Oct. 30, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Winners of four consecutive games and fresh off a 2-0 win at No. 23 Tulsa, Kentucky men’s soccer returns to its home pitch, hosting UCF in a crucial conference matchup, with kickoff on Wednesday slated for 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (9-6-1, 4-1-1 Conference USA) enters the game owning the top RPI in the league, No. 14. The Wildcats are fresh off a 2-0 win at No. 23 Tulsa, UK’s third road top-25 win of the year. UK is in the midst of a blistering pace over its last 11 games, owning an 8-2-1 mark.
UK was paced in the win at Tulsa by a game-winning goal from senior Matt Lodge, who was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week. Keeper Jack Van Arsdale turned in his fourth shutout of the year in the win, with senior Gabriel Conelian adding a goal in the second half. Junior defender Steven Perinovic shined in the win, earning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week and College Soccer News National Team of the Week accolades.
The Wildcats have been paced by an explosive offensive unit, averaging 1.94 goals a game, netting 31 goals in 16 games. UK is averaging 12.6 shots per game, with a 95-80 advantage in corner kicks. Defensively, UK has a 1.29 goals-against average.
Individually, UK has been paced by leading scorer Tyler Riggs, who has seven goals and four assists. Lodge, a native of Rossington, England, has seven goals and two assists. Senior Charley Pettys has added six goals and three assists, with Conelian owning four goals and three assists. Junior Dylan Asher, who has seen time all over the pitch, has four goals. Freshman midfielder Bryan Celis, a native of Houston, Texas, owns a goal and three assists, with senior defender Jacob Kemper totaling a team-leading five assists. Perinovic, a native of Delafield, Wis., has a goal, along with Dustin Scibilia. Freshman Kristoffer Tollefsen has two assists, with freshmen Caleb Richardson and Jacob Scearce each contributing an assist.
In goal, Van Arsdale has a 1.16 goals-against average, with 41 saves and four shutouts in 14 games, sporting an 8-4-1 average in between the pipes. Freshman Callum Irving has started three games, with a 2.00 goals-against average, charting a shutout with seven saves.
As part of the Halloween night game on Wednesday, children in eighth grade and under will receive free candy during the game from UK marketing.
SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS
UCF (6-6-3, 3-3 C-USA) is coming off a two-game week where the Knights totaled seven goals, with a 4-3 overtime win over Memphis and a 3-4 loss to UAB. UCF has totaled 26 goals in 15 games, with a 1.73 goals-against average. UCF has a 90-66 advantage in corner kicks, averaging 15.3 shots per game. UCF has wins over FAU, UC Davis, North Florida, FIU, No. 17 SMU and Memphis, with losses to No. 11 Old Dominion, California, No. 12 Charlotte, South Carolina, No. 17 SMU and UAB.
The Knights have been paced by Deshorn Brown, the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, who has 13 goals and three assists, taking 55 shots and owning three game-winning goals. McKauly Tulloch has five goals and one assist, while Omar Vallejo leads the team with seven assists, adding two goals. Steven Lamberta has two goals and one assist. Jeff Michaud has a goal and three assists, with A.J. Nelson adding three assists. In goal, Sebastian Evers has played in 13 games with a 1.46 goals-against average, saving 45 shots with four shutouts. Shawn Doyle has played two games with a 2.70 goals-against average with four saves.
SERIES HISTORY, LAST MEETINGS
UK leads the all-time series with UCF, 6-2-2, including a 2-0-2 record in games played in Lexington. The series began in 1995 with a 2-0 win in Orlando, meeting again in a 1-1 tie in 2003. Since UK joined the conference, the Wildcats have a 5-2-1 record in the series.
UK is 1-1-1 over the last three meetings in the series, most recently suffering a 2-1 loss in overtime at UCF in 2011. In the loss, UK got the ninth goal of the year from Tyler Riggs in the 14th minute to take an early lead. UCF used McKauly Tulloch’s 10th goal in the 39th minute evened up the game, before Warren Creavalle won it with a goal in the 99th minute, his first of the year. In the last meeting in Lexington, the two teams tied 1-1, when UCF was ranked No. 22. UK got a six-shot effort from Sam Brooks, who scored just 2:26 into the game. Creavalle tied it in the 73rd minute after picking up a deflected shot. In 2009, UK posted a 2-1 in in Orlando, getting a goal from Mark Lavery and the game-winning header shot from Barry Rice in the 100th minute. Lodge led UK with four shots, along with Chad Hagerty.
UK TRIO CLIMBING IN CAREER RECORD BOOKS
Kentucky senior midfielder Matt Lodge and junior forward Tyler Riggs have carved out a pair of the most explosive careers in program history, ranking among the tops in the UK record books. In addition to ranking among the leaders in the categories below, Lodge is the record holder with 188 career shots. UK junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale has also began to inch up the career record books for goals-against average.
1. Greg Kotzbauer, 1991-93 (34g, 5a) – 73
2. Riley O’Neill, 2003-06 (28g, 16a) – 72
3. Jamal Shteiwi, 2001-04 (23g, 25a) – 71
4. Toby McComas, 1993-96 (29g, 11a) – 69
5. Brian Duasman, 1992-95 (23g, 22a) – 68
6. Matt Lodge, 2008-present (24g, 17a) – 65
7. Tyler Riggs, 2009-present (23g, 9a) – 55
1. Greg Kotzbauer, 1991-93 (34)
2. Toby McComas, 1993-96 (29)
3. Riley O’Neill, 2003-06 (28)
4. Matt Lodge, 2008-present (24)
5. Tyler Riggs, 2009-present (23)
1. Jamal Shteiwi, 2001-04 (25)
2. Brian Dausman, 1992-95 (22)
3. Masumi Turnbull, 2005-08 (17)
Matt Lodge, 2008-present (17)
1. Riley O’Neill, 2003-06 (12)
2. Toby McComas, 1993-96 (11)
3. Jamal Shtewi, 2001-04 (9)
Matt Lodge, 2008-present (9)
5. Greg Kotzbauer, 1991-93 (8)
6. Barry Rice, 2006-09 (7)
Tim Crone, 2007-09 (7)
8. Lee Baker, 1996-99 (6)
Tyler Riggs, 2009-present (6)
1. Greg Raber, 2001-02 (0.85)
2. Andy Gruenebaum, 2002-05 (0.97)
3. Dan Williams, 2006-09 (1.06)
4. Chris West, 1994-98 (1.15)
5. Brad Samelko, 2000-02 (1.19)
6. Brian O’Leary, 1997-00 (1.24)
7. Jack Van Arsdale, 2011-present (1.29)
Kentucky’s 2012 season has already been a historic one, as the Wildcats have won the second-most road wins in program history, sporting a 6-2 record on the road. UK leads the conference in road wins, with its six wins away from the UK Soccer Complex the most since UK was 7-2 on the road in 1995. The Wildcats entered the win at Tulsa on Saturday night tied for the second-most road wins in the NCAA.
Kentucky’s win at Tulsa on Saturday night came against a Golden Hurricane squad with a No. 16 RPI, pushing the Wildcats from a No. 18 RPI to a No. 14 as of Tuesday afternoon. The Wildcats also rank No. 13 in the strength of schedule in the latest Massey rankings. UK’s No. 14 RPI is its highest in the modern-era history of the program (2003-present).
Kentucky first-year head coach Johan Cedergren took over as the third coach in program history in December. UK opened up the season on the road at a Dayton, a wild 4-3 loss with all goals scored in the second half. The rugged schedule to open didn’t stop there, as UK traveled to Columbia, S.C., to face No. 25 Northwestern (L, 1-2 ot) and No. 15 St. Johns (L, 0-1). After securing the first win in the Cedergren era in a 2-0 result vs. St. Joes on Sept. 2, UK again faced a stiff test in No. 4 Charlotte (L, 0-1). That left Kentucky with a 1-4 record to open up and the challenge of traveling to face No. 18 Louisville on the road, in front of 5,583 fans. UK responded with a 1-0 win and has sense changed its season around, boasting an 8-2-1 record since the 1-4 start, with a program-record three top-25 wins. UK’s stretch has vaulted the Wildcats into the No. 14 RPI in the NCAA, tops in the league.
Kentucky junior defender Steven Perinovic and senior midfielder Matt Lodge were honored after helping lead UK to a 2-0 win at No. 23 Tulsa on Saturday night. Perinovic, an anchor for the UK backline at center back, was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career and to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Lodge, a native of Rossington, England, was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week after his game-winning goal at the Golden Hurricane, the ninth of his four-year career.
UK TIES SCHOOL RECORD FOR TOP-25 WINS
Kentucky has played a program record eight games against top-25 opponents in 2012 and with three wins has tied the school record for wins over top-25 foes. UK has wins at No. 18 Louisville, No. 25 UAB and No. 23 Tulsa, owning a 3-5 record against top-25 teams in 2012.
UK IN THE NCAA, C-USA STATS
Kentucky ranks No. 27 in the NCAA in scoring offense (1.94 goals per game) and No. 32 in the nation in total goals. In the conference stats, UK checks in second in points (87), second in goals (1.94) and third in assists (25). Matt Lodge ranks fifth in shots (51), ninth in points (16), eighth in goals (seven) and third in game-winning goals (three). Tyler Riggs ranks seventh in points (18), eighth in goals (seven) and ninth in assists (four). Jacob Kemper checks in sixth in assists (five), while Charley Pettys has the 10th-most points (16). Jack Van Arsdale ranks third in goals-against average (1.16). In conference games only, Van Arsdale ranks second in goals-against average (0.96).