Men’s soccer remains unbeaten, ended in a draw against Xavier


Junior JJ Williams beating Louisville’s goalkeeper to score 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 looked to start 5-0 for the first time since 2009 before its match-up against the Xavier Musketeers Tuesday night. Instead, the No. 6 ranked Cats are 4-0-1, drawing with Xavier 0-0 following a double overtime match-up in Cincinnati.

Xavier also entered the game undefeated, at 2-0-2. UK’s No. 6 ranking marks the first time the Cats have been in the United Soccer Coaches top 25 rankings. The Cats currently sit atop the C-USA standings above Old Dominion.

UK’s first shot of the game forced Xavier’s goalkeeper to make a close save. Meanwhile, Xavier tacked on four more shots to force Cats’ keeper Enrique Facusse to make a tough save in the first 25 minutes.

As the Cats had most of the possession for the half, they were unable to make a big break in Xavier’s box. Despite the Musketeers’ best attempts to counter UK’s offense, the back four of the Cats’ defense, led by senior Tanner Hummel and sophomore Leon Jones, was able to hold it down.

Xavier outshot the Cats in the half, 7-3. They had more corners and shots on goal with a respective 2-1 advantage for each.

The early third of the second half featured sophomore midfielder Kalil Elmedkhar and reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the week J.J Williams attempting to trouble Xavier’s left flank defense. They each came up empty.

On the other side of the ball, Jones made an important cut on defense to stop a wide open Joash Sutherland of Xavier from causing any danger for UK in the 72nd minute. Jones also had a free kick from about 25 yards out low in the 85th minute, but it didn’t make it in.

Both teams entered the first overtime after they each failed to take the game on multiple scoring opportunities. The only real chance for Kentucky came through a close score by Williams.

With both teams searching for a last chance at victory, neither one struck gold in double overtime.

The Cats will head south to Nashville and continue their road trip to face the Lipscomb Bisons next Tuesday, September 18th at 8 p.m.