LEXINGTON, Ky. – JJ Williams scored two goals and assisted another as the No. 4 Kentucky men's soccer team won a battle of top teams 3-0 over No. 2 Indiana on Wednesday at The Bell before a stadium-record 3,503 members of the Big Blue Nation.
Kentucky remained unbeaten through its first 10 games with a record of 9-0-1, which is the best start in program history. UK has won five games in a row.
The Wildcats snapped IU's nine-match winning streak as the Hoosiers dropped to 9-2-0 this season.
Kentucky broke the Hoosiers' 20-match unbeaten streak in the fixture. UK had last won against IU 1-0 in Bloomington on Sept. 10, 1995, which was UK's only other win in the series that now stands at 2-19-3 all-time.
UK had gone 0-17-3 during that 22-year span without a win against the eight-time National Champions. The Wildcats improved to 1-8-2 against IU in matches played in Lexington, although this Wednesday's match was the first meeting between the teams within the current configuration of The Bell (est. 2014).
#4 Kentucky 3, #2 Indiana 0.— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) October 4, 2018
The highlights ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/qfpn8yfK6q
Williams, who entered Wednesday as UK's leading scorer would've been identified as The Wildcats' danger man coming in, but he proved near unmarkable yet again on an elevated occasion.
For the second time in the last 30 days Williams gave UK a 1-0 lead within the first four minutes against a top-10 rival. Whereas he scored in the fourth minute against then-No. 6 Louisville on Sept. 4, on this Wednesday, Oct. 3, he'd score a minute earlier into the match.
Jason Reyes laid the ball off for his striking partner at the top of the box, and the experienced Alabaman fired a rocket beyond IU goalkeeper Trey Muse.
The Wildcats would score the all-important second with five minutes to play as JJ Williams' 24-yard free kick went off the cross bar. The ball may very well have crossed the goal line, before coming out. No call was made however and Jason Reyes was first to pounce on the rebound, karate-kicking the ball into the back of the net to release a measure of the tension within the ground and make acceptable anticipation for the post-match celebrations.
Williams would not be denied another top-10 brace though. He grabbed his second finish by the scruff of the neck 120 seconds later, latching onto a Tanner Hummel ball over the top before finding space away from two Hoosiers' pursuing and finishing to make the lead three goals.
Derby match win ✅— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) October 4, 2018
Unbeaten through the first 10 games at 9-0-1 ✅
Five wins in a row ✅
Beating IU men's soccer for the first time since 1995, snapping a run of 20-straight matches without beating IU ✅
Another top-10 win in front of an amazing #BBN atmosphere at The Bell ✅ pic.twitter.com/z1aWqtpBKX
"It was great especially to start out the way I did," Williams said. "As I say every time, it's just my teammates who put me in great positions to be successful. It starts with the back line keeping another clean sheet tonight.
"Great jobs by midfielders winning battles in there. It was really about 50-50 balls, (wingers) Kalil (ElMedkhar) tucking in, Nicolai (Fremstad) tucking in, cutting off that wide midfielder. That's how the first goal happened. We took it off of them, went the other way and scored early."
Williams has nine goals and three assists this season. His two best performances have come on his biggest stages as he scored a brace at home against No. 7 Louisville and then Wednesday vs. No. 2 Indiana.
He was subbed off with a minute to play to a standing ovation from the record crowd on hand to see a victory as historic as regular-season non-conference midweek tilts come.