LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Off to an unbeaten start to the season and preparing for the collegiate debut of acclaimed midfielder Josh Mulvany, No. 21 Kentucky men’s soccer wraps up a five game season-opening homestand, hosting IPFW on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (3-0-1) will wrap up its five-game homestand on Tuesday with IPFW, before venturing to San Francisco for matches at Stanford and No. 5 California. The Wildcats had its bid to open the season 4-0 snapped by a heavy rainstorm during Sunday’s game with IUPUI. The game ended after regulation in a 2-2 tie, with UK still claiming the 10th annual UK Invitational title with a win over Wright State on Friday night.
UK will get a major boost in the UK debut of Mulvany, a dynamic midfielder who the UK coaches consider one of the most talented players in college soccer. A native of Oxford, England, Mulvany has sat out the previous 23 games of his UK career while attaining NCAA eligibility.
UK had its attempt at four consecutive wins to open the season halted by a bad weather system crossing Central Kentucky on Sunday night vs. IUPUI. After UK netted the game-tying goal in the 85th minute to even the game at 2-2, weather forced the game to be suspended in a tie, as a thunderstorm with heavy rains and winds evacuated the facility. UK fired the fourth-most shots in UK single-game history on Sunday, 28 total team efforts in the draw. The Wildcats posted a dominating 2-1 win over Wright State on Friday night in front of 1,597 at the UK Soccer Complex, with WSU getting a penalty-kick goal in the 90th minute.
The Wildcats have showcased a dynamic offensive attack through the first four games of the year, including a breakout weekend that saw UK take 52 shots and register 30 corner kicks in two games. Headlining UK’s offensive charge was junior Matt Lodge, who turned in an epic weekend with two goals and one assist, firing a staggering 14 shots in the two games. Lodge hit the crossbar twice and the post twice during the weekend, with a pair of magnificent goals in each game.
Overall offensively, UK owns eight goals and 11 assists through four games, allowing four opponent goals, with three goals coming on penalty kicks. UK owns an 88-25 shot advantage and a 43-9 advantage in corner kicks through the four season-opening games.
Sophomore Louisville, Ky., native Tyler Riggs has led UK with four goals and an assist, while Lodge opened his scoring with a pair of goals this weekend. Senior C.J. Tappel owns a goal and an assist, while senior Brad Walker has added a header goal on a corner kick. Charles Pettys leads UK with three assists, while Dylan Asher has charted two assists. Jonathan Brown and Steven Perinovic round out UK’s scoring efforts with an assist each. In goal, Tyler Beadle has started three games and owns a 0.67 goals-against average with five saves, allowing only two penalty-kick goals. Jack Van Arsdale filled in for Beadle on Sunday, making his UK debut in the draw.
UK has battled injuries early into 2011, as four starters were out of the lineup on Sunday, including Beadle, Asher, Marco Bordon and Gabriel Conelian.
IPFW (2-2-0) owns 10 goals through its first two games, allowing five opponent goals and average 11.8 shots per game. The Mastodons have face a tough early season schedule, posting a 1-1 tie with Duke, a 4-1 win over Milwaukee and a 6-0 win over Nebraska Omaha, suffering losses to Bradley and Bowling Green. Colin Helmrich has three goals and an assist, while Max Touloute leads the team with five goals and two assists in just three games. Jason Mills owns a goal and two assist, while Grant Welter has added two assists and Nate Shipman one assist. In goal, Ryan Bristol has a 1.54 goals-against average with 22 saves through four games.