The 21st ranked Louisville (9-4-1, 5-1-0) men’s soccer team defeated No. 19 USF 2-1 Wednesday evening in Tampa, Fla. Louisville native Ryan Smith scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute to help the Cards remain atop the BIG EAST Red Division with 15 points.
The Cardinals struck first in the 25th minute when senior Paolo DelPiccolo placed a corner kick at the back post and Andrew Farrell headed the ball past the keeper for a 1-0 lead. A minute later DelPiccolo placed another ball in the box off a corner kick but Daniel Keller’s header went wide.
USF’s Roberto Alterio scored the equalizer for the Bulls in the 34th minute. Louisville was able to keep possession but was unable to connect before the end of the half, ending in a 1-1 tie.
USF finished the first half with a 5-4 shot advantage while the Cardinals held a 5-1 corner kick advantage. USF keeper Dallas Jaye finished with two saves while Mike Mauro was not tested.
Eight minutes into the second period, Will Vitalis sent a ball into the box to Dylan Mares but USF keeper Jaye came up with the save. The Cardinals had another chance in front of the goal in the 70th minute but the USF defense cleared the ball.
USF applied some offensive pressure late in the half but the Cardinal defense withstood the test. Smith took the ball in the box and slipped the ball past the keeper in the 82nd minute to put the Cardinals up 2-1. Vitalis had another shot in the 85th minute but Jaye makes the save. The Louisville defense kept USF without a shot on goal in the final minutes to seal the victory.
USF held a slight 10-9 shot advantage over the Cardinals, while Louisville held an 11-3 advantage in corner kicks. Mauro finished when one save while Jaye finished with five saves.
The Cardinals will host Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Cardinal Park at 7:00 p.m. The game will be senior night for the seven Louisville seniors.