Photo via Regina Rickert
For the 4th consecutive season the UK Men’s Soccer team heads to South Carolina for the Gamecock Classic. The Cats will take on South Carolina later in the year during Conference USA play, meaning they will take on two teams that aren’t the Gamecocks over the next couple days.
Game #1 Recap:
The first team up was Dartmouth, which brought a 2-0-2 record into the match-up. Kentucky, which has opened the season with a 2-2 record, looked to rebound after a 2-1 loss against Xavier this last weekend, a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament first-round game which UK lost.
UK would open up the game looking strong offensively, pushing the ball into the box early and often within the first ten minutes of play. Despite looking dangerous offensively, Dartmouth would strike first with a goal off of a corner in the 13th minute. The corner would be Dartmouth’s lone corner of the match, and it would be struck in by Colin Heffron. Kentucky would continue its offensive minded strategy for the rest of the half, though no goals would be produced in the first 45 minutes of play.
Tyler Riggs would come back on for UK to begin the 2nd half after being subbed for Jaytoe in the first. Even with UK making another offensive adjustment, it would again be Dartmouth which scored first. The Cats would get a spark of hope in the 70th minute when Isak Krogstad hit the back of the net for his 3rd goal of the season. Unfortunately for the Cats, Dartmouth would quickly respond with another goal to put themselves up 3-1. The score would stay the same until the final whistle blew.
FINAL: UK 1- 3 Dartmouth
It seemed as though Kentucky was poised to score at some point throughout the 1st Half, and though they would connect late in the 2nd Half, the Cats had a variety of opportunities they didn’t capitalize on. For the rest of the game, even with the return of veteran Riggs and the insanely fast playing style of freshman Napo, the Cats would have a really hard time finding the back of the net. Kentucky would have a ridiculous 17 shots compared to Dartmouth’s 8, and it seemed like they were the better team on the pitch, yet the Big Green of Dartmouth would come out on top.
Kentucky will be back in action again on Sunday against South Florida for the 2nd and last game of the Gamecock Classic.