No. 8 Cards Outlast Kentucky in Front of Record Crowd
By Brent Ingram and Jacob Most
Sept. 23, 2014 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In front of a Kentucky-record crowd of 3,368 on Tuesday night at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Complex, No. 8 Louisville answered a second-half game-tying goal with a game-winning tally in the 79th minute, leading the Cardinals to a 2-1 win over the Kentucky men’s soccer team.
The capacity crowd of 3,368 eclipsed the previous school record of 3,327 fans for a UK-Louisville game in 2005. It marked the largest crowd to witness a Kentucky soccer home game in just the fifth men’s game played at the sparkling new Bell Complex.
After both teams traded goals within a 13-minute span after the hour mark, Louisville’s Tim Kubel scored the winner in the 78th minute. The goal was a 15-yard right-footed strike that hit off the inside post and in, just beyond a fully-stretch Callum Irving.
“You gotta say a huge thanks to the Big Blue Nation,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “Your guys’ support was tremendous and we hope to see you again when we come back and play ODU, which I think is our next home game. I think our marketing department, the support of the athletic department in general, the facility that we have, the Bells, all that kind of stuff, the guys, the quality, the product that we put on the field, I think all that helps bringing people here.
“If you look at the attendance, it’s steadily been going up. To get that big of a crowd and record attendance is huge and I think the guys, they were really excited to play today. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result we wanted, but in the end I think we played well enough so hopefully we can get most of the fans back again.”
After a scoreless first half of action, the Cardinals opened the scoring with a goal from Ricardo Velazco in the 64th minute.
Velazco got on the end of lovely build-up play between Ben Strong and Will Vitalis after UK made a mess of an attempted clearance.
UK answered with the first goal of the year from Bryan Celis in the 72nd minute to even up the game. It marked the culmination of a lovely response by the Wildcats as they were able to push for an equalizer after having few chances in the opening hour.
Matt Quick curled in a right-footed cross from the right flank, which was nodded on by Justing Laird, before it fell to Bryan Celis, who hammered it home to electrify the capacity crowd.
UK then pushed for the winner, and had some good chances before conceding.
The Cards took a 2-1 lead in the 79th minute on the go-ahead tally from Kubel.
The opening-goal allowed by the Wildcats marked the first goal surrendered by UK in a span of 478 minutes, dating back to a 1-0 result vs. No. 17 Indiana on Sept. 5, a span of six games.
“The thing that we’ve been talking about ever since the Notre Dame game is, yes, 21 of the 26 (players) are sophomores or younger, but we belong,” Cedergren said. “We have players that can play at this level and we’ve proven over this stretch of games. I don’t think we ever get down. We have tremendous belief in our ability and the team.
“So the guys knew that according to the plan we just gotta keep going, keep going. When we scored the equalizer we got even more of a little bit of a second wind we had two or three chances to score before they score and then they score and there’s not really enough time.”
Kentucky (4-3-1) saw its four-match unbeaten streak ended in the loss, as UK posted wins over No. 1 Notre Dame, Xavier and East Tennessee State, also posting a 0-0 tie with No. 19 Furman.
UK keeper Callum Irving, the NSCAA National Player of the Week, finished with two saves, facing 10 Louisville shots. Louisville (4-1-1) keeper Joachim Ball made four saves, facing 11 shots from the Wildcats.
Kentucky will return to action on Saturday, traveling to face FAU for the Conference USA lidlifter for the Wildcats, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. ET in Boca Raton, Fla.