Cats edge Cards in front of sellout crowd


Goal scorer, Noah Hutchins, drives towards the endline during the match against Louisville on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the match 1-0. Photo by Carter Gossett | Staff

Arpan Dixit

The battle between in-state rivals, the Cats and the Cards, never seems to disappoint in any sport. On the pitch, it was no different.

After a couple scuffles in the first half, the 17th ranked UK men’s soccer team pulled out a hard fought victory against the Louisville Cardinals in front of a sellout crowd of 2,863.  Attendance was the second highest ever recorded in the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, which is in it’s third year.

The Cats snapped a two-game losing streak to the Cardinals after a beautiful header by midfielder Noah Hutchins in the 40th minute, assisted by defender Charlie Reymann, found the back of the net for the games only goal.

This brings the overall record in the series to 11-8-4 in UK’s favor. This was Hutchins’ second goal of the season.

Reymann talked about the set piece assist to Hutchins for the eventual game-winning goal.

“We decided to just play the ball forward instead of short and quick,” Reymann said. “I saw Noah and I tried to put the ball in a dangerous spot, but you have to give all the credit to Noah there. He did fantastic with that header.”

The goal in the 40th minute gave UK the momentum they needed heading into the half.

Defender Tanner Hummel got into a scuffle with Louisville forward Mohamed Thiaw in the first 20 minutes of the game, with both players having to be separated by UK goalie Stuart Ford and an official after exchanging a few words.

It was a very physical game throughout, and the fouls showed. There was a total of 30 fouls in the game, 15 for each team.  

You can always expect an intense battle between these two teams and this game proved no different.

Winning a rivalry game against a quality opponent is something these players really look forward too.

“We look forward to this game every year. It’s not a conference game, but it might as well be,” Reymann said. “It’s huge for the school and for the fans and I’m glad we were able to come up with the win after losing to them the past two years.”

UK goalie Stuart Ford poured in another stellar performance, recording his third clean sheet out of four games. UK’s defense helped out with many UofL attacks in the box, clearing them whenever the Cards looked like they had a chance to score.

Ford has only allowed one goal this season, coming off a penalty kick last Friday against Dartmouth.

Ford made a couple very important saves to preserve another shutout for the Cats after two very good strikes by Louisville forward Tate Schmitt in the second half.

Although the Cats won the game, the Cards had the advantage on shots. Louisville finished with 16 shots compared to only two for UK.

Midfielder Paul Sime talked about the game and what it means to beat a team that has had your number the last two seasons.

“It’s nice to get this win as a senior after not being able to come out on top the last two seasons,” Sime said. “It shows how far we have come and how much we have improved since our freshman year.”

The Cats look to be hitting their stride early on during the regular season and look to head into conference play on a high note.

The Cats are back in action Saturday, Sept. 10 in South Carolina against Furman with a 7 p.m. start.