Soccer Faces No. 12 Tulsa in C-USA Semifinal Friday

Nov. 12, 2009

TULSA -- After winning its final five league matches to clinch a berth in the Conference USA Tournament, the Kentucky men’s soccer team faces No. 12 Tulsa in the C-USA Semifinal, slated for 8:30 p.m. ET at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Complex.

Kentucky (13-5-0, 5-3 C-USA) started the conference season 0-3, before winning its final five league matches to clinch a post-season berth, including a 1-0 win over conference power SMU in a de facto elimination game. UK and Tulsa met once during the regular-season, a 1-0 Tulsa win when the Golden Hurricane got a goal in the final minute of regulation.

Last year, UK advanced to the C-USA Tournament finals, suffering a loss to Tulsa on penalty kicks, 4-2, in Dallas. UK and Tulsa played through a 1-1 tie to force the decisive penalty kicks in the championship game last season.

The Wildcats have been led offensively by freshman Matt Lodge, who earned second-team All-Conference USA honors after totaling six goals and two assists in his inaugural season. First-team All-Conference USA midfielder Jason Griffiths has added three goals and one assist, while junior Tyler Burns ranks second on the club with three goals and two assist. Junior C.J. Tappel and senior Marco dos Santos have each contributed a club-best three assists. In goal, second-team All-Conference USA keeper Dan Williams has totaled a league-leading 0.71 goals-against average in 18 games, allowing only 13 goals and totaling seven shutouts. A four-year starter, Williams just needs one clean sheet to equal the school record of 22 career shutouts.

Tulsa leads the all-time series with UK, 4-3-1, with UK’s last wins coming as a 3-0 and 1-0 result at Tulsa during the 2006 season.

Tulsa (11-4-2, 6-1-1 C-USA) won the conference for the third consecutive season with a 6-2 win over UCF in Orlando, clinching the league crown. The Golden Hurricane has been led offensively by league MVP Ashley McInnes, who has eight goals and five assists. C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Justin Chavez has played in all 17 games for Tulsa, helping the backline earn a 1.16 goals-against average. Austin Neil has eight goals and three assists, while Jose Parada has seven goals and five assists. In goal, Andy Aguilar has allowed 20 goals in 17 games, saving 66 shots and totaling a 1.16 goals-against average.