strength is to just keep going. He was very confident with the penalty kick, made good service with the free kicks and he filled in fullback for us when we were trying to figure out our system. Now he's playing wide midfield I think he can add even more going forward."
Riding an upset over Louisville, the Cats kept their momentum going tonight and seek to make it three in a row as they travel to Evansville this Saturday. First things first though, Kentucky took care of business tonight and really showed some swagger out on the field.
They allowed a tying goal in the second half but instead of getting down on themselves, stepped back up with their heads held high and used a team effort to get back-to-back wins.
"We came off a big emotional win against Louisville on Friday," Cedergren said. "It was really important for us to come out and keep that momentum going. I think we did that tonight, we came out a little slow in the first half but picked it back up and we all worked for each other and ended up getting the win."
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."
Jack Van Arsdale recorded a shutout in Kentucky's win over Louisville on Friday. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
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
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
"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
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
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."