No. 17 UK Comes back to Win Again, 2-1 over Wright State
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The No. 17 Kentucky men’s soccer team’s Columbus, Ohio, contingent was in full force again. Sophomores Noah Hutchins and Andrew McKelvey – both sophomores from the Capital of Ohio – scored second-half goals to lead the Wildcats to a 2-1 win over Wright State on Friday.
Kentucky is now 2-0 this season, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 in both matches.
The Kentucky men’s and women’s team’s Friday night double header (the women’s team played Louisville in the second match) drew 3,371 supports to the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, which broke UK’s soccer attendance record of 3,368 set last year when UK played Louisville.
For the second game in a row, Kentucky went down a goal in the first half when Wright State’s AJ Paterson gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead on 19 minutes after the ball had been worked around the top of the box.
But UK responded by creating some of its first and best chances of the first half in the five minutes following the goal. The first half ended 1-0 in favor of the visitors, but after going down, Kentucky had begun to show it was in for a tough battle.
And so just as UK went down early for the second game running, Noah Hutchins equalized for the second time in as many matches.
His goal came off a corner that wasn’t fully cleared. The ball was served back into the box by preseason All-Conference USA defender Jordan Wilson to McKelvey, who flicked it forward from 12 yards out. It fell to Hutchins who volleyed home from inside the six-yard-box.
Level at 1-1 on 57 minutes, Kentucky pushed on from there. Their probing work was rewarded with just under 10 minutes to play, again off a corner that wasn’t properly cleared.
Kevin Barajas stepped outside the 18-yard box and played volleyed a ball over his head back into the danger zone. His blind pass landed at McKelvey’s feet and the forward smashed the winner home for the first goal of his collegiate career.
Hutchins, McKelvey and Barajas – all sophomores – played sparingly last season, but the trio has made key contributors in attack this season. Barajas has two assists this year, both on game-winners, while McKelvey added a goal and an assist tonight to go along with one from last Friday’s win against Wright State.
“Wright State, they work hard,” Hutchins said. “We knew before the game we had to come out and play. We had to battle. It was a long 90 (minutes). We came out in the second half, and we just had to have the mindset that we were going to go out in the second half and win the game. You just have to have that mentality and it paid off for us.”
The series history
Friday’s win was UK’s first win over Wright State. The all-time series is now 3-1-2 in Wright State’s favor.