CARY, N.C. (UK Athletics) – Nearly eight months after its journey began, No. 24 Kentucky closed the book on its 2020-21 season with a 2-1 loss to fourth-ranked and fifth-seeded Wake Forest in the third round of the NCAA Championship late Thursday night at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Wildcats end their campaign with a 12-5-2 record and the program’s third all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament round of 16, as well as the second such appearance in the last three seasons.
Despite racking up more offensive output on the box score, Kentucky played from behind for most of the match Thursday. Junior forward Brock Lindow put the Cats on the scoreboard midway through the second half, but a brace by Wake Forest forward Kyle Holcomb was too much to overcome.
Kentucky set the tone early with six straight shot attempts over the first 13 minutes, landing two on target. The Demon Deacons managed their first try in the 20th minute, needing only one shot to net a 1-0 lead.
Kentucky outshot Wake Forest 9-4 in the first half, a tally which would be repeated in the second. Holcomb scored another goal off another assist by Hosei Kijima in the 62nd minute before Lindow cut the lead in half four minutes later. The turn-around left-footer by Lindow bounced off goalkeeper Cole McNally’s hands and across the goal line, securing Lindow’s outright claim as Kentucky’s most prolific scorer on the season with goal number five.
The Wildcats’ 18-8 advantage in shot attempts was highlighted by a 5-4 lead in shots on goal, complemented by a 7-4 edge in corner kick opportunities. Junior Daniel Evans tried a game-high six shots, while Clay Holstad attempted four. Marcel Meinzer and Luis Grassow each managed two, and Lindow, Bailey Rouse, Robert Screen and Mason Visconti attempted one shot apiece.
Decorated senior Enrique Facusse recorded two saves in his last appearance in a Kentucky uniform.
Holstad, Meinzer, Grassow, Rouse, Screen, Leon Jones, Trey Asensio and Enzo Mauriz played all 90 minutes in the effort.
Wake Forest (13-2-2) moves on to a quarterfinal date with No. 16 North Carolina (8-4-4) on Monday.