It was three set piece goals that provided the difference in Louisville City FC’s 3-1 victory over reigning USL Championship title winners Orange County SC on Saturday at Lynn Family Stadium, putting the club at the top of the Eastern Conference table.
“I was pretty happy with the first half,” said LouCity head coach Danny Cruz. “I thought we did a good job limiting opportunities and controlling the game. Obviously, I’m not happy that we conceded a goal the way we did, but I had full confidence at halftime with the team. But all in all, I felt we wore the opponent down over 90 minutes, and that’s where the penalties came from.”
The boys in purple were coming off a rare week off following a 1-0 defeat at the Tampa Bay Rowdies on June 5, a loss that marked the club’s fourth loss in five games.
“I think the week off was important, more importantly from a mental standpoint,” Cruz said. “The guys have been on a tough stretch. They needed some time, both mentally and physically to try to recover. We talked about dealing with adversity, we talked about making sure that we come to work every day to improve.”
LouCity’s first goal came in the 40th-minute when midfielder Niall McCabe served a free kick into the box that was initially cleared out by Orange County’s defense. It landed to forward Enoch “Matiti” Mushagalusa, who chested the ball down to his feet and fired it into the far corner. Mushagalusa, who was initially named to the bench for Saturday’s match, was thrust into the starting lineup for an injured Cameron Lancaster minutes before kickoff.
“It was crazy when I found out I was starting,” Mushagalusa said. “I like to put on a show, so I was like ‘It’s game on’. You just come in and have fun and enjoy it.
Once they crossed the ball, it just landed on my chest. I was thinking just to shoot. It was a small window, and I put the ball in the perfect place.”
Orange County leveled things right before the break when the ball was loose in the box. City goalkeeper Danny Faundez, who was making his first USL Championship start, made the initial save, with defender Amadou Dia clearing another chance off the line. Orange County’s Erick Torres finally finished the ball into the net in the 44th-minute.
Entering the second half, City continued to pressure Orange County. That pressure paid off when the club was awarded a pair of penalties. The first came in the 73rd when forward Brian Ownby was tripped up in the 18-yard box. Defender Sean Totsch placed the kick into the bottom right corner, his second penalty kick goal of the year. Ten minutes later, Wilson Harris was tripped up and then converted his kick in the same spot.
“The press front and back throughout really wore them down,” Ownby said. “That caused them to have some turnovers that we capitalized and turned them into penalties later on.”
With this result, LouCity moves to the top of the Eastern Conference standings (9-3-3, 15 pts.). The boys in purple will be back in action next Saturday on the road against Hartford Athletic FC on ESPN.
Game Summary: Louisville City FC vs. Orange County SC
Date: June 18, 2022
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 79 degrees, Clear skies
Player of the Match: Enoch Mushagalusa
Louisville City FC (1, 2, 3)
Orange County SC (1, 0, 1)
Louisville City FC:
40’ Enoch Mushagalusa
75’ Sean Totsch (Penalty)
85’ Wilson Harris (Penalty)
Orange County SC:
45’ Erick Torres
Louisville City FC (4-3-3): 18 – Danny Faundez; 66 – Joshua Wynder, 6 – Wes Charpie, 4 – Sean Totsch; 3 – Amadou Dia, 21 – Ray Serrano (76’ 14 – Wilson Harris), 13 – Corben Bone, 11 – Niall McCabe (76’ 12 – Tyler Gibson), 36 – Paolo DelPiccolo (59’ 9 – Jorge Gonzalez); 10 – Brian Ownby, 77 – Enoch Mushagalusa (83’ 7 – Napo Matsoso)
Subs not used: 24 – Parker Siegfried, 19 – Oscar Jimenez
Head Coach: Danny Cruz
Orange County SC (4-4-2): 1 – Patrick Rakovsky; 6 – Michael Orozco, 5 – Ahmed Longmire, 22 – Albi Skendi, 3 – Alex Villanueva; 7 – Milan Iloski, 12 – Daniel Pederson, 13 – Tommy McCabe (70’ 15 – Kevin Partida), 8 – Seth Casiple (79’ 19 – Sean Okoli); 18 – Korede Osundina (62’ 25 – Mikko Kuningas), 9 – Erick Torres
Subs not used: 20 – Colin Shutler, 26 – Hassan Ndam, 14 – Tony Rocha, 17 – Ivan Gutierrez
Head Coach: Richard Chaplow
Stats Summary: Louisville City FC / Orange County SC
Shots: 7 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Possession: 56.5% / 43.5%
Fouls: 11 / 16
Offside: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Louisville City FC:
66’ Amadou Dia (Yellow)
87’ Joshua Wynder (Yellow)
90’+5’ Brian Ownby (Yellow)
Orange County SC:
26’ Daniel Pederson (Yellow)
40’ Albi Skendi (Yellow)
50’ Korede Osundina (Yellow)
84’ Kevin Partida (Yellow)
Referee: Kevin Broadley