The Soccer Cats hashed out another draw last night against Northern Kentucky in front of 150% of capacity crowd in Concreteville, USA, aka Highland Heights. Clearly elated at the opportunity not to be confined in their prison-like facilities, nearly 1,500 Norse faithful filled the stands to watch their boys earn a 1-1 draw against Kentucky. Let me find a third way to write the same sentence: NKU totally sold out and all they got was a 1-1 draw for their trouble.
Okay, now that you've got the specifics down, let's talk about the game itself. Classy senior (SWIDT) Tyler Riggs opened the scoring in the first half with a goal in the 31st minute. I have no idea how he scored, but I'm sure it was an epic angle scissorbike into the top corner over the outstretched hand of the keeper. Wait, no, it wasn't:
"[...] Caleb Richardson played a ball in the air over the NKU defense. Riggs secured it off his chest and beat the NKU keeper with a hard-hit shot that sailed low and in at the far post."
Thanks, UKAthletics.com! Well, that still sounds nice. The Wildcats maintained that advantage until the 84th minute, when they let in an equalizer from NKU's Ian O'Reilly after a long clearance from his keeper was apparently mismanaged by the Kentucky defense and UK GK Jack VanArsdale. Conveniently, Caleb Richardson had just been sent off one minute earlier for after earning his second yellow card, and the Cats were suddenly down to ten men. NKU didn't threaten again, though, and O'Reilly's goal closed out the match.
Both teams seemed to come away from the match feeling positive. UK Coach Johan Cedergren, who does not sound like he's a native speaker of Dutch in any way, was very impressed with both the atmosphere at the game and how his team handled it. Draws against what one might perceive to be inferior competition aren't always fun, but given that the goal here was to improve possession of the ball, improve match fitness, and hopefully find the back of the net, I think the Soccer Cats got what they wanted out of the game.
Regular season kicks off this Friday night against Wright State, wrong school, in Lexington at 7:00 with a quick turnaround game the following Sunday afternoon, also in Lexington, against Georgia State. Barnburner, that one, I'm sure. Get out there and watch the boys kick a ball around.