Louisville upsets No. 9 North Carolina 1-0 in ACC quarterfinal action
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Sophomore Ivan Gutierrez scored in the 76th minute to lift Louisville to a 1-0 win against No. 9 North Carolina in Sunday afternoon's Atlantic Coastal Conference Championship quarterfinal match at Fetzer Field.
With the victory, the sixth-seeded Cardinals (9-6-3) advance to an ACC semifinal matchup against No. 1 ranked and second-seeded Syracuse on Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. Top-seeded Notre Dame and No. 4 seed Clemson will open Friday's semifinal action at 5:30 p.m.
In a match with limited offensive chances for either side, Louisville connected for the only goal on a counter attack when junior Ricardo Velazco found Gutierrez sprinting down the center of the field, where he worked around the backline of the Tar Heels and scored inside the right post for the match-winner. The goal was Gutierrez's second of the season and fourth of his career.
"I am proud of our guys as it was a very gritty win. We played very well in the first half and survived the pressure in the second half to create a great goal by Ivan," said Louisville coach Ken Lolla. "It was a tremendous team effort."
Despite finishing with a 9-6 edge in shots, the Tar Heels (12-5-1) saw their eight-game win streak halted with a loss at home -- the second time in 10 matches this season. North Carolina, the highest scoring ACC team in the regular season, was held without a goal for just the third time in 18 matches. The Cardinals also limited Carolina's Andy Craven, the leading goal-scorer in the ACC (11 goals this season), to just one shot on Sunday.
Senior goalkeeper Joachim Ball made one save to earn his 15th career shutout and clinch Louisville's seventh shutout of the season. North Carolina's Brendan Moore stopped one of the two shots he faced as the two teams combined for only three shots on goal on Sunday.