Wildcats Battle Memphis in Double-OT Tie
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Trailing in the 69th minute, Kentucky men's soccer sophomore Charles Pettys netted his first career goal to tie the game but Memphis fought off a late-offensive surge from the Wildcats for a 1-1 tie, on an immaculate Sunday afternoon in front of 1,290 fans at the UK Soccer Complex.
Memphis struck for the first goal of the game in the third minute and Pettys came back in the 69th frame to even up the game. The Wildcats couldn't strike for the game-winning goal however, despite controlling play throughout the game. UK finished with a commanding 22-11 advantage in shots taken, forcing Memphis goalkeeper Jordan Leedle to make six game-changing saves.
Kentucky (4-6-2, 1-1-2 Conference USA) has now played a staggering eight overtime contests in 13 games played this year, setting a school record. The game with Memphis was just the second game against a team not ranked in the top 30 in UK's last five contests, as the Wildcats played No. 6 Louisville, No. 29 UAB and No. 22 UCF, also securing a win at league-foe Marshall during the five-game span.
The Wildcats got an outstanding effort from freshman goalkeeper Tyler Beadle in between the pipes, totaling four saves in the game, including saving two shots in a three-second sequence in the first half.
Memphis (4-7-1, 0-4-1 C-USA) got on the board in the third minute, as Jordan Johnson took a shot from about 15 yards out that hit the post and bounced back into traffic inside the box. Freshman Jamal Keene scooped up the loose ball and fired it into the back of the net with Beadle just out of position while responding to the initial shot. The goal was the first of Keene's career.
The Wildcats evened up the game courtesy of Pettys in the 69th frame, as Matt Lodge and Josh Albers played a ball across the box, finding an open Pettys at the far post. Pettys, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara, tucked the ball away past a diving keeper for the game-equaling goal. The goal was the first of Pettys' career and Albers' assist was his first of the year and the second of his two-year UK career. Lodge now owns two assists on the year.
UK got outstanding efforts from several individuals in the game, including junior college transfer Sam Brooks who fired six total shots for the second consecutive game to lead the team. Pettys fired five shots and Dylan Asher added a career-best four shots, with Asher's four shots eclipsing the two shots he entered the game having taken in his first 12 collegiate games. Jacob Kemper and Shaun Deliberato each fired two shots. In addition to the assist, Albers was a force offensively for the Wildcats off the bench, creating several chances and putting UK in position to score the game-tying goal late in the game.
Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday, hosting No. 18 Indiana at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. The game will be the fourth ranked opponent UK will face in the last six games and the fifth ranked team UK will have faced this year. Entering the week, seven of UK's 2010 opponents were ranked.