COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 2 Kentucky men’s soccer team (11-0-5, 5-0-3 Sun Belt) clinched the Sun Belt Conference regular season title outright with Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over South Carolina (5-7-4, 1-4-3 Sun Belt). For the first time in program history, the Wildcats remained undefeated throughout the 16-game stretch of the regular season schedule.
Kentucky and South Carolina are the only two members of the Southeastern Conference that sponsor men’s soccer earning the yearly rival matchup the title of the SEC Championship. Both programs were previously together in Conference USA before transitioning to the Sun Belt this season.
The Wildcats fired nine shots with five on goal in the first half before junior Enzo Mauriz found a golden opportunity to get one in the net and on the scoreboard for UK. A deflected shot on goal by Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week Nick Gutmann opened the chance for a left footed score by the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native. Gutmann’s assist was his 12th of the season with Mauriz tallying his fourth goal.
The pair of Mauriz and Gutmann were able to successfully score another goal in the 64th minute to put the Cats up 2-nil. Gutmann found Mauriz who was wide open to connect for another Wildcat Goal for the pair. The brace brings Mauriz’s goal total up to five on the season.
Gutmann earned a hat trick assist with his third of the night, joined by Max Miller, to get the ball in the net one more time to win the regular season title outright. Sophomore Casper Grening shot the goal which recorded his eighth of the season. He now ties Eythor Bjorgolfsson leading the team in goals so far this season.
Gutmann, who is currently in a second-place tie nationally for Total Assists, has now passed the number one placeholder with 14.
UK closed out the match with 25 shots fired with 10 on goal in the 90 minutes of regulation.
The 3-0 victory tallied the eighth clean sheet of the season with true freshman Casper Mols earning the shutout improving his record in the goal, 7-0-4.
Kentucky is one of three NCAA Division I men’s soccer programs still undefeated in the nation. UK is joined by Washington and Duke on the list. The Wildcats finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in program history.
UK will host the first two rounds of the conference tournament Nov. 6-7. More information will come from the Sun Belt Conference at the conclusion of the regular season on Tuesday.
For the latest on Kentucky Men’s Soccer, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKAthletics.com.