DALLAS - Sophomore Ricardo Velazco provided the offense scoring a pair of goals as the 17th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team had a record-setting night defensively on Sunday earning its fifth straight shutout in a 2-0 win at SMU at Westcott Field.
In extending their unbeaten streak to six matches and earning their fifth win in that stretch, the Cardinals improved to 7-2-1 overall and 3-0-0 in American Athletic Conference matches to remain atop the league standings. The host Mustangs dropped to 1-1-0 in conference matches and 2-8-0 overall.
The fifth straight shutout for Louisville set a new school record surpassing the previous mark of four consecutive shutouts achieved during the 2009 and 2011 seasons. The Cardinals, who have not allowed a goal since the first half of the Sept. 15 win over CSU Bakersfield, also set a school record for consecutive minutes without allowing a goal having now played 518 minutes without an opponent scoring. That surpassed the previous record of 496 minutes set during the 2011 season.
“It was a great effort on the road for the team,” said Louisville head coach Ken Lolla. “We made some adjustments in the first half that allowed us to keep the ball more and ultimately create more chances. Defensively, we were solid as a team and it’s always great to get the shutout.”
Velazco (Casa Grande, Ariz./Cal State San Bernardino) became the first Cardinal this season to score two goals in a match connecting for a pair of second half goals less than five minutes apart. After the two teams played a scoreless opening half, Velazco’s first goal of the night came just 1:11 into the second half when his shot from the left side of the 18-yard box deflected off the post and into the net in the 47th minute.
A little more than four minutes later, Velazco took a pass from freshman Andrew Brody (Orlando, Fla./Vista Grande HS) and scored past SMU goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra from 15 yards away in the 51st minute for the 2-0 cushion. With Sunday’s performance, Velazco leads the Cardinals with five goals and 14 points this season, while Brody is Louisville’s assist leader with six overall.
In goal for the Cardinals, junior Joachim Ball (Deutenberg, Germany) needed just one save to earn his sixth shutout of the season, including the fifth straight. Overall, Louisville had a 17-8 advantage in shots, including a 6-1 edge in shots on goal. SMU, which finished with a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks, was whistled for 13 fouls while the Cardinals had nine.
Up next, Louisville returns home to host Rutgers in an American Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday at 7 p.m., ET at Cardinal Park.
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