By Donny Yaste–
The University of Louisville Men’s Soccer team rebounded after losing to North Carolina by beating Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 2-0. The Cardinals were in complete control all night despite not finishing as well as Coach Ken Lolla would have liked, which led to a 0-0 halftime scoring line. The Cards finished better in the second half, as both junior midfielder Michael Roman and senior defender Austin Berry found the back of the net. Senior goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux netted his third shutout of the season and had one save on the night.
The Cards came out firing as they pressured the Jaguars of IUPUI throughout the first half. Senior midfielder Kenney Walker, senior forward Colin Rolfe and Michael Roman all had chances in the first half, with Walker’s being the lone shot on goal, but no one seemed to be able to finish the job in front of the net. The Cards had to settle for a 0-0 halftime score line, knowing they should have been ahead. The Jaguars were looking to spring the upset on the No. 2 ranked Cardinals. Head coach Ken Lolla was pleased with the effort but seemed to be hoping for a better success rate in front of goal. “We’re still trying to find that rhythm in the final third,” said Lolla.
The second half Cardinals would have none of that. Louisville ramped up the pressure and created even more offensive chances for themselves than in the first half. The first breakthrough occurred in the fifty fourth
minute. It started with freshman midfielder Will Vitalis’ back heel to Kenney Walker, who then crossed the ball to junior midfielder Ryan Smith. Smith found an open Michael Roman, who took two inside touches and placed a shot in the bottom right corner. Roman was very appreciative of his teammates’ effort in his goal, saying, “It was a good finish, a team goal.”
The Cardinals seemed to let off the pressure a bit when they felt the relief of finding the back of the net. The Jaguars gave them a scare in the seventy eighth minute as sophomore striker Jeff Keyler’s shot was tipped by Boudreaux before skidding off the crossbar. The Cards then picked the intensity back up, and in the eighty second a foul on Colin Rolfe gave the Cards a free kick right outside the box. Junior midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo attempted the free kick which he aimed towards the back left of the net. Senior Jaguar goalkeeper Tyler Keever stopped the attempt, but didn’t get control of the ball and Cards defender Austin Berry finished the botched save to add insurance to the Cards lead.
Spectator Shawn Knabel was especially proud of the Cardinal effort. “It was a glorious exhibition of the human spirit.”
The Cards defeat of IUPUI put their record at 3-1-0, and starts a new regular season win streak.
They outshot the Jaguars 16-3, and improved their home unbeaten streak to twenty five. Coach Lolla was very happy with their second half effort saying, “The second half for us was better still. We put more pressure on them in the final third, and we ended up getting two really good goals.