Oct. 13, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Trailing by a goal at No. 25 UAB in the second half, Kentucky got a game-evening goal from senior Charley Pettys and while playing a man down, senior Matt Lodge connected on a penalty kick to seal the win, lifting the Wildcats to a thrilling comeback win over the Blazers, on a windy Saturday night at West Campus Field.
Kentucky (6-6-1, 1-1-1 Conference USA) battled the Blazers in a wild, physical game from the start. UK appeared to take an early lead but had a Tyler Riggs goal called off for offsides. Minutes later, UAB netted a goal on a header off a corner kick, with UK's players signaling for offsides during the tally.
The win marked UK's first over UAB since the 2008 season. The Blazers entered the game as UK's seventh ranked opponent in the first 13 games of 2012. UAB entered the game fresh off a thrilling 4-3 comeback win at South Carolina on Wednesday and owned wins at Clemson, vs. No. 20 Washington and a tie with No. 5 Charlotte. Only ETSU, No. 8 New Mexico and C-USA leader SMU have sprang losses on UAB.
The physical, drama-laden game saw a total of four yellow cards issued to the Wildcats and a red card on UK defender Dylan Murphy. UK head coach Johan Cedergren was also issued a yellow card after disputing the UAB goal in the 12th minute.
UK junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale had a stellar game for the Wildcats, saving five shots for his fifth win of the year. UAB (7-4-2, 2-2-0 C-USA) keeper Raphael Ville finished with two saves.
The Blazers got on the board in the 12th minute, as UAB fired a corner kick from the far end of the pitch. The ball was immediately headed up by the UK defense and around the 18-yard box several times without ever touching the grass. UAB's Darion Copeland got a head on the ball and flicked it over the leaping mitts of Van Arsdale for his first goal of the year.
In the 68th minute, with UK owning pace of play and possession in the second half, UK got a goal from Pettys, his fifth of the year. Senior Gabriel Conelian played the ball to Murphy, who crossed it into the box for Jacob Kemper, who flicked it and found Pettys, who netted it at the far post. The assist was Kemper's team-leading fifth of the year.
After Murphy got the red card in the 77th minute, UK continued to apply pressure despite being down to 10 men against UAB's 11. Freshman speedster Caleb Richardson made a run down the near sideline and at the corner of the 18-yard box was shoved to the ground by a physical UAB defender. The call was immediately made for a penalty kick. Lodge took his first career penalty, firing a hard-hit shot just left to beat Ville for lift UK to a lead. Lodge now has six goals in 2012 and 23 in his career, ranking tied for sixth-most in UK career history.
Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to face C-USA foe Marshall at 7 p.m. ET.
GAME NOTES: UK now leads the series 5-4, with UK winning its first game over UAB since 2008 and improving to 3-2 in games played in Birmingham ... Senior Jacob Kemper now leads the team with five assists and has seven assists in his career ... Senior Matt Lodge netted his sixth goal of the year and the 23rd of his UK career ... Lodge now ranked tied with junior Tyler Riggs, Brian Dausman (1992-95) and Jamal Shteiwi (2001-04) for the fourth-most goal in UK career history ... Lodge now has 61 career points, ranking sixth in UK history ... Senior Charley Pettys netted his fifth goal of the year and now has nine goals and 11 assists (29 points) in his three-year career ... UK posted its second win over a top-25 opponent on the road in 2012, also beating No. 18 Louisville, 1-0, on Sept. 14 ... UK played with 10 men in a game for the first time since the season finale in 2011 at South Carolina, a 2-2 tie ... Five cautions is a season-high for UK, with opponents entering the game with a 20-15 advantage in cards in 2012 ... UK notched its first come-from-behind win of the year ... UK has now played seven ranked opponents in its first 13 games of 2012, 54-percent of its schedule ... UK now has three wins over ranked foes in the last two years, also beating No. 15 Brown in 2011.