By Jordan Shim–
The No. 21 Louisville women’s soccer team dropped a vital ACC game on senior say against No. 15 Clemson, falling 1-0. The Cards fell to 7-4-3 (2-2-2) while the Tigers improved to 9-3-2 (3-1-2).
The visitors came into Lynn Stadium with the right game plan. They dominated possession in the first half with the high press and were able to keep the ball inside Louisville’s half for long periods of time.
That pressure resulted in 10 first half shots, with seven on goal and a goal in the 34th minute. Clemson goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan sent the ball forward after Louisville were able to clear a corner kick. Louisville goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin came out to catch, but the ball slipped through her gloves. Clemson’s Jenna Weston tapped in for her fourth goal of the season.
“It was unfortunate the way their goal was scored,” Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes said. “You saw Taylor all day handle those very well, but mishandled one and it results in the game winner.”
Louisville did not have many opportunities in the first half to score, but their closest chance came in the 42nd minute. A cross sent into the box was headed away by a Clemson defender. Arianna Ferraro connected with a volley, but the shot hit the crossbar and Sheridan went up to catch.
The Cards came out in the second half with more energy and were able to create a lot more chances.
Louisville’s best second half opportunity came in the 54th minute on a corner kick. Inger Katrine Bjerke laid off Brooklynn Rivers’ cross to Callie McKinney, who fired at goal. Sheridan got down and make a key stop to her right, keeping the 1-0 lead.
“We kept the ball better in the second half,” Ferguson-Dayes said. “There were three really good chances, and we created them all despite not having the ball for 45 minutes in the first half. I thought we did better in the second, but couldn’t find the equalizer.”
Clemson finished the game with a 13-10 shot advantage and had the shots-on-goal advantage 9-4. Bjerke, Alison Price, and Niamh Nelson led the Cards with two shots.
The loss leaves the Cards currently in ninth place in the ACC standings. The final four games will be crucial if Louisville wants to continue their season and qualify for the ACC tournament.
“Nobody gives you anything,” Ferguson-Dayes said. “The good news is we have some time to rest, recover, and watch some film, and then play a good team on Sunday. But that’s the way the ACC goes; everybody is exceptional. We’re learning every single game. We just have to learn how to win a one all game.”
Louisville will be on the road for the next three matches against Virginia Tech, Miami, and No. 2 Florida State. They will return home on Oct. 27th hosting Virginia in the season finale.
Photo by Jordan Shim / The Louisville Cardinal