Men's Soccer Falls to Dayton in Exhibition Opener
Aug. 24, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Paced by two goals from preseason All-American Alex Torda, the No. 18 Dayton men’s soccer team handed Kentucky a 2-1 loss in the 2009 exhibition opener, in front of 1,041 fans on a glorious Monday night at the UK Soccer Complex.
After trailing 1-0 entering the second period, UK struck with the game-equalizing goal, as senior midfielder Jason Griffiths pounded home a penalty kick in the 65th minute. In his regular season, three-year career, Griffiths – a 2008 first-team All-Conference USA selection – has netted 6-of-6 penalty kicks.
Dayton, the 2008 Atlantic-10 Champions, struck first in the 22nd minute, as Peter Chilemena assisted Torda on the goal. After UK keeper Dan Williams helped fend off an attack from Dayton in the box, Torda picked up the rebounded ball and fired it home in the center of the net.
After UK evened up the game in-front of a loud home crowd, Dayton regained the lead, as Zach Weiss penetrated the UK back line and found Torda with a cross, with Torda heading it into the back post for the difference.
Kentucky owned a 9-4 advantage in shots, including firing six shots in the second half. UK also won the battle of corner kicks, totaling seven to Dayton’s two corners. Williams, a four-year starter in goal for UK, saved one shot, while Dayton keeper Tyler Picard finished with four saves.
Kentucky freshman Matt Lodge also fired three shots, with a club-best two on target.
UK senior defender Barry Rice – a preseason All-American and member of the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List – won 14-of-16 contested header attempts in the game. Last season, Rice necessitated a new stat for UK soccer, tracking the percentage of contested headers won. In 2008, during his All-American campaign, Rice won 189-of-218 contested header attempts, a staggering 87-percent clip.
In the 24th, Picard made a nice save of a header off a corner kick from Rice, who finished with a team-high three shots. Rice again had a chance in the 35th minute, but his free-kick shot sailed high.
UK put the pressure on late in the second half, as freshman Cameron Wilder displayed his dynamic talent, but a well-placed cross was cleared. In the 73rd minute, Marco dos Santos also executed a cross, but it was cleared away from the Dayton net.
Lodge, a native of Rossington, England, gave UK a chance in the 83rd minute and again in the final minute of play, as his first shot was saved by Picard. In the 90th, Lodge found himself open in traffic in the box and fired a hard-hit shot that narrowly missed high.
UK, which finished 2008 ranked No. 21 in the NCAA, returns to action in its final exhibition match of the year, traveling to Marquette for a Friday 2 p.m. ET matchup. UK opens its regular season with the UK invitational, hosting IUPUI Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.