Men's Soccer Opens Exhibition Season vs. Dayton Monday Night

Aug. 23, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A year after posting 12 wins and ranking No. 21 in the nation, the Kentucky men’s soccer team opens its 2009 exhibition season against Dayton, hosting the Flyers at 7 p.m. ET Monday at the UK Soccer Complex.

Kentucky will kick off the season with the Flyers in the first of two preseason exhibition games. The Wildcats will wrap up the preseason schedule with a trip to face Marquette Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

UK returns nearly its entire roster off the 2008 club that finished second in the Conference USA regular season and tournament championships. UK finished the 2008 campaign with the 15th-best scoring offensive in the NCAA and the 31st-best goals-against average in the nation.

Last season, UK opened up its exhibition season against Dayton, falling 3-2 despite goals from then-senior midfielder Masumi Turnbull and current senior defender Tim Muessig. Dayton notched the preseason win in 2008 in the 88th minute, breaking open the 2-2 match.

Dayton owns the victory in the sole regular-season match it has played against the Wildcats, edging Kentucky 2-1 in a season opener in 1982. In 2007, UK and Dayton also squared in an exhibition game, a 1-1 tie. Turnbull and current senior midfielder Chad Hagerty hooked up on the lone Wildcat goal of the game, a Turnbull header.

UK returns a bevy of talent, including team captains Jason Griffiths, Barry Rice and Dan Williams. Griffiths and Rice were honored last week as members of the coaches’ All-Conference USA team in the preseason. Rice, a 2008 All-American, was named the preseason pick to win C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, an honor he has won in 2007 and 2008. Rice, tabbed as a preseason All-American, is on the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List, given to the nation’s top player.