Kentucky tops Dayton 3-1 on the road, improves to 6-0-2


Kentucky Wildcats defender Lucca Rodrigues (3) surveys the defense 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. 10 Kentucky (6-0-2) concluded their two game road trip with a 3-1 win over the Dayton Flyers (3-5-2) to remain undefeated on the season.

Despite Dayton’s surge of momentum midway through the second half, the game was all Kentucky from the first whistle.The ‘Cats outshot the Flyers 15-6 with six shots on target to Dayton’s lone shot on goal that led to the Flyer’s only point—just the third goal Kentucky has allowed this season. 

The Wildcats entered the matchup coming off a scoreless draw on the road against No. 5 Marshall. It was a top 10 showdown between conference rivals and two overtimes wasn’t quite enough to give either team the edge, dropping both squads to 0-0-2 in conference play.

The first 10 minutes of play went by with minimal consequence with just one shot attempt each. Kentucky had a minor scare as Luke Andrews went down away from the ball and was checked on by the training staff before returning to play

Kentucky found the scoreboard not long after in the 13 minute with a goal by Lucca Rodrigues off a Wildcat throw in. It would mark the first goal as a Wildcat for the Oral Roberts transfer. 

Not five minutes later it was Andrews in the 17 minute scoring the second goal for the Wildcats off the assist by Enzo Mauriz.

Despite putting up two more shots on target, the score remained 2-0 into the half—the Wildcats’ largest halftime lead of the season thus far. The ‘Cats backfield shut down the Flyers attack, not allowing a single shot on target for the duration of the first half. The offense also outshot Dayton 9-1 with nearly all the momentum of the half in their favor.

Coming out of the half, the pace from both teams slowed down significantly. Neither team recorded a shot on target for the first 25 minutes of the half where the Flyers outshot Kentucky 3-1. 

Dayton’s Eren Elbustu was able to get one past Kentucky’s goalkeeper Ryan Troutman to put Dayton on the board in the 71 minute for their only goal of the night. Andy Sanchez was credited with the assist for the Flyers. 

Dayton put up another attempt, but momentum shifted once again when Kentucky took control of the ball into Flyer territory as Ben Damge was able to get another ball past Dayton’s goalie Marc Kouadio in the 77th minute for the third Wildcat goal. Damge was assisted by Nick Gutmann. Kentucky controlled the ball until the conclusion of the 90th minute to secure the win.

The ‘Cats head back home to The Bell on Sunday, Oct. 3 to battle the UAB Blazers in another C-USA duel. That game is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.