UK Soccer Hosts Kentucky Tournament

Kentucky     Western Kentucky

UK Tournament
Friday, Sept. 18

Tennessee Tech vs. Marshall at 5:00 p.m.
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Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m.
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Sept. 17, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - Following a brief two-game road stretch, the UK soccer team returns to Lexington, to host Western Kentucky (4-2-0) and Tennessee Tech (1-5-1) in the Kentucky Tournament at the UK Soccer Complex.

The Wildcats (2-2-2) are desperately seeking to get back in the offensive swing of things having gone 471 consecutive minutes without scoring a goal.

"We're not happy with our goal production," said UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. "I'm used to coaching teams that are very high scoring; I think part of our challenge is to find that groove and we're going to continue to work hard. I think we've trained harder this week than any week since we showed up on Aug. 4. It will remain to be seen whether I've worn them out too much, but I think what we've gotten out of it has been tremendous. I think what fans will see is a team that has a renewed excitement about going forward, and a renewed commitment towards attacking with numbers."

A return home could be just what the Cats need after going 0-1-1 on the road. UK is 2-1-1 at home this season where they've allowed only two goals through four matches while playing front of average crowds of over 1,000.

"One of the things you have to learn is when you go on the road you have to generate your own energy," said Lipsitz. "Everything from the warm-up music being different, to not sleeping in your own bed, to not having the crowd cheering for you, to the food, everything is different. You have to generate your own atmosphere. When you're at home, it's much easier to have a great atmosphere and when you're at a place like our stadium and our fans, atmosphere is not an issue. We love being at home; I think if you look at our successes this year, we've done well here, so we're excited to be back."

The Wildcats lead the all-time series with the in-state rival Hilltoppers 2-0-1, but the two teams haven't met since 2005. Kentucky won the first two meetings in 2003 (4-1) and 2004 (8-2), and the 2005 meeting resulted in a 1-1 tie.

The Kentucky Tournament is the first in-season tournament the Wildcats have hosted since 2006 and only the second in the last seven years.

In addition to this weekend's matches, the UK Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is participating in the Together We CAN Drive: Supporting Regional Food Banks. Fans can bring canned food or monetary donations to Friday's UK-WKU game, with all donations going to help God's Pantry Food Bank.

The Cats and Hilltoppers are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Live stats and a live blog of the evening's match will be available at www.UKathletics.com.