Louisville City FC brought their ruthless side in a major way on Saturday night, demolishing Detroit City FC 4-0 to breeze into the Eastern Conference Final for a remarkable ninth consecutive season.
A pair of goals each from Cameron Lancaster and Brian Ownby powered LouCity past overmatched Detroit at Lynn Family Stadium, setting up a rematch with the Charleston Battery for the conference crown.
After an up-and-down campaign, coach Danny Cruz’s side saved their most complete performance for when it mattered most.
“Tonight was an amazing night – fantastic for the community, for the fans, for that locker room, for everything,” said a proud Cruz. “They executed the game plan to a T.”
Lancaster converted a first half penalty he drew before Ownby buried a chance just before the break. The rout was then completed by a Lancaster brace sandwiched between a stylish Jorge Gonzalez chip.
City’s stars delivered when the stakes were highest to overwhelm an opponent that sat back in a defensive shell for much of the night.
The eight-shot, four-goals performance was a throwback to the LouCity sides of yesteryear that almost never failed to punish limited visitors to Lynn Family Stadium.
“I’ve been frustrated this season, and I think we could have done stuff better,” said captain Paolo DelPiccolo. “But all season the quality’s there. Tonight, things went our way.”
After mustering just one shot on target in their playoff opener, this attacking clinic underscored why LouCity remains a postseason threat when clicking.
Rookie goalkeeper Oliver Semmle was rarely troubled en route to his first clean sheet since mid-September. The composed defense gave the boys in purple a platform to dictate the tempo and apply pressure.
With a trip to face Charleston in the balance, LouCity’s experienced core took charge to ensure City’s bid to defend their conference crown remains alive.
Lancaster rose to the big occasion by taking his playoff goal tally to eight, joint-most among active USL players. The potent combination with Ownby showed why they are still among the league’s most fearsome duos.
“You always want to start peaking in the playoffs and I hope we have more if that’s the case,” said Ownby. “We have full faith in the staff to prepare us.”
After an inconsistent campaign, everything came together when it mattered on a damp October night to extend Louisville City’s unprecedented playoff run.
With belief restored, the boys in purple now aim to summon that championship spirit again versus Charleston with a title bout on the line.
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