Williams strikes again in Kentucky soccer’s overtime victory


Players celebrating with junior JJ Williams after scoring the first goal of the game. University of Kentucky men’s soccer team beat University of Louisville for their 3rd straight win of the season on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb I Staff

Mohammad Ahmad

The UK men’s soccer team continued its road trip Tuesday night in Nashville to face the Lipscomb Bisons. Looking to stay undefeated, the Cats did so by winning 3-2 in walk-off fashion.

JJ Williams, reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the week and United Coaches Poll National Player of the Week, chipped in the game-winning goal in overtime in the 95th minute. He continues to lead the Cats in goals with five and ranks third in the C-USA.

UK is now 5-0-1 and sits third in the C-USA standings. The team was ranked No. 7 in the nation by the United Coaches Poll several hours before the game. Lipscomb drops to 1-5 overall.

As soon as the game began, the Cats scored. Seconds into the game, sophomore midfielder Kalil Elmedkhar scored his second goal of the year off a free kick after a Lipscomb foul.

Elmedkhar found the ball again about 15 minutes later after he received a cross from freshman midfielder Cole Guindon. Elmedkhar struck the ball right before it was stopped by Lipscomb goalkeeper Luke Wilson. Guindon’s freshman teammate Jason Reyes also had a shot of his own saved in the 18th minute.

From that point on until the end on the first half, however, neither team saw much action on either side other than Kentucky blocking several shots.

UK opened up the second half by capitalizing on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. After Williams was slipped in from behind and taken down in the box, he went off of the field before Aime Mabika stepped in for the penalty kick. Mabika converted his second penalty kick of the season to put the Cats up 2-0.

Almost immediately, Lipscomb responded. Three minutes after Mabika’s score, Lipscomb drew a penalty of its own. Bisons’ defender Ryan Birchfield converted the penalty to put Lipscomb back in the game down by one.

After Lipscomb saved a Guindon kick two minutes later, the Bisons evened up the score 2-2 after Logan Paynter got behind the UK defense and drew Cats’ goalkeeper Enrique Facusse off his line and struck the ball into the left side netting in the 75th minute. Neither team scored for the rest of regulation, and another of UK’s games was sent to overtime.

Going into overtime, a team effort between Facusse and defender Leon Jones stopped an early Lipscomb attack. Soon afterward, Williams put the game away with his game-winner.

The Cats will return home and take on the UNC Charlotte 49ers in a C-USA showdown at The Bell this Friday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.