#17 UK Welcomes Wright State for Friday Matchup


LEXINGTON, Ky.  -- The No. 16 Kentucky men’s soccer team will look to build early-season momentum when it welcomes Wright State on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

The match will be the first leg of a double-header with the UK women’s soccer team playing at 7:30 p.m. v Louisville.

The Quote
“Wright State beat us 1-0 in a good game last year,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “Coach (Bryan) Davis I know well, we played at Cincinnati together. He’s building something special there so it’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be another team that’s athletic.”

The Setup
Kentucky came from behind in the second half to defeat Valparaiso in the second half last Friday in the season opener.

Kentucky’s young front four sprang to life in the second half, spearheaded by junior Napo Matsoso. The preseason All-American was a key in Kentucky’s comeback, turning defense to offense with ease playing the through balls from midfield that led to both goals and scoring the game-winner with 31 seconds remaining in regulation.

He was named a member of the College Soccer News Team of the Week for his efforts.

While Matoso’s virtuoso performance wasn’t too surprising for those who follow college soccer, more pleasantly surprising was the emergence of Kentucky’s sophomore class as it relates to attacking on Friday.

Noah Hutchins’s equalizer early in the second half was the first goal of his career, his pre-college club teammate Andrew McKelvey assisted that and fellow sophomore Kevin Barajas assisted the winner.

The Opponent
Wright State enters the match receiving votes in the College Soccer News poll. 

Wright State (2-0) won a two-match tournament, the Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic, last weekend as the Raiders defeated Binghamton 2-0 and Cal State Fullerton 2-1.

The match logistics
Gates will open an hour prior to the match, which starts at 5 p.m. The women’s match will start 45 minutes following the conclusion of the women’s match, should it end later than originally planned.

Tickets for Friday’s double header are $1 for fans wearing blue. Fans who don't wear blue will have to pay full price, which is $5 for the general public and $2 for youth and seniors. Fans can call (800) 928-2287 for tickets, or purchase at the ticket window at The Bell. 

Kentucky will be especially happy to welcome back the record 467-plus season-ticket holders to the Bell. Those members of Big Blue Nation can bring their Kentucky soccer scarves as proof of ticket, instead of paper tickets. 

Those cornerstone supporters were part of Kentucky’s biggest crowd for a season-opening match in a decade last week, as 2,137 were on hand for the thrilling win over Valpo.

The match will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

Parking for the match is first come first served located outside the stadium’s main entrance. Overflow parking will be available above the practice field as directed by UK event staff. Fans are asked to be conscious of the fact that tailgaters will be out preparing for Saturday’s football game, and that a big crowd is expected for the soccer matches. 

Friday’s match is “Sustainability Night,” with the Wildcats looking to raise the profile of campus efforts to reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Free smoothies made by the blender bike will be available, as fans can also learn about campus efforts to increase sustainability.

Fans can bring two nonperishable food items to be entered to win a Kentucky soccer prize pack. All donations will go to the Big Blue Pantry to help UK students struggling with food security.