Greg Cochrane and Dylan Mares made sure the Cardinals first game in the NCAA tournament went much better than their first Big East tournament game. Cochrane scored in the first minute, and Mares backed that with three goals as the Cardinals ran away from Winthrop 5-0 at Cardinal Park in Louisville.
Cochrane's goal, his sixth of the season, came after 1st team all Big East midfielder Paolo Delpiccolo sent a free kick into the box from the right flank. That was dealt with momentarily before Will Vitalis recovered and found Cochrane just inside the left corner of the box where he was able to beat the keeper to the far post.
UofL continued to apply pressure and they were successful in keeping possession in their offensive half for much of the period. Winthrop's best coring opportunity came after drawing a foul on the counterattack. Alex Isern put the resulting free kick on goal, but Louisville keeper Mike Mauro was able to deflect it off the crossbar and the UofL defense cleared it to preserve the lead. That would prove to be Winthrop's only shot on goal and Mauro's only save.
Dylan Mares then took over, finding the back of the net in the 34th, 49th and 64th minute to mark the first hat trick by a UofL player since Colin Rolfe did it in 2011. Zack Foxhoven scored in the 81st minute to provide the final score.
The #10 seed Cardinals now move on to face upset winner Northwestern, who defeated #7 Marquette yesterday afternoon, with the winner moving on to the quarterfinals on December 1st. The Cardinals will host Northwestern at 7:00 November 25th at Cardinal Park. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.
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Photo: Adam Price