UK Men’s Soccer remains undefeated following 3-1 victory over Duquesne


Kentucky Wildcats forward Ben Damge (27) and midfielder Martin Soereide (16) celebrate after a Damge goal during the University of Kentucky vs. Duquesne men’s soccer game on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-1. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Jaron Centers

Kentucky men’s soccer just keeps rolling. 

The ‘Cats logged another win, this time a 3-1 victory over the Duquesne Dukes. After a hard-fought first half and second-half surge, UK would obtain the edge for a fourth consecutive victory — improving to 4-0-1 on the season. 

UK came into Sunday’s match up on a three-game winning streak, where they most recently took down in-state rival Louisville, 3-1. Duquesne arrived in Lexington with a record of 3-1, their last victory came by defeating Howard University last weekend 2-1.

The first 25 minutes of the match went scoreless, but was certainly not short of action, specifically on the defensive side. Both teams attempted multiple shots, but Duquesne who would broke the ice first. The Dukes’ Ryan Goodhew scored the first goal of the night, assisted by Maxi Hopfer at the 26-minute mark. 

With a little under three minutes to go in the first half, a handball committed by Duquesne would give a penalty kick opportunity to UK where fifth-year Bailey Rouse tied up the match on the kick before both teams headed into the locker room.

UK finished the first half with eight total shots — Duquesne with four, three of which were on goal. Kentucky goalkeeper Ryan Troutman had two saves against the aggressive Duquesne offense. 

While the first half was gritty and even stale at times, the second half would tell a different story. A three-minute swing gave the ‘Cats the momentum needed to finish off the Dukes. At the 59-minute mark, a fight for the ball would set up a Ben Damge score for the ‘Cats second goal at point-blank range. Martin Soereide and Robert Screen were credited with the assist. 

A little over two minutes later, a corner kick from Screen put graduate transfer Luke Andrews in perfect position to score off a header, giving UK a 3-1 lead at the 62-minute mark. 

The Cats’ two-point swing put victory out of reach for the Dukes — Duquesne could only attempt two shots the entire second half and the rest of the night proceeded without another goal.

UK remained on the attack with 11 total shots in the second half. The impressive defensive performance for the Cats sealed the victory and Duquesne fell to 3-2 on the season. 

Overall, three Wildcats logged goals — Rouse, Andrews, and Damge. Duquesne’s Goodhew scored the Dukes’ lone goal of the night, while DU goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben had a busy night, facing 19 shots and acquiring seven saves. 

Upcoming for the ‘Cats will be Western Michigan (2-2-1) next Sunday at The Bell. Kickoff for the match is set for 4 p.m. and will be available to watch on ESPN+.