CINCINNATI, Ohio. – Both No. 7 Kentucky and Xavier entered Tuesday’s men’s soccer match with unbeaten records and that was the way they finished as the two sides battled to a 0-0 draw at the XU Soccer Complex.
The Wildcats are off to a 4-0-1 start. Kentucky is off to its first unbeaten start through five matches since 2009, when UK began the year 5-0-0. UK started with a won-lost-draw record of 3-0-1 each of the last two seasons.
Goalkeeper Enrique Facusse, playing behind a starting back four of (from left to right) Keyarash Namjoupanah, Aimé Mabika, Leon Jones and Tanner Hummel, kept his fifth clean sheet of the season and has still not conceded a goal yet this season.
Facusse made five saves in the match on 19 total Xavier shots. The sophomore now has 12 career shutouts from 23 matches played.
Kentucky’s best chance of the match came at the end of the first half, as JJ Williams headed a corner kick from Brock Lindow to the near post – but it went just wide. UK earned two corners in the match.
Xavier almost took the match at the death of regulation, as Simen Hestnes’ attempt from inside the six sailed high and wide with under a minute remaining in the 90.
In the overtime session, each team had one shot in the first frame and two in the second.
UK had 11 shots in the match. Xavier goalkeeper Zachary Nelson made six saves.
Xavier is now 2-0-3.
“The guys battled really hard today,” Kentucky Head Coach Johan Cedergren said. “Coach Fleming does a good job here at Xavier. They’re a very good program. It’s tough to play up here. They’re very organized so it was probably not the prettiest soccer game, but I think both teams worked hard and they battled.
“I think the guys were disappointed. It’s the first time we didn’t get a win this season. They were starting to get used to that. We had some chances I thought. We had way too many set pieces to not get anything out of it, but in the end we kept a clean sheet. Really proud of the back-four, and Quique and the whole team for defending as well as they did.”
Kentucky and Xavier tied 1-1 with JJ Williams scoring at The Bell a year ago. The only drawn in the all-time series have been the past two years, pushing UK’s overall lead in the series to 7-5-2. Kentucky had the most recent victory between the sides in 2014 when they defeated XU in overtime at The Bell.
Kentucky is now 4-1-1 in matches away at Xavier.
The next one
The Wildcats are set to play at Lipscomb in Nashville next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s soccer team, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.