NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Freshman Stefan Stojkovic’s first career goal with 25 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Kentucky men’s soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 win over No. 1 Notre Dame – the defending NCAA Champions – on Monday night, Sept. 8, at Alumni Stadium.
UK’s game-winning goal came with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Callum Irving started the scoring chance with a majestic goal kick to Stojkovic, who found fellow-Swede and freshman Hampus Agerstrom at the corner of the box. Agerstrom then played it back to Stojkovc, who fired into the goal at the far post from 15 yards out.
“This win feels really good,” UK head coach Johan Cedergren said. “I was telling our team before not to fear (Notre Dame), but to respect them because they are the kind of program we want to build at Kentucky. At the end of the day credit to Notre Dame, I know they’re going to be back probably in a Final Four. It was a good game from our end.
"This weekend was all about learning. Going and playing the last two National Champions and not being intimidated. We talk about some of the goals we have at Kentucky to go to special places. If we are going to be able to go to places we want to go we have to be able to come into places like this and not be intimidated.”
The result marked UK’s first win over a No. 1 or No. 2 ranked foe since the Wildcats toppled No. 1 SMU in 2007 at the UK Soccer Complex.
The loss for Notre Dame (2-1-1) marked its first in 318 days, dating back to a 2-0 loss to Virginia on Oct. 26, 2013. Notre Dame dominated the NCAA en route to a national title in 2013, finishing the year 17-1-6 and winning nine of its last 10 games. The loss for ND snapped its 13-match unbeaten streak.
Kentucky (2-2-0) got a shutout from junior All-Conference USA goalkeeper Irving, who saved a career-high seven shots – including two off-the-charts stops – in the win.
The win was UK’s 16th all-time over a ranked team, the 5th under Johan Cedergren, & UK's second all-time win over a No. 1 foe.
Kentucky’s next match will come at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex against ETSU on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.