Football - UK put together arguably the best half of football of its season against USC, blocking a Gamecock punt, recovering a fumble and stopping the South Carolina offense at the goal line. UK limited USC to 26 rushing yards in the first half and only allowed two third-down conversions. - True freshman Jalen Whitlow came off the bench to fill in nicely for UK, leading the Wildcats to 17 first-half points, including his first career touchdown. Whitlow finished the game 12-of-23 for 114 yards. - UK held South Carolina - who entered the game averaging 424.2 yards of offense per game - to 348 yards of total offense, the second-lowest offensive output for the Gamecocks this year, behind a 272-yard offensive game in a USC win at Vanderbilt during the opening weekend of action. Volleyball - Junior Whitney Billings led the charge with a pair of double-double efforts including a career-high 19 kills in a four-set match vs. Auburn. Her 10-kill performance vs. Tennessee marked the first double-figure kill effort without committing an error in her career. She has logged three-consecutive double-doubles which has coincided with UK's winning streak. In addition to her point scoring, she was masterful defensively as well pacing UK in digs (4.43) and blocks (1.14). - Senior setter Christine Hartmann led the offense to 14.5 kills per set on an impressive .239 hitting clip in the two wins. Hartmann had a double-double effort vs. Auburn with 45 assists and 12 digs. She also led the team with six blocks in the contest as she nearly came away with a triple-double.
Women's soccer - Kentucky took on No. 6 Texas A&M Friday night, playing the highest-ranked team ever to play in Lexington to a 2-2 draw, earning its 10th SEC point of the season. - All three goals for UK on the weekend were off the boot of a freshman as Kelli Hubly scored both goals in Friday's tie and fellow newcomer Cara Ledman struck for UK on Sunday afternoon against Alabama. - Courtney Raetzman continues to play well as the Elk Grove, Ill., native has tallied at least a point in every SEC game of the season, striking for two assists this weekend. - The Wildcats have now played in three consecutive overtime games dating back to Sept. 23 at LSU where the Cats picked up a 2-1 win. It is the first time since the 1999 season that UK has played three-straight OT games.
Men's soccer - Kentucky posted a 7-3 goal margin in its two games during the week, as the Wildcats got the first career multi-goal game from veteran Gabriel Conelian against IPFW, as well as multi-goal game from Tyler Riggs. A pair of three-point performances were registered in the game against the Memphis Tigers, with Charley Pettys and Tyler Riggs both accounting for a goal and an assist on the day. - UK is currently riding a stellar five-match unbeaten streak (4-0-1), its longest since the 2009 season. UK owns a 13-4 total goal differential in the five-game span, which started with a thrilling 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Sept. 14.
Cross country - The Kentucky women's cross country teams earned an eighth-place finish overall, and the men's team posted a 12th-place performance at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic on Saturday. - The women's team placed two runners inside the top 10. - Cally Macumber was the second runner to cross the finish line in 16:55.14 to back up her individual win a week ago. - Macumber has now finished inside the top two at all three meets the Wildcats have competed in this season. - Chelsea Oswald was the seventh runner to complete the 5,000 meter race with a time of 16:59.32. - Luis Orta led the way for the Wildcat men with a 12th-place time of 24:06.96 over 8K.
Men's golf - The UK men's golf team placed second at the Saint Mary's Invitational last week with a team score of 3-over-par 867. - After sitting in 10th following the opening session, the squad responded by carding the lowest scores of the tournament in the final two rounds. - Stephen Powers led the Wildcats and was tied for sixth individually with a 1-under-par invitational. - Sophomore David Snyder also placed in the top-10, finishing with a score of even par for the tournament.
Monday, Oct. 1 Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) Tuesday, Oct. 2 Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.)
Wednesday, Oct. 3 Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) Men's soccer hosts Indiana - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.)
Friday, Oct. 5 Women's soccer at Missouri - 7:30 p.m. Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) Volleyball at Ole Miss - 8:00 p.m. Women's tennis at Roberta Allison (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Saturday, Oct. 6 Football hosts Mississippi State - 12:21 p.m. Men's soccer at SMU - 8:00 p.m. Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) Women's tennis at Roberta Allison (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Sunday, Oct. 7 Women's soccer at Ole Miss - 2:00 p.m. Volleyball at Florida - 3:00 p.m. Men's tennis at ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) Women's tennis at Roberta Allison (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Jr., F, Tyler Riggs (Louisville, Ky.) NOTES: Junior forward Tyler Riggs had a prolific two-game week in leading the Wildcats to a win and draw ... During the 5-1 win at IPFW, Riggs totaled two goals, his second career multi-goal game ... In the Conference USA opener against Memphis on Sunday, Riggs contributed sixth goal of the year, also adding his fourth assist ... The Louisville, Ky., native fired a total of six shots during the week, with three going for goals ... On the year, Riggs has a team-high six goals and four assists and in his career, Riggs has 22 goals, nine assists and 53 points ... With 22 goals, Riggs ranks tied with Matt Lodge for sixth-best in UK career history and his 53 points rank seventh-best.
TEAM NOTES The Kentucky men's soccer team completed a successful week with a win Tuesday at IPFW, 5-1, and a home 2-2 draw in the Conference USA lidlifter against Memphis. UK will return to action on Wednesday, hosting No. 8 Indiana at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (5-4-1, C-USA 0-0-1) posted a 7-3 goal margin in its two games during the week, as the Wildcats got the first career multi-goal game from veteran Gabriel Conelian against IPFW, as well as multi-goal game from Tyler Riggs. A pair of three-point performances were registered in the game against the Memphis Tigers, with Charley Pettys and Tyler Riggs both accounting for a goal and an assist on the day.
UK is currently riding a stellar five-match unbeaten streak (4-0-1), its longest since the 2009 season. UK owns a 13-4 total goal differential in the five-game span, which started with a thrilling 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Sept. 14, in front of the largest crowd to ever witness a UK men's soccer game, 5,583 fans at Cardinal Park.
The Wildcats have been led offensively in 2012 by Riggs, who has six goals and four assists in UK's first 10 games of the year. Senior Matt Lodge has five goals, while Pettys has added four goals and two assists. Conelian, Steven Perinovic and Bryan Celis have each added goals, while Kristoffer Tollefsen has two assists and senior Jacob Kemper owns three assists. In the game vs. Memphis, Lodge registered two shots to break the UK career shots record held by Riley O'Neill (2003-06).
A native of Richmond, Va., UK junior keeper, Jack Van Arsdale, has allowed only five goals in his last seven games. He now owns a 1.03 goals-against average in 700 minutes in 2012, saving 24 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 two goals a game, 13.1 shots a contest and a 66-52 advantage in corner kicks. Defensively, UK owns a 1.30 goals-against average.
UK will host No. 8 Indiana for the Wednesday 7 p.m. ET matchup at the UK Soccer Complex and then return to the road to SMU in the second C-USA match of the season on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET. The game with IU will mark UK's fifth ranked opponent in the first 11 games of the year.
Tyler Riggs netted his team-leading sixth goal in a 2-2 draw against Memphis. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
One of the goals for the University of Kentucky men's soccer team coming into the 2012 season was to finish in the top six of the Conference USA and make an appearance in the league tournament at the end of the year. The Wildcats took their first step in that direction as they picked up a point in the first game of conference action with a 2-2 draw against Memphis in double overtime on Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex.
Head coach Johan Cedergren has talked about how important the first game of conference play is and how much of a struggle it can be. The Wildcats appeared to be in some trouble heading to the halftime locker room, trailing 1-0.
The first half was not pretty for the Cats, but they responded with a spirited second half and overtime play to pick up a point and improve their unbeaten streak to five games.
"I think it's huge to get that first point," Cedergren said. "We aren't disappointed in getting a point against Memphis because they are a very good team."
Junior Tyler Riggs equalized the match in the 64th minute on assists from Jacob Kemper and senior Charley Pettys. The Wildcats looked as though they seized momentum moments later as Pettys put UK ahead with his fourth goal of the season in the 66th minute for a 2-1 advantage.
Memphis would later tie the contest off a deflected free kick on the 78th minute to knot the game at 2-all. The game went into two overtimes as neither team was able to find the game-winner, resulting in the draw.
Kentucky has played very well in its previous four games, especially getting off to good starts. Today, the Wildcats came out flat in the first half and put themselves in a hole from the beginning. Cedergren has been very demanding on his players since his arrival and made a statement in the locker room, instructing his players that their first half was just not good enough.
"That first half was unacceptable, and we talked about that at halftime," Cedergren said. "We made changes and got better, but I think we put ourselves in a huge hole. "The only way they were going to score we felt was technique, and they scored off of two set pieces."
UK appeared flat from the get go but improved significantly the rest of the way to give the Wildcats some positives to take away from the game. Cedergren was pleased with the play of several individuals but makes it clear that he is in it for the team and feels like they took a step back today.
The Cats had to play catch-up after falling behind 1-0 in the 17th minute. UK has found itself in that same position several times so far this season and showed resiliency in the second stanza and OT.
In the end, the slow start in the first half prevented the Wildcats from picking up their fifth straight win
"You can see the belief that they kept playing and kept doing things but it was the flatness in the first half that we had to struggle to get out of," Cedergren said. "It's tough because you are happy you get a point at home and you are happy with the second half and overtime but the first half leaves you so frustrated that it's hard to get over that one."
Last season, the Cats finished 2-5-1 in conference play and missed out on the league tournament at the end of the year. A point in the opening conference game should give UK a boost and help them achieve their goal of making the C-USA tournament.
Kentucky topped Louisville a few of weeks ago and have since turned their season around and hovered above the .500 mark. The Wildcats have another opportunity to pick up a huge win and ride some momentum with a battle against Indiana at home on Wednesday.
Unlike the Louisville game where UK played against 5,500 screaming Cardinal fans, the Cats will be playing in front of their home crowd. Kentucky has a couple days to prepare for the Hoosiers who come in ranked No. 8 in the country.
Wednesday will be a major test for the Cats, especially coming off a double overtime match, but Cedergren will have his players ready.
"Indiana coming in here is just like a Louisville game, and the guys are going are going to be up for it," Cedergren said. "We have worked really hard so far in the season and they are really fit and their bodies will be ready."
After starting the season 1-4, the Wildcats have reeled off four straight victories and are above .500 for the first time. (Micheal Reaves, UK Athletics)
Four consecutive victories and all of a sudden the University of Kentucky men's soccer team sits above .500 for the first time in the 2012 season with a record of 5-4. The Wildcats, who began the season with losses in four of their first five contests, have seemed to right the ship and are taking a turn in the right direction for the latter part of the season.
The Wildcats have taken a little more time to get going than maybe they would have hoped but head coach Johan Cedergren is pleased with the way his team has stayed positive through the tough times.
"You have to give the guys and my staff a lot of credit," Cedergren said. "At 1-4, there are tendencies that tend to come out and then all of a sudden there are little cliques and that kind of stuff but the guys worked really hard and stayed together."
This Sunday, UK will open up the conference portion of their schedule with a clash against Memphis. The way their schedule has been set up, the Cats should be well prepared for the Tigers.
The Wildcats missed out on the league tournament last season and want to make sure that doesn't happen again. Cedergren said one of the team's goals this year is to be in the top-six of the Conference USA and compete in the league's postseason tournament.
The first game of conference play is always very important and teams seem to play with more energy. Starting 1-0 as opposed to opening with a defeat in league action can make a huge difference the rest of the way. UK looks to ride its momentum into Sunday's contest but Cedergren will warn his team that a victory won't come easily.
"Looking back at my Dartmouth career, for some reason that first league game was always a struggle, it didn't matter who it was," Cedergren said. "You have to make sure you go into that game with maybe a winning streak and you get the guys to be confident so the first 15-20 minutes you try to send a message to the other team."
C-USA is considered to be one of the strongest leagues in the country and every game is going to be a battle for UK. However, with the strong schedule to begin the year, the Cats won't be afraid of anyone.
Kentucky is returning home after crushing IPFW, 5-1 in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Tuesday. The offensive output was the most goals scored by the Cats this season and was another step in the right direction.
UK got two goals from junior Tyler Riggs, while senior Matt Lodge found the back of the net in the contest as well. The two are now tied for a team-high five goals scored and are backing up all of the expectations that were put on them before the season got underway.
After recording the two goals on Tuesday, Riggs is now tied for seventh all time in goals scored on the UK career charts. The Louisville, Ky., native has always been a score-first type of player but with Cedergren's arrival, his role has changed a bit.
"When I first got here, Riggs was looking to score," Cedergren said. "With the way we play in our system, sometimes we have to play through him and I think that slowly and surely is sinking in."
Lodge netted his 22nd career goal and 59th career point in the IPFW game and has moved up to sixth place on both UK all-time lists. Cedergren is aware of Lodge's talent and knows he wants to do everything he can to go out with a bang his last year in a Kentucky uniform.
"Lodge wants to have success before he leaves and he knows this is his last chance," Cedergren said. "He wants to do everything he can to help his team and himself and get to the next level."
The offense is clicking right now and with the vast improvement of the defense, the Cats could be a tough team to beat the rest of the way. Goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale, defenders Jacob Speed, Steven Perinovic and the unit as a whole have developed a sense of chemistry out in the back third.
Van Arsdale found himself in a position battle to open the season and even watched from the sideline in the first game as freshman Callum Irving began the year as the team's starting keeper. Nine games into the season and Van Arsdale has stepped up his game to become the starter. The decision hasn't been easy for Cedergren but Van Arsdale has been playing out of his mind lately and it's tough not to play the junior.
When the Kentucky faithful step foot in the UK Soccer Complex on Sunday they will see a different team than what they witnessed early in the season.
The Wildcats are playing more as a team now and Cedergren believes if they were to go back to the beginning of the year and play the games over, there would be different results.
"I think the team has evolved since day one and I think that if we played Dayton again, I think it would be a different result because we would respond to that challenge differently," Cedergren said. "We would not hang our heads, we would keep fighting and we would get a goal when we needed to.
"I think that comes from the seniors, the captains and really it comes from everyone because everyone is really passionate about the program and wants us to do well."
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."