By Matt Bradshaw —
No. 10 men’s soccer (8-3-3, 4-1-2) defeated Clemson (5-8-1, 0-6-0) in double overtime on senior night. Both teams were scoreless for 100 minutes until sophomore Elijah Amo scored the golden goal for the 1-0 victory.
Wind gusts as high as 45 miles per hour led to unattractive soccer. The Cardinals and the Tigers combined for only five shots on goal and 27 fouls.
“It wasn’t just the weather. The last few days in training we were physically demanding on the guys,” head coach Ken Lolla said. “But we were pressing the mental part of their will and strength to battle in tough conditions. What I’m most proud about our guys is under really difficult conditions, we found a way to win.”
In a ceremony before the match, the program honored its four seniors: Tate Schmitt, Geoffrey Dee, Adam Wilson and Watterson Young. The group has been part of extremely successful seasons during their time at U of L, including back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances.
“What I’m most proud about this group is that they’ve invested in our program,” Lolla said. “They’re not here for what they can get out of it but what they can give. All four continue to put us in a place where we have the opportunity to win national championships.”
Tate Schmitt has played a vital role in Louisville’s forward attack each of his four years.
The forward has 25 career goals, 10 game-winners and 15 assists in 75 collegiate matches. Schmitt led the team with nine goals last season and leads with four this season.
“My favorite memory would be our NCAA win over UCLA,” Schmitt said. “It was a big moment scoring the game-winning goal. The dog-pile feeling at the end of the game was pretty awesome.”
Geoffrey Dee began his collegiate career at Tulsa, where he started 41 games and scored seven goals.
The midfielder started 21 matches and scored two goals his first year as a Cardinal. Injury sidelined Dee during 2017, but he returned for his senior season and plays an important part in midfield action.
“Ken Lolla has had a big impact on me with my daily habits and goal setting, which has been huge in my development as a person,” Dee said.
Adam Wilson played his first two collegiate seasons at the University of Cincinnati. The Scotland native scored seven goals and posted 18 assists as a Bearcat.
After transferring to U of L, Wilson scored once and provided 17 assists his junior year. The midfielder became a key aspect of the offense and delivered an assist in five consecutive matches midseason. Wilson is tied with Schmitt with a team-high four goals this season.
“My time here has been a short time,” Wilson said. “In that time I’ve really realized how great [Cardinal fans] are. Your support is second to none.”
Watterson Young has played in 10 matches across his collegiate career as a Cardinal. Along with scoring a game-winner two years ago, the forward’s favorite memories involve the other seniors.
“The people that had the biggest impact on me are my fellow seniors,” Young said. “It’s been a great four years getting to know them better, seeing myself grow with them and them grow with me.”
Men’s soccer travels to face Wake Forest on Friday, Oct. 21 for their regular season finale.
“All four seniors have been open to challenges that have provided growth,” Lolla said. “I think all four will continue to be successful no matter what they do.”
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Photo by mMatt Bradshaw / The Louisville Cardinal