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Louisville City 0-1 Lipscomb University

Missed opportunities cost LouCity Wednesday night as Lipscomb University snagged a 1-0 victory in a preseason friendly. In front of an impressive Elizabethtown crowd, LouCity controlled possession for much of the match, creating a flurry of scoring chances in both halves. Unfortunately, none of their 17 shots found the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Lipscomb capitalized on one of its scarce open looks in the 74th minute, tapping in the game’s lone goal. A ball played over the top into the 18-yard box fell in behind LouCity’s back line. After a bit of a scramble, Lipscomb’s Ivan Sakou got a foot to the ball, which was nearly across the line before LouCity’s Sean Reynolds stretched to clear it away. But the ball landed right back at Sakou’s feet, and he put it in easily.
It was an undeserved result for a LouCity club that commanded the match throughout, allowing Lipscomb very little possession and creating a number of scoring chances in both halves.
The halftime score very well could have been 2-0. In the 13th minute, Lipscomb’s keeper went full stretch to save a Luke Spencer shot. And in a chaotic sequence 10 minutes later, Niall McCabe rifled a shot off the crossbar just before Spencer had a point-blank tap-in saved.
The Lipscomb defense withstood near-constant LouCity pressure the rest of the half to send the match to halftime scoreless.
LouCity made nine changes at the break, but continued to attack the Lipscomb defense, taking about a half-dozen shots in the first 10 minutes.
Perhaps the best opportunity came in the 55th minute after Cameron Lancaster was taken down about six yards outside the penalty area. Lancaster put the resulting free kick on frame, but an excellent diving save kept it out of the bottom corner.
From that point on, Lipscomb seemed to wake up offensively and assert itself on the match a bit more. The Bisons garnered more of the possession over about a 15-minute stretch, testing LouCity’s back line and earning three corners in the span of five minutes.
After the goal, it was 15 minutes of frenetic play from LouCity, with a number of crosses into the box going untouched or barely missing the head of a LouCity attacker. The only real chance came from an 88th-minute Sean Russell free kick from distance that found Guy Abend’s head at the far post but fell harmlessly into the keeper’s mitts.
After the game, Coach James O’Connor admitted his squad was a bit rusty, but these are games he expects them to win. He said the team’s focus now returns to training and getting sharper before the next preseason friendly, which is now the Indy Eleven match on March 18. The team announced Wednesday that next week’s match with the University of Kentucky has been canceled due to a scheduling conflict.
Notes & Comments:
– Last night’s game was delayed about 20 minutes because the Lipscomb team bus got held up in traffic on I-65 North (no surprise there). They didn’t arrive at the E-Town Sports Park until 6:40.
– There is a third goalkeeper on trial, but not even Jonathan Lintner knows who he is. Jonathan said he flew in last Saturday while the team was playing against Young Harris College. We may or may not hear more about him later, depending on how his trial goes.
– Guy Abend and Paco Craig were the only players to play the full 90 minutes last night.
– The three players who caught my eye most last night were Speedy Williams, GD4 and Richard Ballard. Speedy was extremely solid in the midfield. If a Lipscomb player had the ball anywhere near him, Speedy dispossessed him. I really liked the pairing of him and Abend as the holding midfielders. A couple of times, GD4 flew down the wing only to cut in to his right toward the middle and had the defender back on his heels. It’s a move I don’t remember seeing that often from him last year (but that may have just been because of my vantage point at Slugger Field), but it looked dangerous and I hope we see it a lot more this season. Ballard really impressed me with his speed and energy. He was the most dangerous player on the pitch for about the first 10 minutes of the second half. His energy waned a bit as the half wore on, but I think he could be a star on this team.
First Half XI
Ranjitsingh – Smith – Craig – Morad – Jimenez – Williams – Abend – Ownby – McCabe – Davis IV – Spencer
Second Half XI
Dobrowolski – Smith (Reynolds 61’) – Totsch – Craig – Russell – DelPiccolo – Abend – Ballard – Ilic – Kaye – Lancaster