From UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s soccer team – freshly minted as the No. 13 team in this week’s coaches’ poll – lost its first match of the season, 1-0 to Cincinnati on a rainy Tuesday at The Bell.
Kentucky dropped to won 4, lost 1, drew 1 in 2017, while Cincinnati improved to W3, L2, D1.
UK had the better of the chances on the night, and certainly from the 80 minutes prior to the visitors breaking the deadlock.
But Sean Clarke put the Bearcats ahead with fewer than 10 minutes to play pouncing on a ball, which UK had failed to clear prior.
Kentucky’s response was swift and formidable, but in the end not enough.
Kentucky’s best chance came nearly six minutes later on a UK corner when JJ Williams put a header on goal, but it was cleared off the line by apparently the narrowest of margins.
UK outshot Cincinnati 17-10 routing nine on goal compared with two for the winners. Of course just the one was what mattered after 90 minutes.
Kentucky had a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks, while Cincinnati more than doubled the number of fouls UK committed: 19-8.
Cincinnati goalkeeper Pearce Skinner made nine saves, a handful of them of really high quality.
“They had a game plan and they stuck to it,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “They came away with a 1-0 win against a ranked opponent … If you look at Cincinnati I think they worked their socks off. They had several chances. They looked to hit us in transition and they’re a very good team. I’ll give them all the credit they deserve.”
“It’s definitely tough to give up a goal with seven or eight minutes to go with a first attempt on goal … but it’s a little bit of I think we got comfortable in the second half. We thought we’d won the game already. We’ve just got to do a little better. Tighten up defensively, and then if you look at the offensive production over 90 minutes that’s not good enough. We could have done better giving up the goal, but at the same time we should’ve scored three or four.”
Cincinnati took a 7-6-2 advantage against UK all-time. Cincinnati broke a UK two-match winning streak in the series. They had last met in Lexington in 2004 with UK winning 2-0.
The goals for/against is now tied 17-17 all-time.
UK has a 4-2-2 advantage at home against Cincinnati in a series dating back to 1992.
Kentucky lost a regular season match at The Bell for the first time since Oct. 14, 2015.
UK also lost for the first time this season when conceding the first goal – previously having come back to win against ETSU and draw Louisville 2-2.
All four of the goals UK has allowed this year have come in midweek matches.