Cats survive rain, remain unbeaten

By Ryan Brown

The Cats headed into the UK Invite this weekend 2-0 with tough games against Wright State and IUPUI in front of them.

In game one against Wright State, the whole team performed well, with junior midfielder Matt Lodge putting in a strong performance and seemingly being all over the field. He assisted senior defender Brad Walker’s opening goal at the 2:16 mark, the eighth-fastest goal in UK’s history.

Throughout the game, the Cats dominated possession but couldn’t get their second goal to put the game out of reach until the 81st minute when Lodge notched his first goal of the season off a header provided by junior defender Charlie Pettys’ corner.

The score line made the game seem closer than it was through a late penalty kick that was converted by Bayahtah Roberts of Wright State, even though the game was dominated by UK.

Game two brought a different feeling. The Cats started out well with an early goal by Lodge, a volley smashed into the back of net. UK head coach Ian Collins thought that “Lodge’s early goal would open the floodgates” but it didn’t quite turn out that way. After the early goal, UK seemed a bit lethargic from Friday’s game coupled with a few additional injuries.

IUPUI responded in the 30th minute with a goal from Matt Guy. A controversial penalty kick was awarded by referee Tony Voulgaris to IUPUI just after half and was converted by Perez Agaba. This led to an unnerving thirty-five minutes for UK because IUPUI “parked the bus” in front of goal by placing ten guys behind the ball.

UK took 18 shots in the second half and IUPUI’s goalkeeper Tyler Keever made several saves to keep the visitors ahead until last week’s National Team of the Week recipient sophomore forward Tyler Riggs scored a last gasp goal in the 85th minute to equalize the contest. The goal was assisted by freshman forward Jonathon Brown.

After 90 minutes with both teams ready to head into overtime, the game was sent into a rain delay with the Cats having all of the momentum.

“The game was called for safety reasons and we didn’t want anything tragic to happen, but it was disappointing,” Collins said.

The Game ended in a 2-2 draw and allowed UK to remain unbeaten in 2011, 3-0-1.