Soccer Hosts UAB in C-USA Clash
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After Marshall snapped Kentucky’s school-record 11-game consecutive home unbeaten streak on Wednesday night, the Wildcats look to get back in the Conference USA Tournament race hosting UAB, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (7-6-1, 0-3-0 C-USA) is in the midst of a scoreless stretch that has seen the Wildcats drop three consecutive games, including two overtime contests on the road. UK has been paced by a prolific scoring attack in 2011 that entered the week ranked second in goals scored, before UK extended its scoreless stretch over the last three games to 284 consecutive minutes.
On Wednesday, Marshall jumped on UK with a goal before the half and added a goal out of the break for a 2-0 win. The loss for UK snapped an 11-game consecutive home unbeaten streak that ranked as the longest in UK school history.
UK’s three-game homestand started with the Marshall game, which mark UK’s first extended stay at the UK Soccer Complex since the opening of the year. UK had been on a brutal travel schedule that has seen the Wildcats travel over 9,700 miles in a 15-day span, including trips to California, South Carolina, Nebraska and Florida, with games against No. 3 Creighton, No. 10 UCF, No. 13 Cal, No. 15 Brown, Stanford and FIU.
UK has been led offensively by sophomore forward Tyler Riggs and junior forward Matt Lodge. Riggs owns a team-high 22 points with nine goals and four assists, while Lodge has added 21 points on seven goals and seven assists. UK junior midfielder Charles Pettys has a goal and seven assists, while senior C.J. Tappel owns a goal and four assists. UK has also gotten two goals from seniors Josh Mulvany and Sam Brooks. In goal, sophomore Tyler Beadle has managed a 1.55 goals-against average with 33 saves in 12 games.
UAB (5-3-2, 0-1-0 C-USA) is also in the midst of a three-game losing streak, falling vs. Portland, at Washington and in its C-USA opener vs. South Carolina on Oct. 4. The Blazers own big wins over No. 20 VCU and Clemson on the year. UAB has averaged 1.90 goals per game and 14 shots a contest. Individually, Babayele Sodade has a team-high 15 points in six goals and three assists, while Diego Navarrete has four goals and one assist. Mladen Lemez has three goals, while Chase Wickham and Chris Williams each have a goal and two assists. In goal, veteran Carl Woszczynski has saved 45 shots in 10 games with a 1.06 goals-against average and one clean sheet.
UK leads the all-time series with UAB, 4-3-1 but enter the game having lost two consecutive decisions to the Blazers. In the last meeting between the two teams, UAB posted a 2-1 win in Birmingham, Ala., getting goals from Sodade and Kofi Gyawu in the second half. Lodge got UK’s lone goal in the game in the 87th minute, with Beadle charting three saves and Woszczynski saving three shots.