Cards hot at right time

| November 10, 2011

“What’s wrong with Louisville?” I’ve been asked that question, or some variation of it, numerous times over the last few weeks. My response has varied from week to week, but always ended with “just wait.” Thankfully, the Cardinals are now backing up my words.

“We’re headed toward the same destination; we’re just taking a different route to get there,” Cardinals’ coach Ken Lolla told me recently after his team lost 3-1 game to South Florida on national television. They haven’t lost a game since, rattling off a draw and four straight wins. They’ve also earned four consecutive clean sheets, the soccer equivalent of a shutout, tying a school record.

After pounding Providence 5-0 in the first round of the Big East tournament, Louisville went to Marquette and beat the Golden Eagles 1-0 Sunday to advance to the Big East semifinals for the third straight year. They now head to New Jersey to face Connecticut at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Red Bull Arena.

For all of the (often unwarranted) criticism of Big East football, the conference knows how to throw a season-ending party. For basketball, it’s the premiere tournament at Madison Square Garden. For soccer, it’s at Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. It’s where these Cardinals thrive, winning the title last season en route to their first national championship appearance.

One of the reasons why the Cards are headed back to Red Bull Arena is All-American forward Colin Rolfe. The senior superstar has been injured for a good portion of his final year, scoring just three goals during the regular season. In two tourney games thus far, Rolfe has scored four goals, leading the charge as Louisville looks to repeat last year’s postseason success.

“In the last two weeks, he has played his best soccer,” Lolla said.

The Cards now head to a familiar destination in Red Bull Arena for the Big East semifinals, hoping to repeat as conference champs.

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Category: U of L Soccer Report

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