(h/t: UK Athletics)
The 2012 Season for University of Kentucky Men’s Soccer was historically great, though that isn’t saying much for a program that has been less than stellar for a large portion of its existence. The season got off to a rough start, with the Wildcats having to play a handful of Top 25 teams early in the season, though they would turn it around and finish with a record of 10-8-2, making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. Though Kentucky would lose to Xavier in the first round, the season was an all-around success under first year manager Johan Cedergren. Several UK players, Matt Lodge and Steven Perinovic, would earn the honor of second-team All-Midwest Region.
Kentucky played several tune-up games in preparation for the 2013 season. The first game of the two, which was played @ Dayton, ended in a 0-0 tie. Nobody likes to draw but, considering that the Flyers have the #7 ranked offense in the nation, the Cats definitely left Ohio with something to hang their hats on. The 2nd preseason exhibition match, which was played against in-state rival NKU, ended in a 1-1 draw. The result was a bit disappointing considering NKU probably won’t be ranked in any category for this upcoming season, but it is worth noting that UK led for a majority of the game and the only goal allowed came in the closing minutes.
Preparing for the 2013 Season:
– Kentucky will kick off the 2013 season tonight at 7:30 against Wright State here in Lexington at the UK Soccer Complex. Wright State went 2-1 during preseason play, with their only loss coming to Marquette. Below you can find the complete schedule for Kentucky. When compared to last year’s schedule, the 2013 season looks to be significantly easier. This is good news when it comes to Kentucky’s record, but it also disappointing when you consider that UK won’t face either UofL or Defending National Champions Indiana. We’ll be posting weekly updates/recaps for Men’s Soccer here on KSR as the season progresses.
– One of the biggest off-season stories was the renovations of the UK Soccer/ Softball Complex. Both facilities desperately needed a makeover and, when they’re fully finished, will look pretty awesome. Construction was originally planned to finish before the season began, but as of right now the renovation looks like it won’t be completed until further in the season. According to UK Athletics, the grandstand opposite to the benches will be closed for the entirety of the season, and fans are encouraged to bring their own chairs to sit in the grassy areas near the goals and benches.
– This will be the 2nd year for UK Coach Johan Cedergren. As mentioned before, in his first year on the job Johan managed to take UK to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. UK will also return some key players who were vital to last season’s turnaround, including leading scorer Tyler Riggs and keeper Jack Van Arsdale. With a significantly weaker schedule and key players returning, look for Kentucky to make a lot of noise in Conference USA this season.