Senior Napo Matsoso scored two goals and assisted on another as the University of Kentucky men’s soccer team opened its season with a 4-0 win over Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis., on Friday night.
It was the first-ever men’s soccer meeting between the schools.
Matsoso, the Connference USA’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year, essentially ended the match with a pair of goals in a two-minute span late in the first half.
In the 43rd minute, Matsoso collected a Kevin Barajas pass centrally and dribbled diagonally past multiple defenders eventually ripping a shot from 22 yards into the left side of the netting.
Two minutes later, Matsoso intercepted an attempted corner-kick clearance by Marquette and scored from the top left corner of the box.
Kentucky scored twice more in the second half -- Alex Bumpus in the 56th minute and Xahne Reid in the 90th -- and the Wildcats’ experienced defense showed its strength in a convincing season-opening shutout win.
“Everyone was pretty excited to start the season,” Matsoso said. “Been a long time since November. Great win for the team and it’s always good to keep a clean sheet. (UK head coach) Johan (Cedergren) always says just hit them in transition and don’t be afraid to shoot and test the goalie. That’s what I try to do all the time and it came off pretty well this time.
“I try to spend as much time as I can taking advantage of the facilities we have. I go out there and hit some long-distance shots because I know in the end it will pay off. Tonight it did, which is always a great feeling.”