By Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville men’s soccer is entering the 2019 season with high expectations. In a recent poll the Cardinals were ranked No. 14 in the nation, with past success and new head coach John Michael Hayden building anticipation.

Last year Louisville went 11-5-3 for the season, losing to high caliber teams such as No. 1 ranked Wake Forest 2-1 in overtime.

The Cards have had a great amount of success under the previous head coach Ken Lolla, turning the team into a major competitor in ACC play. Lolla lead the team to a national runner up title, four elite eight appearances and eight NCAA tournament sightings.

Lolla originally announced leaving the Cardinals last year, noting he wanted new challenges and felt accomplished with how he built the team.

Hayden was Lolla’s assistant coach for four seasons, giving him knowledge of the program’s culture. He also was assistant coach during the four elite eight appearances.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra said, “He’s a talented coach and a relentless recruiter who enjoys teaching an attacking style that will foster ongoing success.”

Talent on the 2019 roster also builds anticipation as Junior Emil Elveroth is on the MAC Hermann trophy watch list, known as the most prestigious award in college soccer. Last season he contributed 11 goals and five assists.

Louisville’s first regular season game will be against Cleveland State on Aug. 30 at 7:30 home at Lynn Stadium.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal