LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cameron Lancaster notched a hat trick to move to 20 goals for the season as Louisville City FC took a 3-1 victory against Memphis 901 FC on Saturday night at Lynn Family Stadium that kept them in with a chance to claim first place in the USL Championship’s Central Division when the side visits Birmingham Legion FC on the final day of the season next weekend.
Louisville controlled possession early on but was unable to create a telling chance in the final third until it took the lead in the 21st minute on Cameron Lancaster’s 18th goal of the season. Brian Ownby began the move as he drifted in from the right and played a pass into Lancaster, who played back to Paolo DelPiccolo before the midfielder found Jonathan Gomez moving up the left side. The young full back lifted a first-time cross into the center of the penalty area where Lancaster was waiting to head into the left corner of the net to cap a beautiful move.
901 FC hit back on its first real look of the game as well when four minutes before halftime Kadeem Dacres was released on the right flank and then as a pair of defenders converged, cut inside to deliver a left-footed ball that saw Michael Salazar steal between a defender and the goalkeeper to head home from close range.
Lancaster struck again in the third minute of first-half stoppage time to restore LouCity’s lead, however, as he received a pass from Corben Bone 40 yards from goal and let fly with a knuckling shot that caught out Memphis goalkeeper Cody Cropper all ends up as he got a hand to the ball at waist height but couldn’t keep it out of the net.
Memphis tried to hit back again nine minutes into the second half as Alan Winn gained possession just inside the top-right edge of the penalty area and cut in on his left foot to shoot just wide of the near post, while nine minutes later Laurent Kissiedou had a low shot that was smothered by Louisville’s Chris Hubbard.
LouCity was awarded a penalty kick in the 64th minute, however, as Gomez was brought down just inside the left edge of the penalty area. Lancaster stepped up to the spot and shot low into the right corner of the net just past the dive of Cropper to complete his hat trick, the second of his career in the Championship and his 20th goal of the season.
Ownby had a chance to add a fourth for the hosts eight minutes later as he was played into the right side of the penalty area on an angled pass from the left channel by Lancaster that he controlled and fired to the far post, only for Cropper to make a diving save, but while Memphis threatened again late on through Salazar, the hosts saw out the game comfortably to set up a showdown for first place next Saturday night at BBVA Field.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Cameron Lancaster, Louisville City FC – Lancaster produced the second hat trick of his career in LouCity colors and had four shots overall and one key pass while completing 14 of 18 passes overall.
LOU – Cameron Lancaster (Jonathan Gomez) 21’
MEM – Michael Salazar (Kadeem Dacres) 41’
LOU – Cameron Lancaster (Corben Bone) 45+3’
LOU – Cameron Lancaster (Penalty Kick) 65’