Soccer Faces Host Charlotte with Title Game Berth on the Line
Nov. 14, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a thrilling overtime win over No. 27 Old Dominion on Wednesday night, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will face off with host Charlotte in the Conference USA Tournament Semifinals, slated for Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Transamerica Field.
Kentucky (7-9-3) posted a 1-0 overtime win vs. No. 27 ODU – the No. 2 seed in the tournament – on Wednesday in the C-USA Tournament Quarterfinals. The Wildcats got a golden goal from Justin Laird – his first in a UK uniform – in the 93rd minute to post the win over the red-hot Monarchs, UK’s second win over ODU in 2013.
The Wildcats will face Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, with the 49ers hosting the C-USA Tournament in their first season in the loop. Charlotte posted a 2-1 win over UAB on Wednesday to advance to face the Wildcats.
UK has netted 25 goals and allowed 24 in 19 games in 2013, owning advantages in shots (291-203) and corners (110-93), owning a 1.21 goals-against average.
Individually, senior forward Tyler Riggs leads UK in scoring with six goals and one assist, with the Louisville, Ky., native looking to become the first UK player to lead the Wildcats in scoring for four consecutive years. Senior Brad Doliner has five goals and one assist, with sophomore Isak Krogstad sporting four goals and three assists. Laird has a goal and six assists, with freshman Napo Matsoso owning one goal and five assists. Freshman Sam Miller has a goal and four assists, with freshmen Kaelon Fox and Charlie Reymann each owning two goals and one assist. Sophomore Jacob Scearce has a goal and two assists, with freshman Ryan Creel charting a goal and one assist. Sophomore Bryan Celis has three assists, with Steven Perinovic owning a goal.
In goal, UK has been led by first-team All-Conference USA keeper Callum Irving, who has a 1.10 goals-against average in 15 games, saving 45 shots and sporting six shutouts. Senior Jack Van Arsdale has played in five games, with a 1.63 goals-against average.
The match with UK and Charlotte will be a rematch of an Oct. 19 game in Charlotte that saw the 49ers get a 1-0 win behind an own goal from the UK backline.
The 49ers have posted an impressive mark at Transamerica Field, behind a boisterous student section, with a 6-3-1 record in 2013 at home and a 9-1-2 mark in 2012.
Charlotte (10-5-3) is just two years removed from a narrow loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Title Game in Hoover, Ala. The 49ers have netted 34 goals and allowed just 15 in 18 games, owning advantages in shots (264-149) and corner kicks (100-49), with a staggering 0.80 goals-against average.
The 49ers have been led in scoring by an impressive 11-goal season from Kyle Parker, who also has two assists. Giuseppe Gentile is one of the top players in collegiate soccer, sporting nine goals and three assists. Aidan Kirkbride has four goals and one assist, while Luke Waechter has three goals and three assists. Tyler Gibson has two goals and four assists, with Will Mayhew leading the team with six assists and adding one goal. In goal, Klay Davis has a 0.81 goals-against average in 18 games, with seven shutouts.
Charlotte leads the all-time series with UK, 2-0, posting a win in Lexington in 2012 and the 1-0 win in Charlotte in 2013.
The contest with the 49ers will determine the field for the C-USA Tournament Championship, slated for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network. New Mexico, the league champion, will face off with No. 5 seed Tulsa at 5 p.m. ET on Friday before UK vs. Charlotte.