Louisville City conceded a go-ahead goal and forced keeper Greg Ranjitisngh to make three saves Wednesday during the first half against the Harrisburg City Islanders. But the home club turned around in the second to equalize while holding Harrisburg without another shot.
“So, it was sort of Jekyll and Hyde, really,” coach James O’Connor said of a 1-1 result at Slugger Field.
But “if I’m being honest,” he added, LouCity “created enough chances to win the game.”
O’Connor’s club tallied 18 shots — nine in both halves — and placed six of them on goal. While LouCity extended its USL Eastern Conference lead over the New York Red Bulls II to two points, the draw left the players in purple wanting more.
There were certainly opportunities.
Cameron Lancaster tallied four shots in a rare start at forward, including a 44th-minute drive into the box where his shot dribbled just left of the post. Midfielder Aodhan Quinn also rocketed four shots, with a pair of close-call free kicks among them.
Paolo DelPiccolo equalized for LouCity in the 56th minute, netting his first goal for the club off a rebounding Lancaster try.
“It felt good,” said DelPiccolo, a midfielder out of the University of Louisville who also has five assists on the season. “Cam just had a great shot, and it fell right to me. I tapped it in — not exactly a wonder goal, but it was good to finally score.”
DelPiccolo’s only shot of the game made the difference after Jose Barril, a product of Real Madrid’s youth program, scored in the 20th minute for the City Islanders.
Cam Vickers lost the ball on the end line, watched it kick around the box. It landed at Barril’s feet before he paused and fired past LouCity keeper Greg Ranjitsingh.
In a heated race for the Eastern Conference title and top playoff seeding, LouCity maintained a lead. But the club also saw valuable points slip away when failing to net a second goal against 12th-place Harrisburg.
Louisville hosts the Rochester Rhinos at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the third of seven games in 10 days. Meanwhile, New York holds a pair of games in hand with a game against LouCity set for April 19 at Red Bull Arena.
The postgame message Wednesday from O’Connor?
“He said, ‘Keep your head up. We’ve got more games to go,'” said defender Kyle Smith. “We’ve got New York. We’ve just got to focus on what we’ve got to do and not worry about what other teams are doing and make sure that we bring our game every time we step on the field.”
Match: Louisville City FC vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Date: Aug. 10, 2016
Venue: Louisville Slugger Field
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Weather: Mostly clear, 86 degrees
Man of the Match: Paolo DelPiccolo
Louisville City FC (0, 1, 1)
Harrisburg City Islanders (1, 0, 1)
Harrisburg: Jose Barrol (20′)
LouCity: Paolo DelPiccolo (56′)
Louisville City FC: 13-Greg Ranjitsingh, 24-Kyle Smith, 6-Tarek Morad, 2-Ben Newnam, 5-Conor Shanosky, 36-Paolo DelPiccolo (70′ 8-Guy Abend), 4-Aodhan Quinn, 12-Mark-Anthony Kaye (54′ 7-Kadeem Dacres), 11-Niall McCabe (54′ 10-Magnus Rasmussen), 9-Cameron Lancaster (70′ 17-Chandler Hoffman), 22-George Davis IV (78′ 77-Andrew Lubahn)
Subs not used: 28-Tim Dobrowolski, 18-Paco Craig.
Head coach: James O’Connor
Harrisburg City Islanders: 30-Keasel Broome, 17-James Thomas, 16-Liam Doyle, 63-Dante Leverock, 23-Shawne MLaws, 19-Cordel Benbow (67′ 10-Paul Wilson), 6-Bobby Warshaw, 21-Mohammed Dabo, 77-Cam Vickers, 8-Jose Barril (81′ 7-Josh Hughes), 22-Craig Foster (58′ 9-Garret Pettis).
Subs not used: 1-Nick Noble, 2-Shane Campbell, 4-Yousseff Narcimi, 14-Danny DiPrima.
Head coach: Bill Becher
Stats Summary: LouCity / Harrisburg
Shots: 18 / 7
Saves: 3 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 13
Offside: 1 / 1
Referee: Georgios Zervos
Assistant Referee 1: Ben Hall-Volpenhein
Assistant Referee 2: Johann Pedolzky
4th Official: Joshua Brooks