CLEMSON, S.C. – Senior Tim Kubel‘s second half goal lifted the 11th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team to a 2-1 road triumph against No. 4 Clemson on Friday night at Riggs Field in the regular season finale for both clubs.
With the victory, the Cardinals (11-2-3, 5-2-1 ACC) clinched the No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the 2017 ACC Championship. Louisville will host an ACC quarterfinal match for the second consecutive season as the winner of Wednesday’s Virginia-Boston College first round match will challenge the Cardinals on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m., ET at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
Junior Tate Schmitt delivered the first goal of the match in Friday’s win against the Tigers (11-4-0, 4-4-0 ACC) before Kubel pushed the Cardinals ahead for good by connecting on a free kick in the 60th minute. Louisville moved to 4-1-2 against ranked foes this season while also improving to 6-0-0 in road matches.
“It was another gritty win for us. We defended well and got two really good goals from Tate and Tim,” said Cardinals head coach Ken Lolla. “I’m proud of the guys for earning a first round bye in the ACC Championship and we look forward to hosting a quarterfinal match at Lynn Stadium next Sunday.”
With the ACC Atlantic Division foes even at 1-1, Kubel guided the road side back into the lead with a right-footed strike from 22 yards away that fired above the wall of defenders and curled inside the upper left corner of the goal at 59:16 in the match. It marked the 21st career goal for Kubel, including the sixth this season and was his seventh career game-winner.
Schmitt started the scoring in the 19th minute when he worked a give-and-go with senior Mohamed Thiaw before finishing from eight yards out. The goal was the seventh of the season and 19th career tally for Schmitt, while Thiaw was credited with his first assist of 2017.
The host Tigers found the equalizer in the 38th minute after Diego Campos corralled a blocked shot from Oliver Shannon and scored on the deflection for his ninth goal of the season. The teams remained even into halftime before Kubel broke the tie inside the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Clemson dominated many of the statistics in the match finishing with a 21-5 advantage in shots, including a 6-2 margin in shots on goal, while also creating an 11-1 margin in corner kicks. However, the Cardinals thwarted the numerous chances for the Tigers as redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch had four saves while Louisville added a team save to clinch the program’s first ever win against Clemson.
Wake Forest won its third straight ACC Atlantic Division title and is the No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship, while Coastal Division champion North Carolina is the No. 2 seed. Louisville is the No. 3 seed, while Duke clinched the final first round bye as the No. 4 seed.
No. 8 NC State hosts No. 9 Virginia Tech in a first round match with the winner challenging Wake Forest. No. 12 Syracuse visits No. 5 Clemson and the winner will visit No. 4 Duke. No. 10 Pittsburgh takes on No. 7 Notre Dame with the advancing team playing at No. 2 North Carolina. All ACC Championship first round matches will be played Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., while all quarterfinal matches are set for Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.
The semifinal matches will be played on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., and will be hosted by the higher seeded teams. The championship match will be held at noon on Sunday, Nov. 12, at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina, and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
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