CRAWFORD | Lancaster's record night leads LouCity comeback
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – When Matt Fondy of Louisville City FC set the United Soccer League record for goals scored in 2015, Cameron Lancaster was in the stands watching, sidelined with an ACL injury.
On Tuesday night in Louisville Slugger Field, Lancaster was back on the pitch, and it was his turn. The forward from Camden, London, took a pass from Paco Craig, turned and struck a ball about midway between the penalty arc and the halfway line in the second half of LouCity’s 2-1 victory over North Carolina FC, sending the ball over the keeper and into the pink netting on a breast cancer awareness night.
It was his 23rd goal of the season, breaking the USL single-season record for goals, and pulling Louisville even after a scoreless first half.
“I honestly didn’t even have a look,” Lancaster said of his 30-yard equalizier. “I had a few chances I should have scored on in the first half and so I just thought I needed to take a pop and test the ‘keeper early. Thankfully it came off. . . . It means a lot. I’ve had a tough journey to get here. When I saw Fondy do it I was in the stands with an ACL injury wishing I could be on the pitch doing exactly what he was doing. To do it three or four years on, it means a lot.”
He wasn’t finished. He took a through ball from Ilija Ilic and put it home in the 84th minute for the game-winner.
Louisville coach John Hackworth said Lancaster shared the credit with his teammates afterward.
“I can just tell you what he said to the whole team in that locker room,” Hackworth said. “It means a tremendous amount, but he also gave his teammates a lot of credit for that because they’re the ones who are working hard for him, supplying him and service, and ultimately, Cam’s the one that has to execute. I think everybody in that locker room is celebrating with Cam right now, but anytime you reach a milestone like this, it’s a collective thing. He was very appreciative.”
Lancaster wasn’t the only player to hit a milestone. Niall McCabe started his 100th game for Louisville City, the only player in franchise history to hit the century mark. He has been with the club since it began.
“We were talking when we came into the building together for the game and I said, ‘Hey, congrats, you know, as long as you don't get hurt warmups, you’re getting 100.’” Hackworth said. “And he said, ‘coach, I never would've thought about it, I would've never dreamed that I could be in one club for 100, but to be here and had the success we've had.’ I would say he was emotional about it because it meant that much to him.”
After going scoreless in the first half, Hackworth said he liked seeing his team fight back.
“Yeah, I loved the fact that we were down and came back. I thought our resolve, our character, it really showed through there in the second half. We knew it was going to be a tough game because North Carolina had to win. They had to win. And that's just a really difficult position to be in. You could tell that they wanted that game really bad, in some ways maybe more than us,” Hackworth said. “We, I thought, in the second half did an excellent job of being tough -- Cam (Lancaster) starts it with a phenomenal goal. I mean, that was fantastic. So to break the record on that was amazing. We had to dig deep and that's what good teams have to do. So it wasn't the prettiest of games, but I'm happy for everybody.”
LouCity controlled just better than 58 percent of possession and outshot North Carolina 21-8, putting eight shots on target to the visitors’ three.
The victory keeps Louisville alone in second place in the USL Eastern Conference. LouCity will wrap up its regular season at 7:30 Saturday night against Indy Eleven at Louisville Slugger Field.
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