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Wildcats Face Red-Hot Golden Knights


ORLANDO -- The NCAA leader in goals scored through 11 games, the 21st-ranked Kentucky men’s soccer team opens Conference USA play, traveling to No. 13 Central Florida for the conference lidlifter, set for 7 p.m. ET at the UCF Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (7-3-1, 0-0-0 C-USA) enters the game with UCF ranked as the NCAA leader with 25 goals scored through 11 games, tied with No. 2 Maryland for the nation’s lead. UK enters the game with UCF looking for its third win over a top-15 opponent in 2011, also topping No. 9 Michigan and No. 15 Brown, in addition to losses at No. 3 Creighton, No. 13 Cal and Stanford.
The Wildcats will face UCF on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, before embarking on a trip to Miami for a Sunday match at FIU. The two-game trip will conclude a brutal travel stretch that has seen the Wildcats travel to each coast, Nebraska and venture to the Sunshine State. Overall, during 15 days of travel, UK will have logged over 9,700 miles.
The game will be televised on Florida on the Brighthouse Network, with UKathletics.com offering a comprehensive, interactive live blog of the action.
Kentucky has been led with the nation’s most prolific offense by forwards Matt Lodge and Tyler Riggs. Lodge leads UK with 21 points, owning seven goals and seven assists, leading UK with 54 shots. Riggs owns a team-best eight goals with four assists, while Charles Pettys is tied for the team lead with seven assists. Josh Mulvany has two goals and two assists, while C.J. Tappel has added a goal and four assists. In goal, sophomore netminder Tyler Beadle has posted a 1.55 goals-against average with 29 saves in nine games.
UK is coming off a 3-2 win over Evansville on Friday, as UK got goals from Mulvany, Lodge and the game-winning goal from Sam Brooks in the 85th minute. UK allowed a UE goal just 33 seconds into the game, before rebounding to even the game on Mulvany’s goal and take the lead on Lodge’s tally. After allowing the game-tying goal, Lodge found Brooks with a gorgeous sliding touch inside the box, with Brooks pounding home the game-winning goal.
UCF (6-1-1, 0-0-0 C-USA) enters the game as one of the hottest teams in college soccer, ranked as high as No. 8 last week before falling in its first loss of the year against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 24. UCF has wins over Jacksonville, Massachusetts, Belmont, North Florida, Mercer and American, with a tie at George Mason. The UCF match with UK will mark its first matchup against a top-25 opponent, with UK facing its fourth top-25 foe in 2011.
The Knights have been led by C-USA scoring leader McKauly Tulloch, who has nine goals and two assists in six games. Nik Robson has three goals and four assists, with Kevan George leads the team with five assists. In goal, Shawn Doyle has saved 25 shots and posted a 0.75 goals-against average, allowing six goals in eight games.
In the meeting with the Knights last year, UK got a goal just three minutes into the game from Brooks, before UCF got the equalizer in the 78th minute, with the game going as a 1-1 tie during a rainy contest at the UK Soccer Complex.
UK ranks throughout the NCAA stats, as the Wildcats lead the nation with 25 goals, ranking as the 17th-best scoring offense in college soccer with 2.27 goals scored per game. Individually, Lodge and Pettys lead the NCAA with seven assists each, while Lodge ranks No. 3 in total points (21) and Riggs ranks No. 5 in total points (20). Riggs’ eight goals rank No. 6 in the NCAA, while Lodge’s seven goals rank No. 10.



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