LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After playing in three tournaments in three weekends to open the 2010 season, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face off with Michigan, with kickoff at U-M Soccer Stadium slated for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Kentucky (2-3-1) will being a two-match road swing with the trip to Michigan, facing the Wolverines in the first year at the new U-M Soccer Stadium. In the stadium’s dedication game last week against Notre Dame, U-M welcomed 3,503 fans for a tie with the Irish. On Sunday, UK will travel to face Evansville at 2 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats are coming off a weekend trip to Columbia, S.C., where UK suffered a pair of losses in the Gamecock Classic. On Friday night, UK faced a high-octane UConn team, losing to the nation’s No. 6-ranked team. On Sunday, UK suffered a 2-1 overtime defeat to Iona after allowing a game-tying own goal in the 72nd minute to force overtime.
After graduating its three co-captains in 2009, UK welcomed a young talented roster in 2010, with 2009 freshman All-America honoree Matt Lodge and All-Conference USA performer Brad Walker functioning as returning starters. So far in 2010, 58 percent of the minutes played by the Wildcats have come from players in their first year of playing time for UK. On Sunday against Iona, UK started five freshmen and played 16 total players, with nine in their first year playing at Kentucky.
Freshman goalkeeper Tyler Beadle has posted a 0.96 goals-against average, saving 16 shots in six games, with six goals allowed in 563 minutes, posting four clean sheets. Offensively, redshirt sophomore Jordan Rose and Lodge have charted a goal and an assist to lead UK in scoring. Freshman Tyler Riggs has UK’s other goal, with Cameron Wilder and Brendan Murphy adding assists.
Michigan (3-1-3) has posted wins over Detroit, Illinois-Chicago and Oakland to open the season, with the lone loss coming to No. 14 Drake on Sept. 3. U-M has tied games against Seattle, Notre Dame and Marquette. Offensively, Sonny Saad has four goals in seven games, while Justin Meram (two goals, two assists), Hamoody Saad (two goals) and Alex Wood (one goal, two assists) lead the Wolverines in scoring. Brian Klemczak, Fabio Pereira, Latif Alashe and Matt Schmitt have each added assists. In goal, Chris Blais has allowed six goals in seven games, saving 33 shots and charting a 0.77 goals-against average, with two shutouts.
The Wolverines lead the all-time series 4-1, with UK winning the last meeting in 2009 in Lexington, 2-1.