Men’s soccer looks to keep unbeaten streak


The UK men’s soccer team played to a tie after two overtimes against Houston Baptist University Sunday afternoon. UK foreward Tyler Riggs fends off HBU defender Walter Kromholz. John Foster

By Tom Hurley | @TomHurleyKernel

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UK men’s soccer hosts Indiana on Wednesday at the UK Soccer Complex, with a five-game unbeaten streak on the line.

The Cats (5-4-1) have avoided defeat four times in the 20 all-time meetings between the two sides.

No. 11 Indiana travels to Lexington with a 7-2-1 record on the season, conceding six goals in its 10 games played.

Junior goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale and his backline will need to continue their recent impressive form if UK is to deny the visitors from taking a win back to Bloomington.

Key to keeping the Hoosiers’ offense at bay will be shutting down their main goal-scoring threat, Eriq Zavaleta.

The former USA U-17 international striker has scored seven of his team’s 16 goals this season.

Despite Indiana’s high ranking and strong record on the season, UK head coach Johan Cedergren is confident his players will be prepared to rise to the challenge of facing their local rivals.

“Indiana coming in here, it’s just like the Louisville game where the guys are going to be up for it,” he said.

The game marks the final non-conference game of the season for UK, which had its recent four-game winning streak snapped with a double overtime 2-2 tie with Memphis on Sunday.

In an entertaining affair, the Cats came from behind to lead 2-1 before being pegged back and taken to the extra session.

Junior forward Tyler Riggs thought he had snatched a late golden-goal winner before his effort was ruled out for offside.

Despite being taken to double overtime three days ago, Cedergren has no worries that his squad will be overcome with fatigue after playing 110 minutes of soccer in Sunday’s game.

“They’re really fit,” Cedergren said. “Their bodies will be ready.”

Following the match, the Cats embark on a three-game road trip as they get into the meat of the SEC schedule.

First UK travels south to face Southern Methodist University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham before completing the road swing at nearby Marshall in Huntington, W.Va.

Kickoff for Wednesday’s matchup with Indiana at the UK Soccer Complex is slated for 7 p.m.