A goal by Sarah Hernandez late in the first half proved to be the game-winner as the 23rd-ranked University of Louisville women’s soccer team posted a 1-0 victory over Lipscomb in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Lynn Stadium on Friday night.

The Cardinals improve to 13-4-2 on the year as Lipscomb concludes their season at 13-6-2.

Louisville applied offensive pressure early on and maintained possession throughout the majority of the first half. The Cardinals had a number of scoring chances throughout the first 45 minutes of action, but their attempts were stopped short by Lipscomb’s goalkeeper.

After being awarded a free kick just outside the box, the Cardinals took the lead with 36 seconds remaining in the first half. Emina Ekic’s served the ball from the top of the box and placed it in front of the goal line, where Hernandez headed the ball into the top left corner of the far post for a 1-0 lead. 

Heading into the break, Louisville held a 10-1 edge in shots over Lipscomb and led the Bisons 4-0 in corner kicks.

The Cardinals picked up right where they left off, holding a 64-36 advantage in possession and outshooting the Bisons 7-2 throughout the second half. Louisville’s best chance to double their lead came in the 77th minute when a pass from Allison Whitfield found Delaney Snyder, but her header sailed just over the crossbar.

Gabby Kouzelos had a pair of saves between the posts and Lipscomb’s goalkeeper Melissa Gray finished with eight. Ekic led the Cardinals with seven shots while Snyder had three attempts.

The Cardinals advance to the second round for the second time in school history.  Louisville will face the winner of the BYU-Boise State match. 

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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