CRAWFORD | Hat trick lifts LouCity's Lancaster into USL lead
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Cameron Lancaster was a gifted scorer from the moment he arrived in Louisville, putting his value on full display a season ago when he scored the game-winning goal in the USL championship game.
This season, the 25-year-old striker from London has been even more consistently versatile. His three goals against New York Red Bulls II on Friday night -- his first hat trick in a LouCity uniform -- came in this fashion:
He took a pass through the air from George Davis IV, split defenders and outran them to the ball to win possession, then jabbed a ball through with his right foot past the goalkeeper on the run in the 43rd minute.
In the 63rd minute, Paolo Del Piccolo headed a corner kick from the far side of the goal back toward Lancaster across the goal. Lancaster headed the ball just inside the near post where the keeper had no chance.
He completed the hat trick in the open field by winning a one-on-one duel after a pass from Luke Spencer, sliding right to get past a defender, then scoring with his left foot just inside the box.
Three goals, three completely different scenarios. And that's nothing new for Lancaster. A story from the USL official site on Saturday noted that of his league-leading 13 goals this season, he's scored 4 with his right foot, 8 with his left, and headed one in. (In fact, he scored one of each Saturday night.) He's also scored four times from outside the area and twice on direct free kicks.
He's the only player in the league to score in all five categories -- something he did a year ago.
On Saturday night, he had the added bonus of scoring off an assist from each of LouCity's player coaches -- Davis, Del Piccolo and Spencer. It continued an offensive awakening for Louisville, which has scored 18 games in the six games since the player-coaches took over.
"Cam was brilliant tonight," Spencer said after the 6-4 win. "(His performance) speaks for itself. Cam is someone who has a lot of goals in him. He dealt with the shoulder injury, came back, and was able to pick back up. That he scored a lot of goals tonight is not surprising."
The game also marked the return of Spencer, who played for the first time in more than eight weeks after a knee injury.
"I was just glad to be able to get back onto the field," Spencer said. "It was a long rehab process."
The win solidified Louisville in fourth place in the USL's Eastern Division with 39 points, one short of Charleston and Pittsburgh, and four ahead of fifth-place New York. The team returns home for its season finale Saturday night against Nashville SC in Louisville Slugger Field. It'll be their first game under new head coach John Hackworth. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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