Men’s soccer splits road contests to open season

Musketeers drop overtime thriller against No. 12 Kentucky, beat ETSU

by grace carlo, staff writer
Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer
Karsen Henderlong starred for the Musketeers, scoring two goals in the Musketeers season opener against
ETSU and one in their 2-1 overtime loss against Kentucky. Henderlong said he’s excited to be playing again.

On Tuesday, Xavier men’s soccer fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 12 Kentucky in their second game of the season, dropping their record to 1-1.

Kick-off was at 1:30 p.m. at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Ky. on the University of Kentucky’s home field. 

Junior Brock Lindow broke open the game with the first goal for Kentucky assisted by junior Daniel Evans in the 35th minute. 

The Musketeers trailed the Wildcats at halftime until sophomore Karsen Henderlong, assisted by Jerome Jolly, scored his third goal of the season to tie the game to 1-1 in the 51st minute.  

At the end of regulation, the teams were locked at 1-1, sending the game to overtime. 

After a few back and forth chances, sophomore Eythor Bjorgolfsson scored the game-winning goal for the Wildcats in the 97th minute on a penalty kick. 

With this loss, the Musketeers fall to a 1-1 record, while the No. 12 Wildcats propel to 6-1 after the matchup. 

Prior to the loss against Kentucky, the the Musketeers beat East Tennessee State (ETSU) 2-0.  in their season opener last Friday.

The first goal was scored by Henderlong in the 60th minute off a ball played from Justus Kauppinen for his first career assist at Xavier. 

The second goal of the game was scored once again by Henderlong off a ball played by Bryce Curran in the 68th minute. It was Curran’s fourth assist in his career.

Xavier’s defense stepped up in a big way in the win, limiting ETSU to zero shots on goal. The Musketeers outshot ETSU 6-0 in shots on goal, and 9-3 in total shots. The Musketeers also attempted four corner kicks in the match.

The Musketeers also drew 11 fouls against the  Bucanneers, while only committing three of their own. 

When asked what he is most looking forward to this season, Henderlong said that he’s simply excited to play again.

With 2020 Big East fall sports being postponed to the spring due to COVID-19, fall athletes know the importance of staying safe in order to play. 

“It has been just over a year since we have played. Just exciting to be back on the field,” Henderlong said.   

He also noted how different NCAA sports have looked this season, especially the way COVID-19 has impacted the team’s social dynamic.

“I think the team has done a great job adapting to COVID,” Henderlong said. “We have a bunch of guys who want to play and are willing to sacrifice socially to play this year.” 

He continued to say that it is difficult for players to maintain social relationships with their friends while trying to stay safe to be able to compete. 

The Musketeers return to home turf on Wednesday, Feb. 17 against Bellarmine.