Wilson, Probert Score as No. 20/13 UK Cruises by ODU

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior defender Jordan Wilson converted a penalty in the third minute and freshman winger Connor Probert doubled Kentucky’s advantage with 13 minutes remaining to pace the No. 20/13 Kentucky men’s soccer team to a 2-0 win against Old Dominion Saturday at The Bell.

The Wildcats bounced back from a 2-1 road loss at UAB last Saturday. Kentucky remained undefeated – 6-0-2 – at The Bell this season.

The majority of the match played out as a cagey affair, with Kentucky looking the more likely side despite not having to chase anything anyway. 

Goalkeeper Stuart Ford was largely untroubled in keeping his seventh clean sheet of the season. The junior shot stopper did run a tight ship in shepherding Conference USA’s No. 2 goals-against average defense as the Wildcats lowered that measure to .579. 

The goals
Kentucky’s early inquisitiveness paid off from the get go as Noah Hutchins was brought down inside the box, earning a penalty on Kentucky’s first foray forward of the evening.

Wilson, who scored the winner in Kentucky’s last outing at The Bell – two weeks ago against Charlotte, stepped to the spot and calmly finished wrong-footing ODU’s keeper with a left-footed shot across his body.

Having built their identity upon unyieldingly defending slim margins over the past few years, and having only conceded twice at home this season, the Wildcats were plenty content to protect their lead cautiously.

Contrary to their modus operandi, the Wildcats commandeered insurance via three first-year fledglings  on 78 minutes.

Probert, a rookie, patiently finished a 1v1 with the keeper into the left corner of the goal after getting onto a through ball from sophomore transfer Sam Stockton who had been linked nicely with freshman J.J. Williams.

The notes
The Wildcats improved their 2016 record of won 8, lost 3, drew 2 (3-2-0 Conference USA). 

Kentucky moved onto nine points in the league, tied second with No. 14/15 Charlotte which was idle this weekend after defeating No. 3 Clemson 1-0 in non-conference action during the week. The 49ers and league leader South Carolina (10 points) have a game in hand.

Old Dominion fell to a 2016 record of 3-5-2 (0-3-1 C-USA).

The Wildcats are 3-0 in C-USA home matches, and 6-0-2 at home overall.

Wilson scored his second goal of the season, and second game winner in as many home matches.

Probert scored his second goal of the season, while Stockton dished his first career assist. Williams – who made his first career start at the bow of Kentucky’s attacking quartet – assisted for the third time. 

Kentucky remained undefeated against ODU all-time, improving to 3-0-2 against the Monarchs. The Wildcats defeated ODU for the first time since the 2013 C-USA Tournament.

Kentucky scored mulitiple goals in a match for the third time this season (four Aug. 26 at Marquette, three Oct. 5 at Evansville). The Wildcats scored more than one goal in a game at The Bell for the first time in 2016.

The quote
“Coach Cedergren always tells us there are no easy games in conference so we’ve got to approach them same,” Wilson said. “He said ‘go out there and treat every game like it’s your last,’ and that’s what we did tonight. We knew it was going to be a battle like every year against ODU so we’re happy to come away with three points.”

The next one
Kentucky will welcome Bowling Green to The Bell Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

UK Soccer in C-USA
Kentucky plays in C-USA in men’s soccer only. The Southeastern Conference does not offer men’s soccer as a sport. South Carolina is the only other SEC university that has a varsity men’s soccer team. The Gamecocks are also in C-USA.

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