Men’s soccer extends their best-ever season start

The seventh-ranked UK men’s soccer team further extended its best-ever start to a season Saturday night after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks on the road 2-1. Daniel Evans’ and Kalil Elmedkhar’s goals helped propel UK to the win.

UK is now 8-0-1 (3-0 C-USA). South Carolina remains winless in C-USA play at 0-3 and drops to 2-6-0. 

The Cats trailed at halftime for the first time this season. That’s because South Carolina forward Bjorn Gudjonsson’s goal drew first blood with just a little over a minute left in the first half. The Gamecocks’ leading scorer, Justin Sukow, assisted him.

Midfielder Elmedkhar would change that with an equalizer in the 67th minute. Elmedkhar got the ball from his fellow midfielder Brock Lindow. He then curled it into the right goal for his fourth goal of the season. He has now scored for the second game in the row and ranks second on the team in goals scored behind J.J. Williams.

UK would put the game away in crunch time. In the 82nd minute, Elmedkhar kicked a free kick that Cats’ defender Leon Jones received. Jones passed the ball over to midfielder Evans who swung it into the goal with ease. Evans scored his first-ever goal as a Wildcat. The Gamecocks couldn’t come up with a last second response.

Both teams played with strong pace and rigor as they combined for 29 fouls – 14 of them on UK. Each team received a yellow card to echo that. UK midfielder Nicolai Fremstad received a card in the 62nd minute and South Carolina defender Andre Streete got one in the 52nd minute.

South Carolina outshot UK in the first half 5-3. However, the momentum flipped in the second half as UK more than tripled its shot production to outshoot the Gamecocks 10-3. The Cats have had double-digit shot totals in seven of their eight games this season.

UK will come back home to face perhaps its biggest challenge thus far: the second-ranked Indiana Hoosiers. The Cats will look to avenge last year’s loss to Indiana at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd at The Bell.