Matsoso Shines In 4-0 Exhibition Win Over Lipscomb
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s offense clicked for the first time this preseason in a 4-0 exhibition victory over Lipscomb on Wednesday at the Bell Soccer Complex.
The Wildcats found the back of the net multiple times and looked dangerous early and often – a welcome development after they were held scoreless despite having plenty of chances in the preseason opener on Sunday.
“That was a step in the right direction,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “We’re trying to get ready for (the regular-season opener vs.) Valpo on Aug. 28. Today we played a different system so we have different ways of playing. You could see we were a little sharper a couple days further into preseason.
“We had a good test over 90 minutes. We got to play everyone and everyone’s still healthy so that was good.”
Junior midfielder Napo Matsoso way key in three of the four goals, scoring the opener on five minutes with a well-placed finish from the top of the box into the right side-netting.
Senior co-captain Kristoffer Tollefsen made it 2-0 in the 16th minute, hammering home a deflected cross by Ryan Creel – who looked pacey in the first-half, getting in behind the defense on multiple occasions.
Sophomore midfielder Noah Hutchins entered the match at halftime and looked lively right away winning 50-50 balls in the midfield and showing a lovely bit of skill with a heel kick to turn the defense in the center of the pitch to start the half.
His change of pace was rewarded on 49 minutes when he slotted home a great pass from Matsoso.
Kentucky made it four on 59 minutes with a goal that will have made head coach Johan Cedergren smile. The fourth-year coach constantly preaches the importance work-rate as an integral part of his system, and Andrew McKelvey’s finish was a product of hustle.
The sophomore forward pressed the goalie in possession at the top of the box, forcing a turnover in the Lipscomb third. Like clockwork, Matsoso got on the ball and played Hutchins in down the right flank. Hutchins’s shot was saved across goal, but it fell to McKelvey who couldn’t miss from there.
“Last year when we talked about Callum Irving I said he’s one of the best players in the country. It’s the same this year with Napo. If you’re looking for an attacking midfielder, I put him up against anyone else in college soccer.