University of Kentucky Soccer 2018
Courtesy UK Athletics

The Conference USA men’s soccer regular-season championship will be decided in a winner-take-all, top-25 finale between the No. 3 Kentucky men’s soccer team and No. 24 Old Dominion on Friday at The Bell.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.


The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+/WatchESPN


The setup
The winner would win the regular season championship as Kentucky and ODU are tied atop the C-USA table on 18 points (three points for a win, one for a draw, zero for a loss) with one round of games to play.

Should the two sides draw, they would share the regular season title with 19 points apiece and the team with the better in-conference goal difference would claim the No. 1-seed (and first-round bye that goes alongside it at next week’s C-USA Tournament in Charlotte).

Kentucky will honor its lone senior Tanner Hummel for Senior Day prior to the first kick. Hummel is the only Wildcat who was on Kentucky’s 2015 C-USA Regular Season Championship squad.
 

University of Kentucky Soccer 2018
Courtesy UK Athletics


The closer look at Kentucky
The Wildcats are ranked a program-record No. 3 by the United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News. UK is No. 11 in the most recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index. They were the projected No. 5-seed on the NCAA Selection Committee’s late-season projection released last Sunday, a few weeks ahead of the NCAA Tournament selection show on Monday, Nov. 12.

Kentucky has won five matches in a row, by a combined 17-2 margin, following its first loss of the season at FIU on Oct. 7.
 
Kentucky’s team goals-against-average of 0.49 ranks No. 3 in the nation. UK’s scoring offense (2.31 per game) ranks No. 8 nationally.

Goalkeeper Enrique Facusse’s 85-percent save percentage ranks No. 9 in the nation. 

Junior forward JJ Williams has a conference-leading 14 goals on the season, fourth most overall in Division I. He was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday.

He has seven game-winners, which is tied for second most in the nation. He’s scored in five-straight games and is now tied Greg Kotzbauer for most points by a Wildcat with 33. His 20 career goals rank sixth on the UK all-time list.

Senior co-captain Tanner Hummel scored for the first time in his career after finishing a penalty on Wednesday.

He has played every minute this season and – along with fellow defenders Leon Jones, Aimé Mabika and Cole Guindon — has played a part in Kentucky’s near 75 percent shut out percentage, which ranks second nationally. 

Kentucky is 9-0, having conceded just one goal over that stretch of games, at home this season.


The opponent
Old Dominion boasts a won-lost-drawn record of 10-3-1 (6-1-0 C-USA).

On Sunday, ODU earned its third-straight victory with a 3-0 result against Florida International to knock the Panthers out of contention for the league title. ODU is on a six-match unbeaten streak.

Old Dominion is 3-2-0 on the road this season.

The quote

“Looking forward to a big game on Friday,” head coach Johan Cedergren said. “Hoping there are going to be lots of fans around of course for the football game on Saturday so hopefully we can get them to come out to our game on Friday. We beat No. 2 Indiana a few weeks ago in front of a record crowd so hopefully we can get the Big Blue Nation to come out and support us because they were a tremendous help that game.”

The history
Kentucky leads ODU in the overall series 3-1-2 and 2-0-1 in Lexington. UK won the last meeting at The Bell, 2-0, in 2016.
 
The Wildcats lost the last meeting between the schools, 0-3 in Norfolk last October.

The logistics
Gates will open at 6 p.m. ET.
 
Tickets are $8 for the public, $5 for seniors and $3 for youths. Wildcat supporters five-years-old and under get in for free.

Fans can purchase tickets online via Ticketmaster or by calling (800) 928-2287, or at the ticket window at The Bell.
 
Kentucky Athletics is excited to continue ticket scanning at The Bell this season. Season ticket holders can use their provided digital bar codes on their mobile device to gain entry. The easiest way to manage mobile tickets is through the UK Athletics App.
 
Season ticket holders still receive a 2018 Kentucky Soccer scarf as a gift for their season ticket purchase (based on availability). Season tickets are still available for $42 through UKAthletics.com/tickets.
 
Season ticket holders can pick up their scarves at the marketing gazebo on match day.

Parking for the match is first come first served located outside the stadium’s main entrance and in the Kroger Field blue and green lots with continuous shuttle service running from car parks up to the front gates of The Bell beginning at 6 p.m.

The shuttle will continue until one hour after the match.
 
Students may ride a campus shuttle to and from the match, which begins running one hour prior to kickoff and includes stops at The 90 and the wildcat statue on north campus.

UK players will sign autographs on the side of the pitch following the match weather permitting.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s soccer team, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com

‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Jake Most

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