Louisville, Ky. (WHAS) -- The 10-seeded Louisville men’s soccer team (14-5-1) defeated Northwestern (13-6-4) 2-1 in a NCAA Championship third round match on Sunday night at Cardinal Park. With the win, the Cardinals will travel to College Park to take on the No. 2 seed Maryland on Saturday, December 1 at 5:00 p.m.
Both the Cardinals and the Wildcats were able to get on the scoreboard quickly as they registered a goal within the first five minutes of the match. Louisville’s goal came in the second minute, when Freshmen Marlon Hairston gathered the ball off a rebound and fired a shot in the back of the net to make it 1-0. Jarrett Baughman of Northwestern wasted no time in scoring the equalizer, when he was able to gather a pass from Chris Ritter inside the box and netted his first goal of the season. Baughman once again had an opportunity to score but his header was saved by Cardinal keeper Mike Mauro in the 23rd minute of play. Each team traded possessions back and forth, until sophomore Dylan Mares was able to dribble the ball past the defenders but eventually fell short as the Wildcats were able to clear it from the box.
Louisville once again had a chance to take the lead before the first half ended. Junior Zach Foxhoven was able to get free from defenders but failed to secure the ball long enough to register a shot. The Cardinals ended the first half with a 1-1 tie with the Wildcats. Louisville and Northwestern each registered four shots while Mauro recorded two saves and Miller registered one.
Louisville increased its pressure in the second half and set the tone early. The Cardinals were on the offensive attack and looked to test Miller early and often. Junior Andrew Farrell was able to maneuver around the Wildcats and fed the ball to senior Ryan Smith who had his shot blocked. Louisville’s next opportunity came in the 55th minute. Senior Paolo DelPiccolo had a corner kick which led to sophomore Daniel Keller attempting a header that was gathered in by Miller. A few minutes later Mares once again had a chance to give the Cardinals the lead but his shot sailed high.
Northwestern was then able to swing some momentum their way by successfully moving the ball up the field. In the 68th minute Henry Herrill sent a cross into the box and was headed towards the goal but Mauro made a diving save to keep the score tied. The Wildcats then had another opportunity to take control of the game when Cole Missimo had his shot blocked in the 77th minute of the match.
In the 85th minute Louisville looked to put the game away when Mares was able to get past the last line of defenders but Miller stepped-up and made a sliding save to keep Northwestern alive. The Cardinals maintained focus which paid off in the 86th minute. Foxhoven gathered the ball and sent it to Mares who this time was able to beat the goalie but fired his shot wide that eventually bounced off a Northwestern defender for an own goal to give Louisville a 2-1 lead. Northwestern had one last attempt off a throw but the shot bounced wide of the goal.
Both teams each registered nine shots, while the Cardinals had a 5-4 shots on goal advantage. Mauro ended the match with three saves and Miller recorded two. The winner of the Louisville-Maryland match will advance to the NCCA College Cup in Hoover, Alabama on December 7.