ODU Men’s Soccer falls to No. 6 Kentucky

By Benjamin Draper, Sports Editor

Originally published October 18, 2021.


On a breezy Friday Night under the lights at ODU soccer complex, the Old Dominion men’s soccer team fell 2-0 to the number sixth ranked team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats. The Monarch community showed up in big numbers to show their support for their soccer team in hopes of upsetting the top ranked Wildcats.

Coming into the matchup, the Monarchs were 2-6-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the C-USA, whereas the Wildcats came into the matchup with a 7-1-3 overall record and 1-0-3 in the C-USA conference. Old Dominion came into the night on a four-game losing streak, while Kentucky had tied Florida International zero to zero in double overtime earlier this week.

In the first 45 minutes of the matchup, it was a pretty tight game amongst the teams. Both teams went back and forth putting up shots on each end of the field. In the first minute of the match, ODU had their first corner of the match. In minute seven, The Monarchs got their first shot on goal from Eliot Goldthorp, as it was saved by the Kentucky goalkeeper. In minute 12, ODU received its first and only corner kick of the half that was headed away from the Wildcat defenders. Both teams went back and forth trying to find a weakness in one another in hopes of breaking the tie early, but neither would fold.

The two teams tied in shots at four apiece, with ODU having three shots on goal to the Wildcats’ two. Kentucky had led three to one in corner kick opportunities in the first half. Both teams went into the half scoreless. ODU Head Coach Alan Dawson shared his thoughts regarding how the Monarchs came into the first-half ready to play. “I thought we had a very good first half, very even game”.

The second half of the match was far-sided towards the Wildcats as they began to ramp up the pressure on the Monarchs. After a tight first half, ODU was not able to maintain the same energy that they brought before. The Wildcats put a shot on net in the bottom left corner in minute 48 of the match that was saved by ODU sophomore goalkeeper, Djibril Doumbia.

Kentucky opened the scoring in minute 51 when Luis Grassow was able to hit a header into the back of the net on a corner kick from his teammate, Robert Screen. 20 minutes later in the half, Screen would get his second assist of the night in minute 73 as he played a cross to his teammate, Martin Soereide, who found Enzo Mauriz in the 18-yard box and struck the ball into the net, putting Kentucky ahead by two.

After the second goal, ODU made multiple substitutions to give their other players a chance to have some playing time and try to make a late surge. Unfortunately, the Monarchs weren’t able to do much more for the rest of the way, and the full-time would eventually be met as the Wildcats continued their winning ways with a 2-0 effort over ODU.

Old Dominion was led by Freshman Eliot Goldthorp who recorded two shots, as well as four other Monarch attackers getting one shot each. Doumbia played all 90 minutes in the net for the Monarchs, making four saves on the 12 shots he faced.

Coach Dawson shared his thoughts on the adjustments that the Wildcats made in the second half and felt his team couldn’t find their rhythm after giving up multiple goals. “I thought Kentucky turned it up a notch in the second half and we did not respond well to that. Really disappointed. We gave a bad goal away and once you concede and go behind against a really organized, good Kentucky side, it’s very difficult to get back in the game”.

ODU falls to 2-7-1 overall and 0-4-1 in conference play. The Monarchs hope to snap their five-game skid and will take flight down to ‘The Sunshine State’ to match up against Florida International University. FIU is 8-1-2 overall and 3-0-1 in conference play. Both teams will meet in Miami, Florida on Friday with match time slated for 7 p.m.