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Mace & Crown | August 19, 2017

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No. 14 Monarchs Take Draw Against No. 16 Kentucky

Charles Sims
Contributing Writer

Saturday night saw the No. 14-ranked Old Dominion Monarch Men’s Soccer team (8-2-1) took on No. 16-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (8-3-2) in Norfolk in what would eventually become a battle to the very end. Hot off a victory against North Carolina Wilmington, the Monarchs could not find the back of the net as the hard-fought match ended in a 0-0 draw.

From the get-go, ball control was shared equally on both fronts, but it quickly became ODU’s game with exceptional ball handling and pass placement from ODU’s front three. Three concentric corner kicks gave the Monarchs ample chances to take a very early lead, but the Wildcat defense held firm. This propelled ODU into a dominating offensive for nearly the rest of the first half.

“In patches, we were quite good,” Head Coach Alan Dawson said. “We had some 20 to 30-minute patches where we knocked it around and got after them a little bit and we looked like the better team. And there were times where they did the same thing to us.”

ODU managed to post eight total shots on goal opposite UK’s three, and it would have appeared as though it was only a matter of time before the Monarchs would score, but it was not meant to be. Kentucky came dangerously close to scoring around 36 minutes in, but ODU’s keeper Alex Tiesenhausen hustled and prevented anything from happening.

Kentucky hung in the game despite being invariably routed during the first half, but ODU just could not capitalize.

The second half began in a similar fashion, but ODU was limited to only four shots on goal. Kentucky showed stronger offense as well, but was limited to a mere one shot on goal. Naturally, as both teams grew restless from lack of scoring, the on-field banter grew, leading to 12 total penalties and two yellow cards from both teams including a physical tripping foul by Kentucky in the 61st minute.

70 minutes saw ODU’s next and perhaps last chance at a lead and victory with their two final shot attempts of the game, but Kentucky’s keeper made crucial saves to nullify them. The final opportunity came with eight minutes left in regular time, wherein ODU striker Ivan Militar took a direct free kick from roughly 30 yards out, leading to another corner kick that would also come up short.

Regulation would end scoreless.

Overtime saw numerous shots on goal for Kentucky, while ODU’s defense was left playing catch up. During overtime in the regular season, the Golden Goal rule is in effect, meaning the first team to score automatically wins. Having zero total shots during overtime, things were looking down for the Monarchs.

Luckily enough, despite UK placing five shots into Tisenhausen’s territory and ODU firing off none, the two overtime periods came to an end and the final score remained 0-0.

ODU had numerous chances during the regular time to make it their game, but it seems as though both teams were evenly matched up. With the tie, ODU’s record changes to (8-2-2, 3-1-2 in conference) and Kentucky becomes (8-3-2, 4-0-1 in conference).

ODU takes on University of Southern Florida on October 27, in Tampa Bay.