Soccer Pounds EIU in Largest Win in Seven Years
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky men’s soccer team exploded for six goals –including two-goal efforts from Stefan Stojkovic and Grant Mook – to post its largest win in seven years in a 6-0 result over Eastern Illinois, on a perfect Tuesday night, in front of 1,133, at the Bell Soccer Complex.
A 6-0 result marked the largest win for Kentucky since a victory over Central Arkansas to open the 2008 season. UK’s five goals in the second half tied the record for the most goals scored in a single period, also done vs. Eastern Michigan in 1991 and Western Michigan in 1996. It marked the fourth-most goals in a game and the fourth six-goal game in program annals.
Kentucky (4-2-1) took a 1-0 lead into halftime on the strength of the first goal of the year from Stojkovic in the 40th minute. All-American Napo Matsoso then scored his third goal in the 51st minute for a two-goal cushion, with Hampus Agerstrom netting his first career goal in the 69th and Mook finishing a pair of his first career goals, in the 71st and 74th minutes. Stojkovic netted his second goal of the match in the 87th minute for the final margin.
The Wildcats had the run of play throughout the contest, with strong chances in the minutes leading up to the goal from Stojkovic, and UK’s depth shining through in an explosive second half. UK finished with 21 shots, including 12 on target.
Agerstrom and Matsoso each finished with a goal and an assist, with UK also getting an assist from Xahne Reid and Cooper Whitfield, and the two-goal effort from Mook, a native of Rocklin, Calif. Stojkovic had his first career two-goal game, adding an assist.
The goalkeeping combination of All-American Callum Irving – who worked the first 79 minutes – and sophomore Stuart Ford worked the third UK shutout of the year. Irving, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, has a 0.97 goals-against average in his career, ranking second in program history. With 20 career shutouts, Irving ranks fourth in program history and is just two away from the career mark.
UK held Eastern Illinois to just one shot in the first half and three shots overall, with Irving tried with one save. UK’s back-line was led by center backs Alex Bumpus and Jordan Wilson and outside backs Tanner Hummel and Charlie Reymann.
In the 40th minute, Kentucky took the lead on a nifty give-and-go from Matsoso and Stojkovic. After Agerstrom gained possession at the top of the defending 18-yard box, he fed Stojkovic in space towards midfield. Stojkovic played to Matsoso, 40-yards out in the center of the pitch, who sent a right-footed pass back to Stojkovic. He gathered the ball and slotted a right-footed shot into the back of the net at the near post, past a diving keeper. The goal was the first of the year and the third of Stojkovic’s career, and the assist was the first of the year and 11th of Matsoso’s career.
Matsoso’s brilliance took center stage in the 51st minute, as he gathered the ball beyond midfield and with 6-foot-2 EIU center back Kyle Callender on his left hip, beat the defender with a hard-hit, right-footed shot that clipped off the mitt of the EIU keeper and into the roof of the net. The goal marked the 10th of the career for Matsoso, who now has 31 points in his three-year career. A native of Louisville, Ky., Matsoso has finished a goal in two consecutive games, including the game-winning tally at league-foe Marshall on Saturday.
In the 69th minute, Stojkovic made a run down the far sideline and found Agerstrom unmarked inside the six-yard box. Agerstrom finished the goal for his first career tally. The assist was the second of the career for Stojkovic.
Mook got his first career goal in the 71st frame, as Reid made a run down the near sideline, finding Mook who finished it in his first minutes of the year.
In the 74th minute, Mook was the recipient of a great pass from Agerstrom into the six-yard box, with Mook pushing it past the keeper for his second career tally.
In the 87th minute, Whitfield found the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, finding Stojkovic at the corner of box, who finished it for his second goal of the game.
Eastern Illinois (2-4) keeper Mike Novotny finished with six saves, including a great stop of a Reymann free kick in the 84th minute.
Kentucky will return to action on Sunday, hosting Florida Atlantic at 1 p.m. ET at The Bell.