Men's Soccer Travels to No. 22 Louisville

Sept. 13, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky men’s soccer team continues its grueling stretch to open the non-conference season, traveling to face No. 22 Louisville, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET at Cardinal Park.

Kentucky (1-4-0) has opened up the season by facing ranked opponents in three of its first five games, with UK’s season-opening opponent, Dayton, cracking the top-25 on Monday. UK has suffered four one-goal losses to open the season, including nail-biting losses vs. No. 25 Northwestern (2-1, OT), No. 15 St. John’s (2-1) and No. 4 Charlotte (1-0).

On Friday, UK opened up its home season with a 2-0 win over St. Joseph’s, getting a goal from freshman Bryan Celis and senior Charley Pettys. The result marked the first career win for UK head coach Johan Cedergren, as the Wildcats owned a dominating 20-2 advantage in shots and a 12-2 mark in corner kicks.

The Wildcats have been paced by an explosive offensive attack in 2012, with a defensive unit that is developing its shape. UK has seven goals in its first five games, firing 12.8 shots per game. The offensive attack has been led by UK’s three leading returning scorers, including Pettys, junior forward Tyler Riggs and senior midfielder Matt Lodge. UK also has a team-high two assists from freshman midfielder Kristoffer Tollefsen, with freshman Jacob Scearce, senior Jacob Kemper and Riggs each adding assists.

In goal, UK has been locked in a position battle, as junior Jack Van Arsdale and talented Canadian freshman Callum Irving have shared time. Van Arsdale has a 1.56 goals-against average in three games and two starts, while Irving owns a 2.00 goals-against average in three starts. The duo has combined to help UK save 17 shots. Irving got his first career shutout in the Friday-night win over St. Joe’s.

Louisville (3-2-0) enters the game with UK, fresh off a 3-2 overtime win over No. 15 Wake Forest on Tuesday. The Cardinals scored two goals in the first half for a commanding lead, before Wake rallied with two goals in the second half to force extra time. In the second overtime period, Ryan Smith netted the golden goal to lift the Cards to the 3-2 overtime win. Overall, Wake owned a 15-11 advantage in shots, while UL had a 5-4 led in corner kicks.

The Cardinals have netted nine goals in five games to open the season, totaling 10.8 shots per game and owning a 22-21 advantage in corner kicks. Smith and Greg Cochrane have two goals each for the Cards, while Will Vitalis and Dylan Mares have a team-best two assists. Buck Tufty, Alex Obbey and Mario Hairston each have a goal and an assist. In goal, Joachim Ball has a 1.36 goals-against average in five games, saving seven shots with one shutout.

Since becoming a NCAA Division I sport at UK in 1991, the Wildcats have controlled the rivalry with the Cardinals, owning a 9-5-4 all-time advantage. After winning four consecutive meetings with UL from 2002-05, the Wildcats have lost three consecutive, in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The two teams did not play in 2008 or 2011 due to a scheduling conflict.