Wildcats topple West Virginia in double overtime, remain undefeated


Kentucky Wildcats forward Daniel Evans (7) pushes the ball upfield during the University of Kentucky vs. Notre Dame men’s soccer game on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 1-0. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

No. 4 Kentucky (9-0-3) defeated No. 25 West Virginia (7-2-4) 1-0 in double overtime to remain undefeated through 12 games for the first time in team history. 

Kentucky secured their first ranked victory halfway through the final overtime as senior forward Daniel Evans got one past WVU off an assist by Nick Gutmann. Kentucky’s Jan Hoffelner also went perfect, saving West Virginia’s only shot of the game for the eighth shutout of Kentucky’s season.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster knowing that we’re solid in the back with not just Jan, but our entire back line,” Evans said about his teammate. “We can really focus more on attacking and taking risks that we usually wouldn’t.”

The Wildcats entered Tuesday off a 2-0 win over Old Dominion on the road to improve the Cats up to 2-0-3 in C-USA play.

Despite the inability to find the net in the first half, Kentucky limited the Mountaineers to just two shot attempts with none on target. Gutmann had a near goal in 42’, but it was saved by West Virginia goalkeeper Steven Tekesky.

Coming out of the half, Kentucky and West Virginia were neck and neck with shots with six each. Despite the even number of attempts, Kentucky refused to allow a single shot on target by the Mountaineers. The Wildcats had one shot on target in the half, but it was saved by Tekesky for his third and final save of the night.

In the first overtime, neither team was able to get off even a single shot attempt. The 10 minutes quickly ended with the scoreless tie still on the board. 

The second overtime, however, was all Kentucky. Nearly halfway through the period when Evans nailed the game winner for the Cats—officially handing them their first win over a ranked opponent this season.

“We need to beat ranked opponents as we go into the postseason because that’s all we’re gonna play. It felt really great to get this one tonight,” Evans said. “I was here my freshman year in 2018 when we set the record [for most wins without a loss] initially, and the atmosphere was great. This one was similar, if not better. Going forward, though, I think we need to keep our heads down and push forward because we want more than that.”

With only four games remaining in Kentucky’s regular season, the Cats know they have to lock in—but have earned a well-deserved break before getting back to it this weekend and The Bell.

“I think we’re enjoyable to watch so we thank Big Blue Nation for coming out tonight and supporting us, it was a great atmosphere for a Tuesday night. I would just say keep coming out and supporting us and we’ll try to keep producing like we are now,” Evans said. “We have an important game against a conference opponent coming up and I think if we don’t get a result there then this win doesn’t really matter. We’ll enjoy our day off tomorrow and then we’re back to work.”

Kentucky will remain in Lexington this Saturday, Oct. 23 for a conference battle against South Carolina. That game is currently set for 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.