October 20, 2017

Women’s soccer and No. 15 Wake Forest play to stalemate

By Jordan Shim–

Women’s soccer and No. 15 Wake Forest played to a goalless draw Thursday night at Lynn Stadium. The Cards improve to 8-6-1 (3-4-1 ACC), while the Demon Deacons also improve to 10-3-3 (4-2-2 ACC).

Chances were plentiful for the Cards in both overtime periods, but none found the back of the net.

“I wouldn’t use the word frustrated because I’m more angry,” Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes said. “I think we deserved to win. We created enough chances. Outside of the first 15 minutes of the game, it took us a little while to get acclimated to it, but we were reactive instead of anticipated. We started to step into their half then the game turned.”

Neither team was able to threaten in the first half. Both teams had shots on goal, but none of them provided much trouble to the goalkeepers.

Emina Ekic had a free kick from about 25 yards out in the 37th minute. , but her shot was routine for Wake Forest goalkeeper Lindsay Preston.

Despite being 0-3 against ranked competition this season, Louisville was never convincingly beaten. The defense was steadfast in those games, and it was no different against the Demon Deacons.

The second half was similar to that of the first. Ekic had a golden opportunity after the Preston whiffed on her clearance, gifting the ball to the Louisville native. Instead of taking her time to pick her spot, she fired first time, but directly at Preston.

The Demon Deacons found the back of the net in the 81st minute, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.

Louisville complete dominated both overtime periods, coming out the aggressor in search of the winner.

Callie McKinney had the best chance of the night in the first overtime period. Brooklynn Rivers sent in a cross that bounced around the box before Gabrielle Vincent played it to the Tennessee native, who had a 1v1 with Preston. McKinney fired to the left side, but Preston made the reaction save to keep the score level.

Louisville squandered three more chances in the second overtime period. It started when Ekic’s shot banged against the crossbar. The ball bounced back into play for Allison Whitfield who went around a defender and shot into the open net, but to the feet of a Demon Deacon. It was cleared, but only to Alison Price, who fired over.

“I was waiting for the AR to show that the goal hit behind the line for Emina’s first shot,” Louisville goalkeeper Gabrielle Kouzelos said. ” I just think that shows out grittiness around the goal mouth. We wanted that goal. We didn’t come to tie. We came to win. It’s heartwrenching to get nothing out of it, but this team is hungry, so I expect nothing less.”

Despite being unable to pick up three crucial ACC points, the Cards now sit in 8th position in the conference, just at the cut-off to qualify for the conference tournament.

Tournament qualification hinges in the balance in their next match, as the Cards travel to North Carolina to take on the fifth-ranked Tar Heels on Sunday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is slated for 10 a.m.

You can follow Jordan on Twitter @tlcjordanshim.

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