Oct. 19, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Behind goals from senior Zack Foxhoven and freshman Ivan Gutierrez, the No. 7 Louisville men's soccer team maintained its position atop the American Athletic Conference standings with a 2-2 draw against second-place and No. 8 ranked Connecticut.
In extending their unbeaten streak to nine games, the Cardinals moved to 9-2-2 overall and 4-0-1 in conference matches (13 points) to remain three points clear of the second place Huskies (6-2-5, 2-0-4, 10 points). The nine-game unbeaten streak is the longest for the Cardinals since they set a school record with 23 straight games without a loss during the 2010 NCAA runner-up season.
With Louisville playing just its second overtime match of the season, freshman Andrew Brody was credited with assists on each of the Cardinals' goals to increase his 2013 total to eight, the fifth highest single season assist total ever at U of L. That numbers equals the number first achieved by Stephen Kota in 1983, while Stuart Langrish owns the single season school record for assists with 11 in 2000.
"It was a great match for us and it was something we needed," said Louisville head coach Ken Lolla. "We talked about this week being a growth week for us playing at Indiana and at home against UConn. After tonight's game, we told our team that it had the feel of an NCAA quarterfinal. They stretched us tonight and they challenged us in a lot of ways, but I thought we held up pretty well."
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the 31st minute of the first half when Foxhoven (Littleton, Colo./UCLA) connected in the lower left corner from 18 yards out for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage. Brody (Orlando. Fla./Vista Grande HS) earned the assist after his pass to the center of the field started the attack. Foxhoven then turned his defender and scored past Connecticut goalkeeper Andre Blake.
The Huskies answered quickly out of the halftime break when Edir DeGraca took a cross from Nicholas Zuniga and scored inside the left post from the 14 yards away to even the score at 1-1 in the 47th minute. The goal was the second of the season for DeGraca, while the assist for Zuniga was his second.
The score remained even until the 65th minute when Gutierrez (Hallandale Beach, Fla./Hallendale Beach HS)took a cross from sophomore Ricardo Velazco (Casa Grande, Ariz./Cal State San Bernardino) near the outside of the 18-yard box and scored inside the left post for his second goal of the season. Velazco was credited with his seventh assist of the season, while Brody, whose pass from near midfield went to Velazco down the ride sideline to setup the scoring chance, earned his second assist of the night.
Connecticut answered that Louisville goal in the 81st minute after Cyle Larin took a cross from Adria Beso and scored inside the left post from six yards out to even the score at 2-2. It was the sixth goal of the season for Larin, while the assist for Beso was his sixth.
The teams remained even through the completion of regulation as well as through two additional 10-minute overtime periods for the draw. Though both squads had scoring chances in the extra time, the Huskies had the best opportunity to connect for the game-winning goal late in the first overtime when senior Ade Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif./Boston University) made a brilliant team save on a shot attempt by Larin in the 98th minute. After junior goalkeeper Joachim Ball (Deutenberg, Germany) came off his line in pursuit of a UConn attacker, Larin gained possession deep in the box and fired a shot at what appeared to be an open net. However, Akinsanya got his left foot on the ball to deflect away from the goal and maintain the draw.
Defensively, Ball finished with six saves for the Cardinals while Blake had five stops for the Huskies. UConn finished with a 16-13 advantage in shots, including a 9-8 edge in shots on goal, as well as a 5-3 cushion in corner kicks.
Up next, Louisville returns to the road for an American Athletic Conference match at Cincinnati on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.