By Haley O’Shaughnessy–
The men’s soccer team hosted DePaul University on Wednesday at Cardinal Park. Louisville defeated their Big East challengers, finishing the game with a shutout score of 3-0.
The Cardinals seized their first goal in the 18th minute, when sophomore midfielder Dylan Mares dribbled the ball from half field to the top of the box, where he continued through the DePaul defense. After stunning two Blue Demon defenders with a sequence of moves, he finished with a shot that DePaul goalkeeper Eric Sorby could not stop.
The second goal came only six minutes later in the half. Louisville’s senior midfielder Ryan Smith crossed the ball for the assist to sophomore midfielder Will Vitalis, who finished the pass into the net.
In the second half, the Blue Demons played more physically on defense. DePaul’s Mauricio Velasco fouled Ryan Smith early in the half. Velasco received a yellow card, giving the Cardinals a free kick just outside the box. The ball was kicked to the 18-yard line, where Louisville’s freshman midfielder Marlon Hairston had a shot attempt.
The final goal came much later for the Cardinals in the 83rd minute of play. The ball was shot from outside of the box and deflected. After more fumbling from DePaul’s defense, an own-goal was scored.
This was the last goal of the match. In both halves, Louisville’s offense executed quick and efficient passing, giving them 14 shots on-goal.
“I thought the spirit of the group was very good tonight,” said Head Coach Ken Lolla. “It was a very valuable three points, especially in the Big East. I’m very proud of how we handled ourselves at home tonight. We created a lot of good chances.”
And to credit the Cardinal defense, DePaul had only a single shot on goal, which, thanks to Louisville keeper Mike Mauro, steered clear of the net. This game was his second shutout of the season.
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal