LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Looking for its seventh win in 10 games at home, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will host No. 15 SMU for senior day in the regular-season home finale on Sunday, set for 12 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (8-9-1, 1-5-0 Conference USA) will look to finish the 2011 season strong in an effort to get its record above .500. The Wildcats have been eliminated from the C-USA Tournament for the first time in seven years, with the top six teams in the league already securing spots in the postseason. UK has two games remaining, hosting SMU on Sunday, before traveling to league-leader South Carolina for the season finale.
The Wildcats have been led by an explosive offensive unit that owns 31 goals through 18 games, with UK taking 15.4 shots per game and owning a league-best 119 corner kicks. Individually, Tyler Riggs and Matt Lodge have paced the club offensively, with Riggs owning 10 goals and five assists and Lodge charting seven goals and 10 assists. Charles Pettys has three goals and seven assists, while Josh Mulvany has three goals and four assists. Senior C.J. Tappel has one goal and four assists, with Brendan Murphy and Sam Brooks each totaling two goals and one assist.
In goal, UK sophomore Tyler Beadle has allowed 27 goals in 16 games, with a 1.66 goals against average and 44 saves.
SMU (9-5-1, 3-2-1) sits in fourth place in the league, having clinched a berth in the C-USA Tournament. The Mustangs have been paced by an offense that owns 23 goals in 15 games with 14.5 shots per game and a 77-64 advantage in corner kicks. Arthur Ivo leads the team with five goals and eight assists, while Juan Castillo has four goals and three assists. Diogo de Almeida has four goals. Jamie Ibarra has saved 62 shots in 14 games with a 0.97 goals against average. SMU has only one loss in its last six games, falling to UAB on Oct. 26.
In the last meeting between the two teams, SMU posted a 2-0 win over UK on Oct. 30, 2010, as UK wrapped up a six-day trip to Tulsa and Dallas for the two conference games. The Mustangs rode a goal in the fifth and 10th minutes to the win, claiming the regular-season championship in C-USA. Overall, SMU leads the series with UK 6-3, with UK winning three of the last four, including a 2-1 comeback win in 2007, when SMU ranked No. 1.
The game will mark the final appearance at the UK Soccer Complex for five seniors, including Mulvany, Tappel, Brooks, Josh McCrary and All-Conference USA defender Brad Walker.