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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky men’s soccer books last second trip to NCAA Tournament

Kyleigh Miller
Kentucky Midfielder Brennan Creek dribbles the ball during the Kentucky vs. Georgia State mens soccer match on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky tied 2-2. Photo by Kyleigh Miller | Staff

Kentucky men’s soccer is set to begin its 14th NCAA Tournament and 10th under head coach Johan Cedergren, but this season was no yellow brick road of success. 

The Wildcats season featured both an eight-match winless streak and an eight-match unbeaten streak, earning them the last overall seed in the tournament. 

Kentucky, which finished its season with a 7-7-4 record, will open its tournament with a matchup in Cincinnati against the Xavier Musketeers, who finished 9-3-6.

Kentucky and Xavier do have a few common opponents, one of which being top overall seeded Marshall. Kentucky and Xavier both have a 3-0 loss to The Herd, however UK boasts a 2-0 late season win over it as well.

No. 2 overall seed Notre Dame (11-2-4) awaits the winner of UK and Xavier in South Bend. Notre Dame fell in the first round of the ACC tournament to Louisville, a familiar foe that also beat the Wildcats in early September.

The Wildcats are joined in the NCAA tournament by four conference foes, No. 1 overall seed Marshall, No. 5 West Virginia, No. 12 Central Florida and James Madison.

Kentucky’s resume is boosted heavily by wins over No. 1 Marshall and, at the time, No. 2 WVU, as well as a win over JMU in the sun belt tournament.

Kentucky and Xavier have an all-time series record of 8-5-3 with UK holding claim of the series.

Fans can watch the Wildcats in action at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday on ESPN+.

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