COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 29 Kentucky men’s soccer team completes its coast-to-coast road trip with the Gamecock Classic, hosted by South Carolina, facing High Point on Friday and Brown on Sunday. UK will open the tournament on Friday with High Point at 5 p.m. ET, before wrapping up the weekend against No. 15 Brown on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET at Stone Stadium.
Kentucky (4-2-1) is wrapping up a portion of the schedule that has seen the Wildcats travel to each coast of the United States, as UK traveled to Stanford and Cal last weekend and have ventured to the campus of South Carolina for the Gamecock Classic. UK was originally scheduled to face Brown on Friday and High Point on Sunday, but South Carolina will now face Brown on Friday and High Point on Sunday.
The Wildcats have displayed a potent offensive attack through the first seven games of the year, ranking seventh nationally with 15 total goals, with forwards Tyler Riggs and Matt Lodge ranking No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the NCAA in points. The Wildcats rank No. 35 in the NCAA in scoring offense, with Riggs and Lodge tied for fourth in the NCAA in total goals, with each netting five tallies.
UK fell in the two games in the Golden State, including a 3-1 loss at Stanford in its home opener and a 3-2 game at No. 13 Cal on Sunday. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead at Stanford behind Charles Pettys’ goal in his return to his home state of California, before the Cardinal sealed the win with three unanswered goals. On Sunday, UK took a scoreless game to half at Cal, before a wild second frame unfolded that saw UK get goals from Sam Brooks and Riggs, in addition to narrowly missing a penalty kick.
UK has been led offensively by Riggs and Lodge, with Riggs totaled five goals and four assists and Lodge netting five goals and three assists, firing a club-high 36 shots. Pettys leads the team with four assists, adding one goal, while C.J. Tappel and Dylan Asher each have two assists. Brooks, Tappel, Brad Walker and Steve Cabos have each contributed a goal.
In between the pipes, UK sophomore keeper Tyler Beadle has saved 15 shots through five starts, posting a 1.60 goals-against average. Backup keeper Jack Van Arsdale owns a 2.00 goals-against average in his two starts filling in for Beadle.
Brown (3-1-0) has been led offensively by T.J. Popolizio, who owns a team-high three goals and one assist. Sean Rosa has added two goals, while Dylan Remick leads the club with three assists. Alex Carr has started three games in goal for Brown, posting a 0.67 goals-against average with three saves.
High Point (1-2-1) has been led by Alex Martinez, who has two of the five team goals. Shawn Sloan and Karo Okiomah have each added a goal and an assist. Keeper Michael Chesler has allowed six goals with 19 saves through four games, owning a 1.42 goals-against average.
UK’s offensive attack ranks throughout the Conference USA stats, leading the league in shots (129), points (49), goals (15), assists (19) and corner kicks (57). UK’s 57 total corner kicks comes out to an eye-popping 8.14 corner kicks per game. Individually, Lodge leads the conference in shots.