#16 UK Soccer Extends Unbeaten Run to 8-Straight at Ohio State

By Jacob Most at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Oct. 28, 2014

Photos | Box Score | Highlights

COLUMBUS, Ohio. – Stefan Stojkovic scored his second goal of the season on 20 minutes, but Ohio State’s Ryan Ivancic equalized six minutes later and the 16th-ranked Kentucky men’s soccer team drew Ohio State 1-1 in double overtime on a cool Tuesday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The draw extended UK’s unbeaten run to eight games in a row, and snapped the team’s run of five-straight wins.

“We did a good job handling Ohio State, which is one of the best teams we have played all year,” head coach Johan Cedergren said. “They have a few players that are really good and dynamic, and they had maybe two or three chances all game. It was a good, solid defensive performance.

“I thought Hampus (Agerstrom) did a really good job stepping in and playing next to the rest of regular back-4 with Jordan Wilson suspended (yellow card accumulation). Callum Irving did well, and made a good save late in the game. For us, the first 20 minutes we were all over them. Maybe put one more (chance) away, and you put the game away.”
 
UK in now 5-0-3 in its last eight games, and went to 9-3-4 (4-0-2 Conference USA) on the season.

UK’s eight-game unbeaten streak stands alone as the second longest stretch in school history.

SUMMARY
Stefan Stojkovic scored on 20 minutes, the freshman’s first goal since netting the winner at then-top-ranked Notre Dame in early-September, to give UK an early advantage after dominating the early going.

UK couldn’t hold the lead for long however, as Ohio State converted its first chance of the game just six minutes after falling behind.

UK reasserted its dominance from there, but couldn’t finish its chances and went into halftime deadlocked at one.

The hosts began to push UK back in the second half, but UK still created plenty of chances in what became a physical and at times disjointed second half.

Both teams had bad misses in the overtime period as the game between two RPR top 25 teams ended 1-1.

Ohio State had three serious chances all game, and converted one of them, while UK flat-out missed two excellent scoring opportunities.

UK had the best chance of the overtimes with two minutes remaining in the second extra period.

Ryan Creel beat two Ohio State defenders and slotted Justin Laird through, but he skied the shot from eight yards out and the game finished in a deadlock.

Callum Irving made an excellent game-saving block on 88 minutes, as Ohio State’s Marcus McCrary, hit a rocket to Irving’s right from 25 yards out. He then punched away a dangerous cross on the ensuing corner.

Irving finished with three saves, and did a good job shepherding a makeshift back-four for much of the evening.

FIRST HALF
Kentucky dominated the opening stages with all the chances from the first 20 minutes.

The Wildcats broke the deadlock on 20 minutes as Stefan Stojkovic ran onto a diagonal through ball from Bryan Celis. Helped by a defensive miscue on the attempted clearance Stojkovic dinked it over Ohio State goalkeeper Alex Ivanov and tapped it into the back of the net.

But the goal seemed to wake Ohio State up, and six minutes later the Buckeyes equalized. Combination play by Ohio State led to a 3-on-1 inside the 18-yard box, and Yianni Sarris played Ryan Ivancic on goal undefended where he didn’t miss.  

UK seized control of the game again after conceding, with Justin Laird looking particularly dangerous running in behind the Ohio State defense. Still, half chances that went begging were all UK could muster, and the teams went into the locker rooms knotted at one apiece.

SETTING THE STAGE
The 16th-ranked Kentucky men’s soccer team was facing a stiff test to conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 7 p.m. ET visit to Ohio State on Tuesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

UK head coach Johan Cedergren was forced to make one change from the team, which had won five straight games.

Starting center back Jordan Wilson was suspended due to yellow card accumulation, so Hampus Agerstrom replaced him in the back line. Agerstrom started at center back in the season-opener when Kaelon Fox was out injured, but had spent most of the season as a holding midfielder.

Tuesday’s game matched two top-25 teams in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index as Ohio State (7-5-3; 4-2 B1G) was No. 22, and UK was No. 25 in the RPI.

The showdown also pitted two of the hottest teams in the country against one another. Kentucky had won five games in a row and was unbeaten in its last seven. Ohio State had won three straight.