Bjorgolfsson, Gutmann score as UK men’s soccer opens 2022 with 2-0 victory

Wildcats keep first clean sheet of the season
Wildcats keep first clean sheet of the season
Wildcats keep first clean sheet of the season(UK Athletics)
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 11:18 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Seniors Eythor Bjorgolfsson and Nick Gutmann each scored second-half goals sparking the No. 8 Kentucky men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) on the opening day of the 2022 season Thursday at The Bell.

“Really good start,” stated assistant coach Josh Oldroyd. “UIC is a really good team and they made it difficult. We knew going in that they were a top team with a lot of experience, and they would cause a lot of problems.”

After the first half ended in a scoreless stalemate, Bjorgolfsson – who was celebrating his birthday on Thursday night – broke the deadlock. He ran onto the end of a cross by Gutmann to put the Wildcats ahead 93 seconds after the restart.

UK controlled much of the game throughout the remainder of the second half and then pounced on a great counterattacking opportunity with three minutes to play.

After the Kentucky defense dealt well with a UIC corner kick, senior Danny Evans won a 50-50 ball just beyond UK’s final third. The senior dribbled up right flank to midfield eventually crossing brilliantly into the path of an onrushing Gutmann who won his 1v1 with the goalkeeper to seal the victory for the Wildcats and send the 1,108 members of the Big Blue Nation on hand home happy.

Senior goalkeeper Isaac Walker earned his first shutout of the season behind the experienced back four of defenders Robert Screen, Lucca Rodrigues, Luis Grassow and Mason Visconti.

“Really good performance from us and I’m happy to start the season 1-0,” said Oldroyd.

The Wildcats’ next game will be Monday night, Aug. 29 vs. Seattle at 7:30 p.m. ET. Admission is free for all Kentucky soccer home games. Live stats will be available for the men’s match against UIC by clicking here. Fans can also stream the season opener on ESPN+.