Soccer Opens Season with Exhibition at Dayton
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky men’s soccer team will open the 20th season in program history with an exhibition game against Dayton, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Monday at Baujan Field.
The exhibition game with Dayton will mark the first of three preseason tune ups. The Wildcats will take to the road again Wednesday, traveling to Memphis, Tenn., to face storied Brazilian club Botofogo’s under-19 squad at 8 p.m. ET at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. On Friday, UK will open its home schedule with the final exhibition game before the home opener, hosting Marquette at 1 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. Kentucky will open its regular-season on Friday, Sept. 3 with the annual University of Kentucky Invitational, hosting Eastern Illinois at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats are coming off a 13-win season a year ago, including a 5-3 record in Conference USA action. UK opened the 2009 season in excellent fashion, starting the year 7-1. UK ran into some hard-luck losses in the middle of the season, opening the year 0-3 in conference play, with three one-goal losses at home. UK faced a large challenge in making the C-USA Tournament, needing to win all five games in league play to close the season, including four contests on the road. The Wildcats did just that, vaulting into the C-USA Tournament with a win over SMU at home to close the C-USA regular season.
Kentucky returns its leading scorer from the 2009 season, sophomore Matt Lodge, who paced UK with six goals and two assists as a true freshman. Lodge, a native of Rossington, England, was named All-Conference USA last season, along with UK defender Brad Walker. As a sophomore in 20009, Walker helped UK lead the league with a 0.78 goals-against average. UK lost a star-studded senior class from a year ago, as two-time All-America defender Barry Rice is in-season with D.C. United and all-conference midfielder Jason Griffiths has signed a professional contract with the New England Revolution. Dan Williams, a four-year starter in goal, also has completed his eligibility, setting up a position battle for the goalkeeper position.
Dayton opened its exhibition season on Friday with a 2-0 loss to Butler, a team that advanced to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament and won the Horizon League title last season. The Flyers outshot Butler 6-3, playing under modified time rules. Last season, UK lost its exhibition game in Lexington, Ky., with Dayton, 2-1, as Griffiths netted UK’s goal early in the game and Dayton, scored a goal in the 67th minute to win the preseason tune-up.