No. 19 SMU Outlasts Kentucky in Penalty Kicks

Nov. 9, 2012

Box Score

HOOVER, Ala. -- Despite getting the first career goal from senior Cameron Wilder and a goal from senior Gabriel Conelian, No. 19 SMU outlasted Kentucky men’s soccer in a penalty kick shootout to claim the Conference USA semifinal and advance to the championship round, on a pleasant Friday night at Regions Park. 

Kentucky (10-8-2) battled SMU in a 2-2 draw, with the game decided in a drama-laced penalty kick shootout, with the Mustangs outscoring UK 4-1 after a scoreless pair of golden goal overtime periods. UK got the first career goal from Wilder and Conelian added his fifth goal of the year. In the penalty shootout SMU connected on all four of its penalty kicks, with Matt Lodge finishing UK’s second penalty opportunity for its only PK goal.

UK keeper Jack Van Arsdale had a solid game in goal for UK, saving four shots, including one in each period.

Kentucky will now await a potential NCAA Tournament at large berth, announced on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET. UK, which owned the No. 26 RPI and the No. 13 strength of schedule in the nation entering its two postseason games, has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2003.

The regular-season C-USA Champion, SMU (10-4-4) got a great performance from keeper Jaime Ibarra in the penalty shootout, saving two shots, against Marco Bordon and Charley Pettys. Ibarra finished with three saves in the game, as SMU owned a 20-14 advantage in shots and UK boasted a 7-4 margin in corner kicks.

Kentucky took the lead in the fifth minute, as Wilder netted his first career goal in his 69th career game. The play started with an Isak Krogstad run down the far sideline, with Krogstad playing it into the box for Lodge, who fired a hard-hit shot that forced a team save inside the six-yard box. The ball bounced back to Wilder, who fired a shot that sailed into the back of the net.

SMU evened up the game in the 28th minute, as Ben Hill and Juan Castillo played a ball into the box, getting deflected. The ball came back to Andrew Morales, who finished from around the penalty area for his fourth goal of the year.

UK took the lead in the 60th minute, as the Wildcats made a run down the near sideline, playing a ball to Bryan Celis. Celis lofted a ball into the box for Conelian, who got a head on it and lofted it over Ibarra’s outstretched arms for the go-ahead goal. The tally was the fifth of the year for Conelian and the assist was Celis’ fourth.

In the 61st minute, UK took a lead, as Bryan Celis crossed a ball into the box for Conelian. Conelian, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, skied to head the ball over the head of Ibarra and into the back of the net. The goal was Conelian’s fifth of the year and the assist marked Celis’ fourth of 2012.

GAME NOTES: Sophomore defender Marco Bordon made his first start of the year and the 19th of his career … Senior Cameron Wilder netted his first career goal in the fifth minute, his first tally in 69 career games … Wilder is the second consecutive UK senior to net his first career goal in the C-USA Tournament, as Jacob Kemper found the net in the quarterfinals … Bryan Celis recorded his fourth assist … Gabriel Conelian notched his fifth goal of the year … UK fell in penalty kicks for the first time since the 2008 C-USA Championship game at SMU against Tulsa.

Johan Cedergren