By Jordan Shim–

Louisville’s men soccer started off their spring season against Louisville City FC. For the second consecutive year, U of L lost 1-0 despite a valiant effort from the Cardinals.

Second half substitute Kadeem Dacres’ goal in the 79th minute was the only thing that separated the two sides.

Louisville City’s displayed their dominance defensively, suffocating the Cards’ attack in the final third, limiting them to two shots the entire match, and overall outshooting them 12-2.

The best chances fell to Louisville City in the first half, but critical saves by goalkeeper Theo Jamilloux and defender Cody Cochran kept the score level heading into the break. Jamilloux mentioned the up tick in competition.

“We expected a high level of competition because these guys are professionals,” Jamilloux said. “They have played at the next level so we knew what we were getting into.”

Louisville City looked to build off of set pieces and totaled 13 corner kicks tonight. The Cards handled the crosses quite comfortably to the delight of head coach Ken Lolla.

“Looking back on the fall, it was an area we made a concerted effort to get better at,” Lolla said. “I think our guys did very very well in limiting their chances.”

Louisville City had enjoyed possession for majority of the second half but couldn’t take advantage of their chances until Dacres’ match winner. Lolla doesn’t believe Jamilloux is at fault for conceding.

“Certainly (Jamilloux) couldn’t be faulted for the goal,” Lolla said. “I think it was a good individual effort by Dacres. We also didn’t help DJ who could’ve squeezed inside quick enough, but he didn’t and Dacres took advantage.”

Jamilloux believes he should have done better.

“I didn’t see the ball well, so I was a little bit late,” Jamilloux said. “I think we should have been a little bit smarter in how we defended… and myself. This is a save I am expecting to make. I’m disappointed.”

Louisville City and U of L seem to have a local rivalry building. Thursday night’s match resembled last year’s contest as the match became heated with multiple scuffles among the players in the second half.

Lolla credits the physical play because of the local teams.

“Neither wanted to give in any ground, so it got a little chippy, a little physical,” Lolla said. “It’s a derby. It is two teams in Louisville who are competing and you expect it. Last year was chippy as well.”

The match also marked the return of U of L all-time assist leader, Paolo DelPiccolo, who played his alma mater for the first time and said he enjoyed his experience being back.

“It was fun. This was the first time I’ve played here,” DelPiccolo said. “When I was here, we were at Cardinals Park. So it was fun doing that, it was fun seeing some of the same people and seeing coach again. It was a great experience.”

Despite losing, Lolla was proud of the players’ efforts throughout the match.“For us, it was a great test,” Lolla said. “I thought out guys handled it pretty well, especially for it being our first spring game.”

The Cards will host Indy Eleven for their next preseason match. The 7:30 p.m. game will take place at Lynn Stadium on March 25.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal