Nov. 21, 2010

Louisville, Ky. -

Courtesy of Louisville Athletics

With two late second half goals, the top ranked Louisville men's soccer team defeated College of Charleston 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Cardinal Park on Sunday evening. The Cardinals improve to 17-0-3 on the season.

The game started out very back and forth with neither team gaining an edge in possession. Louisville got the first shot of the game from Nick DeLeon, but the header went wide right off a throw-in. The Cardinals got a free kick just outside the box when Andrew Farrell got taken down by a Charleston defender. The shot taken was by J.T. Murray, but was deflected out of bounds.

Louisville ended the scoreless tie in the 20th minute when Paolo DelPiccolo took a shot that hit the crossbar, bouncing to DeLeon who collected the ball in a scramble in front of the net for his seventh goal of the season. The Cougars were able to tie the score back up at 1-1 when Sean de Silva took a corner kick playing the ball to Sean Flatley, who headed in the goal in the 25th minute.

In the 30th minute, Dylan Mares received a long pass from Austin Berry that was able to get to behind the College of Charleston backline. Mares was all alone with the keeper Kees Heemskerk, but his shot was saved preserving the 1-1 tie. The Cougars answered with back-to-back shots that were saved by Andre Boudreaux.

The Cardinals had another chance to score when Berry received a cross into the middle of the box, but his header was saved by Heemskerk. College of Charleston came back with a free kick from de Silva that ricocheted off the post in the 41st minute.

Louisville finished the first half with a 13-9 shot advantage, along with a 3-2 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished the half with two saves, while Heemskerk finished with two as well.

The Cardinals came out in the second half putting the offensive pressure on the Cougars repeatedly attacking the goal testing the keeper. But the Cougars would answer as Boudreaux had to come up with three saves early in the half with two of those shots on goal coming from de Silva.

The game remained pretty evenly matched throughout most of the second half. Colin Rolfe had a breakaway opportunity in the 74th minute, but his cross just missed the outstretched foot of DeLeon.

In the 84th minute, Rolfe received a pass from DeLeon as he split two defenders. Rolfe collected the ball and launched a shot from 20 yards out that slipped past the keeper to put the Cardinals up 2-1. The goal was Rolfe's seventh goal of the season and made him the team's scoring leader with 19 points on the season.

The Cardinals scored the insurance goal in the 89th minute when Rolfe played a ball to Mares, who passed it to an open Charlie Campbell for the goal to make the score 3-1, putting the game out of reach sending Louisville to next round of play in the NCAA Tournament.

Louisville finished the game with a 20-19 shot advantage, along with a 6-4 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished with eight saves, while Heemskerk finished with four. The seven saves by Boudreaux was a new career-high for him. His previous best was six against Notre Dame in 2008.

The crowd of 5,197 set a new attendance record for the Cardinals, breaking the old record of 3,853 set on Oct. 5, 2005 against Indiana. The game set a new record for an attendance to a college soccer game in the state of Kentucky with 5,197, not including several hundred standing on the berm.

The Cardinals will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m. as they face No. 21 Ohio State in Cardinal Park for the NCAA third round.