Junior Jerry Ramirez connected on a header with less than four minutes remaining in the first overtime period to lift the Louisville men’s soccer team to a dramatic 2-1 triumph over No. 2 Syracuse on Friday night at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
At the 96:18 mark of the match, freshman Tim Kubel (Stuttgart, Germany) fired a free kick from more than 30 yards out into the box, where a sprinting Ramirez (Chihuahua, Mexico) headed the ball into the goal inside the right post to set off a wild celebration in the east end zone at Lynn Stadium. The Cardinals improved to 7-5-1 overall and 4-2-0 in ACC matches while also becoming the first team this season to score more than one goal against the Orange, who dropped to 12-2-0 overall and 4-2-0 in conference action.
“It was a set piece and I tried to sprint and beat the defender. It was perfect ball and I just had to tap it in and it went in,” explained Ramirez after the match. “We just have to keep fighting. Tomorrow is an off day and we have to take care of the little stuff like that. This will give us a lot of momentum, so we just have to be focused and stay with our feet on the ground and keep fighting.”
In a matchup of two of the leading clubs in the Atlantic Division of the ACC, the victory allowed Louisville to pull even with Syracuse atop the standings, where they are joined by Clemson. The Cardinals will host the Tigers in yet another pivotal conference showdown next Friday at 7:30 p.m., on the corner of Floyd and Byrne.
“I told our guys at the end of the game that the result was massive. To beat the number two team in the country and all of that was wonderful, but the best part of it was how we did it,” said Louisville head coach Ken Lolla. “We have been talking all week just about what we need to look like and making sure, regardless of the result, that we are a team that is willing to fight and compete and play for each other and persevere right down to the last whistle and I thought that was the best part of tonight.”
Kubel continued his strong play of late scoring his fifth goal of the season to go along with the assist on the match-winner by Ramirez. With the Orange holding a 1-0 advantage thanks to a successful penalty kick early in the second half, Kubel pulled Louisville even in the 79th minute after connecting on his second PK of the week. Four of the freshman’s five goals this season have come in the last five matches, including goals in each of the last three outings.
“Scoring the goal in overtime was like a dream because of the atmosphere and it was a great compliment to the fans — it was tremendous,” said Kubel. “I smacked the ball perfectly and Jerry smashed it up and headed it in and it was just pure emotion. It was unbelievable and I have never experienced something like that.”
Overall, Louisville finished the match with a 10-8 advantage in shots, including a 4-3 edge on goal. The Cardinals also had a 5-3 edge in corner kick chances.
Up next, Louisville’s homestand at Lynn Stadium continues with a non-conference tilt against Evansville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Single Game Tickets
Single game tickets for Louisville’s debut season at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium and in the ACC are available through the UofL Ticket Office and can be purchased online through My Cardinal Account at https://oss.ticketmaster.com/html/home.htmI?team=uofl. Ticket prices are $12 for reserved chairback seats (preferred seating) and $9 for general admission berm and bleacher seats. More information on Louisville men’s soccer single game tickets is available online at http://www.gocards.com/tickets/lou-tickets-soccer.html or by calling (502) GO-CARDS.
Season tickets, which provide admission to both men’s and women’s regular season matches, remain on sale through the UofL Ticket Office. Visit GoCards.com to learn more about 2014 Louisville soccer season tickets. Group tickets for all Louisville matches can be requested by completing the group ticket application at http://www.gocards.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/soccer-group-tix.html or by calling (502) 852-0120. Groups consist of 10 or more and tickets start at $4.