Louisville men's soccer shuts out Maryland in season opener
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The No. 14 Louisville men's soccer team opened its regular season and the brand-new Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium on Friday night with a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Maryland in front of 7,047.
The Cardinals scored the deciding goal of the defensive battle in the 54th minute when sophomore Andrew Brody connected on a header into the upper left corner of the net. The fourth career goal for Brody was setup on a perfectly placed cross from the right side by junior forward Ricardo Velazco, who earned his 10th career assist. Senior Will Vitalis started the counter-attack with a ball down the right side to Velazco for his ninth career assist.
"I thought it was high level of soccer for so early in the year for two teams that are very, very good," Louisville head coach Ken Lolla said. "Hopefully, the people tonight had a good experience not only in the soccer aspect, but the venue and all the amenities that go with it. I hope that they continue to come back and support us. We have some great games and hopefully the fan base continues to grow."
Before the goal, the two teams battled to a scoreless first half, each club getting off three shots. The Cardinals narrowly missed two early opportunities to break the scoreless tie. First, when a kick to the right by Velazco failed to reach the back of the net in the 10th minute and again when midfielder Romilio Hernandez fired a shot off the crossbar in the 12th minute.
The Terrapins had a chance to tie the game late on a corner kick in the 87th minute, but failed to connect on a header. Despite the final score, Maryland owned a 10-7 shots advantage and a 5-0 corner kick advantage.
Louisville goalkeeper Joachim Ball made five saves on the night for his 10th career shutout.
The victory gave Lolla his 100th at the school. Lolla now holds a 100-47-23 mark in his ninth season as the Cardinals' head coach. The win also gives the Cards their third win in the last four season-openers.
Up next for the Cardinals is a home meeting with Cornell on Friday at 8:30 p.m., followed by a road contest against Saint Louis on Sept. 9.