The Louisville Cardinal

Men’s soccer shocks top-ranked Notre Dame

By Jordan Shim–

The Louisville men’s soccer team upset No. 1 Notre Dame 1-0 at Lynn Stadium. Louisville (5-1-1, 2-0) remains unbeaten in conference play, while Notre Dame (5-1-0, 1-1 ACC) suffer their first loss of the season.

Chances were not frequent in this ACC clash. The big game atmosphere affected the Cards early on.

“I thought we were a little bit nervous to start the game, there was a few jitters,” Louisville head coach Ken Lolla said. “Once we got past the 15th minute, we started playing, and I thought we ended the first half pretty well.”

A bit of magic by forward Mohamed Thiaw gave Louisville the lead in the 25th minute.

Joey Kunkel crossed the ball up the field to Thiaw, who turned a Notre Dame defender, spotted goalkeeper Chris Hubbard off his line and chipped a shot from 40 yards. Hubbard stretched in the attempt to save, but the ball fell just under the crossbar for Thiaw’s fourth goal of the season.

“I saw the goalie off the line like it was a challenge,” Thiaw said. “I looked up and saw the goalie off the line, so I gave it a try, and it went in.”

Notre Dame pressured Louisville in the latter stages of the game, but the Cards stayed compact and made it difficult for the Irish attack that averaged just under three goals-a-game.

Jon Gallagher almost equalized in the 85th minute, but Cleveland made a leaping save to his left to preserve the 1-0 lead.

“It seems Stefan needs to come up with at least one save each game,” Lolla said. “He was huge on that late shot. He was good all night, but that one in particular.”

The victory was the Cards’ fifth, and third consecutive shutout. The Cards were outshot for the first time this season, 6-3, but limited the Irish to less than half of their season average of 16 shots.

“The defense has been the ones that kept them out,” Cleveland said. “I don’t think I’ve made more than three saves in a single game. Everybody’s working. All of the shutouts go to them; I’m just there to clean up what’s behind.”

Notre Dame’s Jon Gallagher and Thomas Ueland led the way with three shots each. Thiaw led Louisville with two shots.

The Cards travel to St. Louis to take on Saint Louis in their next match. Their next home game will be another ACC showdown against Virginia.

Photo by Jordan Shim / The Louisville Cardinal