A pair of first half goals, including one just 44 seconds into the match from junior Mohamed Thiaw, helped the University of Louisville men’s soccer team to a dominant 2-0 road victory against No. 14 Connecticut on Friday night at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
Playing their first regular season road match of 2016, the Cardinals (2-0-1) wasted little time taking command as Thiaw gained control of the ball inside the Huskies (2-1-0) box and scored from the left side after 44 seconds of action. It marked the earliest goal in a match for Louisville since Sept. 1, 2002 when Justin Pierre connected for a goal against IUPUI only 26 seconds after kickoff. The goal for Thiaw was his second of the season after also scoring in Monday night’s home win over Quinnipiac.
“It was the fact that we simply out-worked our opponent tonight,” said Louisville head coach Ken Lolla. “I was proud of our relentless effort throughout.”
Louisville extended the advantage to 2-0 when sophomore Tate Schmitt gathered a rebound off a shot from senior Romilio Hernandez and scored from inside the six-yard box in the 29th minute. The goal was the first of the season and the eighth career tally for Schmitt, while Hernandez was credited with his first assist of the season.
The first half offense proved to be more than enough for the Cardinals, who finished with a 10-4 advantage in shots against the Huskies, including a 7-1 margin on-goal. Through the first three matches of the season, Louisville has out-shot its opponents 54-17 overall and 25-9 on-goal.
Graduate student Stefan Cleveland needed just one save to register his second shutout of the season. It was also marked the second straight season the Dartmouth transfer has posted a shutout against UConn in Storrs after accomplishing the feat in a double-overtime draw last season for the Big Green.
Friday’s result marked the second straight season Louisville has defeated UConn after earning a 2-1 home win last season. It was also the Cardinals’ first ever road win against the Huskies, who suffered their first loss of the season after outscoring their first two opponents by a combined score of 5-1.
Up next, Louisville travels to Lexington, Ky., for the annual Battle of the Bluegrass match against Kentucky on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., ET.
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