Akron continues to haunt Ken Lolla and Louisville soccer

Louisville goalie Will Meyer, a redshirt freshman (in both photos), kept his team in the hunt against Akron until the final play, a penalty kick knocking UofL out of the NCAA tournament (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Ken Lolla can’t go home again. Doesn’t need to because he keeps bumping into Akron at the most inopportune times.

More often than not soccer is a tedious drawn-out game, with continuous action, lots of repetition, and more than its share of frustration. So little scoring that one can easily miss the climax if not paying strict attention.

The University of Louisville and Akron played 110 minutes Friday night without scoring a goal , forcing the 3,179 in attendance to sit through a dozen penalty kick attempts.

Junior Tate Schmitt, UofL’s leading scorer with nine goals this season, made good on a penalty kick (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

No denying the tension and excitement at this point, however. High drama, everything on the line. When it was all over, Akron had won the NCAA quarterfinal game, with Akron out-kicking the Cardinals  4-3.

Will Meyer, UofL redshirt freshman goalie, keeping Akron at bay, credited with three saves during regulation and two overtimes. Blocking two penalty kick attempts, sending it into another sudden death. Alas, the deciding goal was delivered by  Akron’s Niko De Vera.

Ken Lolla coached at Akron before coming to Louisville 12 years ago so he could make UofL a national contender in soccer. He has more than delivered on that goal but Akron may still be the better program.

For the second time in seven years, Akron has eliminated the Cardinals from the NCAA’s College Cup. The first time in 2010, a 1-0 defeat in the national championship game.

Go away Akron.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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