Oct. 17, 2009 may not be a memorable day for many. A quick Google search reveals that one of the top headlines that day involved the saga and hoax of the “Balloon Boy.”
Prior to Sunday, it was also the last time the University of Louisville Men’s Soccer program lost a regular season game, dropping an overtime decision to St. John’s. Nearly two years later, the Cards finally fell to a regular season foe, losing 2-1 to North Carolina Sunday night in Chapel Hill.
It was not only Louisville’s first loss of the season, but also the first goals allowed since last winter’s NCAA College Cup Final. Louisville went up 1-0, but North Carolina roared back, equalizing before halftime. The teams played evenly through the opening minutes of the second half, but the Tarheels scored the go-ahead goal from short range 15 minutes before the final whistle, and the Cards fell 2-1.
The Tarheels took advantage of their chances, while the Cards let the momentum shift. North Carolina exacted a bit of revenge against the team that beat them in the NCAA Final Four last season, handing the nation’s top-ranked team its first loss.
U of L veterans understood what needed to happen next. Coach Ken Lolla, ever the teacher, knew he had a great chance to nurture his team. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us,” he said. “We set up this schedule for this very reason. We wanted early season tests.”
Now Lolla and his staff have an opportunity to teach the team how to respond after a loss. The players from last season haven’t lost since the NCAA College Cup National Championship.
Now Louisville returns home to face IUPUI Friday night at Cardinal Park.
Category: U of L Soccer Report