NC State stuns No. 5 Louisville behind McCauley's second half saves
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A late rally by the fifth-ranked Louisville men's soccer team came up short as the Cardinals suffered their first ACC loss with a 2-1 defeat at NC State on Friday night at Dail Soccer Field.
Facing a two-goal deficit in the final stages of the match, the Cardinals cut the Wolfpack advantage in half in the 83rd minute when freshman Tim Kubel scored off a free kick from 25 yards out working the ball around the defensive wall and inside the right post for his second goal of the season. Junior Louie Berra was credited with his first assist after he restarted play before Kubel's rocket shot.
However, that was as close as Louisville would get after missing on five shots, including three on goal, in the final three minutes of action in pursuit of the equalizer.
NC State goalkeeper Alex McCauley stood tall along the end line making 12 saves in the match, including one on a second half penalty kick by the Cardinals' Ricardo Velazco that would have evened the score at the time to one goal each.
Louisville controlled much of the play in the opening 45 minutes holding a 9-2 advantage in shots, including a 7-1 margin on goal but the Cardinals were unable to convert on any of those chances in a scoreless first half for both clubs. Early in the second half, the Wolfpack capitalized on a Louisville miscue to move ahead as Travis Wannemuehler controlled a deflected ball off the hands of Louisville senior goalkeeper Joachim Ball and scored into an open goal from just outside the six-yard box for the 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute of play.
The scoring chance for NC State came when Ball charged from his end line position on a long pass by the Wolfpack but was unsuccessful in his attempt to control the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. The ball then caromed behind him allowing Wannemuehler to regain possession and finish past a Louisville defender into the open goal for his third goal of the season.
NC State added to the lead in the 76th minute when Reed Norton connected on a header into the left side of the goal after a well-placed cross from Wannemuehler for the 2-0 advantage. The goal for Norton was his first with the Wolfpack, while both Wannemuehler and Holden Fender were credited with assists.
Louisville, which has lost back-to-back matches for the first time since last September, finished the night with a 19-9 edge in shots, including a 13-7 margin on goal. The Cardinals also had a season-high 15 corner kicks, while the Wolfpack had just three.