ORLANDO, Fla. - The 22nd-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team opened its American Athletic Conference slate in impressive fashion earning a 3-0 road victory at UCF on Saturday night at the UCF Soccer Complex.
The Cardinals improved to 4-2-0 overall and opened conference action with a win for the sixth time in eight seasons under the guidance of head coach Ken Lolla. The Knights dropped to 2-3-0 overall, 0-1-0 in conference action and 0-3-0 all-time against Louisville.
The Cardinals wasted little time in taking command in Saturday night’s match as senior Jimmy Ockford (Yardley, Pa./Mount St. Mary’s) connected on a header in the third minute of action for his team-leading third goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage. Senior Ade Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif./Boston University) was credited with his first assist of 2013 as the ball deflected off a UCF defender before Ockford sent it into the goal.
Less than 11 minutes later, Louisville pushed its lead to 2-0 when Ricardo Velazco (Casa Grande, Ariz./Cal State San Bernardino) scored on a penalty kick after the Knights were whistled for a foul inside the 18-yard box in the 14th minute. The goal was the second of the season for Velazco, who leads the Cardinals with seven points on the season.
Following the halftime break, Louisville added its final goal of the night in the 60th minute when sophomore Marlon Hairston (Jackson, Miss./IMG Pendleton School) took an errant pass by the Knights and scored inside the right post for his second goal of the season and a 3-0 advantage. Saturday marked the second straight match both Ockford and Hairston have scored goals for the Cardinals, who have seven goals in a back-to-back wins over CSU Bakersfield and UCF.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Joachim Ball (Deutenberg, Germany) needed just one save as he and the Cardinals earned their second shutout of the season. Overall, Louisville finished with a 13-9 advantage in shots, including a 4-1 edge in shots on goal, while corner kicks were even at 3-3.
Up next, the Cardinals will return home to host SIU Edwardsville on Tuesday at 7 p.m., ET at Cardinal Park. That will be the first of two home games next week for Louisville as Temple comes to town on Saturday night for a 7 p.m., ET kickoff in conference action.
Fans can follow Louisville men's soccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.