UK men’s soccer keeps rolling after win at Memphis



Mohammad Ahmad

The UK men’s soccer team continues their hot start to the season with a win Saturday, visiting the Memphis Tigers in Tennessee. After defeating the Eastern Tennessee State University Pirates in a double overtime thriller on Tuesday, the Wildcats traveled to the other side of the volunteer state to pull off a 1-0 victory, in regulation this time. Senior Andrew McKelvey’s goal in the second half propelled the Cats to victory.

The beginning of the first half saw the Cats trying to spark a drive on offense. McKelvey and junior Stefan Stojkovic had a 1-2 in the 8th minute that ended in a shot deflection. Memphis goalkeeper Jake Leeker had to kick himself into high gear to deflect a strike by Stojkovic in the 20th minute.

During the first half, the Cats put up a total of six shots coupled with six corners. Two of those attempted shots were shots on goal, and the defense was able to keep the Tigers from being able to score against the Cats. Memphis had no shots on goal with only three corners, and freshman goalkeeper Enrique Facusse did not see much action up front as he had no saves.

Once the second half was underway, the tempo of the game had a much different feeling. In the 51st and 53rd minutes, Junior Mikkel Pedersen and Andrew McKelvey nearly made something happen against Leeker as they failed to score on their respective attempts. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ pace and tenacity seemed to increase as they played much more aggressively.

In the 61st minute, the aggression went overboard as Memphis defender Ben Roberts received a red card after viciously bringing down Kentucky sophomore Connor Probert. The Cats would eventually capitalize on the misfortune of the Tigers, as McKelvey would convert the penalty kick to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

Kentucky seemed unsatisfied with the score as they kept trying to push into opposing territory, trying to put together scoring opportunities. All in all, the team finished with seven shots in the half, with five of them being on goal. Some of those shot attempts featured potential scores by McKelvey and sophomore Sam Stockton. Facusse had a fairly easy day for the Cats’ defense as he amassed two saves against the raucous Tigers.

Now holding onto a 3-0 record, the Kentucky Wildcats are setting their sights on keeping their winning momentum in drive. The team will travel to play in-state rival Louisville Cardinals at Lynn Stadium in Louisville on Tuesday.