No. 2 Kentucky claws back from 2-0 deficit to draw No. 22 Dayton


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats defender Max Miller (14) keeps the ball away from a defender 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 | Staff

Tyler Russell, Reporter

No. 2 Kentucky mens soccer reached a 2-2 draw with No. 22 Dayton on Wednesday, remaining undefeated on the season.

Entering the contest, the Flyers traveled to Lexington with one goal in mind: hand Kentucky its first loss of the season.

Early on, it even seemed like they were going to be successful.

Dayton’s Logan Brown gave the Flyers an ideal start after he found the back of the net in the first minute of play after Kentucky goalkeeper Casper Mols could not hold onto a cross, leaving the Flyers with the golden opportunity.

The Wildcats kept their heads high and continued to fight throughout the first half, having numerous opportunities to score with the tide seeming to turn in their favor.

Dayton midfielder Basit Umar had other plans, though, as he struck the ball into the top right corner of the net in the 39’ to give Dayton a 2-0 lead.

Just when it seemed Dayton would close out the half with the 2-0 advantage, Kentucky midfielder Enzo Mauriz put the ball past Dayton goalkeeper Dario Caetano in the 44’ to get one back for the Cats. 

Entering the half with Dayton ahead 2-1, Kentucky had recorded seven shots while Dayton had six.

Meanwhile, Caetano, a Portugal native, had three saves for the Flyers while Mols had none.

The Wildcats came out with hard presses in the second half, knowing they needed to find another goal to remain undefeated. 

“We were really fortunate to get a late goal in the first half,” Kentucky head coach Johan Cedergren said. “We were eager to get back out and prove that’s not how bad we were.” 

While the Wildcats did come out in a different gear, they still struggled to find a way past Caetano, who denied two shots his way in the 56’ and 57’.

It seemed as if the Cats were going to suffer their first loss of the season, but Kentucky defender Max Miller wasn’t satisfied with that. 

Miller ultimately found the bottom center of the net in the 86’, knotting the game up at two each as the crowd erupted around him.

Because of the effort, the game finally ended with each team scoring two goals each, keeping Kentucky’s undefeated season alive.

The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Oct. 15, as they battle the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown.