No. 12 Tulsa Outlasts UK Soccer in C-USA Semifinals, 2-1
Nov. 14, 2009
TULSA -- Despite the first goal of the year from senior George Davis IV and a four-save performance from senior goalkeeper Dan Williams, the Kentucky men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss at No. 12 Tulsa in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals, held on a windy Friday night in front of 750 fans at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Complex.
Kentucky (13-6-0, 5-3 C-USA) suffered its first loss since Oct. 14, snapping a six-game winning streak, third-longest in UK annals. Kentucky, which started the league season 0-3-0, rebounded with five straight conference wins to earn the fourth seed in the four-team C-USA Tournament. Tulsa won the conference in the regular season and earned the hosting bid and the No. 1 overall seed.
The Wildcats outshot Tulsa, 13-11, with both teams attempting seven corner kicks. Williams, a native of Fairfax Station, Va., was great throughout the night, totaling four saves, with the UK defense adding two. Despite playing through a host of injuries, including ankle, wrist and jaw injuries, Williams was a rock throughout the season, totaling a league-leading 0.78 goals against average while playing every second of UK’s 18 games. In his four-year career, Williams ranks third all-time in goals-against average (1.06), second in saves (221) and third in shutouts (21).
With Kentucky down 2-0 in the 69th frame, UK put the pressure on, as Davis IV came off the bench and immediately put UK in striking distance with his first goal of the year. Senior Chad Hagerty lofted a cross to Davis IV in the middle of the box about 10 yards out, with Davis IV pounding home the goal. The assist was Hagerty’s second of the season.
UK continued to apply the pressure over the final few minutes of the second half, with the Wildcats outshooting Tulsa 9-4 in the second half. UK junior Josh McCrary led the way for the Wildcats with a breakout game, leading UK with four shots, including three on goal, while playing on the backline and in the midfield. Freshman Matt Lodge, a second-team All-Conference USA selection, added three shots.
Preseason first-team All-America defender Barry Rice was a force on the backline, winning 7-of-11 contested header attempts in the game, bringing his season total, in 16 of 18 games played, up to 126-for-155, an 81-percent clip. Rice, arguably the most decorated player in the 19-year history of the program added a shot in the contest, his 78th career game, the seventh-most games played in UK history.
Tulsa (12-4-2, 6-1-1 C-USA) got two goals from leading scorer Austin Neil, his ninth and 10th goals of the season. Kilian Poeschk notched both assists, hooking up with Neil in the eighth minute and the 59th frame. Tulsa goalkeeper Andy Aguilar saved five shots.