By Tyler Spanyer
With two regular-season games remaining, the Cats are sitting in second place of Conference USA standings and aim to lock down the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament.
Central Florida is sitting in fifth place with two C-USA games to go. The top six teams get into the conference tournament, so Wednesday’s game is key for the Knights.
Coming off of a 2-0 win over No. 23 Tulsa, UK cannot catch league leader Southern Methodist but can solidify its position in the postseason with a win over the Knights.
Junior defender Steven Perinovic was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after a strong performance against Tulsa.
Perinovic and senior midfielder Matt Lodge also were named to College Soccer News National Team of the Week, as the Cats shut down the No. 2-ranked offense in the country Saturday against Tulsa.
Winners of its past four and eight out of eleven, UK looks to continue its hot streak Wednesday night against a Knights team that has won two of its last five games.
The Knights are led offensively by last week’s C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, junior Deshorn Brown. Brown leads C-USA in goals with 13 on the year, as well as three assists. The Knights also get an offensive boost from junior Omar Vallejo, who is tied for C-USA assists lead with seven. Last week alone, Brown scored five goals and had one assist in two games.
The Knights’ weakness this year has been its defense. With a goal differential of zero, the Knights have not had many opportunities for success in league play. Defensively, UCF has allowed the second most goals in C-USA.
The Cats are looking much better defensively, allowing two goals in the past four games.
Junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale is boasting a 1.16 goals against average and looks to keep UCF goal machine Brown out of the net.
The game will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the UK Soccer Complex.