By Quin Welch, LouCity Insider
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —The 2016 USL regular season opened with Louisville City FC claiming all three road points at the death of the meeting with fellow second-year club Charlotte Independence. An eventful second half saw goalkeeper Scott Goodwin sprawl to save a penalty kick before striker Cameron Lancaster struck a sublime free kick in the 94th minute.
“I knew what I was looking at when I subbed in, late in the match,” Lancaster said. “When we were awarded the free kick in stoppage time, the placement was set up perfectly for me. I told that to (Aodhan Quinn) and he agreed, letting me take it. From there, it went right where I wanted to place it and I’m thankful to get back on the scoresheet in my first match back from injury.”
LouCity took home the 1-0 victory after the former Tottenham Hotspur striker smashed a beautiful free kick past Independence goalkeeper Cody Mizell in the final play of added time. Lancaster, who came on for Chandler Hoffman in the 76th minute, and LouCity captain Aodhan Quinn stood over the ball from 20 yards away after a Charlotte defender took down midfielder Kadeem Dacres.
“What a strike,” Louisville City coach James O’Connor said. “We expect to see those types of magic moments from Cameron and he came through. After the year he’s had and the rehabilitation work he’s put in, I couldn’t be more pleased for him.”
Lancaster, who sat out the 2015 season with a knee injury, showed his Premier League quality in the goal. He was able to get the ball over the wall and put it just out Mizell’s reach. The Charlotte keeper was able to get a finger on the shot, but it wasn’t enough, as the ball deflected onto the left post, where it bounced into the back of the net.
The goal came after Louisville City tried 18 shots for the game. O’Connor’s squad put pressure on Charlotte for the majority of the game, as the Independence surrendered eight corner kicks to LouCity.
“We felt that the first goal was coming,” LouCity midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye said. “Throughout the first half and deep into the second, we had chances in front of us. Charlotte is a good, organized team that made things difficult on us on their home field.”
In addition to Lancaster, there was another hero. Scott Goodwin, a North Carolina native, had an unbelievable performance in front of about 20 family members and friends, making three saves in the game.
Goodwin’s heroics spanned the whole game, but began in the 4th minute of the match. A Charlotte strike threatened the left side of the net, but Goodwin made a diving save and kept the ball out.
Goodwin came up big again the 75th minute. The referee awarded Charlotte a penalty, which Charlotte midfielder Jorge Herrera took well. Goodwin, however was better. He dove the correct way and denied Herrera the goal.
“Respect to Charlotte for certainly giving us a battle,” O’Connor said. “We’re happy with the result; you should be any time you can take the points away from home. For the first game of the season, we saw some things that pleased us and some things that we will return to the training field and address.”
With the victory, Louisville City will take all three points back to Louisville. LouCity will begin things at Louisville Slugger field against New York Red Bulls II next Saturday at 3 p.m.
In both LouCity’s and Charlotte’s first-ever seasons, both sides won one head-to-head game each. Charlotte won in Charlotte on May 2, 1-0. LouCity won at Louisville Slugger Field by a score of 1-0. Magnus Rasmussen scored the game’s only goal with a penalty kick
Today marks the first time the two sides have played at Ramblewood Soccer Complex, which houses the Independence.
LouCity signed two former Independence players in the offseason with the additions of former University of Louisville midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo and defender Ben Newnam.
Newnam and goalkeeper Scott Goodwin are both from the state of North Carolina. Goodwin played college soccer for the University of North Carolina and Newnam played for Wake Forest University. LouCity forward Andrew Lubahn played with Newnam at Wake Forest.
Louisville City FC Match Report
Match: Charlotte Independence vs. Louisville City FC
Date: March 26, 2016
Competition: United Soccer League
Venue: Ramblewood Soccer Complex
Kickoff: 7 p.m. EST
Weather: 60 degrees; rainy
Goal Scoring Rundown
LOU: Cameron Lancaster, 93rd minute: Lancaster put a beautiful free kick past Charlotte goalie Cody Mizell from 20 yards out. The ball deflected off the Independence keeper’s fingertips, onto the left post and then bounced into the back of the net.
Key Defensive Stops
LOU: Scott Goodwin, 4th minute: Goodwin saved a dangerous shot after a Charlotte attacker aimed his strike toward the left side of the goal. The former UNC Tar Heel saved the shot and the ball went out for a corner.
LOU: Scott Goodwin, 75th minute: The LouCity keeper made a heroic save on a Charlotte penalty kick. Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera took a good penalty on the right side of the goal, but Goodwin dove correctly and he was able to keep the ball out of the goal.
LOU: Scott Goodwin, 79th minute: Goodwin stopped a Charlotte free kick that was heading toward the right side of LouCity’s net.
CHA: 1-Cody Mizell; 3-Bilal Duckett (c), 25-Henry Kalungi, 2-Jack Metcalf, 4-Patrick Slogic; 14-Lewis Hilton (6-Jun Marques Davidson 54’), 7-Yann Ekra (16-Emmanuel Appiah 76’), 11-David Estrada; 10-Jorge Herrera (24-Norberto Ochoa 83’), 8-Caleb Calvert, 19-Enzo Martinez (20-Christopher Hellman 63’)
Subs not used: 26-Kyle Renfro, 13-Austin Yearwood, 15-Alec Bartlett,
Head coach: Mike Jeffries
LOU: 1-Scott Goodwin; 24-Kyle Smith, 15-Sean Reynolds, 5-Conor Shanosky, 19-Jonghyun Son; 8-Guy Abend, 4-Aodhan Quinn (c), 12-Mark-Anthony Kaye, 77-Andrew Lubahn, 22-George Davis IV (7-Kadeem Dacres 57’); 17-Chandler Hoffman (9-Cameron Lancaster 76’)
Subs not used: 13-Greg Ranjitsingh, 36-Paolo DelPiccolo, 6-Tarek Morad, 20-Enrique Montano
Head coach: James O’Connor