Kentucky next for UofL soccer

The University of Louisville soccer team squares off against the University of Kentucky Friday at Cardinal Park at 7 p.m., on the heels of surviving a double overtime 3-2 win over Wake Forest Tuesday.

Some observations going into the game:

  • This team needs to learn how to put away a reeling opponent. Against Wake Forest, the Cards dominated the first half, leading 2-0 at the break. Wake Forest adjusted by moving up its back line and constricting the midfield. Louisville never really adjusted to counter that pressure and allowed WF back into the game.
  • Andrew Farrell is not only a defensive force in the middle, but also a potent offensive threat, despite the move to the back line. His first half goal from 25 yards out was a thing of beauty.
  • Joachim Ball has the size and the hands to be a top-notch keeper. But his command of the box and his decision-making are works in progress. Ball had some good saves, but both Wake goals seemed to be the result, at least in part, of indecisiveness on his part.
  • Louisville Coach Ken Lolla has a way with timely substitutions. Freshman forward Marlon Hairston sat out most of the two overtimes, going back in with about five minutes left. Less than a minute later, Hairston’s relatively fresh legs propelled him through the right side of the Wake defense and enabled him thread a perfect pass to the far post, where Ryan Smith had only to push it in to win the game.
  • Even if it was a weeknight, the crowd of only 928 was disappointing for a game against a top-20 opponent. There certainly will be a much bigger audience when the Cards play Kentucky on Friday, but the real test of fan loyalty will come next Tuesday when Ohio State comes to town.
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