Freshman Stefan Stojkovic's first career goal with 25 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Kentucky men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over top-ranked Notre Dame — the defending national champions — on Monday night at Alumni Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
Callum Irving started the Cats' scoring chance with a majestic goal kick to Stojkovic, who found fellow Swede and freshman Hampus Agerstrom at the corner of the box. Agerstrom played it back to Stojkovic, who fired into the goal at the far post from 15 yards out.
"This win feels really good," UK 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. ... 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 victory was UK's first over a No. 1-ranked foe since the Cats defeated SMU in 2007 at the UK Soccer Complex.
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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 Tournament en route to a national title in 2013, finishing the year 17-1-6 and winning nine of its last 10 games.
UK weathered a storm of Fighting Irish attacks late in the match. The Cats successfully cleared a corner on 87 minutes before Jason Pitts headed the follow-up attempt out for another corner. The ensuing Notre Dame set piece went out for Irving's goal kick, which led to the winner.
"The goal came just like the coaches said it would," Stojkovic said. "It was a really good goal in the sense that even that late in the game, we execute the plan successfully."
Kentucky (2-2-0) got a shutout from junior All-Conference USA goalkeeper Irving, who saved a career-high seven shots.
"In a game like this you know there are going to be a lot of chances, especially against a team like Notre Dame that is great attacking," Irving said. "I'm happy I got to play a part, but really just the team played with a lot of heart from the first minute to the end. I have to give a lot of credit to the defense, especially the back-4 and the two guys in front of them too."
■ Kentucky's women's golf team, ranked 30th by Golfweek, was fourth following the first day of the "MO"Morial Invitational in Lexington. Sophomore Haley Mills shot a 71 and was in second place as an individual.
"I think overall we played with a good attitude today and created a lot of opportunities," Coach Golda Johansson Borst said. "We still need to do a better job of capitalizing on those but we finished strong and I know this group has more in them as we head into the next two days."
Mills was two shots behind Florida State's Kayla Jones, who shot a 69.
Auburn led the team standings at 3-over par, followed by Houston (+6), Florida State (+8) and Kentucky (+10).
■ The 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team will face instate rival Louisville at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the KFC Yum Center.
Kentucky owns a 26-25 edge in the all-time series against the Cardinals after a 3-2 victory in Lexington last season. The Cats have won three of the last four contests and the two teams are 3-3 in Craig Skinner's 10 years as UK's head coach.
UK hasn't won at Louisville since 1993.