Oct. 5, 2012
DALLAS -- The Kentucky men's soccer team will face its sixth top-25 opponent of the 2012 season, traveling to face the Conference USA leader, SMU, with kickoff on Saturday slated for 8 p.m. ET at Wescott Field.
Kentucky (5-5-1, 0-0-1 C-USA) comes into the SMU game off a 4-1 loss in the last non-conference game of the regular season against No. 11 Indiana. UK got a goal from Tyler Riggs in the game, as IU rode the hot hand of sophomore forward Eriq Zavaleta, who had two goals and two assists. The game marked UK's fifth top-25 foe of the year.
UK has been paced by an explosive offensive attack, owning 1.91 goals per game and a total of 12.6 shots per contest. The Wildcats have 21 goals scored through their first 11 games, with its defense owning a 1.51 goals-against average with three shutouts.
Kentucky has been led offensively by Riggs, who has seven goals and four assists in 11 games. Senior Charley Pettys has four goals and three assists, while senior Matt Lodge owns five goals and a team-high 35 shots. Senior Gabriel Conelian has three goals, while senior Jacob Kemper has added four assists. Freshman Bryan Celis has been a weapon off the bench, with a goal and an assist, while junior defender Steven Perinovic has a goal. Freshman Kristoffer Tollefsen has two assists, while freshman Jacob Scearce has added an assist.
In goal, UK junior Jack Van Arsdale has played in nine games and 790 minutes, charting a 1.37 goals-against average with 36 saves and two shutouts. Freshman Callum Irving has a shutout and a 2.00 goals-against average in three starts with seven saves.
SMU (7-2-2, 3-0-0 C-USA) enters the game with the Wildcats leading the conference with nine points through its first three games. The Mustangs have scored 14 goals in 11 games, averaging 1.27 goals per game and 10.1 shots per contest. Defensively, SMU has a 0.86 goals-against average with four shutouts.
Individually, Tyler Engel leads the team with four goals and four assists, firing 24 shots. Andrew Morales has three goals and three assists, while Leobardo Vazquez has two goals and one assist. Eddie Puskarich and Brenden Lee each have a goal and an assist, while Derek Schrick has two assists. Goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra, the reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week, has saved 65 shots in 11 games with a 0.86 goals-against average.
SMU leads the all-time series with UK, 6-4, including a 4-2 record in games played in Dallas. UK has won four of the last five meetings, starting with a thrilling 2-1 comeback win in 2007, when SMU was ranked No. 1 and Tim Crone came off the bench to net UK's two goals in a two-minute span.