Nov. 24, 2013
Ade Akinsanya was one of five Louisville seniors to end their collegiate careers on Sunday.
Video: Lolla's Postgame Comments with CardsTV
EAST LANSING, Mich. - On a bitterly cold afternoon in Michigan, the No. 17 Louisville men's soccer team saw its season end when 11th-seeded Michigan State converted the game-winning goal with just 3:31 remaining in the second overtime period for a 1-0 victory in Sunday's NCAA Championship second round match at DeMartin Soccer Complex.
The Cardinals ended their season with an 11-5-4 record overall after making their seventh straight NCAA Championship appearance. With the win, the Spartans improved to 13-5-3 and advance to the third round of the NCAA Championship where they will face No. 6 seed Georgetown on Dec. 1.
"Considering the (slick) field conditions, I thought we moved the ball very well, even better than I would have expected, but we didn't have enough going forward in the final third of the field and didn't create enough meaningful chances," said head coach Ken Lolla, who has guided the Cardinals to at least the second round of the NCAA Championship in four straight seasons. "Over the last three games, we have stressed our defense by not scoring goals and it caught up with us today."
With a kickoff temperature of 22 degrees and sustained wind chills near 12 degrees throughout the day, the Spartans connected for the only goal of the match in the 107th minute when Tim Kreutz's header from 10 yards away found the back of the net for the game-winner. The goal was setup after the Spartans won a 50-50 ball near the 18-yard box sending it forward where Kreutz headed it in for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Kevin Cope and Adam Montague were credited with assists for Michigan State.
Louisville finished the match with a 17-14 advantage in shots, while the Spartans had a 7-6 edge in shots on goal. The game-winning goal was the only shot for Michigan State in the two overtime periods and the only shot for them in the final 34 minutes of the match overall. The Cardinals also had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Joachim Ball (Deutenberg, Germany) finished with six saves in the loss for Louisville, while Zach Bennett had six stops for the Spartans. Sophomore Ricardo Velazco (Casa Grande, Ariz.) led the Cardinals with eight shots, including two on goal, while freshman Andrew Brody (Orlando, Fla.) added three shots, all on goal.
The Cardinals' 2013 season included winning the inaugural American Athletic Conference regular season championship for their fourth conference title in the last five seasons. Along with their seventh straight NCAA Championship appearance, Louisville also finished with at least 11 wins for the seventh straight season.
"I thought there was a lot of growth this season and to see so many young guys playing significant roles in the success of the team was very positive," said Lolla. "In that regard, looking forward is very exciting. However, I still think there were a lot of areas where we didn't' get everything we could have this season and we really didn't hit our potential at the end of the season, which is a bit disappointing."
Sunday's game was the final contest in a Louisville uniform for seniors Ade Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif.), Zack Foxhoven (Littleton, Colo.), Mike Mauro (Bristol, Conn.), Derek McCaffrey (Gronton, Mass.) and Jimmy Ockford (Yardley, Pa.).
Louisville will now begin preparations for the 2014 season, expected to be the program's first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the first playing in the new Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, currently under construction across from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and scheduled to open in August. To become a 2014 founding season ticket holder at Lynn Stadium, call (502) 852-0120 or email email@example.com for more information.
Fans can follow Louisville men's soccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.