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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind goals from freshman Bryan Celis and senior Charley Pettys and a clean sheet from freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving, the Kentucky men's soccer team posted a resounding 2-0 win over St. Joseph's in the home debut of first-year head coach Johan Cedergren, on a steamy Friday night at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (1-3-0) dominated the game throughout, owning a staggering 20-2 mark in shots and a 12-2 lead in corner kicks. The Wildcats used Irving's shutout and a stiff defense in the game to the 2-0 win, with Celis and Pettys netting the goals and Tyler Riggs and Jacob Scearce getting assists.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Irving - the first UK true freshman to start the home opener in goal since Dan Williams in 2006 - saved one shot in the game, joining Pettys, Jacob Speed, Steven Perinovic and Jacob Kemper on the UK backline.
The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday as the UK Invite concludes. Stony Brook and St. Joseph's will start the day at 12 p.m. ET. UK will face No. 4 Charlotte following the conclusion of the contest at 2:30 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. It will mark the third top-25 opponent for the Wildcats in its first five contests.
St. Joe's keeper Michael Moulton saved six shots in the game, with Alex Critzos and Tim Bennan firing the lone shots for the Hawks on the game.
UK got on the board in the 70th minute when Riggs led a UK attack and played a nice ball to Scearce, who found Celis inside the six-yard box. Celis, a native of Houston, Texas, finished the goal with a low-lining shot to the far post, just out of the reach of a diving Moulton. With the assist, Riggs, now owns 18 career goals and six assists, giving him 42 points, marking the eighth-best total in UK annals.
The Wildcats once more found the netting when Pettys took a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box from about 25-yards out. His low strike bounced off the near post and slide off Moulton's diving grasp into the net at the far post. The goal was Pettys' second of the year and the sixth of his career.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 16-4-2 all-time in home lidlifters and have now won five consecutive home openers at the UK Soccer Complex. UK's meeting with St. Joe's marked its fourth consecutive first-time opponent to open 2012. The Wildcats now also own a 24-6-3 all-time record in UK Invitational matches dating back to the program's inception in 1991.
GAME NOTES: Freshman keeper Callum Irving made his second career start and his first since the season opener ... After opening with a 4-4-2 lineup in the Gamecock Classic finale, UK returned to the 4-5-1 formation for the third time in four games in 2012 ... Byran Celis notched his first career goal and Jacob Scearce recorded his first career assist ... Charley Pettys notched his second goal of 2012 and the sixth of his career ... Tyler Riggs notched an assist, giving him 18 goals and six assists in his career, good for 42 points, the eighth-best total in UK career history ... Matt Lodge finished with three shots, giving him 150 career shots, ranking fourth all-time, shy of the school record of 167 from Riley O'Neill ... The Wildcats own a 16-4-2 all-time record in home openers and have won five consecutive at the UK Soccer Complex, dating back to a loss to Cornell in 2007 ... UK met St. Joe's for the first time in program history, the Wildcats fourth consecutive first-time opponent to open the 2012 season ... UK now has a 24-6-3 all-time in the UK Invitational Tournament, dating back to 1991 ... Irving is the first UK true freshman to start in goal since Dan Williams in 2006.
UKIT Game One: No. 4 Charlotte 3, Stony Brook 0 - FINAL
The fourth-ranked Charlotte 49ers got a penalty kick goal from Tyler Gibson and a two tallies from Rex Jennings to hold on for a 3-0 win over Stony Brook, in the first game of the 2012 University of Kentucky Invitational Tournament, held on a hot Friday evening at the UK Soccer Complex.
Charlotte (3-0-1) used a penalty kick goal to the upper-left corner from Gibson in the 19th minute for an early lead and a goal in the 24th frame, followed in the 84th by Jennings for his two scores on the day. The 2011 NCAA College Cup runner-up, Charlotte got an assist from Isaac Caughran on the goal in the 24th minute, a gorgeous cross into the six-yard box, as well as a Will Mayhew on the second goal for Rex.
Stony Brook (2-1-0) keeper Carlos Villa finished with two saves in the game, while Charlotte keeper Klay Davis recorded only one on the evening. Overall, the 49ers finished with a 11-3 advantage in shots and a 8-1 mark in corner kicks.
Charlotte will return to action on Sunday, facing host UK at 2:30 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. Stony Brook will face St. Joseph's in the first game on Sunday, set for a 12 p.m. ET kickoff.