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Soccer Cats rise, then fall

There is a Kentucky sports story I haven't been covering much yet, but I should be. The UK men's soccer team has put together an outstanding team this year, as good as they've ever had, and it goes all but uncovered by the local media, whose opinions on soccer no doubt begin and end with "It's boring."

But despite that, the program that was still in its infant stages when I was a student (back in the Bill Curry era), has made leaps and bounds since. Coach Ian Collins has assembled a strong and balanced team, and it should continue to grow.

The current incarnation had risen to the lofty spot of No. 14 in the nation in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.

On the down side, the Cats dropped their first game of the year, to Michigan by 2-1, on a goal in overtime.

Led by the nation's top goal scorer, Riley O'Neill, Kentucky has jumped out to a 5-1-1 record, and the Wildcats are alone as the only school in the country to be in the top 15 in scoring offense and defense. How's that for balance?

The Bluegrass region has long enjoyed strong support for youth, high school and traveling soccer, so it should be a natural breeding ground for talent. Fans interested in checking out the best Wildcats soccer team perhaps ever can head to the UK Soccer Complex on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, when Kentucky plays host to Mount St. Mary's.

Don't miss football the way it was meant to be played. Folks receive free admission Sunday with a ticket stub from the UK American football game against Ole Miss on Saturday.