LEXINGTON, KY (8/19/13) – A year removed from the fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Kentucky men’s soccer team will open the 2013 season with a pair of exhibition games, beginning with a matchup with Dayton, with kickoff on Tuesday set for 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky will host Dayton in its exhibition opener on Tuesday night at the under-construction UK Soccer Complex. The Wildcats will conclude their preseason at Northern Kentucky on Sunday, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET. UK will open its regular-season with the UK Invitational Tournament on Aug. 30, hosting Wright State at 7:30 p.m. ET.
In the lone exhibition match-up of the season last year, Kentucky visited Northern Kentucky with the Wildcats and Norse playing to a 2-2 stalemate.
In the match, defender Steven Perinovic netted the first goal of the 2012 exhibition season when senior Gabriel Conelian found Perinovic with the corner kick in the 22nd minute. Freshman Caleb Richardson found nylon in the 77th minute after beating the keeper inside the 18-yard box to tie the game at 2-2.
The 2012 regular season kicked-off when the Flyers and the Wildcats faced off in Dayton as the Flyers came away with the 4-3 victory in head coach Johan Cedergren’s Kentucky debut. After a scoreless first half, the two teams scored a combined seven goals in a wild second half, with UK freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving saving a career-high six shots. Overall the series has fallen in favor of the Flyers with Dayton holding the all-time series record of 2-0-0 with the Flyers outscoring the Wildcats 6-3.
For the first time since 2009, the Kentucky men’s soccer team enters the 2013 season receiving votes in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America top-25 poll. Receiving six votes in total effectively ranks the Wildcats No. 34 in the country. UK receiving votes in the preseason is the first time since UK was receiving votes in the Soccer Times 2009 preseason poll. UK was also honored during the 2011 preseason as a College Soccer News “Team to Watch”.
Kentucky redshirt senior defender Steven Perinovic has been voted preseason All-Conference USA by the league coaches. A native of Delafield, Wis., Perinovic earned first-team All-Conference USA in 2012 while leading the Wildcats to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003. Perinovic was a force on the backline as UK’s leading center back, making all 21 starts and leading the team with 1,892 minutes played.
In 2012, the Kentucky soccer program had one of its most memorable and historic years to date on the pitch. Facing a staggering 10 ranked foes throughout the season, the Wildcats put together a 10-9-2 campaign. The Wildcats knocked off top-25 opponents on three separate occasions including in-state rival and No. 18 ranked Louisville on the road.
UK’s first-year head coach Johan Cedergren brought in an up-tempo, attacking offensive philosophy which led the Wildcats to the fourth-most corner kicks (1125), the fifth-most shots (274), the eighth-most goals (34) and 10th-most points (95) in a season.
Not only did the Wildcats excel on offense, but the defense of the 2012 squad etched their name into the Kentucky annuls with stellar performances over the season. The 2012 unit recorded the 10th most shutouts (six) as well as 11th best goals against average (1.21) for a Kentucky squad.
Individually, senior midfielder Matt Lodge and junior Steven Perinovic garnered first-team All-Conference USA honors, with junior netminder Jack Van Arsdale and senior midfielder Cameron Wilder taking home second-team honors. Junior Tyler Riggs, who is the first UK player since 2002-04 to lead the team in scoring for three consecutive years, was named third-team All-Conference USA
Due to the ongoing construction of the $7.7 million renovations to the UK Soccer Complex, University of Kentucky soccer fans will experience some slight modifications to the game day experience during the 2013 season.
All fans will be admitted into all games for the 2013 season for free for the duration of the season. Fans will also be allowed to re-enter the complex after initial entrance.
Seating will be all general admission for the season and seating will all be located behind the team benches on the grassy area opposite the construction site. Fans will be invited to bring their own chairs and blankets to enjoy the action. There will also be seating located behind the goals on each side of the facility, similar to years past.
Construction will be ongoing for most of the season, and the grandstand side of the facility will be shut down for the entirety of the season. Only credentialed members of the UK staff will be allowed over to that side of the complex.
All fans will be entering and exiting the facility using the existing student entrance located between the game field and the practice field. The existing entrance main gate will be shut down and fans will not be able to enter the facility through those gates, as they will be closed during the construction process.
Fans will be able to park in one of three locations for the season. The first-arriving fans will receive access to the gravel lot located directly across the main gate. Once that lot is filled, fans will be directed to park in the lot that borders the practice field off of College Way. In addition, similar to softball parking in 2013, there will be parking on the west side of College Way in the grassy area between the soccer/softball complex and Commonwealth Stadium. When there are no further available spots, fans will park in select lots of Commonwealth Stadium, which is in walking distance of the UK Soccer Complex. Parking lots will open three hours prior to game time. Handicapped parking will remain as seasons past, as they will be able to park near the main gate in the paved lot.
Information provided by Brent Ingram (UK Athletics)
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