Oct. 27, 2012
TULSA -- Kentucky got a penalty kick goal from senior Matt Lodge and a second-half tally from senior Gabriel Conelian to spring a 2-0 win at No. 23 Tulsa, on a cold Saturday night at the Hurricane Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (9-6-1, 4-1-1 Conference USA) used the goals from Lodge and Conelian, an assist from freshman Bryan Celis and the clean sheet from Jack Van Arsdale to the upset win. The Wildcats now have road wins at No. 18 Louisville, No. 25 UAB and No. 23 Tulsa. UK's shutout vs. Tulsa came against a team that entered the game ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in goals scored.
UK owns an 8-2-1 record over its last 11 games and has now won four consecutive games. UK, which entered the game owning the second-most road in college soccer, improves 6-2 on the road, a year after a 0-7-1 record away from the UK Soccer Complex.
The Wildcats got the goal in the 15th minute from Lodge for the game winner, with Conelian adding a tally in the 75th minute. Van Arsdale, a native of Richmond, Va., saved three shots in his fourth shutout of the year.
"We have just been getting better and better as the season has gotten older," Cedergren said. "The guys are really starting to believe in the stuff that we are working on all season, in terms of keeping the ball, playing in and playing back, really believing and taking chances. Winning four in a row now you are start to see that they are really believing. (There were) lots of things to like today. We played two different formations."
The win pushes Kentucky into second place in the C-USA standings, with the Wildcats entering the game owning the No. 18 RPI in the NCAA and the No. 13 strength of schedule. Tulsa, ranked as high as No. 23 entering the week, ranked No. 16 in the NCAA RPI on Monday afternoon. UK has now played eight ranked opponents, including six away from Lexington.
"Matt and Dylan did great up front, Riggs did great when he came in up front," Cedergren said. "Steven did fantastic in the back and Jack had one save when it was 1-0 that he needed to make. I like the belief in the team, the attitude, the comradery and the work ethic. Every single game we say we are going to outwork our opponent and I think we outworked them today."
Kentucky took the lead in the 15th minute, on a penalty kick from Matt Lodge, his second penalty of the year. UK played a ball into the box for Celis, with a Tulsa defender called for a handball while trying to defend Celis. Lodge stepped up after Pais' was ready and beat him with a hard-hit shot to his left, with Pais diving the correct direction but unable to stop the pace of Lodge's shot. The goal was the seventh of the year for Lodge and the 24th of his career.
UK stretched its lead with a goal in the 75th minute. UK found Tyler Riggs on a run down the near sideline with a gorgeous through ball from midfield. Riggs found it on a nice run, taking it down the 18-yard box and crossing it into Celis in the middle of the box. Celis fired a shot that was deflected back to Conelian. Conelian finished it with a hard-hit strike into the center of the net for the two-goal lead.
Tulsa (10-5-1, 4-2-1 C-USA) keeper Mark Pais finished with three saves. Tulsa's loss was its first since Oct. 3 at No. 25 SMU. The Golden Hurricane has now been shutout just three times in 2012 and entered the game with a staggering 38 goals scored in 15 games, averaging 2.53 goals per game. Over its last four games entering Saturday night, Tulsa has scored 13 goals.
UK will return to action on Oct. 31, hosting UCF at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
GAME NOTES: Senior Matt Lodge connected on his seventh goal of the year, equaling the team lead ... Lodge's goal was his 24th career, moving him into sole possession of fourth place in UK program history ... Lodge is now 2-for-3 in his career in penalty kicks and 2-for-2 in 2012 ... Lodge's goal at Tulsa marked his second consecutive goal at TU in the last two meetings ... Senior Gabriel Conelian netted his fourth goal of the year ... Jack Van Arsdale secured his fourth clean sheet of the year and the fifth for the Wildcats ... UK now owns a 6-6-1 all-time record against Tulsa and a 4-1 record in games played at Tulsa ... Freshman Bryan Celis recorded his third assist of the year.