Bjorgolfsson clinches first-round win in double overtime

Kentucky defeats Loyola Chicago 2-1, secures second-round matchup at No. 5 Indiana

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UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky’s run to the 2019 College Cup began with a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Loyola Chicago on Thursday night at Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

With the win, the Wildcats (13-4-3, 4-2-1 Conference USA) advance to a second-round matchup at No. 5 seed Indiana (14-2-4, 7-1 Big Ten Conference) on Sunday at noon ET, televised live on the Big Ten Network. Loyola Chicago ends its season at 11-5-4 (5-2-3 Missouri Valley Conference).

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Eythor Bjorgolfsson extended Kentucky’s postseason with the fourth game-winning goal of his freshman campaign, as well as the second such goal to occur in double overtime. After watching the first 10-minute extra period from the bench, Bjorgolfsson needed only 56 seconds of the second overtime to secure the golden goal.

Sophomore right back Robert Screen dribbled the ball up the far sideline and delivered a cross past two defenders, allowing an unmarked Bjorgolfsson to connect on the diving header and finish the ball in the back of the net.

“I just needed a cross,” Bjorgolfsson said of the match’s final sequence. “I felt confident that I would head it in.”

Kentucky completed the first half on the wrong end of a 1-0 deficit, failing to attempt a shot in the opening half for the first time all season. The Cats trailed for nearly 46 minutes on the scoreboard until Loyola Chicago midfielder Justin Sukow fouled UK midfielder Marcel Meinzer inside the Ramblers’ penalty box in the 82nd minute, setting up the first subsequent penalty kick of sophomore Jason Reyes’ career.

Reyes, in his first start since his team’s 1-0 win at ETSU on Oct. 5, became the fifth Kentucky player to score a penalty kick this season. The equalizer sparked the Cats’ third come-from-behind win of the year.

Despite no first-half attempts, Kentucky ultimately outshot Loyola Chicago 12-6 overall and 7-1 on goal.

Sunday’s meeting with Indiana marks a rematch between the Cats and Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana, where the sides played to a scoreless draw on Oct. 9. Indiana’s last outing resulted in the program’s 14th Big Ten Tournament crown after winning a 4-3 penalty kick shootout in a 0-0 tie with Michigan on Nov. 17.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com