Brooks' Goal in 85th Caps No. 21 Soccer's Wild Win

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Senior Sam Brooks' goal with under five minutes left in regulation lifted the No. 21 Kentucky men's soccer team to a dramatic 3-2 win over Evansville in a back-and-forth affair, on Friday night at the UK Soccer Complex.

Kentucky (7-3-1) battled the Purple Aces in the see-saw contest, with Evansville striking for a goal just 33 seconds into the game for an early lead. UK rallied to even up the game behind Josh Mulvany's goal in the 38th minute, before Matt Lodge struck for the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute. Evansville then got the game-tying goal in the 79th to even up the game at 2-2, before Brooks secured the UK win with his powerful goal in the 85th frame.

Brooks netted the game-winning tally for his second goal of the year and his second career game-winning goal against Evansville, also netting the game winner in 2010 on the road. In addition to Lodge's seventh goal of the year, the Rossington, England, native added two assists, while UK also got assists from Brendan Murphy, Charles Pettys and Marco Bordon. Lodge now owns 17 goals and 12 assists through the first 11 games of his junior season, ranking as the seventh-most prolific scorer in UK soccer history. The assist for Bordon was his first career, Murphy's first of the year and the NCAA-leading seventh of the season for Pettys.

UK's dynamic offensive attack continued to shine during the match with Evansville, forcing UE keeper Eric Teppen into a staggering nine saves, with UK taking 15 total shots with 12 coming on target. Lodge led UK with five shots - all coming on goal - with his goal and two assists leading the club. Tyler Riggs and Mulvany each fired two shots. In goal, UK sophomore Tyler Beadle turned in another strong game, totaling two saves in between the pipes for the Wildcats.

Evansville (4-3-0) fired 11 total shots in the game, owning a 6-5 advantage over the Wildcats in corner kicks. The game saw only four total fouls called, with Evansville whistled for three.

After generating a few scoring opportunities throughout the first half, Kentucky got its equalizer in the 38th minute. Murphy played a beautiful through ball to Lodge, who took a couple touches into the box before crossing it in front of the mouth of the goal. Mulvany slid for the ball but missed it after a deflection. With the ball sitting inside the six-yard box, Mulvany turned while on the ground amid the chaos and kicked it into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. The Oxford, England, native now has two goals in his first seven games with the Wildcats.

Kentucky took the lead at the 69-minute mark after a gorgeous ball played low across the front of the goal by Bordon was met by Lodge, with Pettys playing the ball to Bordon. Bordon carried the ball down much of the right sideline before finding enough space to cross the ball and find Lodge. The goal by Lodge was his seventh of the season and the 17th of his three-year career.

With time winding down, Kentucky kept their cool on the field and found the game-winner. After a foul was called on Evansville in the 85th minute, the Wildcats took a free kick from the edge of the Evansville defensive third. Bending into the center of the goal, the ball landed inside the 18-yard box where Lodge slid and crossed the ball to the far post where Brooks timed his run perfectly to one-time the ball, with velocity, into the back of the net to give the Cats the 3-2 lead they would hold onto for the remaining five minutes of the game.

The Purple Aces got on the board early with a goal just 33 seconds into the game. Ryan Stallings had the ball on the left edge of the Kentucky 18-yard box, and with a slight opening, chipped the ball over the head of Kentucky goalkeeper Tyler Beadle into the back of the net.

Evansville tied the game 10 minutes later in similar fashion. Dylan Terry received a pass from Alex Kapsalis and took the ball down the side of the Kentucky box. Seeing an opening, Terry centered the ball at the top of the six-yard box where Stallings one-timed it into the back of the net for his second goal of the game.

The win moves Kentucky to 7-3-1 on the season as it enters conference play. The Wildcats' first match in Conference USA action will be Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., against UCF.


Brooks on game winner