NCAA Division 1 Men's Soccer Tournament, 2nd round- tonight 7pm at Cardinal Park: Louisville Cardinals will host Big South Champs- Winthrop Eagles. UofL was awarded the 10th seed in this year's tournament, received a 1st round bye, and will begin their tourney action this evening as they face Winthrop in the 2nd round matchup held at Card Park. The Cards enter tournament play ranked 10th by Soccer America, and have home field advantage in tonight's game.
This season was another impressive performance under Coach Ken Lolla, with UofL playing in a very tough Big East Conference and arguably, playing the toughest schedule in the country. Louisville played 6 of the 16 seeded teams this year, and defeated number 1 seed Notre Dame. UofL won 5 of its last 6 games, including 3 shutouts. And let's not forget that your University of Louisville Men's Soccer program is 2010 NCAA College Cup Finalist, and 2011 NCAA Quarterfinalist- led by 2010 National Coach of the Year Ken Lolla and the 2010 Big East Coaching Staff of the Year! When excellence becomes the norm here in Louisville, we start to take it for granted. Coach Lolla and staff set the standard very high for each season, and the players have risen to the challenge once again. While some teams rely upon 1 or 2 key players to score all the goals- the Cardinals have 5 players that have scored at least 4 goals this season. Senior Greg Cochrane is the lead scorer with five goals, while Will Vitalis, Dylan Mares, Ryan Smith and Big East Defender of the Year, Andrew Farrell all have four goals each. Louisville's offense is very balanced and strong, with a remarkable defense as well, including goalie Mike Mauro.
Our opponent for tonight's 2nd round NCAA action is the Winthrop Eagles from Rock Hill, South Carolina. Winthrop is the reigning Big South Champ, and defeated SMU in 1st round tourney play on Thursday. In order to advance to the second round, the Eagles had to make a dramatic comeback from late in the game. Down 1-0, Winthrop scored a late goal, with only 2 minutes left on the clock,tying the game and forcing 2 overtimes. The Eagles came away with the 3-1 victory in penalty kicks. So we know that Winthrop has the ability to make a comeback and win in overtime. But also know this- the Eagles are on a 4 game winning streak, having won 6 of their last 8 games.
Your University of Louisville Cardinals have home field advantage in tonight's tournament play. Let's see to it that we have home crowd advantage as well! Let's Pack the Park!!!