Soccer Travels to Face Xavier in Queen City

Sept. 22, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After suffering its first loss in over 48 weeks, the Kentucky men’s soccer team returns to action Wednesday night, traveling to Cincinnati to face Xavier, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET at the Xavier University Soccer Complex.

Kentucky (5-1-0, 0-1-0 Conference USA) suffered its first loss in a school-record span of 15 matches, dating back to October of 2008. UK fell in double overtime Sunday night in its conference opener, 1-0 to Marshall, allowing a golden-goal in the 102nd minute. UK’s school-record unbeaten streak eclipsed the previous school mark of seven straight unbeaten games.

So far for the Wildcats offensively, freshman midfielder Matt Lodge has emerged as one of the top players in the conference, leading UK with four goals and an assist, just six games deep into his collegiate career. A native of Rossington, England, Lodge has UK’s last three goals, including two game winners. Midfielder Tyler Burns has charted two goals and an assist, with Lexington, Ky., native C.J. Tappel leading UK with a pair of assists. Senior Dan Williams, a native of Fairfax Station, Va., has totaled a 0.65 goals-against average in six games, allowing only four goals and charting two clean sheets.

UK owns a 5-3 all-time record in the series with Xavier, but the Musketeers have won the last three meetings, including a 1-0 win in 2008. Last year, XU struck for a game-winning goal in the 81st minute, despite UK owning a 20-9 advantage in shots and a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks. Xavier’s last three wins have come in 2008, 2001 and 1996. The two teams met annually from 1991-96, before resuming the series in 2001.

Xavier (0-3-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) is fresh off a 2-2 double overtime tie with Detroit Friday night. The Musketeers have been led offensively by Jake Vollmer, Brandon Bucher and Kennedy Nakwa, who have each netted goals. In goal, Justin Marshall and Andre Bezerra have split time, combining to allow nine goals in 380 minutes, good for a 2.13 goals-against average. As a team, XU has netted three goals nad fired 58 total shots, including 26 on goal. So far, Xavier has suffered losses at Butler and Bradley, also suffering a setback against Evansville.