LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Freshman Tim Kubel delivered the decisive goal in the 79th minute of play to lift No. 8 Louisville to a 2-1 road triumph against Kentucky in Tuesday night's Battle of the Bluegrass match at the Bell Soccer Complex.
Less than seven minutes after the host club had evened the score at 1-1, Kubel scored his first collegiate goal connecting on a rocket shot from just inside the 18-yard box to push Louisville (4-1-1) ahead for good. Junior Ricardo Velazco, who scored Louisville's first goal of the night earlier in the second half, also started the scoring chance on Kubel's game winner with a cross from the left side to earn his third assist of the season.
Tuesday's victory marked the third consecutive win for the Cardinals, including their second road triumph in a row. It was also Louisville's third consecutive win in Lexington against the Wildcats (4-3-1).
"I thought early, we weren't very sharp and a lot of that probably had to do with the emotion of the game. When you play rivalries games like that, the emotion is going to be a part of it," Louisville head coach Ken Lolla said. "Once we got through that, in the second half, we started putting some plays together. I thought the energy was better and we started taking it to them and created some good goals."
The two teams played a scoreless opening half on Tuesday with neither club organizing a strong offensive attack in the first 45 minutes. That changed in the second half when the teams combined to score three goals in a span of less than 15 minutes.
Louisville struck first in the 64th minute when Velazco finished inside the left post from 10 yards out for the 1-0 advantage. The goal, which ended a span of 478 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal by the Wildcats, started with a ball into the box from the right side by senior Will Vitalis and continued when junior Ben Strong redirected it to the Velazco for the finish. It was second goal of the season for Velazco, the third assist for Vitalis and the first assist for Strong.
Less than nine minutes later, Kentucky pulled even when Bryan Celis scored from 13 yards out after corralling a pass from the right side in the 72nd minute. Matt Quick and Justin Laird were credited with assists on what was the first goal of the season for Celis.
Kentucky finished the match with an 11-10 edge in shots, including a 5-4 advantage on goal. The Wildcats also had a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Joachim Ball finished with four saves in the victory for the Cardinals, while Kentucky's Callum Irving stopped just two of the four shots he faced in the match.