LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Fresh off a 1-1 tie with No. 16 Indiana in double overtime on Wednesday, the Kentucky men's soccer team returns to action for a crucial Conference USA clash with FIU, set for 12 p.m. ET on Sunday at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (4-6-4, 1-1-2 C-USA) will face FIU in a pivotal game in the league standings, with the Wildcats fighting to earn a berth in the C-USA Tournament, which takes the top six teams in the standings. UK enters the game with five points in the league standings, good for sixth place. Defending league champion Tulsa, the preseason pick to win the conference, is in seventh place with four points. UK has four conference games remaining in C-USA action, facing FIU, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 6 SMU and No. 14 Tulsa the remainder of league play.
On Wednesday, UK posted just the third tie in program history against the high-powered Hoosiers, getting a first-half goal from 2009 freshman All-American Matt Lodge and a great performance from freshman goalkeeper Tyler Beadle. UK's game with IU was its fifth against a ranked opponent this season and its fourth game in the last six contests against a ranked foe.
The Wildcats have been led offensively by Lodge, who paces the club with eight points, courtesy of three goals and two assists. Junior college transfer Sam Brooks owns three goals and one assist, while freshman Tyler Riggs has three goals. Jordan Rose leads the team with three assists, adding one goal, while freshman Ellis Vienne has contributed two goals.
In between the pipes, Beadle has allowed 18 goals in his first 14 collegiate games, totaling a 1.19 goals-against average with 49 saves, totaling three shutouts.
FIU (7-6, 1-3 C-USA) is also fighting for its postseason life and enters the game having won three of the last four matches. FIU owns wins over Illinois-Chicago, Wisconsin, Jacksonville, Stetson, FAU, Memphis and Hartwick on the year. FIU has averaged 1.23 goals scored per game and a total of 11.6 shots per game.
Individually, Michael Muehseler leads the team with six goals and one assist, while Nicolas Rodriguez has totaled five goals nad two assists in nine games. Sebastian Frings, Diego Tamburus, Jahbari Willis, Carol Schmid and Joseph Dawkins have each added goals. In goal, Shane Lopez has totaled a 1.11 goals-against average in 13 games, allowing 15 goals. Lopez has saved 55 shots and posted four shutouts.