UK Mens Soccer shuts out Ohio State 3-0
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kalil ElMedkhar, Jason Reyes and JJ Williams all got on the scoresheet while the defense kept another clean sheet on Tuesday in the No. 3 Kentucky men’s soccer team’s 3-0 victory against Ohio State at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Goalkeeper Enrique Facusse and the starting back line of Tanner Hummel, Aimé Mabika, Leon Jones and Cole Guindon kept their 10th clean sheet of the season, tied for most in the nation to date (St. Marys, Ca.).
Kentucky improved its won-lost-drawn record to 11-1-1. The Wildcats closed their non-conference road schedule 2-0-1. UK is 7-0-1 overall out of Conference USA play with one more non-conference match to come next midweek at The Bell. UK has three league games remaining, starting with a Sunday matinee against New Mexico at The Bell.
Facusse moved third place on the UK all-time list for single-season shutouts. Chris West set the program record with 12 in 2005, and Callum Irving tallied 11 in 2014.
The goals ElMedkhar started the scoring 12 minutes in breaking in behind the defense after JJ Williams and Sam Stockton combined to find the sophomore streaking into the box along the left. ElMedkhar lifted his shot over the onrushing goalkeeper. ElMedkhar now has five goals and five assists this season, both career highs. Reyes the second on 17 minutes firing right-footed from four yards outside the box and in at the right upper 90.
Williams scored Kentucky’s third five minutes after the break rushing onto the end of a long ball ElMedkhar played after intercepting an Ohio State pass at the edge of the UK box. The junior scored his team-leading 11th by shrugging off two Buckeye defenders outside the box, dragging it inside the 18 to maintain space and then hitting a left-footed low bender across goal and beyond the goalie’s reach.
Williams moved into a five-way tie for second most ever by a Wildcat in a single season. He’s the first Wildcat to score 11 goals since Tyler Riggs in 2011. His 17 career goals rank eighth on the UK all-time list.
“Really happy to get a win,” Kentucky head coach Johan Cedergren said. “Nice to get a clean sheet. Nice for Enrique, I thought he had to make a couple of saves today to keep a clean sheet so I thought that was well-deserved by him.
“Nice to get the 11th win of the year. It’s always a big game when Ohio State and Kentucky play so really happy with the performance. I thought the guys were really switched on … Scored two goals early, made some adjustments at halftime and then JJ scored a really special goal. From that I think we just felt really good about it.”
Ohio State dropped to 1-11-2. UK is 2-0 this season against B1G opponents having defeated No. 2 Indiana 3-0 earlier this month.
The Wildcats have allowed six goals in 13 games so far, with half of those having come from Kentucky's only loss of the season, at FIU on Oct. 7.
UK’s goals-against average, which ranked fourth in the nation entering the week, dropped to 0.45.
Sophomore goalkeeper Enrique Facusse has stopped 39 of the 45 shots he’s faced this year, good for an 87-percent save percentage, third best in the country.
Kentucky evened the all-time series to 5-5-4. UK has won two in a row in the fixture, each of the next two years.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s soccer team, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.