Men's Soccer Hosts Rival No. 7 Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Riding a season high three-game win streak and having just clinched a spot in the Conference USA Tournament, the Kentucky menís soccer team takes a break from its conference schedule on Wednesday, as it plays host to No. 7 Indiana. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT.
Kentucky (6-7-2, 4-2 C-USA) has ignited in its past few games, winning three consecutive conference matches to secure a spot in the C-USA Tournament. Most recently, UK traveled to Miami for a crucial weekend tilt with FIU, emerging with a 2-1 win. Last Wednesday, UK edged Marshall 3-1 behind a pair of goals and an assist from defender Barry Rice.
The Wildcats have been led offensively and defensively by Rice, a sophomore from Parma, Ohio. Rice, who was a 2006 C-USA All-Freshman team member, has netted a team-high seven goals, registering 17 efforts. Of Riceís seven goals, six have come off headers with the other goal coming off a free kick. Senior forward Aaron Swanson has emerged as a legitimate scoring threat, with five goals on the season, leading UK with 27 shots. Swanson has scored in two of UKís past three contests. Masumi Turnbull has led UK in assists, doling out six on the year. In between the pipes, Dan Williams has paced a young, injury depleted UK defense, saving 63 shots.
Indiana (11-4-2, 4-0-1 Big Ten) sports arguably the greatest tradition of any menís soccer program in the NCAA, winners of seven national titles, with its most recent title coming in 2004. In 51 NCAA Tournament games in IU history, the Hoosiers have posted a 46-4-1 overall record. IU opened its season with a tie vs. then No. 9 Maryland before pulling an upset over the top-ranked and defending NCAA Champion UCLA. IU has registered wins over No. 10 Michigan, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 6 Northwestern, and No. 4 Notre Dame. Leading the way offensively for IU has been Kevin Noschang, who leads the Hoosiers with five goals and three assists. Brad Ring and Eric Alexander have each contributed four goals, while Billy Weaver leads the club with four assists. In goal, Chay Cain has started all 17 games, allowing only 12 goals, a 0.74 goals against average, and posting seven clean sheets.
IU sports an all-time record of 1-13-1 vs. Kentucky, having not lost to the Wildcats in 12 years. UK tied IU in 2004, 0-0. Last season Indianaís Brian Ackley flipped a header over the head of UKís Williams in the 94th minute to carry then No. 14 Indiana to a 1-0 overtime win over Kentucky. The Wildcats played a man down for the final 13 minutes of regulation and the overtime after Nathan Marks picked up his second yellow card.