Kentucky needed a win or a tie at home Friday night to claim the C-USA men's regular-season soccer title. The Cats fell short on both counts.
Conor Agnew scored the tiebreaking goal in the 49th minute and No. 5 Charlotte went on to beat No. 13 Kentucky 2-1 before a capacity crowd.
"That was a tough one," UK Coach Johan Cedergren said. "It was also a strange one. We started really well. We were picking them apart. I thought there was lots of good combination play, and we were nice and solid defensively. Napo (Matsoso) scores a great goal, but then Justin Laird takes a really bad tackle and it looks like his knee is not great right now. We lose our starting striker 23 minutes into the first half."
"Fantastic win," Charlotte Coach Kevin Langan said. "To come to Kentucky in front of a hostile crowd and to go down early, I am really proud of our guys."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Matsoso scored his fifth goal of the year to give UK a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game. Charlotte goalie Austin Pack got a hand on the strike but was unable to keep it out of the goal.
Charlotte got the equalizer in the 32nd minute. Zhuvonte Wilson broke free down the right flank and his cross found an unmarked Hans Honer on the penalty spot, where he banged it home.
Kentucky was unbeaten in nine straight games, going 6-0-3. The Cats lost for the first time since a 2-1 setback against Louisville Sept. 23.
Charlotte, 14-2-1 (6-1-1 C-USA), has won four games in a row and is unbeaten in its last five. Kentucky fell to 10-4-4 and 5-1-2 in the C-USA.
The Cats next play in the C-USA Tournament on Wednesday in Norfolk, Va.