The Kentucky Wildcats are set to take the pitch for their fall debut on Thursday, traveling to South Bend, Indiana, for a 7 p.m. ET match against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on ACC Network Extra.
Thursday’s contest will serve as the first of seven on Kentucky’s fall schedule, as well as the first meeting between the Cats and Irish since 2014.
In the last matchup, an unranked Kentucky squad stormed into Alumni Stadium and claimed a dramatic 1-0 victory over the second-ranked host team on the final day of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. In the closing seconds of the 90th minute, Stefan Stojkovic scored from 15 yards out off a cross from fellow Conference USA All-Freshman honoree Hampus Agerstrom.
UK goalkeeper Callum Irving, in the midst of his first of two eventual C-USA Player of the Year runs, was credited with seven saves in the shutout.
Last season, head coach Johan Cedergren led Kentucky to a 13-5-3 (4-2-1 C-USA) record and a sixth NCAA Tournament berth in eight seasons. The Wildcats return 20 players from last year’s team, including Lexington native and reigning C-USA Player of the Year Aimé Mabika.
In addition to Mabika, 2019 All-C-USA performers Kalil ElMedkhar (first team), Enrique Facusse (second team), Marcel Meinzer (second team) and Daniel Evans (second team) return, as well, along with C-USA All-Freshman performers Eythor Bjorgolfsson and John Michael Bandy.
Notre Dame ended last season with a 10-8-1 (3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) record and 3-2 home loss to Wright State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, coming just three weeks after the Raiders fell 7-1 in Lexington during the regular season.
Both Kentucky and Notre Dame traveled to No. 4 Indiana during the 2019 regular season, resulting in a tie each time. The Cats and Hoosiers met at Bill Armstrong Stadium once again during the second round of the NCAA Tournament, however, culminating in a 3-0 victory for fifth-seeded Indiana.
‑ GO CATS –
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