LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fresh off winning its first ACC Championship title, the University of Louisville men’s soccer team was selected as the No. 4 overall seed for the 2018 NCAA Championship on Monday afternoon. Making their 11th NCAA Championship appearance in the last 12 seasons, the Cardinals (11-4-3) earned a first round bye and will host the winner of Thursday’s Michigan State-UIC contest (played in East Lansing) in the second round match on Sunday at 5 p.m., ET at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
Louisville will enter the NCAA Championship as the No. 4 seed for the third straight season equaling the second highest seed in school history. Positioned to play at home in each round of the NCAA Championship prior to the College Cup, Louisville is one of just two programs (along with Wake Forest) to be a top four seed for each of the last three seasons.
Tickets for the NCAA second round match, priced at $10 for reserved chairback seats and $5 for general admission/berm seating, will go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m., ET and can be purchased online here, by phone at 502-GO-CARDS or in person through the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office at Cardinal Stadium. Additionally, groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $3 each, while the first 300 students will receive complimentary tickets courtesy of the UofL Athletics.
The Cardinals were among an NCAA record-tying nine Atlantic Coast Conference programs receiving bids to the 48-team field. While nine of the league’s 12 men’s soccer programs earned an NCAA Championship berth for the third straight season, eight of those were among the top 16 seeds, including five of the top eight. Wake Forest was seeded No. 1 and followed by No. 4 Louisville, No. 5 North Carolina, No. 6 Duke, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 10 Virginia and No. 12 Virginia Tech and No. 16 Syracuse. NC State also earned an NCAA Championship bid for the ACC.
Louisville, which was seeded No. 1 overall in 2010 for the program’s highest ever seed, enters this year’s NCAA Championship after earning a 1-0 victory against North Carolina on Sunday to claim the ACC Championship. The Cardinals claimed the championship by defeating a trio of teams seeded in the top seven of the NCAA Championship – No. 7 Notre Dame in the quarterfinals, No. 1 Wake Forest in the semifinals and the No. 5 Tar Heels in the final. Tate Schmitt, named as the ACC Championship Tournament MVP, leads the Cardinals with 26 career goals, including five this season, and 17 collegiate assists, including eight in 2018.
Under the guidance of head coach Ken Lolla, who is in his 13th season at the helm, the Cardinals have advanced to the quarterfinal round (elite eight) of the NCAA Championship five times in the last eight years, including each of the last two seasons. Thirteen of Louisville’s 18 matches in 2018 were played against NCAA Championship qualifiers with the Cardinals registering a 6-4-3 record in those contests. Louisville was 7-1-2 at home this season and has a 37-12-13 record all-time at Lynn Stadium, now in its fifth season as the team’s home facility. The Cardinals enter the 2018 postseason with a 12-4-2 mark all-time in NCAA Championship matches at home, including a 5-2-1 record at Lynn Stadium.
Michigan State enters the NCAA Championship with a 10-4-4 record overall and was fourth in the Big Ten with a 4-2-2 conference mark. UIC is 12-5-2 on the season and was 5-2-1 in conference play before winning the Horizon League championship to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. Louisville is 1-2-1 all-time Michigan State and 0-0-1 overall against UIC.
Fans can follow Louisville men’s soccer on Twitter at @UofLmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.