In the final game of their season, the Portland Pilots fell to the Kentucky Wildcats 4-0, ending the Pilots’ postseason run.
The Pilots finish the season at 12-4-3. Their appearance in the playoffs this season was their second in three years and the 16th in program history.
The last time Portland and Kentucky met was in 2003, when the Pilots defeated the Wildcats 2-1 in overtime.
It was a close match for the majority of the first half, with senior goalkeeper Kienan Weekes making some solid saves in the 23rd and 40th minute. Kentucky’s Kalil ElMedkhar, sophomore, intercepted the ball late in the half and scored to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Kentucky took over. The Wildcats, who have one of the best offenses in the nation and was riding an eight-game winning streak going into the match, became too much for the Pilots to handle.
Weekes was able to make some solid saves in the second half, but the attack from the Wildcats was aggressive. JJ Williams, a Kentucky junior striker who came into the match ranked third nationally in goals scored, put in two goals to keep the Wildcats on top. Elmedkhar also added another goal in the second half to extend the lead to 4-0. The Pilots could not capitalize on any opportunities they had in the second half and lost by the same score.
This was the farthest the Pilots have made it in the playoffs since 2009. They’ll look to build on the success they had this season and roll that over into next fall.