Tournament run ends after FAU men’s soccer loses 2-1 to No. 15 Kentucky in the C-USA Championship

Kentucky came from behind to beat FAU for the conference title.


Alonso Coello Camarero (#14) earned a spot on C-USA’s All-Tournament team for his postseason performances. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

A remarkable run in the Conference USA Tournament came to an end for FAU men’s soccer (9-7-3, 2-4-2 C-USA) as they lost 2-1 to the University of Kentucky (14-1-4, 3-1-4 C-USA) in the championship game Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.

The Owls stunned the Wildcats in the 16th minute when freshman forward Pontus Steffensen delivered the ball into the box for senior forward Ivan Mykhailenko to tap it into the net. With his 22nd career goal, Mykhailenko has the fourth-most goals all-time for FAU.

FAU was relentless in the first half, pressuring Kentucky players as the team made excellent clearances. Freshman defender Chadi Mayati was most noticeable with his valiant effort, clearing the ball out from danger as he denied the Wildcats multiple opportunities with quality defense.

Despite FAU’s efforts, the Wildcats equalized in the 60th minute after the Owls’ senior midfielder Alonso Coello Camarero committed a foul inside the penalty box that allowed senior midfielder Marcel Meinzer to knock down the spot kick.

Kentucky eventually won it in the 94th minute as sophomore midfielder Enzo Mauriz got the ball to junior forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson, who kicked it into the center of the net to win the conference title for the Wildcats.

Conceding twice, senior goalkeeper Neil Strauber made four saves in the game for a season total of 81. With that, Strauber holds the seventh-most saves all-time in a season for FAU.

After the game, Mykhailenko, Camarero, and junior defender Tom Abrahamsson were honored as they earned spots on the All-Tournament team with their quality performances in the postseason.

Despite the loss, FAU has a chance to be selected for the NCAA Tournament on Monday, Nov. 15. If not selected, they will regroup for next season in 2022.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.