Riggs Sparks Comeback Win Over No. 9 Michigan
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Facing a 1-0 deficit in the 78th minute, Kentucky sophomore Tyler Riggs combined with sophomore Dylan Asher to erase the lead with a pair of dramatic goals, lifting the Wildcats to a 2-1 comeback win over No. 9 Michigan, in front of a rowdy 748 fans on Sunday night at the UK Soccer Complex.
For the second consecutive game, Riggs came off the bench and took over the game, erasing the Michigan lead with a pair of goals. After the Wildcats had allowed Michigan to take a lead with a penalty-kick goal in the 41st minute, UK came out for the second half on a mission, taking a 13-4 advantage in shots in the second frame.
Riggs got UK on the board in the 78th, as the Wildcats executed a flurry of attacks inside the six-yard box, including consecutive shots from Matt Lodge and Asher. Riggs picked up the deflection from Asher's attempt and pounded home the shot past a diving Michigan keeper, Adam Grinwis.
Just under four minutes later, Riggs and Asher hooked up again to give the Wildcats a lead in the 82nd minute. Asher played a long ball down the near sideline to a streaking Riggs, who was faced with only Grinwis in between him and the goal. Riggs lined a low, hard-hit shot under a diving Grinwis into the side netting for his second goal of the game and his second game-winning goal in as many games.
The two-goal game for Riggs was his first career multi-goal game and the 56th all-time multi-goal game in UK soccer annals. A native of Louisville, Ky., Riggs earned freshman All-Conference USA accolades in 2010 after leading UK with five goals. Through his first two games of the year, Riggs owns three goals, including the two game winners.
Asher's two-assist game marked his first two career assists, as the defender earned freshman All-America status in 2010 while anchoring the Wildcats injury-riddled backline. A native of Richardson, Texas, Asher started all 19 games last year, leading the club in minutes played. Asher was a force throughout the game, creating several offensive opportunities and combining with defenders Brad Walker, Pedro Andreoni and Marco Bordon to form a stifling backline.
The win over a top-10 opponent is UK's first since besting No. 1 SMU in a similar second-half comeback in 2007. UK has now topped Michigan in two of the last three meetings, including the last two in Lexington, as the Wolverines edged UK in overtime in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2010. UK posted a 2-1 win over Michigan in 2008 in Lexington. The win was also UK head coach Ian Collins' 201st career win, as the 19-year UK head man picked up his 200th victory on Friday night in the 2-0 win over Dayton, with Walker and C.J. Tappel joining UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart in presenting Collins the game ball postgame.
UK sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Beadle turned in a gem in between the pipes for the Wildcats, saving two shots with the lone goal allowed coming on the penalty kick in the first half. Grinwis, UM's keeper, turned in a solid outing for the Wolverines, saving four shots.
Overall, UK outshot UM 17-9, including the 13-4 advantage in the second half. UK owned a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks, collecting four corners in the first half.
Riggs led UK with four shots in the game, logging 41 minutes off the bench. Matt Lodge - who fired five shots on Friday night - totaled three shots in the game, along with freshman forward Jonathan Brown, a speedster out of Clinton, Miss.
The Wolverines got on the board in the 41st minute, taking advantage of a penalty-kick opportunity, with Fabio Pereira beating Beadle with a hard-hit shot at the backpost.
UK returns to action on Friday, kicking of the University of Kentucky Invitational, hosting Wright State at 7:30 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. Following the game around 10 p.m. ET on Sunday night, College Soccer News released its weekly top-30 poll, tabbing the Wildcats at No. 29 in the NCAA after their two impressive wins.