LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 7 Kentucky (8-2-1) dropped its first home match of the season on Saturday, falling 2-1 in overtime to Charlotte (1-2-1) in both teams’ Conference USA opener at Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.
The loss snaps the program’s 18-0-11 undefeated streak of overtime matches, dating back to 2012.
Saturday started promising enough for the Wildcats, as junior right winger Daniel Evans wasted no time scoring his fourth goal of the season in just the fifth minute. The 5-foot-10 Texas native took advantage of a deflection by the Charlotte back line off a long ball from Kentucky left back Trey Asensio, hammering home a volley to the far post from the 18-yard line.
The 49ers bookended the half with an equalizer in the 41st minute when a cross from Delasi Batse crashed out of the hands of Kentucky goalkeeper Ryan Troutman, leading to a finishing touch by Alex Willis.
Trailing the first-half shot count 4-2, the Wildcats showed added aggression in a second period that saw them outshoot Charlotte 5-3. Ninety minutes weren’t enough, however, sending Kentucky to its fourth overtime contest in five matches this spring.
Just over four minutes of extra time were all that was needed, as a string of passes from Ethan Sawdon to Willis to Preston Popp ended with the golden goal for the Niners.
Saturday’s slugfest featured a combined 27 fouls between the teams, as well as four yellow cards cautioned to Charlotte.
Asensio, Robert Screen, Luis Grassow, Bailey Rouse, Marcel Meinzer, Clay Holstad and Eythor Bjorgolfsson played all 95 minutes for the Cats, while Troutman gathered one save in his first career loss between the pipes.
Kentucky is set to return to action on the road next Saturday, facing Florida Atlantic (3-1-2, 0-1 C-USA) at 2 p.m. ET on CUSA.tv.
Admission is free to all spring 2021 soccer matches. To purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet, visit UKAthletics.com/FanCutouts. For the latest on the Kentucky men’s soccer team, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKAthletics.com.