Soccer Enjoys Banner Year in Classroom

May 17, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In his first season at the helm of the Kentucky men’s soccer program, Johan Cedergren put a priority on success on as well as off the field, which translated in UK’s highest semester team GPA since the 2001 season.

Kentucky’s student-athletes compiled a 3.35 team GPA during the spring semester, which is the best team GPA for the program since records were kept starting in 2001.

“Preparing our student-athletes for success on and off the field is a vital part of building our program,” Cedergren said. “Our guys were focused on improving on the pitch and doing all the right things in the classroom during the spring. We are very thankful to our academic advisor, Mike Haley, and the incredible support that our C.A.T.S. program provides.”

UK had three players earn Conference USA Commissioners Academic Medal in April – given to students with at least a 3.75 cumulative GPA – Lawson Crider, Tyler Riggs and Jack Van Arsdale.  UK also had 11 players in 2012 earn C-USA Academic Honor Roll honors, including Crider, Riggs, Van Arsdale, Callum Irving, Jacob Kemper, Isak Krogstad, Dylan Murphy, Steven Perinovic, Adam Pettys, Jason Pitts and Cameron Wilder. Riggs was named a third-team Academic All-America honoree by the College Sports Information Directors Association, becoming the fifth player in program history to earn academic All-America honors.

The Wildcats completed a historic season in 2013 in Cedergren’s first season guiding the program. UK advanced to its first NCAA Tournament since 2003, including earning a hosting berth at the UK Soccer Complex. The Wildcats opened the year with a grueling slate, which led to a 0-3 record and a 1-3 start, facing three top-25 teams to open the Cedergren era. UK then rebounded starting with a 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville, kicking off a 9-4-2 record over its last 15 games. The Wildcats set a new program record for games played and wins against top-25 foes, also sporting its best road record since 1995 (6-2).

UK entered the NCAA Tournament hosting berth against Xavier sporting the final regular-season RPI (No. 25) in the modern-era history of the program (2003-present).

Following the season, Wilder – an All-Conference USA midfielder in 2012 – was drafted in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by FC Dallas. UK senior midfielder Charley Pettys was also inked to his first professional contract with the Los Angeles Bulls in the USL. UK senior forward Gabriel Conelian also signed with the Portland Timbers of MLS, with Conelian set to join the U-23 development team.

The Wildcats announced their 2013 schedule, which will feature 11 games at the brand new UK Soccer Complex. UK will also face eight teams that played in the NCAA Tournament in 2013.

“The 2012 season and into the 2013 spring has been a great year,” Cedergren said. “The year really validates a lot of the things we have been doing and is a great step in the right direction. We cannot wait to get going for the 2013 fall season and continue to build off the great momentum we built last year.”