photo from gocards.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore Elijah Amo scored the game-winning goal 20 seconds into the second overtime period to lift the No. 10 University of Louisville men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory against Clemson on Saturday night at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
With windy conditions limiting the offensive chances for either side throughout the match, Amo combined with Tate Schmitt to deliver the clinching goal for the Cardinals, who improved to 8-3-3 on the season and 4-1-2 in the ACC. The Senior Night victory was the first for Louisville in its five overtime matches this season.
Schmitt gained possession of the ball near midfield moments after it was put into play to start the second overtime period. The senior turned his defender before serving the ball over Clemson’s backline to Amo, who played it with his right foot off one bounce scoring inside the far left post for his second goal of the season. Amo timed his run perfectly and pulled away from his nearest defender before sending the ball past Tigers goalkeeper George Marks, who was charging up field from his end line. The assist was the team-leading sixth of the season for Schmitt.
The wind factored into the scoring opportunities for both sides as Clemson (5-8-1, 0-6-0 ACC) had its only four shots in the match during the first half when the wind was at its back. The Cardinals had one shot in the first half before attempting three in the second half and two in the first overtime period when the wind was in its favor. However, Louisville’s game-winning chance came as the home side played directly into the wind.
“It wasn’t just the weather. We weren’t particularly sharp. Personally, I take responsibility for it. The last few days in training we were physically demanding on the guys — very demanding. We knew going into the game it was going to be hard on them physically,” said Cardinals head coach Ken Lolla. ”But we were pressing the mental part of their will and strength to battle in tough conditions. The wind led into that tonight. What I’m most proud about our guys is under really difficult conditions, we found a way to win.”
Defensively, sophomore Jake Gelnovatch needed just two saves to register his fourth shutout of the season and the sixth overall for the Cardinals. Along with a 7-4 in shots, Louisville also had a 6-5 edge in corner kicks.
Prior to the match, the Cardinals honored their senior class of Geoffrey Dee, Schmitt, Adam Wilson and Watterson Young during a pregame ceremony.
Up next, No. 10 Louisville closes the regular season with a road match at No. 1 Wake Forest on Friday at 7 p.m., ET.
Fans can follow Louisville men’s soccer on Twitter at @UofLmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.
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