Kentucky Wins Second Straight OT Match, at ETSU
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Kentucky’s Stefan Stojkovic scored his first goals since 2015, netting a brace to lead the Wildcats to an overtime win on Tuesday at East Tennessee State University.
The senior scored his first to equalize at 1-1 in the 76th minute and then won the match by getting just enough on a Connor Probert corner in the second overtime.
With the 2-1 victory, Kentucky improved its 2017 record to won 2, lost 0, drew 0. ETSU dropped to 0-1-1.
Kentucky won in overtime for the second match in a row, after Andrew McKelvey headed in a corner in the first overtime against Marquette last Friday at The Bell.
ETSU’s Joe Pickering scored the opener off a corner kick in the 18th minute, and while UK applied the majority of the pressure from that point on in the first half, ETSU maintained its advantage at the break.
But UK’s probing was rewarded 14 minutes before the regulation full time whistle.
Noah Hutchins hit a ball over the top to release forward Kalil ElMedkhar in behind. The freshman then played the ball back to an open Stojkovic along the left side of the box and the senior struck a fantastic side-footed shot, bending from left to right into the side netting.
From there it went to overtime, and an edge-of-the-seat, up and down 17 minutes of extra time it was.
Stojkovic ensured a visitor would ride home victorious for the first time in the series between these two universities. Probert hit a right-footed in-swinging corner kick toward Stojkovic and with ETSU’s Merveil Bilomba marking him face-to-face and the ETSU keeper pushing up against his defender, the 6’3″ Swede was judged to have gotten enough on the ball to put it across the goal line.
“We came back in the second half strong,” Stojkovic said. “Get a great hit and then take it to overtime where we’re very comfortable. I got a second goal as well, but just happy to get a second win this season.”
The two sides met for the sixth season in a row. Kentucky became the first road team to win one of the meetings in a run stretching to 2012. Kentucky leads the series 4-2.
Last year, Kentucky needed overtime to win 1-0.
Since its last overtime loss to Northwestern on Aug. 31, 2012 (Head Coach Johan Cedergren’s third match at UK), Kentucky is undefeated – 11-0-14 in overtime matches. The caveat in that stretch was last season’s Conference USA Tournament first round 2-2 draw with New Mexico. UK lost a penalty shootout, but because the game was tied after two overtimes, it is officially recognized as a draw.
Freshman goalkeeper Enrique Facusse earned his second win, and conceded the first goal of his career. He made three saves, including a fantastic reaction stop with his right hand in the waning moments of the regulation 90.
Stojkovic’s last goal came on Oct. 7, 2015. He now has nine career goals – the most of anyone of the 2017 Wildcats.
ElMedkhar picked up his first career assist, while freshman defender Leon Jones got his first start.
The next match
Tuesday’s match was the first in a three-game road stretch at ETSU ahead of a weekend trip to Memphis before traveling to Louisville on Sept. 5.