LEXINGTON, Ky. — After nearly 105 minutes of grueling, physical play, Daniel Evans lifted No. 4 Kentucky (9-0-3) to a 1-0 victory over No. 25 West Virginia (7-2-4) with a golden goal in double overtime on Tuesday at Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.
The win extended the Wildcats’ program-best start of 12 games without a singly tally in the loss column.
Tuesday marked a clash of defensive stalwarts, as the teams combined for just six shot attempts in the opening 45 minutes. Each side managed six shots apiece in the second half, though Kentucky held West Virginia without a shot on target for over 102 total minutes.
With each team attempting one final shot in the second overtime period after trying none in the prior stanza, the Wildcats outshot the Mountaineers 11-9 overall and 4-1 on goal for the night.
Evans’ third game winner of his senior campaign came just over four minutes into the second frame of extra time, set up by a nicely executed combination between Ben Damge and Nick Gutmann outside the WVU penalty box. Damge streaked down the right side of the field and found Gutmann at the penalty arc, leading to a one-touch to Evans at the near post for a right-footed finish beneath the goalkeeper’s legs.
The triumph was the first of Kentucky’s four double-overtime matches not to end in a draw, as well as the season’s first win over a ranked opponent. Tuesday marked the first all-time meeting between Kentucky and West Virginia, who are set to meet on a yearly basis when the Mountaineers join Conference USA in 2022.
Goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner and the UK backline of reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week Luis Grassow, Robert Screen, Mason Visconti and Trey Asensio anchored the host team to its seventh shutout of the season without missing a minute of action.
Kentucky will return to conference play on Saturday, hosting South Carolina (5-7-1) at 7 p.m. ET.