|September 18, 2018||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|LIP||74:48||PAYNTER, Logan (BIRCHFIELD, Ryan )|
|Stats at a Glance||UK||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||12 (9)||7 (2)|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a brilliant second half that saw the Bisons score twice to get to extra time, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team was unable to stave off No. 7 Kentucky Tuesday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. The visiting Wildcats found a way to escape Music City with a 3-2 overtime victory.
“Another tough loss. This one is especially tough,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “I am disappointed in the result certainly, but I am really proud of the guys and the way we played. I think today was a step forward in the season for us.
“Sometimes it’s hard to see the positives with the losses mounting up, but I really feel like we are really, really close to being a good team.”
UK (5-0-1) blitzed the Bisons (1-5-0) out of the gate when Kalil Elmedkhar bounced in an untouched ball from near 35-yards out just 1:09 into the match after a Wildcat got loose behind the defense to force keeper Luke Wilson committed near post.
In the first 20 minutes of action, the ‘Cats looked every bit of their No. 7 ranking. They applied heavy pressure with six shot attempts and three corners in that span, forcing Wilson to make a pair of big stops in the process.
The Bisons threw a blanket over UK’s offense the next 30 minutes, holding them to no looks at the net.
However, the Wildcats were able to break through in the 53rd minute after Wilson was handed a yellow card for a takedown in the box on Kentucky’s JJ Williams.
Six-foot-five defender Aime Mabika stepped up and put the ball in the lower left corner to make it 2-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lipscomb took the ball and pushed it deep into the Wildcats’ territory. Logan Paynter drew a foul in the box as a UK defender leaped over his back while fighting for a header at the 6-yard line. Senior Ryan Birchfield stepped up and drilled the net to cut into the deficit, now 2-1.
The goal was the first score of the season the Wildcats had given up in six matches – a streak of 523:36 minutes.
As the clock continued to counting down, it was clear the Bisons were on a mission with heavy possession and continued attempts.
In the 68th minute Ben Locke nearly equalized with a rocket from the top of the 18 that sailed just right.
The Purple and Gold finally struck gold in the 75th minute as Logan Paynter finished off a nifty strike from 12 yards out.
Birchfield found the senior striker streaking into the box and lifted a perfect pass over the top of the defense from just inside the midfield line. Paynter played the ball on the ground and then turned and fired a shot between a defender and the keeper, after he stranded too far from the net.
“I was really impressed with the guys’ toughness and resiliency,” Morrow said. “They battled back and worked extremely hard. I am disappointed and upset because they deserved a better result tonight.”
The ‘Cats got a couple of good looks down the stretch, but nothing ever came of them, sending the Bisons to their second overtime match of the season.
At the 95:38 mark Kentucky continued its unblemished season when Williams chipped a shot over Wilson, who had come out near the top of the box trying to cut off the pass.
In a game that was fun to watch and physical throughout, the Bisons fell to the pitch in anguish.
- Lipscomb took its first defeat to Kentucky, falling to 1-1-1 in the all-time series.
- The Purple and Gold dominated possession, backed by its nine corners and seven attempts.
- Paynter and Birchfield each scored their second goal of the season. The senior duo is tied with a team-high five points.
- The start in net was Wilson’s first of his career. The Columbia, Tennessee native played the full 95:37 and came away with six saves.
- The two goals are the most UK has allowed since Oct. 29, 2017 – a stretch of eight outings.
- Fifteen players saw the field for Morrow.
- The Bisons played six overtime matches last season, finishing 3-2-1.
The Bisons pack their bags for a weekend trip in the sun as they travel to Florida where ASUN play begins. Lipscomb and Jacksonville are set to take the pitch in a 6 p.m. contest that features a rematch of last year’s conference championship match, where the Bisons won and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.