Nov. 20, 2011
Louisville, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's soccer team survived in a rainy, double overtime thriller in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Bradley University 3-2 Sunday night in Cardinal Park. The Cardinals improve to 13-6-2 on the year, while the Braves fall to 15-6-2.
To start the game, both Louisville and Bradley came out firing offensively. The Cardinals had a couple of shots that missed wide in the first few minutes and the Braves had a shot by Bryan Gaul that had to be saved by Andre Boudreaux in the fourth minute.
Bradley continued to apply pressure on Louisville's defense in the 14th minute as Jochen Graf won a battle for the ball in the box, which prompted Boudreaux to come out to him and make a diving save on the shot attempt. Graf was able to get off another shot on goal in the 32nd minute as he launched a high arching shot over several Cardinal defenders requiring Boudreaux to jump up to bat the ball away.
Both teams went the rest of the way without a shot on goal, finishing the first half in a scoreless tie.
Louisville and Bradley finished the first half with seven shots apiece, while the Cardinals finished with 3-1 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished with three saves, while the Braves' keeper Brian Billings remained untested.
Bradley was able to break the scoreless tie in 55th minute as Scott Davis received the ball in the box off passes from Graf and Wojciech Wojcik, whose shot deflected off a Louisville defender into the back right corner of the net.
Louisville continued to stay on the attack in the 65th minute as Nick DeLeon broke free along the baseline sending in a shot that was saved by Billings. In the 73rd minute, Walker sent a shot from the left side of the box that ricocheted off the crossbar sending the ball out of bounds.
The Cardinals again had a chance to score in the 85th minute as Buck Tufty received a clean pass into the box, but his shot was saved by the keeper going out of bounds for a corner kick, but the following attempt was thwarted.
Louisville tied up the score in the 87th minute as Colin Rolfe received a cross from Ryan Smith and sent the ball from the top right of the box to the back of the net for the equalizer. Less than a minute later, Walker collected a midfield pass from Rolfe blasting the shot from 15 yards out past the keeper to put the Cardinals up 2-1.
In the final minute of the game a shot from Keegan Balle was saved by Boudreaux, but Gaul collected the rebound and sent the shot past Boudreaux to tie the game at 2-2 and extend it into overtime.
Louisville finished regulation with a 20-13 shot advantage. The Cardinals also had a 6-3 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished with four saves, while Billings finished with five.
Bradley had the first scoring opportunity in the overtime period as Graf got the ball in the middle of the field just outside the box and sent the ball towards Boudreaux who made the save. DeLeon answered back later in the period, but Billings made a save.
The Cardinals had two chances late in the period as Daniel Keller collected a loose ball in the box off a corner kick, but his shot was stopped by a Bradley defender. Alexander Obbey received the rebound off the defensive save and sent a high shot towards the goal, but the keeper grabbed it out of the air.
The Braves had one last chance in the waning moments as Graf made a late break down the right side sending a shot from just inside the box that was saved by Boudreaux.
Greg Cochrane got into the action in the second overtime period as he had a shot from 25 yards out bounce off the right post. In the sixth minute Keller's shot from just outside the box was stopped as Billings made a leaping save on the ball.
The Cardinals pulled out the victory with just over two minutes left in the period as Andrew Farrell sent the ball to Brock Granger, who chipped it into the box where DeLeon headed a shot past the keeper for the winning goal. The goal was the first game-winner of the season for DeLeon and his fifth at Louisville.
Louisville finished the game with a 28-15 shot advantage and an 8-3 corner kick advantage. Boudreaux finished the game with six saves, while Billings finished with eight. A team save was also credited to the Braves.
The Cardinals move on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face No. 5 seed Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 27 in College Park, Md.