UK men’s soccer ties in mistake-filled defensive battle


Junior Andrew Mckelvey passes the ball along the end line during the game against Creighton on Sunday, November 20, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky lost the match 3-2. Photo by Carter Gossett | Staff

Mohammad Ahmad

After a long and hard fought match, the UK soccer team’s game with the St. Louis Billikens ended in a 0-0 draw.

The Cats came into St. Louis after a loss to Northern Kentucky in their preseason debut, but they tried to shake that loss off and move on. Despite not scoring, Kentucky stilled showed resiliency, grit and determination in the loss.
Rising sophomore star Sam Stockton showed the Wildcats the potential he has to be a playmaker this year. Clocking in 80 minutes, he was all over the field as he helped keep the Billikens in check. There was no shortage of veteran toughness as well, as senior Alex Bumpus clocked in 81 minutes of hard-fought play. 
A stout defensive effort from young UK goalkeeper Enrique Facusse made three quality saves in the second period, as St. Louis applied more offensive pressure. However, while the defensive stand by the keepers and other players proved important, many mistakes and misplays prevented Kentucky from shifting the tide of the game.
UK couldn’t seem to find the net. The Cats took 10 shots, but only two were shots on the goal, while even prolific UK scorer JJ Williams was missing the net, taking two shots and not landing any on goal.
Kentucky committed nine fouls and had two offsides during the game. Such mistakes would take the ball away from the Wildcats and give more opportunities to the Billikens. Furthermore, Kentucky attempted 7 corner shots, neither of which played in favor of UK.
All in all, UK avoided being on the losing end of the scoreboard which gives them a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, though, the high number of fouls and failed opportunities on corner kicks shows that they need to adjust their tempo and shift the offensive focus. 
The sun has officially set on the preseason. Kentucky now has its sights set on their opening game against Marquette on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell. This team could prove to wreak on their opponents during the year.