Men’s soccer set to face upset-minded Lipscomb in Sweet 16


UK players celebrate with Kalil Elmedkhar after he scores a goal. University of Kentucky #3 ranked men’s soccer defeated University of Portland 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Mohammad Ahmad

The no. 3 ranked UK men’s soccer team (18-1-1, 7-1 C-USA) will face off against the University of Lipscomb Bisons (10-9-1, 5-1 ASUN) in a Sweet 16 matchup tomorrow at 7 p.m. at The Bell.

Led by C-USA Coach of the Year Johan Cedergren, the Cats will be playing in their first Sweet 16 game since 2000– they have never advanced beyond that. Last week’s 4-0 win over the University of Portland Pilots gave the Cats their first-ever NCAA Tournament home win.

UK defeated Lipscomb in Nashville this earlier this season on Sept. 18th 3-2 in overtime. The Cats had a 2-0 lead before the Bisons scored two goals in the second half. J.J Williams scored the game-winner for the Cats.

The Bisons come to Lexington looking to continue a historic run after having pulled off two wins in the tournament.

Last Thursday, Lipscomb took down the University of Washington Huskies in a match that required penalty kicks. That win was the team’s first-ever NCAA Tournament in only its second overall appearance.

The Bisons then traveled to Orlando to take on the no. 14 ranked University of Central Florida Knights two days later. They defeated UCF in overtime 1-0 thanks to a Louis Robinson game-winner.  

Since the regular season finale, the Cats have outscored their opponents 10-1. UK is fifth in the nation in scoring offense with 2.35 goals-per-game.

Williams’ and Kalil Elmedkhar’s efforts as the Cats’ scoring aces have played a crucial role in their scoring offense.  Williams, the Cats’ leading scorer, has 18 goals and eight assists this season. His 18 goals are the third-most in the nation and his nine game-winning goals this season are second-most in the nation.

Elmedkhar has 10 goals and 11 assists. His 11 assists are the most on the team and tied for seventh-most in the nation. Elmedkhar’s .674 shot accuracy percentage ranks fourth in the nation as well.

Cats’ goalkeeper Enrique Facusse continues to lead the nation in shutouts with 14. He and his fellow defenders, led by team captain Tanner Hummel, boast the nation’s third-best goals-against average at .442.

Lipscomb, led by 14th year head coach Charles Morrow, won the ASUN Conference Tournament this season. Logan Paytner and Robinson have combined for 13 goals. Paynter is fourth in the ASUN in goals scored with nine.

The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+/WatchESPN.