#5 Louisville Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Rank: #5
Conference Rank: #2 Big East
Louisville Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Louisville Team Page


The Big East is one of the toughest conferences for men’s soccer in Division One of the NCAA and Louisville is no exception. Head Coach Ken Lolla isn’t likely to let things change in the program. Coach Lolla has taken the Cardinals to the NCAA final and elite eight in his seven seasons at Louisville. He has set up the Cardinals schedule in past seasons so that it would be the toughest in the NCAA just to help prep the squad for the post season. He scheduled power house teams, not just conference matches but non-conference games as well. A trip to the elite eight of the College Cup is proof that it works.

2011 Record: 14-7-2, 3-4-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ken Lolla

The Cardinals will be looking to fill a few holes on the offense and Coach Lolla has the talent to do it. Returning to the pitch for the Cardinals are forward Buck Tufty and midfielders Paolo Del Piccolo and Michael Roman. Tufty, Paolo, and Roman all were contributors to the offense last year in goals and assists. The defense saw little change in the roster except for the keeper position. Coach Lolla has added six new players with the recruiting class including another keeper, Daniel Brennan from Illinois, who will be competing for the starting spot against returning keeper, Mike Mauro. The rest of the defense has three new defenders playing alongside four upper classmen and the same goes for the offense. With this talented group, UL will be looking forward to taking the pitch this season.

Coach Lolla seems to know something when it comes to scheduling games because this season won’t be much different than last season. The Cardinals will have one of the hardest schedules out there taking on Maryland, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Ohio State, Indiana, and UC Irvine just for the non-conference matches. The exhibition games before regular season are even tough when they have to meet UAB. When UL finally does get to conference play, they start against Notre Dame followed by Rutgers, then St John’s. The schedule is how Coach Lolla likes it, but the team itself will need to rebuild after losing their top three scorers.

Final Projection:
Coach Lolla’s tough schedule has proven to work in the past and he will hope for it to work this season as well. The Cardinals had no one star player but a whole team full of skill last year. The same goes for this season. The Cardinals will need to keep from being intimidated when going against the big powerhouses, which isn’t likely since most of the team is used to this schedule.  Even with the talent, UL may not be a favorite for the Big East title but may cause an upset. Watch for UL to be in the top 25 all season long and get a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Michael Roman, Senior, MF, 4; Buck Tufty, Senior, F, 4
Assists: Paolo Del Piccolo, Senior, MF, 6
Shots: Michael Roman, Senior, MF, 28
Saves: None

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#39 Luis Ramirez
#114 Marlon Hairston