Rice Nets Golden Goal with 34 Seconds Left in OT at UCF
Oct. 28, 2009
ORLANDO -- First-team preseason All-America defender Barry Rice's golden goal with 34 seconds remaining in overtime, lifted the Kentucky men's soccer team to a dramatic 2-1 win over the UCF Golden Knights, in front of 354 fans on a muggy night at the UCF Soccer Complex.
After UK took a 1-0 lead in the second half on sophomore Mark Lavery's first career goal, UCF answered with an equalizing goal in the 81st minute. With 34 seconds remaining in overtime, Rice skied to connect on the golden goal, heading it in for his first goal of the year. The 5-foot-11 defender out of Parma, Ohio, got his goal off a corner taken by Chad Hagerty, who played it to Brad Walker, who found Rice with a great touch inside the box.
Rice's heroics are especially noteworthy, as the senior had to leave the game in the first half after slicing open his chin and lip, with teeth, in a mid-air collision with a UCF player. Rice, a two-year co-captain, was patched up at halftime and played through the pain, leading UK to a season-stretching win. Immediately following the game, Rice was taken to a local hospital for stitches. In addition to Rice's toughness, Walker, a sophomore defender, suffered a bloody nose with a collision in the first half and played throughout the second half with tissue up his nose to stop the bleeding.
Kentucky (10-5-0, 3-3-0 Conference USA) now sits in fourth place in C-USA after the win. The league takes the top four teams to the conference tournament. First-place UAB (5-1-1) posted a 3-0 win over South Carolina to secure its fifth league win of the season. UK now sits behind Tulsa (4-1-1) and Marshall (4-2-0) for the final spot in the league tournament.
UK will return to action Sunday, facing FIU (0-5-1) in Miami at 1 p.m. ET. The Wildcats have two conference games remaining, hosting SMU Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Rice's first goal of the year was a monumental goal, with his seventh career game-winning goal and the 11th goal of his career. Last season, Rice - the only player in league history to win C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back season - became the third All-American in school history. In his sparkling four-year career, Rice owns 29 career points.
UCF (6-6-2, 2-4-0 C-USA) entered the game tied with Kentucky for sixth-place in the league. UCF got its goal in the 81st minute, a goal that bounced off a UK defender and into the net. The goal was awarded to UCF leading scorer Nik Robson, his fifth of the year, with assists given to Ben Hunt and Kevan George.
Kentucky goalkeeper Dan Williams saved four shots, while facing 13 total UCF shots. UCF keeper Shawn Doyle saved eight, facing 17 UK shots. UK owned a 17-13 advantage in shots with both teams contributing seven corners each. UK senior Chad Hagerty and freshman Matt Lodge each charted a game-high four shots, with three of Lodge's shots coming on goal, including a free-kick shot taken from 60 yards out that forced a save.
With both teams battling to strike first, Lavery got the Wildcats on the board with his first career goal. Lavery, also playing through an injury sustained early, hooked up with sophomore Taylor White and senior Tim Crone on his go-ahead goal. White broke down the far sideline and played the ball to Crone, who found Lavery inside the box eight yards out. Lavery's touch was perfectly executed, firing a hard-hit shot into the back of the net.