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Lancaster’s Strike Paves Louisville’s Way

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/18/17, 9:12AM EDT


First league goal in more than two months thrilled crowd of 8,741 at Slugger

Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Having gone more than two months without a goal in league action, Cameron Lancaster didn’t take long on Saturday night to join in Louisville City FC’s recent scoring explosion.

Just eight minutes in against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Louisville was awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Lancaster’s curled effort to the top-left corner beat both Hounds goalkeeper Trey Mitchell and a defender on the post to send a crowd of 8,741 fans at Slugger Field into celebration.

"Any free kick in that position, you've got to go across the keeper and just try to dip it over the wall – try to make the keeper make the save,” said Lancaster. “Thankfully the contact was good. The positioning was good. I just put it in the top corner.”

The standout strike was the first of two on the night for the English forward, doubling his goals total for the season as Louisville claimed a second success 3-0 win, and their fourth win in their last five outings to move into second place in the Eastern Conference. For Louisville Head Coach James O’Connor, the opening goal set the stage for another strong performance from the side overall.

“I thought Cameron’s free kick was really special, really special,” said O’Connor. “I mean I think when you look at the quality of the strike, the distance, that’s a hell of a goal.”

Lancaster’s performance continued Louisville’s strong run of form in front of goal during its recent run of form. After scoring only eight goals in its first eight games of the 2017 regular season, Louisville has now run off 11 goals in its past four outings. Add in three consecutive shutouts, and the side is beginning to find the sort of form that has carried it to the Eastern Conference Final of the USL Cup Playoffs each of the past two seasons.

On a hot night in Louisville, the hosts carried most of the game as they made the Riverhounds work hard defensively and offer little outlet for the likes of Hounds striker Corey Hertzog. The Riverhounds’ leading scorer had the visitors’ only shot on goal in the game four minutes before halftime, and while there were some other half-chances for the Hounds, Louisville held firm to its one-goal lead before pulling away in the second half.

"They’re a good team first and foremost,” said Niall McCabe of the Riverhounds. “They have really good players. They have good movement, and that’d cause anybody problems any day. It was just really resilient from us at the back. At halftime we went down there and addressed things from our standpoint. Just credit to the boys that were on the field that withstood that bit of pressure.”

Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

Lancaster’s second goal of the night in the 64th minute, created by an excellent piece of work by Brian Ownby on the left, and McCabe’s tally with 12 minutes to go put the game out of reach for Louisville. Now three points behind Eastern Conference leader the Charleston Battery with two games in hand, the clash between the two sides at MUSC Health Stadium on July 8 is shaping up as one of the biggest of the season.

With the form Louisville is in after their 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II last weekend, the view to the top of the conference standings is now clear.

"The stats speak for themselves,” said Lancaster. “The defense did well. The attack did great. It was a good team performance, so yeah, you can't really ask for more.”

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