Oct. 19, 2012
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore Casey Whitfield's goal in the 106th minute capped a furious Louisville comeback and lifted the Cardinals' women's soccer team to a 2-1 double-overtime victory against rival Cincinnati in the regular season finale on Friday night at Cardinal Park.
With the win, Louisville (10-4-3, 5-3-3 BIG EAST) clinched the No. 3 seed from the National Division and a first round bye in the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championship. The Cardinals will open the tournament on the road against American Division No. 2 seed USF in a quarterfinal match on Sunday, Oct. 28 in Tampa, Fla. Cincinnati (4-13-1, 1-10-0 BIG EAST) did not qualify for the league's post-season tournament and ended its season with Friday's loss.
"Rivalry games always bring out the best in teams and tonight was no different," said Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. "You have to credit Cincinnati for the way they competed, especially their goalkeeper (Kristina) Utley, who played well. Our team continued to fight and persevere throughout the game and it paid off in the end."
With the game on the brink of ending in a 1-1 draw, Whitfield (Louisville, Ky./Manual HS) gathered a shot off the crossbar by junior Charlyn Corral (Mexico City, Mexico/Tecnologico de Monterrey) and scored the game-winning goal from just six yards away with the less than five minutes left in match. The goal for Whitfield was her fourth of the season, including her second game-winner, while Corral was credited with her team-leading seventh assist.
Much earlier in the night, the Bearcats were the first to find the scoring column when Liz Miller headed in a crossing pass from Kaylee Dakers from 10 yards away in the 16th minute for the 1-0 advantage. The goal for Miller was her first of the season, while the assist for Dakers was her third.
Cincinnati took that one-goal lead into the halftime break and held it for more than 24 minutes of the second half before Louisville finally broke through against the Bearcats' Kristina Utley in goal in the 70th minute. After UC was called for a foul just outside the 18-yard box, Corral sent a free kick over the wall of defenders, over the leaping Utley and just under the cross bar for her eighth goal of the season. In her last five games, Corral has five goals while all eight of her goals this season have come in BIG EAST matches.
In goal, senior Chloe Kiefer (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Divine Saviour HS) finished with seven saves for the Cardinals, while Utley turned away 16 shots for the Bearcats. Overall, Louisville had a 37-10 advantage in shots, including a 19-8 edge in shots on-goal. The Cardinals also had a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks on Friday.
The 37 shots were the most for the Cardinals in the 13 years under the leadership of Ferguson-Dayes. Louisville has won three straight against Cincinnati and nine of the last 10 overall.
The complete 2012 BIG EAST Championship field and matchups will be finalized following the last day of regular season competition on Saturday. The event will begin on Thursday with first round matches at campus sites before continuing with the quarterfinal round at campus sites on Oct. 28. The event will conclude with the semifinal and final on Nov. 2-4 in Storrs, Conn.
Prior to Friday's game, Louisville honored its 2012 senior class of Kiefer, Courtney Holtz (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods HS) and Emily Cardell (Cincinnati, Ohio/Saint Ursula Academy).