UCF Survives Furious Second-Half Rally in 1-0 Win

Oct. 31, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After falling behind late in the first half on a goal from Omar Vallejo, Kentucky mounted a furious rally in the second half, forcing Central Florida goalkeeper Sebastian Evers into a nine-save performance but falling just short in a 1-0 loss to the Knights, on a cold and rainy Wednesday night at the UK Soccer Complex.  

Kentucky (9-7-1, 4-2-1 Conference USA) had its four-game winning streak snapped with the hard-luck loss, as the Knights rode the first-half goal and the defensive performance of Evers to the win. The Wildcats now own an 8-3-1 record over their last 12 games. UK, which entered the game owning 31 goals in 16 games, was held out of the scoring column for just the third time in 2012 and the first time since a 2-0 setback at No. 25 SMU on Oct. 6.

The Wildcats had several tremendous chances in the game, finishing with 23 total shots and setting up seven corner kicks. Dylan Asher and Tyler Riggs each fired five shots to lead the team, with Asher’s total coming as a career high. Kristoffer Tollefsen and Matt Lodge each had three shots, with UK getting two shots from Gabriel Conelian. After both teams had nine shots in the first half, the UK offense applied consistent, steady pressure in the second half, taking a total of 14 shots to UCF’s three.

Kentucky’s 23-shot performance is its second-most in 2012, as the Wildcats have fired 20 or more shots in five games. Despite the 23-shot effort, UK suffered its first setback when taking 20-or-more-shots since a 2-0 loss at Akron in 2000.

Evers’ nine-save performance marked the most for a UK opponent in 2012, eclipsing six-save performances from Dayton, No. 25 Northwestern, No. 18 Louisville and Memphis.  

UK keeper Jack Van Arsdale made two excellent saves in goal for the Wildcats. Evers finished with a staggering nine saves of UK shots, including several acrobatic stops to thwart UK scoring chances. In the second half, UK forced Evers into game-saving stops in the 57th, 66th, 70th, 79th, 81st and 83rd minutes with several of those chances coming as inside-the-box chances in traffic.

UK will return to action with the final game of the regular season, hosting South Carolina at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at the UK Soccer Complex. The game will be televised by UK/IMG on Fox Sports South and locally on CWkyt-TV.

UCF (7-6-3, 4-3-0 C-USA) got on the board in the 40th minute, capitalizing on a free-kick chance from the top of the 18-yard box. Vallejo took the chance, bending a low shot around the UK wall of defenders and in at the far post for his third goal of the year.

GAME NOTES: Defender Marco Bordon made his first appearance of the year to start the second half … UK leads the all-time series with UCF, 6-3-2, including a 2-1-2 record in games played in Lexington …  Since UK joined the conference, the Wildcats have a 5-3-1 record in the series … Senior Matt Lodge now has a career record 191 shots … Dylan Asher set a new career high with a five-shot game … UK owns a 8-3-1 record over its last 12 games … UK was held out of the scoring column for just the third time in 2012 and the first time since Oct. 6 at SMU … UK’s loss was the first in a 20-or-more-shot game for the Wildcats since falling at Akron, 2-0, on Oct. 6, 2000, taking 26 total efforts.