The ‘Cats seem to be on a downward slope.
Kentucky Men’s Soccer — now unranked for the first time in years — traveled up north to Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday night to take on The Ohio State University Buckeyes. Through their first six matches, UK came into OSU with a 3-3 and found themselves at .500 for the first time since 2013. The struggles continued for the Wildcats on Tuesday as they added one more loss to their record with a 3-nil loss to the Buckeyes.
Kentucky lost 12 out of their 25 players coming into this season due to transfers and players moving on to the pros. Head coach Johan Cedergren welcomed over a dozen newcomers to the squad for the 2023-24 season after losing a majority of last season’s core players, and it is starting to show as the losses continue to pile on for the young team.
Slow starts from both sides
To start the match, each team was off and running as the Buckeyes tallied their first shot in the 3rd minute. After missing, UK drove down the pitch and had their first corner less than a minute later. But neither team was successful in their early opportunities to get on the board.
Heading into the 25′ the score was still nil-nil, but the Buckeyes were leading both shot and corner totals by a large margin. Ohio State had seven shot attempts compared to the Wildcats’ zero, and they also led the corner total 5-1 ahead of the road team.
The remainder of the first half was ugly on both sides of the pitch, and going into the locker room the score remained 0-0 even with the Buckeyes out-shooting UK 8-1.
Second half woes
Even though Kentucky’s first-half stats were not too hot compared to Ohio State’s, they were lucky to be coming into the second half at an even 0-0 score. Unfortunately, this did not last long as the Buckeyes found the back of the net in the 50′ to go up 1-0 right out of the gate.
Coach Cedergren tried to mix up the ‘Cat lineups after Ohio State’s first goal, but it did not work. UK could not find any momentum down the field and got caught passing possessions back and forth without any goals.
The start of the 60′ was brutal for Kentucky as Ohio State was able to sneak a shot past UK sophomore goalkeeper Casper Mols in the bottom right corner to take a 2-0 lead. Right after their second goal, the Buckeyes landed another goal in the exact same spot in the 62′ to go up 3-nil.
Way too little, too late
Although the ‘Cats out-shot Ohio State 4-1 following their scoring run, Kentucky was still unable to have any luck finding the goal. With a lack of momentum and too deep of a hole, UK could not get out of it and was shut out 3-0 at the end of the 90 minutes.
For the first time in nearly 10 years, Kentucky tallies more losses than wins as they sit at 3-4 thus far in the season. The last time that the Wildcats had more in the loss column through seven games was in the 2013-14 season where they started at 2-5.
The ‘Cats will look for a much-needed win in their next match on Sunday, September 24, when they take on Old Dominion University on the road at 6 p.m. EST.