Soccer Goes For Fifth Win in Last Six
LEXINGTON – Fresh off a dominating performance on Sunday, the Kentucky men’s soccer team goes after its second straight win, and fifth in six games, when it hosts Alabama A&M on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the UK Soccer Complex.
This season, the Wildcats sprinted out to the best start in school history at 5-0-1 before finally falling to Michigan in a heartbreaking overtime defeat. Last time out, UK rebounded to beat up on a solid Mount St. Mary’s program, 3-0 to improve to 6-1-1 and match its season win total from a year ago.
In the win over the Mountaineers, UK owned a 22-4 shot advantage and got a pair of goals from sophomore Brad Frederick. It was the fifth time this season the Wildcats held an opponent to fewer than 10 shots and third time below five.
Kentucky’s stingy defense has been rock solid all season, holding a 0.48 goals-against average – 10th best nationally – while pitching five shutouts in eight outings.
On the attacking end, senior striker Riley O’Neill paces the nation’s fourth-most prolific scoring offense at 3.25 goals per game. With 10 goals already, he ranks second in the country and is on pace to shatter the school single-season scoring record.
The two teams have a history that dates back to the infancy of the Wildcat program in 1991. In each of UK’s first three years of competition, the Bulldogs scored wins in the series. After an eight-year hiatus, the series resumed in 2002 with another Alabama A&M victory. However, in each of the last two meetings, in 2004 and 2005, Kentucky has come away with 1-0 victories.
The head of a storied program, Alabama A&M head coach Salah Yousif has more than 260 career wins in his 22 years as a head coach. However, this season may be his most difficult as his team has faced tremendously adverse conditions.
Two games into the 2006 campaign, starting goalkeeper Mlondi Mdulli returned to his home nation of Swaziland to visit his ailing mother. During the trip, he was tragically killed in a car accident. The incident came after Mdulli led the Bulldogs to a stunning 3-1 win at VCU.