The No. 3 Kentucky men’s soccer team will host No. 11 Maryland in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight on Friday at The Bell.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.

Tickets for Friday’s match are available at UKAthletics.com/NCAATickets . Each of the past two weekends in the last two NCAA Tournament rounds, Kentucky welcomed respective crowds of 1,831 and 1,939 to The Bell.  
 
UK students who show their UK student ID at the tent outside The Bell on match day will receive a ticket paid for by UK Athletics.

The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+/WatchESPN. 

The setup
Kentucky, with a 19-1-1 won-lost-drawn record, has won 10 matches in a row going into the Elite Eight.

The Wildcats claimed Conference-USA’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament by winning the Conference Tournament to go along with the league regular-season crown.

UK received a bye into the second round and defeated No. 21 Portland on November 18th, then won against Lipscomb last Saturday to advance to the first NCAA quarterfinal in school history.

Maryland also received a bye into the second round of the 48-team Big Dance. On Nov. 18, the Terrapins defeated NC State 2-0 to advance. They then won 2-0 at No. 6 Duke last Saturday in the Sweet 16.

The winner of the UK v Maryland matchup would advance to next weekend’s Final Four, which will take place in Santa Barbara, CA on Friday, Dec. 7. The winner of Friday’s quarterfinal in Lexington will play the winner of the matchup between No. 2 Indiana and No. 7 Notre Dame.

The closer look at UK
UK is ranked a program-record No. 1 in the College Soccer News poll and No. 3 in the Coaches’ poll. UK is No. 5 in the pre-tournament RPI.

Kentucky boasts the nation’s No. 2 goals against average, .470, and the No. 5 scoring offense (2.33 per game).


UK ranks fourth nationally in total goals (49). The Wildcats have conceded 10 goals to date.

Kentucky is 12-0 at The Bell in 2018, scoring 32 and only conceding two goals.

The Wildcats have kept a program record 14 shutouts this season (67 percent), a total which is second most in the nation.

 Freshman Jason Reyes and sophomore Bailey Rouse scored UK’s two goals in Saturday’s Sweet 16 win against Lipscomb.

Reyes scored his eighth goal of the season in the game against the Bisons, tying the school scored for most goals scored in a single season by a freshman.

Rouse has scored two goals this year, with his first coming in the final game of the regular season against then ranked Old Dominion to clinch the conference regular season title.

C-USA Player of the Year and Offensive MVP, JJ Williams holds the school record of most points in a season (two for goal, one for assist) to 44 (third most in the nation). 

His 18 goals rank third in the nation and are the school record. His nine game winners are the second most in Division I.

Sophomore winger Kalil ElMedkhar has scored 11 goals and assisted 11 times this season. He’s two assists away from tying the UK single-season record. ElMedkhar ranks ninth nationally for total points with 32 for the year.

Goalkeeper Enrique Facusse enters the NCAA Tournament with a .47 individual goals against average, which ranks third in the nation entering the weekend. He saved 53 of 62 shots this season, 84 percent, which ranks 10th in DI.

UK is 5-0 against teams ranked in the Coaches top-25 at the time of the match this season.

The opponent 
Maryland are three-time NCAA Champions and have a win-lost-draw record of 10-6-4 this season, after starting the year 0-2-2 against tough PAC 12 opponents and ACC powerhouse Virginia. 

Maryland is ranked No. 15 in the coaches’ poll, No. 21 by CSN and No. 12 in the pre-tournament RPI.

The Terps are led by Head Coach Sasho Cirovski, who is on his 25th season.

Maryland is unbeaten in its last four games, defeating Elite Eight bound Michigan State in the B1G Tournament first round. They went out on penalties to Elite Eight host Indiana in the semis, and then have also won their first two rounds of NCAA play. 

Maryland Goalie Dayne Clair has 66 saves on season, and boasts a .78 goals against average.

Senior Midfielder Amar Sejdic, from Louisville, Kentucky, leads Maryland in scoring on the season with seven goals. His last came in the Terps’ win over Duke last week.

The quote
“There are no easy games in the Elite Eight,” UK Head Coach Johan Cedergren said. “We’ve worked hard all week. For us at this point, with what we’ve done to this point in the season, we’re happy to play anyone. Of course we’re going to respect Maryland. We’re excited to be in an Elite Eight game, and then we’ll see what happens.”

The history
UK leads the all-time series 1-0, a 2-1 result at a neutral site in an early-season Tournament in Virginia in 2002.

UK is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in its history, and is 3-8-2 all-time in The Big Dance.

UK is 2-4-1 at home all-time in the NCAA Tournament with both wins this year.

The Wildcats will be making their Elite Eight debut.

The logistics
All pre-purchased tickets will be available via digital delivery. Instead of receiving printed tickets, ticket purchasers will be able to access their tickets electronically through My UK Account or the UK Athletics app.

Game day ticket sales open at 4:30 p.m. ET and gates to The Bell open at 5 p.m.

UK Athletics will pay for UK students’ tickets when they show their UK IDs upon arriving to The Bell.

Parking for the match is first come first served located outside the stadium’s main entrance and in the Kroger Field blue and green lots with continuous shuttle service running from car parks up to the front gates of The Bell beginning at 5 p.m. even with the Kentucky high-school football championships going on.

The shuttle will continue until one hour after the match.
 
Students may ride a campus shuttle to and from the match, which begins running one hour prior to kickoff and includes stops at The 90 and the wildcat statue on north campus.


For the best coverage of UK men’s soccer follow the team’s social media accounts on TwitterFacebook and Instagram in addition to on UKathletics.com.

‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Jake Most

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