Men’s soccer hosts conference matchup looking for offensive improvement


Tyler Riggs #9 dribbles against South Carolina in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, October 13, 2013. Photo by Gary Hermann

Staff report

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UK men’s soccer will try to improve their 1-2-1 Conference USA record when they host the University of Tulsa at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the UK Soccer Complex.

The Cats are coming off a 1-0 road loss to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last Saturday.

After a scoreless first half against the 49ers, UK scored an own goal a minute into the second half, providing UNC Charlotte with the winning margin.

UK (4-7-1, 1-2-1 Conference USA) was outshot in Saturday’s match with a margin of 16-7 favoring UNC Charlotte. This marked only the second time UK had been outshot in a match all season, previously being outshot in a 1-0 loss on Sept. 5 against East Tennessee State University.

The Cats also only had one corner kick attempt for the match compared to UNC Charlotte’s eight attempts. This marked the first time the Cats had less corner kick attempts in a match all season.

UK sophomore goalkeeper Callum Irving finished with a career-high six saves in the losing effort on Saturday, including four saves in the second period.

UK is 2-2-1 in the month of October heading into Wednesday’s match.

Tulsa (7-5-1, 2-3-0 Conference USA) is coming off a 2-1 home loss against the University of Alabama at Birmingham last Saturday.

The Golden Hurricanes were leading the match 1-0 at the end of the first half, but the Blazers staged a comeback in the second half, scoring two goals in the final 29 minutes to secure the victory.

UAB’s winning goal came with under eight minutes to play in regulation.

UK is led by senior defender Brad Doliner, who has a team-leading four goals on the season. Sophomore forward Cristian Mata. leads Tulsa with nine goals for the season. Mata shares the lead for the most goals in Conference USA, and ranks 12th in the NCAA.

UK has a 6-6-1 all-time record against Tulsa.

The Cats have defeated the Golden Hurricanes in the last two matches, including a 2-0 win last year.