Nov. 21, 2008

(Courtesy of Louisville Athletics)

Louisville, Ky. - The Jacksonville Dolphins scored two goals in under 3 minutes including the game-winner in overtime and stunned the Louisville Cardinals 4-3 Friday night at Cardinal Park in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The loss ends the season for the Cards, who were just one win short of tying the school record for victories in a season. They end the year at 11-8-2. Jacksonville improves to 12-8-1 and moves on to face North Carolina in the second round Tuesday in Chapel Hill. Louisville had the lead 3-2 with just 5 minutes to play, but couldn't hold on to seal the victory.

"It's a tough one, not only to lose but to have the game in hand and lose it," said head coach Ken Lolla. "I thought we played well in portions but didn't do enough to win the game and in the end didn't deserve it. You give up four goals and you can't expect to win too many games. I give a lot of credit to Jacksonville for taking their chances very well and hanging around; we didn't take our chances well enough. We had plenty of chances to put the game away and we didn't."

The Dolphins got off to a quick start when Tony Taylor passed to Ramak Niakan Safi in the box who shot past Louisville goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux in just the 4th minute. The Cardinals defense tightened up after that, and Louisville evened the game in the 32nd minute. Aaron Clapham beat Jacksonville goalkeeper Joey Sanchez to a ball in the box and flicked it past him to even the score at 1-1.

Louisville took the lead just one minute before halftime on a beautiful goal by Zachary Hernan. Nolan Chandler dribbled down the left side and passed to Bryan Kanu, who turned and passed to Hernan. Hernan hit the shot on the volley from 18 yards out and sent it past a diving Sanchez, giving the Cards the lead and the momentum going into the half.

Jacksonville tied the game in the 58th minute when Tony Taylor dribbled along the end line, cut back to the middle and shot past Boudreaux. The teams battled back and forth for the next 27 minutes, with Louisville taking five shots and Jacksonville two.

The Cards were able to take the lead 3-2 in the 85th minutes on a vintage Cardinal goal. Aaron Clapham sent in a free kick from the right side of the field that Ryan McDonald rose up and headed perfectly past Sanchez. The goal was McDonald's team-leading sixth of the season. Clapham recorded his team-leading ninth assist of the season in the same way he has many of them, on a free kick.

With less than two minutes to play, the Dolphins earned a free kick on a foul from about 25 yards out. Stefan Runeman took the kick and sent it past a diving Boudreaux into the left side of the net to send the game into overtime. In the 92nd minute, Kristian Lassen played a ball to the right side of the box to Nedim Hrustic, who shot near post past Boudreaux and into the net.

The loss was tough for Louisville, especially for three seniors who have done so much for the program.

"It's really tough to take in my last game, it's hard," said senior Aaron Clapham. "They stuck around and we knew the way they played it was going to open the field up, and that's what happened. It created a lot of chances for us and we didn't put the game away when we could have. At the same time it opened up for them and they did well with the few chances they had."

Louisville finished the game with a 20-9 shot advantage, including nine shots on goal compared to six for Jacksonville. Boudreaux finished with four saves while Sanchez had three. Jacksonville also had three team saves.