By Annie Moore
The University of Louisville men’s soccer team is back in action this fall, starting its season with four wins and two losses. The young team opened the season missing key starters, but has begun to hit its stride, taking wins it’s last three matches.
The Cardinals started the season with a 4-2 victory over CSU Bakersfield. Jimmy Ockford, Marlon Hairston, Zack Foxhoven, and Ivan Gutierrez all recorded goals in the home opener. CSU Bakersfield opened the scoring, with back-to-back goals in the ninth and 42nd minutes, but Louisville showed its maturity and resilience by responding with four unanswered goals. Junior GK Joachim Ball recorded two saves on the day and played all 90 minutes.
Louisville next faced UC Irvine, and took its first loss 1-0. The match remained scoreless for the entire first half, with the Cards only getting one shot-on-goal to the Anteater’s seven. Ball had three saves in this game, but with UCI winning the shots battle 14-4, their pressure finally jammed one goal in to make the final score 1-0.
Coming off the loss to UCI, Louisville next hosted the Butler Bulldogs. The Bulldogs took the 1-0 win, handing the Cards its second consecutive loss. Sophomore midfielder Vincent Mitchell played a ball inside near post on the left side of the goal after deep cross to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the 45th minute, a deficit the Cardinals could not come back from.
At this point in the season, the team was on a losing streak and approaching the end of its homestand, it needed a win badly. And that win came in the form of a 2-0 victory over Cleveland State. Louisville’s defense looked the strongest of the season, not allowing a shot on goal the entire 90 minutes. Daniel Keller opened the Cardinal scoring in the 57th minute, Romillo Hernandez took the Cardinal’s free kick and hit a long cross that
Keller could head in from seven yards out. Jerry Ramirez added another goal in the 67th minute, when he fired in a shot from 16 yards out to the right corner of the goal to put the final score at 2-0.
Coming off that strong win, the Cardinals traveled to its first road test of the season, a match against Virginia University in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ricardo Velazco opened the scoring for Louisville, tapping a goal in past VU GK Jeff Gal to put the Cards up 1-0 in the 21st minute. Virgina responded with a goal from a Scott Thomsen free kick in the 32nd minute to make the match tied at the half. After fighting back and forth in the start of the second half, Ockford headed a cross from Andrew Brody into the goal in the 67th minute to put the score at 2-1 in Louisville’s favor, where it would stay for the remainder of the match. Brody had assists on both goals in the Virgina match, bringing the freshman’s season total to four assists in five matches.
Hot off a two-game winning streak, the Cards travel to Orlando, FL to face off against fellow AAC Conference member, the University of Central Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Knights 3-0 in the conference-opener. Ockford wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, he hit a header off the foot of a UCF defender in the second minute of the game. Ricardo Velazco and Marlon Hairston both added goals to bring Louisville’s total to three on the night. The Cards opened the season with a conference win for the sixth time in eight seasons. It next faces SIU Edwardsville Tues. night, back home at Cardinal Stadium. The match is set for seven p.m.
Photo by Austin Lassell