Tue. Jan 22nd, 2019

Schmitt’s diving header puts No. 15 men’s soccer into ACC semifinals

By Matt Bradshaw —

No. 15 men’s soccer (9-4-3) defeated No. 18 Notre Dame (10-6-2) in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship. Louisville now moves on to play No. 1 Wake Forest in the semifinals on Nov. 7.

Neither side found goal for 85 minutes in the quarterfinal contest. Senior Tate Schmitt used a diving header, his fifth goal of the season, to put the Cardinals ahead and move his team forward in the tournament.

U of L held a narrow 9-8 shot advantage over the Fighting Irish. Freshman Pedro Fonseca assisted the game-winning goal.

First half

The Cards began with the upper hand in possession but neither side let loose any shots. Junior Cherif Dieye recorded the first rip of the game at the 17 minute mark.

Great passing from senior Geoffrey Dee in the midfield led to a string of shots a few minutes later. Seniors Schmitt and Adam Wilson unloaded one shot each but neither were on goal.

The Fighting Irish continued to absorb U of L’s attack and counter with their own offense. They had fewer shots, but one of their attacking opportunities nearly led to a goal.

Head coach Ken Lolla used to the depth of his bench to refuel the offense as time winded down. Fonseca and sophomore Izaiah Jennings spearheaded the attack up-top. Freshman Haji Abdikadir had two shots back-to-back in the final minute.

Notre Dame’s closest opportunity of the half came on a counterattack and led to their only shot on goal. Sophomore keeper Jake Gelnovatch saved the shot and kept Louisville level 0-0 at halftime.

Second half

The visitors started the second half with increased possession and opportunities on goal. Notre Dame earned two free kicks back-to-back around the 65 minute mark that nearly led to goals, including one that bounced off the crossbar.

Fonseca nearly scored for the Cards at the 69 minute mark with a header that bounced right to the Irish keeper.

The match picked up speed in the final fifteen minutes as both sides fought for the ball and committed numerous fouls in quick succession.

U of L found their game winning goal with five minutes remaining in the contest. The Cardinals received the ball on a counterattack and pushed forward with numbers.

Fonseca crossed the ball to Schmitt in the box, who dove and headed the ball into the back of the net. Louisville’s defense held strong and clinched their 1-0 victory over Notre Dame.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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