UK men’s soccer collects several conference honors


Jason Reyes (9) celebrates with teammates J.J. Williams (7) and Bailey Rouse (18) after scoring his seventh goal of the season to give Kentucky a 2-0 lead early in the first half of Kentucky’s game against Old Dominion at The Bell in Lexington, Ky. on Nov. 2, 2018. Photo by Olivia Beach

The UK men’s soccer team is raking in plenty of praise and recognition for their stellar play this year. The No. 3 Cats picked up three postseason awards, on top of winning the Conference USA regular season title and the No. 1 seed in their conference tournament.

JJ Williams highlights the list, earning C-USA Player of the Year. The forward earned the honor after leading the conference in both points and goals, as well as finishing sixth in the C-USA in assists. He’s been the driving offensive force behind UK’s 15-1-1 record and is credited with seven game-winning goals. That mark leads every other player in the conference by at least two.

Next, Johan Cedergren earned C-USA Coach of the Year for turning an 8-6-4 team that lost seven seniors from last year’s team into a youthful powerhouse this season. The Cats are led by young players like sophomores Enrique Facusse and Kalil Eldmedkhar and are ruling both their conference and the nation. Their record included a statement win over then-No. 2 Indiana at home, and the Cats’ players have plenty more room to grow.

Finally, Jason Reyes brought home the C-USA Freshman of the Year for his efforts this season. He finished the year with seven goals, three assists and 17 points on only 24 shots. Reyes has been an essential complementary piece to the offensive attack from Williams and Elmedkhar, and will continue to be through next season and beyond.

The Cats will begin the C-USA Tournament this weekend, where they’ll face the winner of FIU and Marshall on Friday. They’ll be seeking their first conference tournament title since joining the conference over a decade ago.