LIVE BLOG from Columbia
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Looking for its 10th win of the season, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will wrap up its 2011 season with the finale at No. 25 South Carolina, with kickoff at Stone Stadium on Friday slated for 6 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (9-9-1, 2-5-0 Conference USA) looks to complete its 2011 season with a winning record and its 15th double-digit winning season in program history. In its 21st year as a varsity sport at UK, the Wildcats have 14 seasons with at least 10 wins.
South Carolina (9-6-1, 6-1-0 C-USA) is seeking to win the regular-season championship for the second consecutive year. The Gamecocks have posted six wins in seven league games, including a 1-0 golden goal win over No. 16 UCF on Tuesday night in Orlando. The Gamecocks have totaled 26 goals and 1.62 goals scored per game, firing 13.2 shots a contest.
Bradlee Baladez leads the team with 18 points on seven goals and four assists, while Braeden Troyer has added five goals and Stephen Morrissey owns four goals. Mike Kangotic leads the team with five assists, adding one goal. In goal, first-year starter Alex Long has saved 42 shots in 16 games with 27 goals allowed.
The Wildcats have been paced by an explosive offensive attack in 2011 that has seen UK net 33 goals in 19 games, with 1.74 goals scored per game and 15 shots taken a contest. UK owns three wins over top-15 opponents in 2011, including a 2-1 win over No. 9 Michigan, a 5-1 smashing of No. 15 Brown and a 2-0 win over No. 15 SMU. UK has also played No. 13 Cal, No. 3 Creighton, No. 10 UCF, No. 10 Indiana, Evansville and Stanford in 2011.
UK has been led offensively by sophomore Tyler Riggs, who has 10 goals and five assists in just 17 games played. Matt Lodge owns seven goals and 10 assists in 17 of UK’s 19 games, with two game-winning tallies. Charles Pettys has three goals and seven assists, while Josh Mulvany has four goals and four assists. C.J. Tappel has netted two goals with four assists, while Sam Brooks owns two goals and two assists. In goal, Tyler Beadle has saved 50 shots in 17 games with 27 goals allowed and a 1.57 goals against average. He picked up his second shutout of the year with a dynamic effort against SMU on Sunday.
This will be UK’s third game of the 2011 season at Stone Stadium, as UK won the 2011 Gamecock Classic on Sept. 18 with its 5-1 win over Brown, also posting a 2-1 golden goal win over High Point. In two games at Stone Stadium in 2011, UK has outscored its opponents 7-2.
The all-time series with South Carolina is tied 4-4-1, with UK winning three consecutive meetings in the series. Since becoming a member of C-USA in 2005, UK owns a 4-2-1 record against the Gamecocks. In games played in Columbia, UK 1-3-0 all-time.