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Weekend Soccer Update: Shipping up to Boston

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Louisville came through in overtime at Boston College ahead of a road trip down I-64 for a mid-week matchup with Kentucky. Then Kentucky took things too far and it ended up being something we have to address.

Ricardo Velazco (far left) and Will Vitalis (second from left) both had a hand in goals this weekend.
Ricardo Velazco (far left) and Will Vitalis (second from left) both had a hand in goals this weekend.
Jeff Reinking, Louisville Athletics

First things first (don't even think about it), we'll jump right into #9 Louisville's second weekend in ACC play on the road at Boston College. It's hard to make a lot of observations since the game wasn't streamed online, but thanks to the top notch folks in the Louisville soccer office, we at least have these highlights:

You can also check out the full game recap right here.

Boston College jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, but it wasn't long before the Cardinals came up with an answer. It wasn't the most straight-forward goal ever scored, but Ricardo Velazco found a way to make his first deposit of the season in the 22nd minute by heading home the equalizer after Boston College's keeper had already made approximately a million saves (review above highlights for video evidence).

The pesky Eagles jumped back in front minutes later behind Phil Sandgren's second goal of the evening that propelled him into the upper-echelon Phil conversation. Don't read that wrong, there's legendary Phils like Mickelson, Collins and Knight that can't really be supplanted by one two-goal outing. With that said, if I were a second-tier, still great-but-not-legendary Phil like maybe an Ivey (poker) or Kessel (Boston Bruin), I'd be making room.

Louisville's Ben Strong equalized again to make it 2-2 in the 54th minute with his team-best third goal of the season on an assist from Will Vitalis. If you're sensing a theme here as to who is going to create lots of goals for Louisville this season, you're on to something and it's not wrong.

Anyway, the second half was scoreless from Strong's goal on, sending Louisville to overtime for the second time this season. Senior midfielder Nolan Moore took it from there, scoring the winner off of a Shane Campbell corner kick in the 98th minute. It's pretty remarkable how often winning on the road comes down to being effective on set pieces, as Louisville has fell victim to some set piece goals at home over the years. On Friday night, they proved again how important set pieces are - particularly late in games - and found a way to execute and emerge with three points.

With the victory, Louisville is now the only team in the ACC with six points (2-0-0 in conference play) after last week's triumph over Duke. Any win on the road is a great win, particularly in conference, and for the Cards it was their first road victory of the season. All of this is important for a couple of reasons. For one, conference positioning for the post-season tournament is always critical no matter how early in the season it may be. Additionally, another road trip is on the horizon for Louisville as they'll head to Lexington tomorrow night for a renewal of their rivalry with the Wildcats.

Kentucky is prepared for this, and they're making a strong push to pack the Bell Soccer Complex with an "Abe Out" Promotion. Admission to the game will be 1 penny and fans are encouraged to dress like it's the mid-19th century to celebrate the Commonwealth's role in Abe Lincoln's life. It's a great idea and a clever way to get fans out for a big game, and to use an overused phrase, they deserve a lot of credit. But then, Kentucky being Kentucky, they just had to take it a step too far and cross a line that shouldn't be crossed. Behold:

Abe_out_medium

OK, hold your horses, Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln's greatness is for everyone to share. Don't you dare make the gross assumption that he's a Kentucky fan. And whatever you do, don't even think about giving out hundreds of t-shirts professing an actual belief in that blasphe

Abe_cats_fan_medium

NO, KENTUCKY. First of all, Honest Abe was born closer to Louisville than Lexington, so you are way out of line to just think you can make him a Cats fan by photoshopping his face on a Kentucky soccer player and putting it on a t-shirt. This isn't fair and it isn't honest and you know it and you really should take it back.

A quick primer on the game itself, the Cats come into Tuesday's match on a roll, as they're unbeaten in their last four matches. Their current run began with an impressive victory over defending national champion Notre Dame. In their last game out, they drew Furman 2-2 after two overtimes. Louisville are now winners of two straight heading into the game, and will be looking to avenge a 2012 loss to the Wildcats that came at Cardinal Park. Kentucky leads the all-time series 13-11-4, though Louisville is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between the sides.

If you're interested in attending the game tomorrow night, Louisville is now sending two buses to Lexington to combat Kentucky's Abe Out. It includes Penn Station, a ticket and a t-shirt. Had you at Penn Station. The flyer is below, and you can click on it to get the full run-down of the proceedings:

Soccer_bus_trip_medium

The bottom line here is that this just became a bigger deal than just a soccer game. This is now bigger than the rivalry. We didn't ask for this, but Kentucky brought it to our doorstep. We will not lay down and watch as the Wildcats erroneously lay claim to one of the greatest men in our nation's proud history. This is now the Battle for Lincoln, and we will not falter.

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?" - Abraham Lincoln

Let's do this.