Aug 29, 2013
Video: Associate Head Coach Mario Sanchez Previews the UVA Opener
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 10th-ranked Louisville men's soccer team kicks off the 2013 season with a road showdown at NCAA powerhouse and No. 20 Virginia on Friday night.
The Cardinals and Cavaliers will open the season at 8 p.m., ET at Klöckner Stadium on the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. Live audio of the matchup will be available to subscribers of CardsTV here, while live scoring of the match is available through Gametracker here.
Louisville enters the season ranked 10th in the preseason NSCAA coaches poll and No. 14 in the Soccer America poll, while Virginia is ranked 20th by Soccer America and No. 25 in the coaches poll. In preseason conference polls, the Cardinals were picked second in the American Athletic Conference while the Cavaliers were selected fifth in the ACC.
Friday night's opener will be the first ever between the two programs on the soccer pitch but likely won't be the last with Louisville's future move to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers, who earned a 2-0 win over Radford and played to a scoreless draw against Rutgers in the preseason, have been among the most dominant teams in the ACC with 15 conference titles and one of the most successful programs in the nation with six NCAA championships and 34 NCAA Tournament appearances in school history. Last season, Virginia was 10-7-4 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship before falling to New Mexico.
The Cardinals enter Friday's opener after a 1-0-2 preseason mark with a win over Lindsey Wilson (3-1) and draws against 2012 NCAA Tournament programs Michigan (1-1) and No. 19 Northwestern (0-0). Last season, the Cardinals advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship marking the third straight season they had finished among the nation's final eight squads. Louisville, which finished 2012 ranked No. 7 overall with a 14-6-1 record, closed the conference season as the BIG EAST Red Division champions after finishing with a 7-1-0 record in league play.
Led by eighth-year head coach Ken Lolla, Louisville has made six straight NCAA Championship appearances, including one College Cup berth in 2010 when the Cardinals lost a 1-0 decision in the national title game. The Cardinals have averaged nearly 14 wins per season during the last six years, including a school record 20 wins in an unbeaten 2010 campaign.
Following Friday's match at Virginia, Louisville will open its 10-game home slate with a visit from Cleveland State on Wednesday, at 7 p.m., ET at Cardinal Park. To purchase 2013 season tickets or to become a 2014 founding season ticket holder at Lynn Stadium, call (502) 852-0120 or email email@example.com for more information.
Fans can follow Louisville men's soccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.