Aug. 30, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After scoring three goals in the season lidlifter last week at Dayton, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will return to action on Friday, traveling to participate in the Gamecock Classic, hosted by South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. UK will take on No. 25 Northwestern at 5 p.m. ET on Friday and No. 15 St. John’s on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET at Eugene Stone Stadium.
Kentucky (0-1) is coming off a season-opening loss at Dayton, a wild 4-3 game that was scoreless at halftime. The Wildcats got goals from each of its 2011 returning leading scorers in the second half vs. Dayton, as Matt Lodge, Charley Pettys and Tyler Riggs each netted goals. UK also got an assist from freshman midfielder Kristoffer Tollefsen, one of several newcomers to debut at UD.
UK started freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving on Friday at Dayton, with the 6-foot keeper notching six saves in the game. Of the four goals Irving allowed to the Flyers in the second half, one came after he slipped inside the box and the second goal came off a corner kick where he incidentally touched the endline with the ball. UK also boasts returning keeper Jack Van Arsdale, who started three games in 2011, and newcomer Dary DeWalt out of Wisconsin.
The Wildcats played several newcomers in the game in addition to Irving and Tollefsen, as Jacob Speed, Bryan Celis, Caleb Richardson and Isak Krogstad also saw action. Celis, Irving and Tollefsen each earned starting nods.
The goals from Lodge and Riggs helped the dynamic offensive duo move up the lists of the most prolific scorers in UK career history. Lodge now owns 18 career goals to rank eighth-most in UK history and his 51 career points are now tied with Lee Baker for the sixth-most. Riggs’ goal was his 17th in his career, good for ninth-most in UK annals.
UK annually travels to Columbia for the Gamecock Classic and returns as the defending champions of the 2011 event. The Wildcats posted a 2-1 overtime win over High Point to open the 2011 Gamecock Classic, before smashing No. 15 Brown, 5-1 with two goals from Riggs and two assists from Jacob Kemper. UK’s last trip to Columbia came to end the 2011 season, when UK tied No. 25 South Carolina, 2-2 in a game it played with 10 men the majority of the contest.
St. John’s (1-0-1) has opened up its year with a win and a draw in its first two matches. The Red Storm has totaled four goals and allowed just one, firing 26 shots and allowing 16. In goal, Rafael Diaz has saved six shots and owns a 0.45 goals-against average. Andres Vargas has a goal and an assist to lead the team, with Jack Bennett, Nick Matthews and Jelani Williams each netting a goal. Sean Sepe has also added an assist for the Red Storm.
Northwestern (0-0-1) is coming off a 1-1 tie vs. Xavier at home, totaling 19 shots and allowing 12 XU shots. Northwestern got a goal from Chris Ritter, with goalkeeper Tyler Miller posting a 0.82 goals-against average in 110 minutes, saving four shots.
UK will be meeting both St. John’s and Northwestern for the first time in program history.