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Column: LouCity shows their character and perseverance

By Dan Karell / Louisville City FC , 10/09/17, 10:15AM EDT


A pattern in the season showed LouCity dominating the stat sheet and unable to comeback from behind. Something has changed recently for the squad.

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Photo by: Bee Buck Photography

We’ve seen it before.

Louisville City FC has conceded a goal, or a lead, and hasn’t been able to rebound. 

But something’s been different recently. 

The boys in purple battled back to a 2-2 draw with the Bethlehem Steel at home. During a five-games in 15-day stretch, the team lost just once, and even then, with 11 second half shots, Louisville City nearly equalized. 

On Saturday against the Charlotte Independence, Louisville City’s improved perseverance under duress and pressure was once again on display. After conceding eight minutes following the opening goal, Louisville City continued to push and substitute Brian Ownby, with a kind redirection off Kyle Smith, found the back of the net to give Louisville City a crucial 2-1 win. 

“I think the perseverance and the character,” Louisville City coach James O’Connor said of the comeback. “I love to see that, when you react to that and keep fighting and keep going, trying to win the game. That’s something we pride ourselves on. We try to win every game, so that’s great to see that kind of commitment and that kind of quality.”

The last time Charlotte and Louisville City met on August 5, Louisville City dominated possession but found themselves on the losing end, allowing a pair of breakaway counter-attack goals and an Enzo Martinez hat-trick. 

Later in August, Louisville City couldn’t overcome an early Orlando City B goal, falling 3-0 for the team’s first home defeat in a calendar year. 

But on Saturday, and during the last few weeks, the team hasn’t let the frustration take over after allowing a goal. Instead, they’ve gotten back to work, and have reaped the rewards of the attacking style by which they play. 

After Caleb Calvert’s blast tied the score in the 66th minute, Louisville City responded quickly with three straight corner kicks. A few minutes later Ownby had a strike outside of the box go wide. But a minute later in the 77th minute, Louisville City got back on top, thanks to a long speculative ball that Ownby chased down to create the beginning of the goal-scoring opportunity. 

“I thought we didn’t put our heads down like maybe we had done in the past,” Ownby said. “ (We) kept our heads up, knew we would get another chance, We peppered them in the second half, had to keep going, and we got one.”

With one regular season match remaining before the start of the 2017 United Soccer League playoffs, this is the time of the year for a team to show its mettle, that when they go down, they can battle back. 

And considering the point in the season, and all the character-building situations the team has been through this season, they are entering the playoffs with an added boost of confidence should an opponent find the back of the net, or even take a lead. 

“It speaks to our resilience, perseverance, something we speak about in the locker room,” goalscorer George Davis IV said. “We know in the next couple weeks it’s going to really come down to our mentality and us being able to persevere, so it’s good to see signs of that now. We just have to keep it going.”

Opinions expressed in this piece were not subject to club approval. For more insights on LouCity, follow former Courier-Journal reporter Dan Karell on Twitter: @DanKarellPreps.