CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina F.C. made a statement in its first game under new head coach Dave Sarachan in routing two-time defending USL Cup champions Louisville City, 4-1.
A first-half goal opened the floodgates as NCFC extended its lead to 3-0 within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The visitors looked poised to begin their second title defense on the right foot. Louisville City dominated possession and created a handful of scoring chances. NCFC absorbed the pressure and jumped on its first chance. Marios Lomis scored the team’s first goal of 2019 when he dribbled in from the left side and beat Louisville City keeper Tim Dobrowolski to the corner of the goal.
Lomis nearly added a second early in the second half. His head met the cross from Ben Speas, but went off the right post. Tom McCabe was there to clean up the rebound, notching a goal in his professional debut.
“It’s an awesome feeling. I haven’t scored in a while, so it was good to score in my debut,” said the 20-year-old midfielder on loan from FC Cincinnati. “It was a great team win against a good opponent, so a great start to the season.”
Donovan Ewolo buried a cross from DJ Taylor to push NCFC’s lead to 3-0 in the 51st minute.
Robbie Kristo, who was subbed on for Lomis in the 75th minute, found himself behind the Louisville City defense and chipped a fourth goal past Dobrowolski.
“I think we learned a lot about this team today,” Sarachan said. “I think we learned that we’ve got a ways to still improve, but our starting points of competing, working together as a group, withstanding some pressure was all very good.”
NCFC take to the road for the first time when they visit the Bethlehem Steel on March 16.