Wilson’s Golden Header Lifts #20 UK Men's Soccer Over #14 Charlotte

Box Score | Highlights + Wilson Reaction | Media Photo Gallery

LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Jordan Wilson’s 108th-minute headed goal from a Napo Matsoso corner kick was the difference in a typically narrow-margin affair between No. 20/9 Kentucky and No. 14/15 Charlotte Saturday at The Bell.

The goal

The senior defender rose first and tallest to meet his classmate and fellow captain’s corner kick.  Backtracking a smidge, he nodded from the six between two Charlotte defenders set on the goal line and into the right side of the goal.

The MAC Hermann Award Watch List member scored his first goal of the season. Matsoso assisted a goal for the third time this year.

The notes
Kentucky moved equal to Charlotte atop the C-USA table on six points through three matches. The Wildcats have a 2016 record of won 6, lost 2, drawn 2 (2-1-0 C-USA). Charlotte dropped to 6-2-0 (2-1-0 C-USA).

Kentucky defeated Charlotte in double overtime for the second year in a row.

The winner of the fixture the last two years – held in the latter stages of the season each time – went on to win the Conference USA regular season title.

Kentucky is improved to 2-4 against Charlotte all time.

Wilson scored the second goal of his career as he headed home a 1-0 winner against South Carolina last season.

Stuart Ford kept his sixth clean sheet of the season, and second in league play.

He now has a .46 goals against average through 10 matches and 973:32 minutes.

The quote
“It just shows the character we have in this team that we’ve developed over the year,” Wilson said. “Our freshman year games like that I don’t think we’d come close to winning. Over the years we’ve put in the hard work and effort, and built that.

“We’ve been working on set pieces a lot so this was a new one that the coaches drew up to come off the line. Napo put in a fantastic ball and I was just in the right spot.”

The key moments
To the untrained eye the first half played out on Charlotte’s terms – mostly in the Kentucky final third. 

Those that follow the Wildcats closely would be cognoscente of just how comfortable Kentucky must have been going into the dressing room at halftime deadlocked. For the Wildcats have made their identity about a stingy defense, no matter how deep, and pouncing on what chances they do create – often in beautiful fashion, but other times more direct – in the last few seasons. 

And for all its possession and chances, Charlotte forced Stuart Ford into just two saves – albeit from close range in the 45th minute -- over the course of the opening act.

Notably The Wildcats began making their presence felt on the counter attack in the dying moments of the first stanza.  

The hosts started the second half brightly – getting forward in numbers for the first time. Indeed the first 15 minutes of the second half were the most exciting of what ended up another classic between the two sides that have proven themselves the class of Conference USA the last two seasons.

Just before the hour mark Charlotte was given a penalty moments after Kentucky’s Tanner Hummel nearly got on the end of some nifty buildup – losing his footing in the box – with Noah Hutchins at the other end.

Ford came indecisively for a ball in the box, and then was deemed to have clipped Daniel Bruce’s feet as he ran away from goal as Kentucky attempted to clear the initial chance.

Brandt Bronico stepped up to the spot to take the kick and pushed it wide right, although Ford looked to have that side covered had the shot been on frame.

The final half-hour of regulation played out less end to end than the second stanza had started, but the tension could still be cut on a butter knife.

Kentucky looked the more likely side in overtime with Stefan Stojkovic and Landon Souder putting good chances wide in the first 10 minutes.

Stojkovic then forced Elliot Panicco to a full stretch to tip over the crossbar when he headed a Charlie Reymann in-swinging free kick on goal at 107 minutes.

Matsoso’s ensuing corner kick was finished by Wilson, effectively keeping alive Kentucky’s challenge to retain its C-USA title. 

The season is young still, but it’s all to play for as relates to the quest to win the league.

The next one
Kentucky will now hit the road for a two-match road trip that’s comprised of a Wednesday match at Evansville and a return to league play at UAB on Saturday.

The Evansville match will streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

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