Sept. 29, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Riding its longest winning streak in four years, the Kentucky men’s soccer team opens up Conference USA action, hosting the Memphis Tigers on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (5-4-0) has won four consecutive games for its longest winning streak since the 2009 season. The Wildcats have outscored their opposition 11-2 and a 0.50 goals-against average in 360 minutes. The winning streak started with a 1-0 result at No. 18 Louisville on Sept. 14 and included a home win over East Tennessee State and road wins at Evansville and IPFW.
UK has opened up the 2012 season on the road in six of nine games and faced a total of five teams currently ranked in the NCAA’s top-25. UK has suffered four losses on the year, with each coming as a one-goal setback vs. a team ranked in the top-25.
On the year, the Wildcats have been led by an explosive offensive unit, totaling 18 goals in nine games and averaging 13.1 shots per game. Defensively, UK owns a 1.21 goals-against average and has a 63-45 advantage in corner kicks.
Individually, UK has been led by Tyler Riggs and Matt Lodge, with each charting five goals, with Riggs adding a team-best three assists. Senior Charley Pettys has three goals and one assist, while Gabriel Conelian has three goals. Defender Steven Perinovic and freshman midfielder Bryan Celis each have a goal. Freshman Kristoffer Tollefsen and senior defender Jacob Kemper each have two assists, while freshman Jacob Scearce has one assist.
In goal, UK keeper Jack Van Arsdale has a 0.91 goals-against average in seven games, with 19 saves in 590 minutes. Freshman keeper Callum Irving has made three starts, owning a 2.00 goals-against average in 225 minutes.
Led by head coach Richie Grant, the Tigers have opened up the season 3-4-1 and suffered a 1-0 overtime loss to Marshall in its C-USA opening game. The Tigers have wins over Belmont, Fairleigh Dickinson and Drake, suffering losses to Wisconsin, College of Charleston, No. 29 Washington and Marshall, with its tie coming at No. 23 Furman.
Memphis has 13 goals and 1.62 goals scored per game in its first eight matches. The Tigers are averaging 13.8 shots per game and have a 47-29 advantage in corner kicks. Individually, Memphis is led by one of the top goal scoring threats in the conference, forward Mark Sherrod, who has four goals and three assists. Lewis Ellis and Chandler Gagnon each have three goals, with Liam Collins leading the club with three assists. Wil Linder and Dennis Kennetz each have a goal, while Shane Keely, Adam Camillo, Jordan Johnson and Conor Hurley each have an assist.
Hurley, the Memphis goalkeeper, has a 1.33 goals-against average in 746 minutes, saving 17 shots and owning one shutout.
UK leads the all-time series with Memphis, 5-4-2, including 2-1-2 in games played in Lexington. In 2010, the two teams played to a 1-1 double overtime draw, in 2009 UK won 2-1 and in 2008 the two teams played a 0-0 double overtime tie. During the last meeting between the teams, Memphis posted a 2-0 win over UK at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex, using a goal in the 75th minute to break a scoreless tie and adding a goal later in the game to cement the win, which knocked UK out of contention for the C-USA Tournament for the first time in program history.