Soccer Faces NCAA's Top Offense in Evansville
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After suffering an overtime loss Wednesday night at Michigan, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will return to action Sunday, traveling to face Evansville – the NCAA leader in goals scored – with kickoff set for 3 p.m. ET at McCutchan Stadium.
Kentucky (2-4-1) has played four overtime games in its last five contests, suffering three consecutive losses entering the game. The Wildcats have played a stout early season schedule, suffering losses to No. 6 UConn, Iona, Michigan and Loyola Marymount.
Wednesday, UK traveled to Michigan for a matchup with the Wolverines, a high-octane offensive team, averaging over 22 shots per game. After falling behind just three minutes into the game, freshman Tyler Riggs evened up the game with a goal in the first minute of the second half, before Michigan regained the lead in the 72nd minute. With just 46 seconds left in the game, freshman Ellis Vienne struck for his first career goal, evening up the game at 2-2 and pushing the match to overtime. Michigan freshman Soony Saad – rated as the best freshman in college soccer by TopDrawerSoccer.com – netted his third goal of the game in the 92nd minute, handing UK a bitter overtime loss.
The Wildcats have been led offensively by Riggs, who has two goals in his first seven career games. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Rose and sophomore Matt Lodge have each added a goal and an assist, while Vienne rounds out UK’s goal-scoring. Senior Drew Midkiff, Cameron Wilder, Sam Brooks and Brendan Murphy have each charted assists.
In goal, UK freshman keeper Tyler Beadle has saved 20 shots in seven games, posting a 1.24 goals-against average with three shutouts. In the game Wednesday, Beadle saved a career-best five shots.
Evansville (4-2-1) enters the game leading the nation with 19 goals scored through its first seven games of the season. The Purple Aces have averaged 2.71 goals per game and 18.6 shots per game. UE has posted wins over Washington, Alabama A&M, East Tennessee State and Belmont, suffering losses to No. 19 Portland and Western Illinois, tying Xavier.
Mike Luttrull leads the scoring with five goals and two assists, while Tad Kreamalmyer (three goals), Gavin Chura (two goals, two assists) and Robby Lynch (two goals, two assists) have assisted in the offensive attack for UE. Blake Schneider leads the team with four assists. In goal, Phil Boerger has allowed seven goals in seven games, with 18 saves and two clean sheets, good for a 1.04 goals-against average.
UK and Evansville will be meeting for the fourth time in series history, with the last meeting coming as a 4-3 UE win in 2003. Evansville has won all three games in the series, outscoring UK 9-5.