The 21st ranked University of Louisville men's soccer team continued their hot play of late after defeating the 19th ranked Bulls of South Florida 2-1 Wednesday night. This was their third straight game without a loss against a ranked team.
Last week the Cards battled 12th ranked, and perennial power, Indiana to a 2-2 double overtime draw, despite playing a man down for most of the overtime period. They followed that strong performance by winning a thrilling conference game Saturday against #10 St. Johns 1-0 on the strength of sophomore Will Vitalis' goal, which tied him for the team lead with senior Greg Cochrane. The Cardinal defense rose to the occasion behind Big East defensive player of the week Andrew Farrell and Goalie Mike Mauro. Mauro improved his goals against average (GAA) to .83 and his record to 5-1-1. Both games took place at Cardinal Park.
Farrell continued his high level play by starting the scoring against South Florida in the 25th minute with a header off a corner kick. After USF equalized in the 34th minute, the teams played to a stalemate before Louisville native Ryan Smith took the ball in the box and slipped it past the keeper for the game winning goal in the 82nd minute. UofL's defense did the rest by holding USF without a shot on goal in the final minutes to seal the victory. In winning their 2nd straight, UofL positioned itself in the driver's seat in the Big East "Red" division and improved their chances of earning home field advantage for the early rounds of the Big East tournament.
The Cards have three more regular season games, including Saturday when the Cards host Villanova at 7:00 for senior night. They close the home portion of the regular season at home vs. UC Irvine before ending at Cincinnati on October 27th.
Photo: stock.xchng/Colin Bamford
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