An old chestnut philosophy, ‘Build it and they will come’, has engulfed the Louisville athletic mantra lead by athletic director, Tom Jurich.  Jurich had that picture painted on his Day 1 with every coaching hire, every recruit landed converted to winning seasons assembled and initiative to improve facilities. Build it and they will come.

That couldn’t be more evident in the Cardinal soccer program, specifically Ken Lolla, who is at the helm for the men’s side of the ball.  Beginning his 12th season as the head coach, Coach Lolla has marched his squad to the top of the national prominence in men’s division 1 soccer.  And if you’ve never had a chance to hear the inspirations by this coach and what he feels for his employer. I’ll let you watch the following video for a better idea.

First off, Bravo on that red suit. And sincerely, thank YOU for speaking out about and for those you feel so strongly about.  Build it and they will come.

Out of everyone in the room, Coach Lolla was heard the loudest.  The 2017 student athlete panel, Tate Schmitt, Tim Kubel, and Mohamad Thiaw, were those who Coach Lolla declared exhibited the most leadership qualities for this year’s squad.  Anyone who has had the pleasure to be among Coach Lolla’s speak, can attest to the motivation felt, as I have for the 5 years I’ve gotten to know Coach, his program and family.  And what an inspiration it is to hear from a man who thinks so highly of his boss and to turn around and hear everyone speak so highly of him it a true testament of the mutual respects and high regard that is held of one another at the University of Louisville.

The student athletes spoke about their goals when they were recruited.  They spoke highly of the man that painted those pictures for them to commit to the Cards, Coach Lolla.  They spoke about the alumni who paved the way for their success on and off the field (some were in attendance, others participated via skype) and how much trust can be placed on the process that is becoming yourself as an individual, as a player and a monumental piece of the foundation in the Louisville community, as well.  Build it and they will come.  Juniors and Seniors to freshman, and further to the middle school age boys who attended with their families, hoping to one day become a Louisville Cardinal, too.  They mentioned every 6am practice and its importnace and Coach Lolla shows the impact of a 1 min clean up drill to end on a high note and that it is only the beginning of the day. And to go make it a good one.  For everyone else and then for you, too.  Build it and they will come.

Sean Moth, THE Voice of the Cards (WHO ELSE?!), was the evening’s emcee.  He was off behind the curtains but Coach Lolla couldn’t forget his, Louie the Cardinal Bird and Al Greener and the pep band who came out to fire up the crowd that featured about 225 fans, friends and families of the program.

Watch the video below to hear Coach Lolla’s State of the Team Address.

Coach Lolla also made sure to shout out each individual group for their roles in helping the program grow to its new heights each and every year. Including the program’s Sports Information Director, Garett Wall, who makes my job, the eager fan, a little easier to bring to you #cardnation.

I bring you, from the beginning of the 2017 fall sports season. Welcome to it, everyone!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville men’s soccer team will play the first of its three preseason matches on Saturday night and when the Cardinals kick off their exhibition slate against Lipscomb, fans at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium will see numerous familiar faces among the group of returning players as well as a deep class of talented newcomers on the 2017 roster.

The Cardinals, ranked No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, are anchored by the return of a trio of standout seniors in All-American defender Tim Kubel, All-ACC forward Mohamed Thiaw and All-ACC midfielder Geoffrey Dee, who played key roles in 2016 when Louisville advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in seven years. UofL also lost some key contributors to that squad, including four players selected in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft in midfielder Daniel Johnson, goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland, defender Michael DeGraffenreidt and midfielder Romilio Hernandez.

The 2017 roster includes numerous returnees from last year’s squad who have positioned themselves with an opportunity to compete for significant playing time. Along with those veteran players, head coach Ken Lolla and his coaching staff have added 14 newcomers to the program with a mix of experienced Division I transfers and talented freshmen to build an impressive roster of potential impact players this season.

Louisville added a trio of transfers in senior midfielder Walker Andriot (Xavier), senior defender Campbell Weyland (Lafayette) and junior midfielder Adam Wilson (Cincinnati). Andriot, who is a native of Shelbyville, Kentucky and the son of UofL men’s soccer alumnus BJ Andriot, made 50 starts and played in 59 matches in three seasons at Xavier. Weyland is a graduate of St. Xavier High School in Louisville and made 36 starts with 38 total appearances in three seasons at Lafayette. Wilson joins the Cardinals after two seasons at Cincinnati, where he was the 2016 American Conference Midfielder of the Year and made 31 starts with 36 appearances during his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

The Cardinals also added 11 freshmen newcomers for 2017 as midfielder Elijah Amo (Lothian, Md.), midfielder Chaz Andriot (Shelbyville, Ky.), midfielder JP Armbruster (Nashville, Tenn.), defender Chris DeMartino (Potomac, Md.), midfielder Hamam El-Fitouri (Manchester, England), defender Ziyad Fekri (Rabat, Morocco), goalkeeper William Howard (Chester, Va.), forward Izaiah Jennings (Barrington, R.I.), goalkeeper Trey Miller (Monson, Mass.), midfielder Alec-Michael Petrizzi (Wellington, Fla.) and midfielder Cameron Wheeler (Louisville, Ky.) officially reported to campus on Monday. The talented class of first year players provides the Cardinals with great depth as well as a strong foundation for the future.

Following the preseason opener against Lipscomb on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ET, Louisville will continue its exhibition slate against Indiana on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., in Westfield, Ind., before closing the trio of preseason matches against Oakland on Aug. 19 at Lynn Stadium. The Cardinals will open the regular season against UC Irvine on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m., ET at Lynn Stadium.

I will see you all out there!




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Daryl Foust

Lifelong fan of the Louisville Cardinals, been covering the teams since 2012, graduated from c/o 2015, Writer/Contributor for TCZ for Men's Soccer, Women's Basketball & Softball since 2016.

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