Kentucky claims 1-0 win over Seattle thanks to Danny Evans goal


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson (9) chases the ball after a tackle during the Kentucky vs. Seattle mens soccer match on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 1-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Kentucky Kernel

Luke Fetzer, Staff Writer

Kentucky mens soccer (2-0) defeated Seattle (1-1) 1-0 courtesy of an early Danny Evans goal on Monday.

The Wildcats looked comfortable against the Redhawks, despite the latter recently stunning No. 4 Notre Dame 3-1 in South Bend. 

Controlling the tempo throughout, head coach Johan Cedergren was pleased with how his team kept their shape and played with intensity.

“It’s a team sport and it’s a team approach with how we defend,” he said. “When we turn the ball over, we get it right back, because it’s a lot more fun to have the ball so let’s go get it.” 

The Cats took the lead in the 23’ when Evans finished off a cushioned assist from forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson. 

“I saw the goalkeeper come out on Eythtor and he tapped it back to me,” Evans said. “[I thought] I might as well go for it. Focus on my technique and make sure I hit the target.” 

After what would be the winning goal, it was all Kentucky in the driver’s seat.

Owning all areas of the pitch Kentucky had numerous chances to extend the lead, but on the back of a sturdy back five Seattle managed to contain the Wildcats’ attack. 

“Now after we score, we shouldn’t get on our heels and just try to protect,” Cedergren said. “[We should think] ‘can we score another one?’ But two crossbars, a penalty that we missed, three or four breakaways, that shouldn’t be a 1-0 game, it probably should have been a two or three zero game, but in the end I’m really happy with the guys.” 

Seattle was not the only team with an impressive defensive showing however, as the defending partnership consisting of Lucca Rodrigues and Luis Grassow earned Cedergren’s praise, with the coach later expressing his confidence that Seattle would not find the back of the net. 

“If you look at how Lucca and Luis played today, the two center backs were playing out of their minds,” he said. “There was just no way Seattle was going to score so I’m really happy with them.” 

The Wildcats did have a brief moment of panic in the 67’ when Evans appeared to clutch at his leg, seeming to have an injury, though he later clarified that it was just a small cramp.

“I didn’t know I was going to start until three hours before the game, but I think that’s kind of on me,” he said. “It was on me to prepare a little more because you never know what’s going to happen, but it was just a cramp, nothing serious.” 

As the rain began to fall in the dying minutes of the game, it looked as though Kentucky would extend its lead thanks to an awarded penalty for Bjorgolfsson. 

Despite the late opportunity, Seattle goalkeeper Akili Kasim made a diving save to deny the Cats a true dagger and keep Redhawk hope alive even if just for a few more minutes.

Unfortunately for the keeper, Seattle would fail to grab a late equalizer, allowing Kentucky to secure the win. 

Cedergren, even with the missed chances, was happy all around with how his team performed, and even took the opportunity to praise Seattle.

“In the end, I’m really happy for the guys,” he said. “Credit to Seattle, very good team, well coached team. They’ve traveled far and they’re playing three very tough games at Notre Dame, against us and in Louisville. Multiple conference tournament championships and NCAA Tournament bids in that school so we knew they were a very good team, but one of the things that we do really well is we don’t take anyone for granted.” 

Kentucky returns to action on Friday, Sept. 2, to face Belmont at home. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m.