Riggs' Late Goal Lifts Men's Soccer to Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Just three minutes away from playing its fourth consecutive overtime game and its school-record 10th extra-period game in 15 contests this season, freshman Tyler Riggs struck for his fourth goal of the season, lifting the Kentucky men's soccer team to a 1-0 win over FIU, on a windy Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (5-6-4, 2-1-2 Conference USA) was on the verge of playing in its fourth straight overtime game and its 10th overall overtime contest, before Riggs struck for the heroic goal. The goal was Riggs' team-best fourth goal of the season. Riggs, a freshman out of Louisville, Ky., was streaking down the middle of the pitch, while UK midfielder Charles Pettys took the ball on a run out down the near sideline. Pettys, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara, lofted a perfect, low-lining cross around an FIU defender to an open Riggs, who secured the ball and beat the keeper with a low shot.
The Wildcats got an outstanding performance from freshman goalkeeper Tyler Beadle, who picked up his fourth shutout of the season. A native of Douglasville, Ga., Beadle saved four shots in the game.
The win gives Kentucky a total of eight points in league play, putting the Wildcats in fourth place in the conference standings. The league takes the top six teams in the conference to the annual C-USA Tournament. UK has three tough remaining conference games, facing No. 14 Tulsa, No. 6 SMU and No. 17 South Carolina.
UK had two other great chances to score in the game, as Dylan Asher and Cameron Wilder each had hard-hit shots strike the cross bar and bouncing back into play. Pettys and Wilder led UK with two shots in the game, while Asher, Brad Walker, Drew Midkiff and Riggs each fired one shot.
Despite the win functioning as UK's first win since Oct. 6 at Marshall, UK is riding a four-match unbeaten streak, as the Wildcats tied No. 22 UCF, No. 16 Indiana and Memphis by identical 1-1 scores.
FIU (7-7-0, 1-4-0 C-USA) totaled eight shots in the game, as UK finished with nine total shots. UK also totaled five corner kicks to FIU's two total corners. FIU goalkeeper Shane Lopez finished with two saves in 90 minutes.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday hitting the road for a two-game road swing. UK will face Tulsa on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, before facing SMU on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in Dallas.