Oct. 3, 2010

Louisville, Ky. -

Courtesy of Louisville Athletics

The fifth ranked Louisville men's soccer team defeated the No. 18 St. John's Red Storm 2-1 in an overtime thriller. The Cardinals improve to 7-0-2 overall and 2-0-0 in BIG EAST play to remain unbeaten on the season. The Red Storm falls to 6-3-0 overall and 0-2-0 in BIG EAST play.

The Cardinals came out pressuring early with Dylan Mares receiving a cross-field pass from Colin Rolfe three minutes into the game and blasting a shot that the St. John's goalkeeper Rafael Diaz had to make a leaping save on, knocking the ball out-of-bounds. Rolfe had a chance at a goal as well, when he collected a pass inside the box whipping around to take a shot that went just wide left.

Andre Boudreaux had his first save of the game when St. John's Pablo Battuto Punyed ripped a shot at him in the 13th minute, making a diving save. Nick DeLeon was able to answer with a shot of his own when came streaking down the left side of the field, firing the shot at the goalkeeper who made the save.

Sometimes a little luck is needed to get a win and the Cardinals received theirs in the 21st minute as Adam Himeno was able to slip through the defense and get around Boudreaux, but his shot bounced off the post. The luck didn't go the Red Storm's way when Mares dribbled to the top of the box, launching a shot that slipped past the goalkeeper putting Louisville up 1-0 in the 29th minute.

St. John's finished the first half with a 9-7 shot advantage, while the Cardinals finished with a 3-0 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished with one save while Diaz finished with five.

The Cardinals had chances to score early in the second half with a shot from Rolfe that was saved by the goalkeeper and from DeLeon, who was open on the shot, but his attempt went high over the crossbar.

St. John's was able to score the equalizer in the 61st minute, when a corner kick attempt that was cleared out by the Cardinals was collected by Walter Hines in the top of the box. Hines followed with a slow-roller that sneaked past Boudreaux to tie the score at 1-1.

After the St. John's score, the Cardinals weren't fazed as they continued to stay on the offensive, including back-to-back shots by DeLeon within a minute span, with the Red Storm keeper coming up with saves. Louisville was unable to find the back of the net the rest of the way through the second half, sending the game into overtime for the second straight meeting.

The Cardinals controlled possession of the ball during most of overtime, keeping offensive pressure on the Red Storm defense. The pressure paid off when Louisville was able to pull out the win as senior J.T. Murray dribbled down the left side of the field, trying to find an opening to cross the ball. His first try was deflected back to him and with his second attempt, was able to blast the ball past the goalkeeper ricocheting off the post, sending the ball into the right side of the net.

Louisville finished the game with 22-12 shot advantage and a 12-2 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished with two saves, while Diaz finished with nine. DeLeon finished the night with nine shots, including six on goal. The nine shots ties former Cardinal David Guzman for second on the all-time shots in game list. Mares continues his goal scoring dominance, scoring his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The last freshman to score five goals in a season was Rolfe, who finished with five goals and two assists for 12 points back in 2008.

The Cardinals will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. as they travel to Rutgers.