LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky’s No. 2 men’s soccer team (13-0-5, 7-0-3 Sun Belt) advanced to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title game after a 3- 0 from West Virginia University (7-7-4, 3-1-4 Sun Belt) Wednesday night at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.
2,093 members of Big Blue Nation cheered on the Wildcats for another victory, maintaining the unbeaten streak for the 2022 campaign.
In the regular season, Kentucky played in Morgantown, WV, where the Cats and Mountaineers faced off to a tough 3-3 draw.
Sophomore Casper Grening used sophisticated footwork in the 22n/a minute to get around the West Virginia defender to send an unassisted left-footed shot into the net for the first goal of the night. His shot earned the Wildcat their ninth goal of the season, which ranks second on the team.
Senior Eythor Bjorgolfsson, who leads the team in goals, scored the second goal of the night after a slow start to the second half of the game. In the 81st minute, fellow senior Nick Gutmann passed the ball diagonally past Bjorgolfsson who used his right foot in the box to score. Bjorgolfsson now has 10 goals this season for Kentucky.
It didn’t take long for Enzo Mauriz to wrap up the night with a third goal in 83rd minute. Also helped by Gutmann, the junior found his opportunity on a cross that he chained to shoot directly into the net past the Mountaineer goalkeeper. Big Blue Nation erupted as Kentucky took the score three to zero.
Gutmann’s two assists on the night took his tally to 16 so far this season. The Hamburg, Germany native currently leads the country in total assists (16) and assists per game (0.89).
Kentucky and Washington are the only two undefeated NCAA Division I men’s soccer programs in the nation.
Kentucky will face seventh-seeded James Madison in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game on Sunday. The final contest will begin at 1 p.m. EST at The Bell. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth (non-students ages 3-18) and $5 for seniors (65+). Children 2 and under will be admitted free, as will all Sun Belt Conference students who show valid university-issued ID. All tickets will be mobile. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets before arriving at the online event. Gates to The Bell Soccer will open at noon on Sunday.
Kentucky and JMU met once earlier this season, with the Wildcats picking up a 3-1 victory in Harrisonburg, Va. The United Kingdom scored goals in the game of Ben Damage, Lucca Rodrigues and Martin Soereide. JMU got just one goal from Clay Obara. Great Britain outscored JMU 8-2, including a 5-3 penalty shootout advantage.
2022 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament
Bell Football Complex – Lexington, Ky.
Sunday November 6
Game 1: (4) West Virginia def. (5) Coastal Carolina 1-0
Game 2: (1) Kentucky def. (8) South Carolina 2-1
Wednesday, November 9
(1) Kentucky def. (4) West Virginia 1-0
Sunday November 13
(1) Kentucky vs. (7) James Madison — 1 p.m. ET — ESPN+
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