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Louisville climbs to top of Big East
by Paul Kennedy, October 12th, 2009 8:45AM



MEN'S NEWS ... In four seasons, Ken Lolla has accomplished at Louisville what he did at Akron. He's built Cardinals into a national power. They climbed up to No. 7 -- the highest-ranked Big East team in this week's Soccer America Men's Top 25 -- with a 1-0 win over ranked South Florida and 4-0 victory over Syracuse.

Lolla's arrival at Louisville coincided with the athletic department's move to upgrade the men's program. Lolla, who also worked in the U.S. U-18 national team program, used his national and international connections to bolster recruiting. He also convinced former U.S. World Cup player Brian Maisonneuve, who had worked at the under-17 residency program since 2005, to become an assistant at Louisville last year.

The '09 Cardinals are one of the most experienced teams in the country. The lone true freshman to start is former U.S. U-18 Paolo DelPiccolo from the Colorado Rush. Englishman Mark Knight, a transfer from Santa Barbara City College, and two Michigan Wolves products, Freddie Braun and Colin Rolfe, lead the Big East's highest-scoring team (2.55 goals a game) with five goals apiece.

The Cardinals' success has boosted interest in the program. Louisville ranks third in the Big East with an average attendance of 1,345 fans a game.

This week's Men's Top 25

* YEAGLEY FIRST. Todd Yeagley got his first Big Ten win as Wisconsin head coach on Sunday when the Badgers beat Michigan State, 2-1, on Scott Lorenz's goal in the 105th minute. It's been a rough first season for the son of former Indiana coach Jerry Yeagley, so the win, only the second in nine games, was much appreciated. "From front to back, this was our best performance of the year," Todd Yeagley said. "It was our toughness, team defending and our ability to get the ball to our key players and put pressure on the other team."

Lorenz delivered some much needed offense, also getting the first goal that snapped the Badgers' scoreless streak that had swelled to 313 consecutive minutes. The goals were his first in nine games after tallying a team-high 10 goals in 2008.

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