Men's Soccer Opens Home Season with UK Invite
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky men’s soccer team will open up its 2012 home schedule with the annual University of Kentucky Invitational Tournament, with UK’s home lidlifter set for Friday vs. St. Joseph’s at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky will open up its home schedule with the UKIT, welcoming St. Joe’s in the opener at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex, immediately following the matchup with No. 4 Charlotte and Stony Brook, set for 4:30 p.m. ET. The tournament will conclude on Sunday, as St. Joe’s and Stony Brook face off at 12 p.m. ET, before the Wildcats take on the 2011 NCAA runner-up, Charlotte, at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats (0-3) have faced a rugged schedule to open up the Johan Cedergren era, as UK has suffered three one-goal losses, including a 2-1 overtime result vs. No. 25 Northwestern last Friday at the Gamecock Classic, and a hotly contested 2-1 loss to defending Big East Champion, No. 15 St. John’s on Sunday.
UK has totaled five goals in its first three matches, as Matt Lodge and Tyler Riggs have each tallied two goals, with Lodge pacing the club with 10 shots. Senior Charley Pettys has added a goal and freshman midfielder Kristoffer Tollefsen has a pair of assists, with senior defender Jacob Kemper adding an assist.
In goal, UK started a true freshman in the season opener for the first time since Dan Williams in 2006, when Canadian Callum Irving earned the call at Dayton, an eventual 4-3 loss in a wild contest. UK then turned to redshirt junior Jack Van Arsdale in the two contests at the Gamecock Classic, with Van Arsdale saving eight shots in the two games and owning a 1.94 goals-against average.
Over the weekend at the Gamecock Classic, UK defenders Steven Perinovic and Jacob Speed earned all-tournament team accolades for the Wildcats. Speed is among several newcomers to make an impact early, including Irving, Tollefsen, Isak Krogstad and Bryan Celis.
The Wildcats own a 15-4-2 all-time record in home openers and have won four consecutive at the UK Soccer Complex, dating back to a loss to Cornell in 2007. UK will be meeting both St. Joe’s and Charlotte for the first time in program history, the Wildcats fourth and fifth consecutive first-time opponents to open the 2012 season.
St. Joe’s (1-2) enters the UKIT with a 2-1 overtime win over Hartwick and a pair of losses to JIT (2-0) and St. Francis (5-1). The Hawks have been paced offensively by juniors Jimmy Reilly and Pat McGlynn and sophomore Tommy Brooks have led the club with a goal each, while senior keeper Andrew D’Ottavi has started all three games and saved 10 shots with a 2.61 goals-against average.
Charlotte (2-0-1) is coming off its most successful season in program history, narrowly missing winning the national title with a one-goal loss to North Carolina in the College Cup at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The 49ers have opened up 2012 with overtime wins over Denver and No. 14 Coastal Carolina at home, before a 1-1 tie with No. 17 UAB. Aidan Kirkbride leads the team with a pair of goals and an assist. Donnie Smith has a goal and an assist, while Thomas Allen has added an assist. Jennings Rex, Tyler Gibson and Will Mayhew have each tallied an assist. In goal, Klay Davis has a 0.57 goals-against average with five saves in three games.
Stony Brook (2-1) has netted seven goals and allowed four in its first three games, getting goals from Raphael Abreau, Berian Gobell, Leonardo Fernandes, Alejandro Fritz and Antonio Crespi. Keeper Carlos Villa has a 1.32 goals-against average in the first three games with 12 saves and a pair of shutouts.