No. 14 Kentucky earns first win of 2021 season; defeats Wright State 3-0


Kentucky players celebrate Daniel Evans’s (7) opening goal during the Kentucky vs. Wright State men’s soccer game on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-0. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kennedy Whitby

No. 14 Kentucky men’s soccer faced off against Wright State Monday night following their season-opening tie against No. 25  Coastal Carolina.

The last time Kentucky met Wright State was on Oct. 30,2019 where they defeated the Raiders 7-1. Wright State, who finished the 2020 season with a 5-3-1 record, fell to Akron in their season opener 7-1 last Thursday. 

As the match began, the Raiders came in with plenty of energy,holding Kentucky to only three shot attempts in the first half. It took Kentucky 34 minutes to score, where forward Daneil Evans netted his first goal of the season on an assist by midfielder Nick Gutmann to give the Wildcats the lead. 

With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Raiders pushed for an equalizer, as midfielder Chris Geddis lobbed a corner kick into the UK box only to be caught by Cats’ goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner, who had five saves in the season opener against Coastal Carolina last Thursday. 

Heading into halftime, Kentucky was in control of the match. The Wildcats held 56 percent of the first half possession.

Only 12 minutes into the second half, defender Luis Grassow crossed in a ball that found the head of junior forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson, who then powered a header past Wright State goalie Sebastian Jimenez to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

No more than three minutes later, Bjorgolfsson scored yet another goal after Martin Soereide fed the striker a pass towards the edge of the penalty area, resulting in a finish in the bottom right corner, giving Kentucky a comfortable 3-0 lead with 30 minutes remaining in the match. 

When asked about his second goal, the junior Bjorgolfsson stated that he was “really delighted to get an assist from my friend from Norway.”

Bjorgolfsson and Soereide, both of whom are natives of Norway, helped put the match away from Wright State’s reach in the second half. 

“Us Scandinavians are kinda wired the same,” Bjorgolfsson said. 

Following the Norwegian connection, the final whistle would eventually be blown, giving the Wildcats a comfortable first win of their 2021 season, defeating Wright State 3-0.

Jimenez’s four saves would be no match for the Kentucky attack, as they finally broke through and found the back of the net on Monday, something they were unable to achieve in their opening match of the year. 

Kentucky will return to action this Friday, facing off with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Complex. The match is set to kick-off at 7:30 p.m.