Soccer Travels to South Carolina for Gamecock Classic

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After notching clean sheets in three of the first four games to open the season, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will hit the road for the first time in the 2010 season, traveling to participate in the Gamecock Classic, hosted by South Carolina. UK will face No. 6 Connecticut at 5 p.m. ET on Friday night and will face Iona on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium.

Kentucky (2-1-1) has exhibited a lock-down defensive unit over the first four games that has allowed only one goal in the first four games. Dating back to the season-finale in 2009, UK has allowed only one goal in the last 411 consecutive minutes.

The Wildcats have been led by a corp of young players seeing their first collegiate action, as only two returning starters return from the 2009 club, preseason All-Conference USA performers Matt Lodge and Brad Walker. In the last game, a 0-0 tie with Houston Baptist, UK started six freshmen and two players playing in their first collegiate season. UK started three freshmen on the backline and a freshman in goal on Sunday, with freshman keeper Tyler Beadle collecting his third career shutout.

In his first four collegiate games, Beadle has posted a 0.24 goals-against average, ranking ninth overall in the NCAA. UK has gotten goals from freshman Tyler Riggs and redshirt-sophomore Jordan Rose in the opening weekend, with both coming as their first career goals. Lodge, Rose, Cameron Wilder and Brendan Murphy each collected assists.

UConn (3-0-1) has been paced by freshman Mamadou Doudou Diouf who leads the Huskies with 11 points on five goals and one assist, leading the nation in scoring. Carlos Alvarez and Stephane Diop have five points for UConn, and Alan Ponce, Max Wasserman and Alvarez each have three assists on the year.

Huskies goalkeeper Josh Ford has eight saves for UConn this year. Ford is UConn's all-time leader in shutouts with 40. He ranks at the top amongst all-time Huskies in consecutive starts (69), shutouts (40) and shutouts in a single-season (13-2009), while he is third in wins with 45 in his career.

In the last UConn game, Diop scored the Huskies' lone goal in their 1-1 double-overtime tie with nationally-ranked Harvard on Saturday, Sept. 11. UConn outshot the Crimson 25-6 on the night, including an 11-2 clip in the first half. Ford made three saves in net for the Huskies as he played all 110 minutes, while allowing one goal, just his second given up to an opponent this season.

Iona (1-2-0) has posted a 5-1 win over Hartwich to open the season, before suffering a 2-1 setback to Hofstra and a 2-0 loss to Adelphi. Iona has been led by Samuel Adjei and Douglas Stephens, who have scored a team-best two goals. Franklin Castellanos and Mario Di Miceli have each added goals, while Victor Munoz and Mario Rios have two assists each. In goal, Jesse Fullerton has allowed five goals in three games, saving eight shots and charting a 1.75 goals-against average.