Lodge's Hat Trick Lifts No. 15 Soccer to 4-2 Win

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior forward Matt Lodge charted the first Kentucky hat trick in six years and the seventh in program annals, pacing another dynamic scoring effort for the 15th-ranked Wildcats, posting a 4-2 win over IPFW, on a gloomy Tuesday night at the UK Soccer Complex.

A native of Rossington, England, Lodge continued to dominate UK's opposition in the fifth game of the year, netting goals in the 18th, 55th and 77th minute and having his goal early in the game negated due to a controversial offsides call. Lodge now owns five goals in UK's last three games, netting a goal in each match and adding an assist, collecting all 11 of his season points over the last three contests.

Lodge has fired a staggering 31 shots through the first five games of the season, spearheading a UK attack that is average an eye-popping 21.8 shots per game and a 51-12 advantage in corner kicks. Over his last three games, Lodge has charted six shots, eight shots and a career-best nine-shot game on Tuesday night, with seven shots on goal vs. IPFW marking a career-best. In his two previous games before the contest on Tuesday night, Lodge had also hit the crossbar twice and the post twice. In his three-year career Lodge, UK's first freshman All-America in 2009, owns 15 goals and six assists.  

The hat trick for Lodge is the seventh overall in program history and the first since Michael Strong against Georgetown College in 2006 and the first for a UK player against an NCAA Division I opponent since Riley O'Neill scored three goals against Florida Atlantic in 2006. Overall, UK has had seven three-game goals, dating back to the program's inception in 2006. Chris Soler owns the school record with four goals in a win over Georgetown College in 2001. The game is now the third consecutive game with a goal for Lodge, making him the ninth player in program history to score a goal in three consecutive games, with Greg Kotzbauer owning the school record with seven consecutive goals-scoring games in 1991.

Kentucky's (4-0-1) high-powered offensive attack saw Lodge lead the scoring with his three goals, with Tyler Riggs charted a career-high three-assist game, also firing three shots. Freshman Steve Cabos came off the bench in his first collegiate game and netted a game-tying goal, his first career tally. UK also got assists from acclaimed senior midfielder Josh Mulvany - making his collegiate debut - and senior Josh McCrary. Considered one of the top talents in collegiate soccer, Mulvany's debut came after sitting out the previous 23 games of his UK career while attaining NCAA eligibility.

UK back-up goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale saved two shots in the game while filling in for starting sophomore keeper Tyler Beadle, an All-Conference USA performer in 2010. UK was playing with several starters out of the lineup due to injury for the second consecutive game, including Beadle, defender Dylan Asher, defender Marco Bordon and midfielder Gabriel Conelian.

UK returns to action with a two-game road swing to Golden State for games at Stanford and No. 13 California. UK will face Stanford on Friday at 5 p.m. ET and Cal on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

Kentucky got on the board in the 18th minute when Riggs slotted a beautiful ball through the IPFW defense to a streaking Lodge. Lodge collected the ball with his first touch and placed it by the IPFW goalkeeper into the far corner of the goal. The goal was Lodge's third of the year and was the third consecutive game that the junior has gotten on the score sheet.

IPFW did not go away though. The Mastodons tied the score at one off a beautiful goal from Max Touloute. Touloute received the ball from Mike Enghofer about 20 yards outside the goal and struck a bullet into the far side of the net just outside the outstretched arms of Kentucky goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale.

IPFW then took the lead just three minutes later when Colin Helmrich received a ball from Touloute and got by a few UK defenders. Helmrich looked up, picked his spot and fired a low shot skipping off the wet turf that snuck just inside the far post.

Lodge evened up the game after IPFW took the lead in the 52nd with a goal in the 55th minute, with Riggs assisting on his multi-goal scoring effort.

With the score knotted at two goals apiece, the Wildcats moved the ball around well to find Cabos for his first-ever collegiate goal. Riggs streaked down the field and laid the ball off to Mulvany. Mulvany then crossed the ball across the mouth of the goal to Cabos, who had entered into his first collegiate game just a few minutes prior, made a streak down the middle of the field and one-timed a ball into the back of the net.

Lodge finished off the hat trick with a gorgeous goal in the 77th minute. McCrary chipped a ball over the IPFW defense where Lodge received the ball with his chest 12 yards from the goal with his back to the goalkeeper. Lodge turned and struck the ball hard into the back of the net to give the Wildcats a two-goal lead.

IPFW (2-2-0) keeper Ryan Bristol finished with seven saves in the game, allowing the four goals, with the Mastodons also getting a team save in the game.

Highlights

Matt Lodge Postgame Interview