UK Men's Soccer Halftime Report vs. ODU

Box Score

By Brent Ingram at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex
Oct. 3, 2014

Photo Gallery

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s soccer team opened the home-portion of the Conference USA season on Friday night against Old Dominion. Team reporters Jacob Most and Brent Ingram were at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex to cover the action.

First Half
Justin Laird’s club-leading third goal of the year gave the Kentucky men’s soccer team an early lead in the fifth minute was enough to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage heading into the break.
Goalkeeper Callum Irivng and the UK defense extended it’s shutout streak to 167-straight minutes without allowing a goal to keep the Wildcats ahead.

That said, Irving was rarely troubled in the first 45 minutes vs. ODU. For their part, the Wildcats seemed content to keep the ball away from the visitors to hold onto the lead without very much troubling the Monarch’s back line themselves.

UK did miss a solid chance on 38 minutes as freshman Stefan Stojkovic masterfully controlled a ball on his chest to turn in the box, but his attempt to loop it over the keep was high.

ODU looked most dangerous on set pieces, but even on dangerous balls, Irving did well to shepherd his lines.

The Wildcats got on the board first in the fifth minute, getting the goal from Laird on an assist from Charlie Reymann. On a Bryan Celis run down the near sideline, the ball was played into the box amongst traffic for Reymann. Reymann flicked it to Laird by the near post, with Laird flipping the goal through the charging keeper for his team-leading third goal of the year. Laird now has four goals in his two-year career.

Setting the Scene
Ranking 10th in the nation in goals-against average, the Kentucky men’s soccer team returned home to host league power Old Dominion at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

Kentucky (4-3-2, 0-0-1 Conference USA) entered the game having suffered just one loss in its last six games, falling to No. 8 Louisville in its last home game on Sept. 23. UK was held to a scoreless draw at Florida Atlantic on Saturday, riding the sixth shutout of the year from star junior goalkeeper Callum Irving.

The Wildcats were facing ODU for the third time in the last two years, with UK posting a pair of thrilling golden-goal, overtime wins over the Monarchs in 2013 in the only two previous meetings between the sides all-time.

UK posted a 2-1 win at ODU in the 2013 regular season, getting a game-winning tally from senior Brad Doliner – who also scored the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute – in the 98th minute and a six-save outing from Irving.

Justin Laird then gave UK a win in the C-USA Tournament Quarterfinals vs. the Monarchs, netting the game winner in the 93rd minute, with Irving also saving five shots – including a penalty kick in the second half.