By Matt Bradshaw —
No. 10 men’s soccer (11-4-3) capped off a great run in the 2018 ACC Soccer Championship with a victory over No. 4 North Carolina (14-3-1) in the title game.
U of L wins its first ACC title after the championship eluded the program for four seasons. The Cards upset No. 1 Wake Forest in the semifinals of the tournament to place themselves in the final.
“I was so happy to see the zeros show up on the clock,” head coach Ken Lolla said. “The last time we were here, we probably should have won it but didn’t handle the last seconds of it well. This has grown into a mature team and they did what they need to close it out.”
Junior Cherif Dieye scored the opening goal of the contest at the 29 minute mark. It was his 12th career goal and proved enough to win the match. Best of all, it came on his birthday.
Senior Tate Schmitt assisted the attempt and earned Tournament MVP.
The Louisville defense held UNC to seven shots for the rest of the match. Sophomore Jake Gelnovatch saved four shots during the span to maintain the shutout and clinch the victory.
Schmitt, Dieye, Gelnovatch and junior midfielder Lamine Conte were named to the All-Tournament Team following the win.
Now, the Cards await their seeding in the field of 48 for the NCAA Championship. Considering their victories against such highly ranked opponents, U of L will likely obtain a very favorable seeding.
For the past two years, Louisville men’s soccer has reached the elite eight of the NCAA Championship. Becoming ACC Champions sets the higher than ever.
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal