UK men’s soccer ends regular season with a tie


Sophomore defender Amie Mabika drives the ball down the field during the game against Xavier on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Kaitlyn Gumm| Staff

Mohammad Ahmad

The UK men’s soccer team finished their season with a tie on Saturday evening. After hitting the road to Transamerica Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Wildcats tied the Charlotte 49ers.

The Wildcats have won their last two matches against the 49ers, with those matches being victories in overtime or later. Finishing with 14 points in the C-USA standings, Kentucky qualifies for the conference tournament, which begins on Wednesday in Norfolk, Virginia.

Charlotte began the game with bang as Daniel Bruce scored his sixth goal of the season in the 13th minute to put the 49ers up 1-0. The 49ers responded to a missed Mikkel Pedersen shot with a counter minutes later, but Enrique Facusse was able to save a shot by Charlotte’s Ryan Spaulding.

UK was able to have the momentum shift their way in the 32nd minute. After a Charlotte foul, Kentucky was rewarded with a penalty kick. Aime Mabika stepped up for the kick and scored his third goal of the year to tie the game 1-1.

Coming out of halftime, both teams tried to finish out their final half of the regular season with nothing short of a hard fought battle. This was apparent in the 54th minute after JJ Williams received a yellow card at midfield.

Mabika, Facusse, Pedersen and Keyarash Namjoupanah would each receive a yellow card as well later in the game. Charlotte’s Rutger de Bos would also receive one as well. Both teams finished the game with a combined 30 fouls, 17 on UK.

The most UK had on offense for the rest of the half was a missed header by Kalil ElMedkhar in the 59th minute. Facusse was busy shutting down the hyper Charlotte offense as he finished the half with three saves. The 49ers had 10 shots in the second half.

As the match went into the first overtime, each side exchanged a pair of shots to try and end the regular season, yet neither side made anything happen. The same would be said about the second overtime, despite a wave of Charlotte corners.

With the tie, UK finishes their regular season 8-5-4, with a 4-2-2 conference record. The team plays their first quarterfinal match on Wednesday, Nov. 8, as the No. 3 seed against the Marshall Thundering Herd.