Insider information about Louisville Soccer

Latest

Cards Hoping to Start New Winning Streak

By Nathan L. Redd

October 17, 2009 may not be a memorable day for many.  A quick Google search reveals that one of the top headlines that day involved the saga and hoax of the ‘Balloon Boy.’  Prior to Sunday, it was also the last time the University of Louisville Men’s Soccer program lost a regular season game, dropping an overtime decision to St. John’s.  Nearly two years later, the Cards finally fell to a regular season foe, losing 2-1 to the University of North Carolina Sunday night in Chapel Hill.

It was not only Louisville’s first loss of the season, but also the first goals allowed since last winter’s NCAA College Cup Final.  Louisville went up 1-0 in front of a hostile home crowd, but North Carolina roared back, equalizing before halftime.  The two teams played evenly through the opening minutes of the second half, but the Tarheels would score the go-ahead goal from short range 15 minutes before the final whistle.  Game over; Cards fell 2-1.

Soccer is a game of chances and the ability to convert opportunities.  Louisville had plenty of opportunities Sunday against North Carolina.  Instead, the Tarheels took advantage of their chances, while the Cards let the momentum shift.  North Carolina exacted a bit of revenge against the team that beat them in the NCAA Final Four last season, handing the nation’s top-ranked team its first loss of the season.

A myriad of emotions swept through the Louisville locker room after the game.  Some were angry, while the veterans understood what needed to happen next.  Coach Ken Lolla, ever the teacher, knew he had a great chance to nurture his team.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for us,” he said after the game.  “We set up this schedule this season for this very reason.  We wanted early season tests,” the coach stated.

Now Lolla and his staff have an opportunity to teach the team how to respond after a loss.  As crazy as that sounds, it’s not something these players have experienced often.  The players from last season haven’t lost since the NCAA College Cup National Championship.  There was no game to be played after that, however.

Now Louisville returns home to face IUPUI Friday night at Cardinal Park, with much of the season still looming, likely sans number one national ranking.  Only time will tell, however, if the Cards can eclipse the prior winning streak.

Louisville Suffers First Loss at Hands of Tarheels

By Nathan L. Redd

The University of Louisville Men’s Soccer Team suffered its first loss of the season Sunday night, falling 2-1 to the University of North Carolina.  The second-ranked Tarheels fought back from a 1-0 deficit to upset the top-ranked Cardinals.

Louisville’s Nick DeLeon put the Cards on the board first, taking a pass from Kenney Walker and sliding it past the Tarheels’ goalkeeper in the 33rd minute.  Five minutes later, the crowd of nearly 3,500 would erupt as North Carolina evened things up on a Rob Lovejoy effort.  The two sides would go into the break tied at 1-1.

North Carolina had numerous opportunities to open the second half, and Billy Schuler would put UNC on top 15 minutes before the break.  Schuler scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Tarheels the 2-1 lead.

Louisville pushed numbers forward in the final minutes of play in an effort to find an equalizer, but the final whistle blew giving North Carolina the 2-1 upset.  Louisville goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux had three saves on the night.  The two goals allowed by Louisville were the first goals in any game, regular season or exhibition, since last winter’s NCAA College Cup Final.

Louisville now returns to Cardinal Park Friday night.  They’ll host IUPUI at 5 PM EST.  They’ll play again Sunday, September 11th, playing host to Central Arkansas at Cardinal Park at 1 PM EST.

You can read the official post-match recap at http://www.uoflsports.com/sports/m-soccer/recaps/090411aaa.html

Cardinal GameDay: Louisville at North Carolina

By Nathan L. Redd

Louisville continues its early season tests later tonight, and this time they’re on the road again to face another top-ranked opponent.  The Cardinals are in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on the North Carolina Tarheels.   Kickoff is set for 7 PM EST.

The road to the NCAA College Cup doesn’t get any easier for Louisville.  After defeating #2 UCLA and #24 Wake Forest to open the season, the Cards now face #3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

The Tarheels opened the season with impressive wins over UNC Wilmington and Oregon State, outscoring their opponents 8-2 in their first two matches.  They’ll face arguably the nation’s top goalkeeper tonight in Louisville’s Andre Boudreaux, however.   Including two preseason friendlies, Boudreaux has yet to allow a goal in four matches overall.

North Carolina’s Billy Schuler figures to test Boudreaux tonight.  The New Jersey native already has three goals on the season, netting two against Oregon State Friday night.  The Tarheels outshot Oregon State 26-7 on Friday night, including firing off 18 shots at the Beavers’ goalkeeper in the second period alone.

Louisville’s Colin Rolfe has displayed why he was named a preseason All-American, scoring again against #24 Wake Forest Friday night to add to his goal tally.  The Cards also got the services of UCLA transfer Michael Roman back.  Roman wasted no time in making his presence felt, scoring against the Demon Deacons Friday in his season debut.

Louisville expects to face its toughest test this season tonight on the road.  Chapel Hill’s Fetzer Field will be packed, providing a hostile environment for the visiting Cards.

Louisville and North Carolina kick off Sunday night at 7 PM EST.  Fans can listen to the game live online at http://wchl.streamon.fm/

Ken Lolla’s Wake Forest Post-Game Comments

Louisville coach Ken Lolla gave his comments following his team’s 2-0 win over Wake Forest Friday night.  You can check out the coach’s reaction to the game here:

Late Night Cards Prevail 2-0 Over Wake Forest

By Nathan L. Redd

The best things come to those who wait.  For the Louisville Cardinals, the wait was certainly worth it, as the Cards prevailed 2-0 over hosts Wake Forest early Saturday morning in North Carolina.  The game started more than two hours late due to severe weather in the Winston-Salem area.

The two sides went into the break scoreless, but Louisville would find the back of the net in the 70th minute.  Michael Roman, making his Louisville debut, scored on a header to the near post off a cross from Greg Cochran to put the visitors up 1-0.

Louisville would put the game out of hand just six minutes before the break.  All-American Colin Rolfe added a second goal on a through ball from Ryan Smith in the 84th minute to assure Louisville of the win.

The Cards now make the trek over to Chapel Hill.  They’ll meet the third-ranked North Carolina Tarheels Sunday night as they try to improve to 3-0 on the season.

More on Friday’s win, including quotes from the Louisville Cardinals, coming soon…

CardsTV: Men’s Soccer Coach’s Show

Check out Louisville Men’s Soccer head coach Ken Lolla in his coach’s show with host Sean Moth:

Cardinal Gameday: Louisville at Wake Forest

By Nathan L. Redd

Louisville is on the road tonight for the first time this season, and it won’t be an easy task.  The Cards are in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to battle the #24 Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.  Kickoff from Spry Stadium is set for 8 PM EST. 

Louisville looks to build on its season-opening victory over then-second ranked UCLA Friday, and the Demon Deacons are hoping to find the win column after starting the season highly-ranked themselves.  Wake Forest fell 2-0 to fellow Big East member South Florida in their last game, and now play host to the top-ranked team in America in Louisville. 

“This is going to be a good test for our guys,” Louisville assistant coach Mario Sanchez told The SoccerVille on Thursday.  “We’ll see some very different looks from Wake Forest, and we know they’ll be ready for us.” 

Wake Forest fell in disappointing fashion to South Florida to open their 2011 campaign in front of the tenth-largest crowd in Demon Deacon history.  Spry Stadium is expected to be packed Friday night as well when the Cards roll into town.  For Wake Forest, it’s a chance for redemption, after falling behind by two goals in the first 45 minutes of play against USF.  Demon Deacon coach Jay Vidovich says his team had opportunities against the Bulls, but just couldn’t convert. 

“”The first 15 minutes we did a tremendous job. We came out, we were pushing the game and moving the ball,” Vidovich told WakeForestSports.com. “We had tremendous opportunities from the beginning, but youth and inexperience can hurt you. I think South Florida did a better job of managing the game, playing to win and playing effective soccer.”

Now Wake must regroup against Louisville, who feature All-Americans in Austin Berry and Colin Rolfe.  Additionally, goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux has yet to allow a goal in three matches so far this fall.  After dealing with injuries to Manolo Sanchez and UCLA transfer Michael Roman, the Cards are at full-strength heading into the weekend, with Roman expected to make his debut tonight against Wake Forest. 

“We’re healthy and ready for the road trip,” Sanchez said.  “Michael Roman and Manolo Sanchez have both been practicing, and both should be available for us this weekend,” he stated. 

Tonight’s game is the first meeting between the two schools since 2007, when then-number one Wake Forest defeated Louisville 1-0.  The Demon Deacons went on to win the NCAA College Cup National Championship that season. 

Louisville and Wake Forest kick off at 8 PM EST tonight from Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The Cards will stay in the state following the game, traveling to Chapel Hill to play the North Carolina Tarheels on Sunday.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.