Freshman defender Leon Jones scored the first goal of his career to bring Kentucky level with Lipscomb after 26 minutes, then Noah Hutchins had to equalize for UK once more just before the hour mark, but the Bisons went ahead for a third time and proved too much for the Wildcats in an end-to-end affair that finished 3-2 in favor of the visitors at The Bell on Saturday.
Kentucky dropped to 7-5-2, while Lipscomb improved to 9-6-0.
Lipscomb’s Logan Paynter opened the scoring on 17 minutes, unleashing a looping effort from the edge of the box across the face of goal and in at the far-side netting.
UK stepped up it’s passing tempo from there, and was rewarded nine minutes after conceding when Kalil ElMedkhar’s shot was stopped by the goalie, but it fell to Jones at close range. The freshman made no mistake with his finish and UK was back level.
Lipscomb would take an advantage into the dressing rooms, however, as Ivan Sakou stuck his foot out to deflect a Eduardo Reza effort from distance. With the deflection, Kentucky goalkeeper Enrique Facusse was powerless to stop the shot.
Then 14 minutes into the second stanza, Noah Hutchins scored his second goal of the year, finishing a stellar Tanner Hummel cross that picked his teammate onrushing at the left far post on the volley.
But the visitors’ response came on their first move at the restart with Ryan Birchfield finishing from just inside the 18 after Facusse was pulled out of goal as a Lipscomb player broke free in the box. The ball fell to Birchfield who had a plenty of net to fire at.
Kentucky couldn’t quite finish any of it’s remaining chances, despite coming close a number of times.
“The only way we’re gonna get out of this mess is we’re gonna have to stay together,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “We’re gonna have to work as a team. I thought we played okay today. I think Lipscomb is pretty good, their front four is pretty special.
“For us, we have three games to go (in the) regular season … It’s a good group of guys that I have in that locker room. They’re good players, they’re good people, they’re trying hard. They tried hard today … It’s really tough losing your third game in a row, but at the same time we have three games to go before Conference Tournament, and I don’t go away from the fact that we are a good team.”
Kentucky and Lipscomb met for the first time last season which ended in a 1-1 (2OT) draw at The Bell.
Lipscomb now leads the all-time series 1-0-1.
The next one
Kentucky will welcome Ohio State to The Bell on Wednesday with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET.
For the best coverage of UK men’s soccer follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in addition to on UKathletics.com.
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