Sean Totsch’s second-half equalizer helped Louisville City FC share a point from a 1-1 draw with archrival Indy Eleven in front of 8,551 on Saturday night at Lynn Family Stadium.
It was the first time LouCity dropped points and conceded a goal this young season, but the boys in purple came away pleased with their rejuvenated resolve in the final 45 minutes.
“The second half was excellent,” head coach Danny Cruz said. “We held them to one shot – zero shots on target. But again, you look at it for 90 minutes. We talked in there that we just can’t start the game that way. It’s lessons learned, for sure.”
LouCity (3-0-1) started on the front foot, with striker Wilson Harris going close on a shot from just outside the area that fizzed past the near post.
Indy Eleven, however, scored in the 22nd minute against the run of play when Nicky Law’s whipped-in cross found an unmarked Stefano Pinho at the back post for a header.
Eleven minutes later, Indy’s Jonas Fjeldberg collected a pass in the half-space to LouCity goalkeeper Kyle Morton’s right and fired a rocket of a shot toward the top right corner from the edge of the area. Morton’s fingertip save that pushed the shot onto the crossbar preserved City’s 1-0 deficit and ultimately stood as a point-saving reaction.
City nearly equalized in the 41st minute when Amadou Dia’s curling left-footed strike from the edge of the area skimmed the top of the net, missing by less than a foot.
LouCity’s moment finally came early in the second half. Corben Bone’s out-swinging cross on a corner was punched away by Indy Eleven goalkeeper Elliott Panicco, but Totsch half-volleyed in the rebound to tie the game in the 53rd minute.
“Usually I just tried to make a hard run to the near post,” Totsch said. “I think it was Paolo (DelPiccolo) who challenged on the goalie and the ball just dropped into a good. I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best.”
Totsch scored for the first time since Aug. 30, 2020, when he found the back of the net against Saint Louis FC. It was his ninth career goal.
“It was a great finish,” Bone said. “When the ball is bouncing around like that, it is important to go for goal and I thought he did well. He turned and he hit it. It was early in the half. I’m happy for him.”
As with any rivalry match, there was controversy. City thought it scored the game-winner in the 83rd minute when a deflection off of Bone’s corner came close to crossing the goal line. A last-ditch clearance by Indy Eleven’s Rodney Michael clattered off the crossbar to clear the danger.
Nevertheless, the conversations after the match all centered on mentality. Bone liked his team’s response to the frustrating first half. Cruz did, too.
City finished with seven points from three matches in a seven-day span and now has the full week to prep for former divisional rivals Birmingham Legion, which hosts the boys in purple next Saturday in Alabama.
“It was a difficult week with travel,” Cruz said. “We certainly are not happy to not have nine points off the week. We are proud of how the players finished the game tonight.”
Game Summary: Louisville City FC vs. Indy Eleven
Date: March 26, 2022
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Weather: 43 degrees, partly cloudy
Man of the Match: Sean Totsch
Louisville City FC (0, 1, 1)
Indy Eleven (1, 0, 1)
Louisville City FC:
53’ Sean Totsch
22’ Pinho (Law)
Louisville City FC: 1 – Kyle Morton; 15 – Manny Perez, 6 – Wes Charpie, 4 – Sean Totsch, 32 – Ian Soler (46’ 36 – Paolo DelPiccolo), 3 – Amadou Dia; 13 – Corben Bone (c), 7 – Napo Matsoso; 10 – Brian Ownby, 9 – Jorge Gonzalez (40’ 77 – Enoch Mushagalusa), 14 – Wilson Harris
Subs not used: 24 – Parker Siegfried; 30 – Jan-Erik Leinhos, 66 – Josh Wynder; 8 – Carlos Moguel, Jr.; 21 – Ray Serrano
Head Coach: Danny Cruz
Indy Eleven: 12 – Elliott Panicco; 5 – Jared Timmer, 3 – AJ Cochran, 4 – Mechack Jerome, 25 – Byram Rebellon; 10 – Jonas Fjeldberg, 6 – Sam Brown, 23 – Justin Ingram, 27 – Nicky Law; 13 – Aris Briggs (96’ 28 – Palmer Ault), 29 – Stefano Pinho (73’ 19 – Rodney Michael)
Subs not used: 1 – Tim Trilk; 20 – Karl Ouimette, 32 – Bryce Warhaft, 37 – Ecris Revolorio; 39 – Luca Iaccino
Head Coach: Mark Lowry
Stats Summary: Louisville City FC / Indy Eleven
Shots: 14 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Possession: 59.3% / 40.7%
Fouls: 13 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 9 / 1
Indy Eleven: 34’ Jared Timmer (yellow)
Louisville City: 84’ Brian Ownby (yellow)
Indy Eleven: 86’ Aris Briggs (yellow)
Louisville City: 89’ Amadou Dia (yellow)
Referee: Eric Tattersall