A look back on fall 2022 semester for UK Athletics


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) runs the ball during the Kentucky vs. No. 1 Georgia football game on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Georgia won 16-6. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Cole Parke, Sports Editor

With finals week on the doorstep and the fall semester all but finished, many UK fans have begun setting their sights on the future: spring 2023.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam that is next year, it’s also important to look back on all that occurred in the fall as well.

Here’s every UK Athletics team’s fall 2022 retrospective:


What can’t be said about football? It was a year that had highs and quite a bit of lows.

Kicking off with a Twitter spat between head coach Mark Stoops and basketball coach John Calipari, the pressure was on for the football team to live up to the hopes of the portion of the fanbase calling Kentucky a “football school.”

Ultimately though, it was unable to do this.

After starting off a promising 4-0 and being ranked as high as No. 7, Kentucky shot itself in the foot in Oxford against Ole Miss, suffering its first loss of the season.

This was compounded with a second-consecutive loss, this time to a then unranked South Carolina, and, while the Cats were able to bounce back with a ranked win of Mississippi State, the doubts were there.

These doubts would then be confirmed when the Cats were dismantled 44-6 at Tennessee, proving the team was not in the upper echelon of the SEC like some thought it was.

The team then picked up an ugly win in Missouri before doing the unthinkable: giving the Vanderbilt Commodores their first SEC win in 26-straight attempts.

Following the Vanderbilt loss the disappointment from the fans turned to vitriol in several directions, though nobody caught more of the hate than offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

With Kentucky’s offense looking flat in a 16-6 loss against No. 1 Georgia and not great in UK’s final regular season game against Louisville, which UK won 26-13, the OC was sacked after just one season in Lexington.

Finishing 7-5, the team was given a ticket to the Music City Bowl, though starting quarterback Will Levis has already announced he does not plan to take part in the game.

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Kentucky football. Certainly a fall to forget.

Mens basketball:

Another team that hasn’t entirely met expectations, Kentucky mens basketball currently stand at 6-2 on the season thus far.

The Cats kicked off their season with dominant victories over Howard and Duquesne before traveling to Indianapolis for their biggest game of the season up to that point: the Champions Classic against Michigan State.

Unfortunately for the Cats, this trip would not be a good one as the team was defeated in double overtime, though it did feature the season debut of fan-favorite Oscar Tshiebwe, who had missed the first two games after a minor knee surgery.

The Cats then defeated South Carolina State before being dismantled in a 88-72 loss to Gonzaga in Spokane, the main source of disappointment for fans thus far.

That said, while the team was unconvincing against Bellarmine, the Cats picked up their first major victory of the season in London, defeating Michigan 73-69.

Now looking to take the court against Yale on Dec. 10, the mens basketball team is one with plenty left to prove.

Womens basketball:

Similar to the men, the womens basketball team is one that has struggled a bit to take advantage of its major opportunities.

UK has only played one ranked opponent all season in Virginia Tech, which it lost to 82-74.

Other than that, barring a near-shock in game one against Radford, the women have looked convincing against every opponent they have played, racking up wins over Morehead State, Coastal Carolina, Bellarmine, Dayton and UNC Greensboro.

The womens team then secured its first power-five win of the season and first road win of the season, beating Minnesota 80-74 in Minneapolis, though the win was marred by turnovers and scoring droughts, especially in the closing minutes of the game.

Similar to the men, the women are a team with plenty left to prove.


Kentucky volleyball has been on a rollercoaster this fall.

The team started out unconvincing, suffering losses to Marquette and getting swept by Wisconsin and Nebraska on their home court.

That said, all three of those teams earned seeds in the NCAA Tournament and, since being swept by Florida on Nov. 19, the Cats didn’t lose a set in their next five matchups, getting sweeping revenge against UF and earning the right to call themselves co-SEC champions, earning a share of their sixth consecutive conference title.

The Cats earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and swept their way through the first two rounds over Loyola Chicago and No. 6 Western Kentucky.

Unfortunately for Kentucky, No. 2 San Diego was too much to handle, and the Wildcats were swept in Palo Alto, concluding the 2022 campaign.

Mens soccer:

Now that the season has concluded, many fans feel disappointed by the mens soccer team, though this is hardly fair considering all that the team accomplished.

The men finished their first ever undefeated regular season, winning the Sun Belt Tournament Championship in their first year in the conference, and earning the first No. 1 seed in program history heading into the NCAA Tournament.

While that journey may have been cut short by a stunning goal within the last few minutes by Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16, Kentucky mens soccer truly put the program on the map this season.

Womens soccer:

It’s easy to think this year was a failure for UK womens soccer, but that’s not taking in the full picture.

The Cats failed to secure a single win in conference play, finishing 0-8-2 in the SEC, leading to a final overall record of 7-9-2 by the end of the regular season with no form of postseason awarded.

That said, the team battled and came close to securing several conference victories under head coach Troy Fabiano, who took over the program from Ian Carry, who was fired prior to the end of the 2021 season.

With Fabiano bringing in his first recruiting class in the Bluegrass prior to next season, it’s safe to say this year was all about laying the foundation of culture and not competing for a conference title or postseason appearance.

Additional UK Athletics events over the fall:

Kentucky mens golf concluded the fall portion of its schedule, finishing as high as third in the Hamptons Intercollegiate.

The womens golf team also had a fall to remember, starting slow but taking home first place in both the Illini Women’s Invitational and the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational.

Turning sights towards the water, the swim and dive teams held four meets against other colleges before sending several swimmers and divers to the Toyota U.S. Open where Nick Caruso and Gillian Davey both qualified for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials.

UK track and field also kicked off its season within the past week, hosting the Commonwealth College Opener in which Josh Sobota and Keaton Daniel both set indoor school records.

Cross country also held its fall portion of its schedule, particularly shining in the Panorama Farms Invitational.

Finally, Kentucky rifle finished the fall 4-0 in direct head-to-head competitions, winning every event it has taken place in barring the quad-meet with Alaska, TCU and West Virginia.