No. 25 Mountaineers battle, but fall to fourth-ranked Wildcats in double-OT

Gold and Blue Nation

It took two overtimes to decide a winner as the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats defeated the 25th-ranked West Virginia men’s soccer team on Tuesday night 1-0 at Kentucky’s Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

The game didn’t seem like it would remain scoreless as long as it did, WVU and Kentucky combined for 18 shots in regulation. It just took one from Daniel Evans in the 105th minute of play to break the scoreless draw, though, as he finished a counter-attack through goalkeeper Steven Tekesky’s legs for the game-winner.

West Virginia didn’t lack for chances, however. The Mountaineers kept goalie Jan Hoffelner on his toes throughout the second half of the contest and beyond, beginning with a low shot from outside the box from midfielder Ryan Baer. The official scorebook ruled the shot to go off the post, but in actuality, it went off Hoffelner’s right hand, just turning it away from the net.

The best chance for West Virginia in regulation came in the 80th minute, when Ryan Crooks tried another long shot — this one went to the top corner and past Hoffelner, but just crashed off the woodwork to miss.

Tekesky was tested plenty of times, as well, notching three saves on 11 shots — four of which were on target. Of course, the Wildcats’ final shot on target from Evans was the only one he didn’t save, and it happened to be the game-winner.

This was the first-ever meeting between the two programs on the men’s soccer field. It is sure to be the first of many for the foreseeable future, as the Mountaineers are poised to join the Wildcats in Conference USA beginning in 2022.

The victory maintains Kentucky’s unbeaten record, which now stands at 9-0-3.

WVU’s loss drops the squad to 7-2-4 on the season, concluding a four-game road trip of a win, two losses and a draw. The Mountaineers return home on Saturday to face Elon for the final non-conference clash of the season. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, and it will be shown on ESPN+.

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