Men’s soccer blanks Florida Atlantic for first conference victory


Midfielder Kalil Elmedkhar takes a shot on goal during the match against Xavier on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Eric Decker

The Kentucky men’s soccer team had never lost to the Florida Atlantic University Owls entering this weekend.

That streak continues after the No. 21 ranked Wildcats (3-1-2, 1-0-1 C-USA) kept a clean sheet and defeated FAU (2-3, 0-2 C-USA), 3-0, at The Bell on Saturday night. It didn’t take long for the scoring to start when a 16th minute free kick sent in by John Michael Bandy was directly headed by Clay Holstad into the back of the net. This was Holstad’s first goal of the season.

 “I mean it’s big, just that’s something I’ve been working on, just final product so it just boosts my game forward and whatever the team needs I do,” Holstad said after the game.  

Kentucky’s defense shone for the rest of the night and help preserve the lead. Center back Aime Mabika and goalkeeper Enrique Facusse anchored the Cats’ defense. Facusse totaled four saves in the victory, including two from nearly within the six-yard box. The opportunities to score were present, but, unfruitful, until the 73rd minute when Cats’ forward Kalil ElMedkhar raced past an FAU defender on a pass from Cats’ midfielder Marcel Meinzer.

That created a one-on-one opportunity with Owls’ goalkeeper Daniel Ragoo which ElMedkhar won. He scored a goal to make the score 2-0 Cats. Defender Nicolas Blassou was able to increase the Cats’ lead 3-0 after a ball played in from a corner landed at his feet, allowing him to sneak it past Radoo in the match’s waning moments.

This is the Cats’ first Conference USA victory of the season after tying with No. 10 ranked Charlotte last weekend, breaking a two-tie streak on the year. UK welcomes the Bowling Green Falcons for their next matchup on Tuesday, September 24th at 7:30 p.m. at The Bell.