Louisville spending too much time on its end of the field in the national championship match, giving Akron far too many chances, tempting the inevitable and finally yielding, 1-0.

The worst part about being runner up in a national championship game is nobody else remembers a couple years later you were ever there. The loser is relegated to an obscure trivia question, especially in college soccer.

But it will be a season University of Louisville fans, soccer aficionados and bandwagon jumpers like the observer, will hold among their most enduring U of L memories:

  • A 20-1-2 won-lost-tied record, eight weeks on top of the polls, and the top seed in the NCAA tournament.
  • Soccer players like Colin Rolfe, Charlie Campbell, Austin Berry, Dylan Mares, Andrea Boudreaux, and J. T. Murray actually becoming familiar names in Louisville households. How many can you name from last year’s team?
  • Aaron Horton, with two last-minute winning goals in the NCAA tournament, with an unexpected chance for a game-tying goal in the last 45 seconds of the national championship game.
  • Sell-out crowds exceeding 4,500 people in the final two games, so many fans sitting on a berm below I-65, many of them in the snow in 28-degree temperatures.
  • Ken Lolla, the best in the college game, pitting his team against a rock-solid program that he began in Akron.

Lolla clearly has more work to do but he is getting it done. Louisville loses four seniors off of this team, among them Murray and Campbell. Look for UofL to be a fixture among college soccer’s top teams for years to come.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Akron, clearly the better team in the game that mattered most.

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By Charlie Springer

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

4 thoughts on “Akron has more zip than Louisville, wins NCAA soccer championship”
  1. Congratulations to the Cardinals on a great season! Runnerups to a team with mostly US National Youth international experienced players is not anything to hang your head over. Since Akron should lose several players, don’t be surprised if your team is ranked #1 prior to tthe upcoming season. Akron fans look forward to the potential of a rivalry developing between our teams. Hopefully we’ll meet on the football pitch again in 2011. Hopefully in Akron. 😉 And BTW — best luck to #17 Brock Yates of the I’olani Red Raiders. Beat everybody but Akron.

  2. Congrats on a great season and great final game from an Akron fan. I was there, and it was oh so close at the end! It could have gone either way. Best of luck to your program in the future!

  3. I have to say that this was a very impressive season! I’m a huge soccer fan and several times this season I had to explain the “Beautiful Game” to my friends and family. I think this is a huge stepping stone and that soccer is the next UofL sport that everyone will follow. Thank you Coach Lolla for your hard work and dedication and maybe we will be in Akron’s shoes sooner than you think. This coach knows where to find players and knows the game very well…we will be back! Go Cards

  4. It may go into the record books as a loss, but for those of us back here in snowy Louisville, the whole experience was clearly a win. And congrats to all those red-shirted fans in the stands. Wow! With so much going on back home, so many found a way to travel to sunny Santa Barbara to back our Cards. Thanks to them and to the team and especially to Coach Lolla for a thrilling season. GO CARDS!!!

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