After two periods of extra time, No. 14 Kentucky opened its 2021 season with a 0-0 draw against No. 25 Coastal Carolina on a humid Thursday night in the Palmetto State. The contest marked the Chanticleers’ first as a Conference USA affiliate, moving each team to 0-0-1 both overall and in league play.
Though the Wildcats overwhelmed the box score on the offensive end, it was German goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner who shone the brightest in his UK debut. The 6-foot-3 graduate transfer from St. John’s notched five saves to go along with his clean sheet, including two massive highlight plays in the match’s closing stretch.
Kentucky outshot Coastal Carolina 10-1 in the first half, then 6-5 in the second. The Chanticleers rallied to a 4-1 advantage across both overtimes, but the Cats maintained a 17-10 edge by the final whistle. Kentucky claimed the possession battle at a rate of 56%.
Junior forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson attempted a game-high four shots in a starting effort, landing two on target. Former Louisville transfer Cameron Wheeler was the match’s only other player to hoist three attempts, while Bailey Rouse and Enzo Mauriz each tried two. Oliver Juul, Marcel Meinzer, Martin Soereide, Daniel Evans, Mason Visconti and Ben Damge managed one shot apiece.
In his first collegiate bout, Juul was one of three Kentucky defenders who did not miss a minute of action. Veteran upperclassmen Robert Screen and Luis Grassow accompanied the freshman for all 110 minutes on the UK backline.
Kentucky is set to make its home debut on Monday, hosting Wright State (0-1) at 7:30 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
Admission to all 2021 UK soccer matches at Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex is free to the public. 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.
‑ GO CATS –
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