Williams’ Brace Plus Mabika PK Give Kentucky 3-0 Win over UofL
Three was the magic number for Kentucky
on Tuesday at The Bell as the Wildcats defeated No. 7/6 Louisville 3-0
in front of 1,827 blue-clad Big Blue Nation members to start the season
with a third-straight win.
Reigning Conference USA
Players of the Week JJ Williams and Aimé Mabika got on the score sheet.
Williams, the Offensive Player of the Week, scored a brace in the first
half, and then Mabika, the Defensive Player of the Week, converted a
penalty in the 73rd minute to make the score line comprehensive.
gave Kentucky a dream start on four minutes, catching the Louisville
goalkeeper well outside his own box, beating him and a bank of
defenders in red to fire a long-range effort into an open goal and set
The Bell aglow.
The junior forward doubled Kentucky’s lead with
a powerful header in at the near post with less than 10 minutes to go
in the second half, nodding in a pinpoint Marcel Meinzer cross after
Tanner Hummel started Kentucky’s attack along the right.
Williams now has three goals from the last two matches, and three from three games overall this year.
referee pointed to the penalty spot on 73 minutes after a U of L
defender handled the ball in the box. Mabika stepped up to the spot and
coolly sent the goalkeeper guessing the wrong while he fired left.
was Mabika’s first goal of the year, and the fourth of his career. He’s
made all of the three penalties he’s attempted in his career.
Tuesday's match concluded a three-match home stand to begin the season.
proud of the guys,” Kentucky Head Coach Johan Cedergren said. “I
thought it was a wonderful night of soccer and again you’re really
proud as a coach to be able to work here at Kentucky with all the
wonderful facilities we have. I know Louisville’s a really good
program. They’ve done really well and I know they’re going to bounce
“For us it was just good to get validation
of all the things we did in preseason and to get a glimpse of how good
we can be. How we can be a little more dynamic and take some chances.
I’m really proud of the guys, I’m excited to be 3-0, but now if we
don’t go and take care of business on Saturday (at UAB) all of this is
for nothing. We have eight underclassmen starting so we’ve just got to
make sure we bring them back down to earth again because we have 14
more games left to go in the regular season.”
Kentucky is 12-8-5 v Louisville in the all-time series of the teams playing as varsity teams.
is unbeaten against Louisville over the past three seasons as the two
teams had drawn 2-2 last season in Louisville, while UK won the last
meeting between them at The Bell, 1-0 in 2016.
got back to .500 against Louisville at home, improving to 6-6-2
all-time in Lexington, and 2-1 at the current iteration of The Bell,
which opened in 2014.
A large crowd was expected in spite of blistering heat that gripped the Bluegrass the day after Labor Day.
all, the two largest crowds in the history of The Bell had descended
upon the UK campus to see this fixture in its last two iterations in
Lexington. The record crowd at The Bell was the 3,368 that watched
Kentucky and Louisville play in 2014. In 2016, 2,863 were on hand to
see the Wildcats win 1-0.
Cedergren made one
change from the starting 11 from last Friday’s 1-0 win over Columbia as
Louisville native Sam Stockton came in for Bailey Rouse in central
Louisville's moved up to No. 7 in the
United Soccer Coaches poll, released earlier Tuesday. The Cardinals
rrived in Lexington 2-0 on the year with a 2018 squad that returend six
starters from last year's team, which finished second in its ACC
Atlantic division, advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA
Championships and ended the year ranked No. 7 in the nation.
they were likely the fresher of the sides as Louisville's scheduled
match on Friday v St. Louis was cancelled due to weather. The Cardinals
were supposed to play the second match of a double-header with the UofL
women’s team playing Kentucky in the first match. Lightning strikes in
the area forced the first game to be delayed several hours, prompting
the second game to be abandoned.