Indy Eleven Ends Preseason with Scoreless Draw at University of Louisville
Goalkeeper Keith Cardona Steps up with Three Saves to Post Clean Sheet in Finale
LOUISVILLE (Friday, March 25, 2016) – Indy Eleven dueled the University of Louisville to a 0-0 draw in the squad’s 2016 preseason finale this evening at Cardinal Park on the UofL campus. Eleven goalkeeper Keith Cardona made three saves and other critical interventions to help the visitors post the clean sheet.
While play would flow back and forth throughout the early stages, the game’s first real dangerous chance wouldn’t come until the 36th minute, when Indy Eleven guest player Aaron Horton’s run down the right flank was cut down by a Cardinal defender to set up a free kick. Midfielder Nicki Paterson swung a nice ball in towards the penalty spot where forward Wojciech Wojcik rose to meet it, but his header bounced down off the crossbar and was cleared from the area.
Louisville had some good looks of their own in the final five minutes, but Cardona came up huge. The second year netminder first came off his line strong and went low to block away a 1-v-1 opportunity in the right side of the area in the 40th minute, followed by a back-peddling leap to stop a chipped effort from distance destined for the upper left corner that ended the first half.
The home side had a couple of looks in the 54th minute when several Cards flooded Indy’s six-yard box, but a couple of pokes failed to make their way through heavy traffic at the left post and the danger was eventually cleared.
The chances would dry up from there on out, but Louisville would ratchet up the pressure in the 82nd minute when an attacker cut inside from the right flank and unleashed a low shot from 20 yards out that forced Cardona into a smothering stop. Indy would push some numbers into the Cardinals area for some good-looking set piece opportunities of its own in the final two minutes, but Wojcik and defender Cory Miller saw their headed efforts deflected out for corners, keeping the match scoreless to the final whistle.
Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson elected to leave the bulk of the “Boys in Blue” that played most or all of Wednesday’s match against Butler back in Indianapolis, giving five guest players the opportunity to see considerable minutes against the Cards. Three of those players – Vinnie Mitchell, Nago Mbengue and Thomas Schmitt – were earlier this week named to the roster that will compete for the Indy Eleven NPSL side beginning in May.
With the six-week preseason now in the rearview mirror, Indy Eleven can turn its focus fully to its NASL season opener next Saturday, April 2, at the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Fans can watch the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff from Al Lang Stadium live on ONE World Sports and online at ONEWorldSports.com, and can also follow live updates via the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed and additional Indy Eleven social media outlets.
Indy Eleven kicks off its home slate at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium a week later on Saturday, April 9, against 2015 NASL Championship finalist Ottawa Fury FC. Season, single game and group tickets for the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at “The Mike” can be purchased at IndyEleven.com or by phone at 317-685-1100 (Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET).
Indy Eleven XI (4-2-3-1, L -> R): Keith Cardona; *Jeff McClure, Neil Shaffer, Cory Miller, Don Smart; Nicki Paterson (*Nago Mbengue 38’) (Marco Franco 75’), Brad Ring (*Thomas Schmitt 38’); Duke Lacroix (Aaron Horton 87’), Dylan Mares, *Vinnie Mitchell (^Aaron Horton 32’) (Vinnie Mitchell 67’); Wojciech Wojcik
* Indy Eleven NPSL player
^ Guest player