Men’s Soccer Earns Seventh-Ever NCAA Tournament Bid
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second season in a row and third time in the last four years the Kentucky men’s soccer team earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats (12-4-2 [W-L-D]) earned the right to play Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champion Drake (12-4-3) on Thursday at The Bell. The winner of Thursday’s match will play No. 12-seed Creighton – which received a first-round bye as a top-16 team – in Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday.
UK has a 1-6-2 record in the NCAA Tournament all-time. The Wildcats reached the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since a three-year run from 1999-2001.
Kentucky’s best NCAA Tournament finish was a Sweet 16 in 2000.
Kentucky has now made the NCAA Tournament in all-but one of head coach Johan Cedergren’s four years at the helm of the program. Cedergren reached three NCAA Tournaments in quicker succession than any other coach in UK history.
The Wildcats dropped their most recent NCAA Tournament game, 2-0 to Oakland at The Bell last season.
UK finished the 2015 regular-season 12-4-2, and as C-USA regular-season champions having run through the regular portion of the league schedule 7-0-1. The Wildcats became the fourth team in league history to run through the regular league schedule unbeaten.
UK allowed one goal during the regular portion of the C-USA schedule, and Friday’s goal was just the second UK allowed against a C-USA team this year. UK has scored 29 and conceded 11 goals this year.
Kentucky went 10-2-1 in its last 13 matches.
UK has the sixth-best goals-against average (0.58) in the NCAA. Kentucky ranks eighth nationally in shutout percentage holding opponents goalless 56 percent of the time.
Tickets are available from the UK ticket office for $8 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 3-18) and seniors (ages 65+). Fans aged two and younger get in for free.
UK students with valid ID will be provided a complimentary ticket, courtesy of UK Athletics, by checking in at the marketing gazebo at the main entrance. Fans may purchase tickets in advance by ordering online or by calling (800) 928-2287 beginning Tuesday, November 17. Fans may also purchase tickets in person beginning on Thursday at The Bell ticket windows.
The NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship has a field of 48 teams. Twenty-three conference champions qualify automatically; the balance of the field was selected at-large by the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee.