By Jordan Shim-
Ninth-ranked men’s soccer earned a hard fought 1-0 victory over No. 25 Butler on Aug. 28. The only goal of the game came from senior Tim Kubel to put the Cards to 2-0 on the year.
“It was a gritty win for us,” coach Ken Lolla said. “Not the cleanest or the sharpest. I think the first you have a two-day turnaround it wears on the guys. Especially last game being the home opener, there was lots of emotion and energy spent. But I was proud of our guys because we found a way to win.”
Just like last year, the game was very tight. Louisville had their chances, but Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick made big saves to keep the score level.
The stadium fell into dead silence in the 37th minute when Butler’s Jared Timmer dove in on a challenge awkwardly and snapped his leg.
“We get the guys to think about other things, quite honestly,” Lolla said. “It’s a terrible thing to happen. Unfortunately, in a sport where it’s so physical and demanding, injuries happen, even as gruesome as that one was. I just hope it is recoverable, and he’ll be back playing.”
Louisville scored the game’s only strike in the 39th minute. Junior Tate Schmitt gathered in the ball and laid off for Kubel, who fired from just outside the box across goal. It hit the left post before creeping in just inside the right side net.
Tonight marked the return of Mohamed Thiaw, who was still needing to regain match fitness. He had a great chance to put the Cards up 2-0 in the 75th minute. He cut inside his defender and fired a curling shot to the left post. It grazed across goal and went just wide.
Butler had their best chance in the 87th minute. Louisville switched to five at the back once Ziyad Fekri came on to kill off the game. Eric Leonard’s long distance shot beat Louisville goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch but clanked off the post.
“We shifted our lineup at the end,” Lolla said. “We gave up possession but wanted to secure the win. And what I found was that we have guys on the bench that can secure the game for us. It was a solid effort.”
Louisville travels down to Atlanta to take on Georgia State on Friday, Sept. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. They return home on Sept. 5 hosting Kentucky for the annual Battle of the Bluegrass.
You can follow Jordan on Twitter @tlcjordanshim.