Oct. 30, 2011
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
With goals from senior Jennifer Jones and sophomore Christine Exeter, the Louisville women's soccer team advanced to a BIG EAST Conference semifinal game after earning a 2-0 victory over Providence in a quarterfinal matchup on Sunday afternoon at Cardinal Park.
The Cardinals, the No. 1 seed from the National Division, improved to 11-5-3 on the season and matched a school record with their seventh straight win overall. Louisville, which has lost only once in its last 13 games, will face Notre Dame on Friday at 3 p.m., ET at Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown in the first of two nationally televised semifinal games on CBS Sports Network. The Fighting Irish advanced to the semifinal round with a 1-0 victory at Marquette on Sunday afternoon.
Friday's second semifinal game will feature Georgetown against host West Virginia at 5:30 p.m. The BIG EAST title game is set for Sunday, Nov. 6 at noon ET in Morgantown.
"Although we weren't the prettiest today and we didn't play a lot of good soccer, this team is so special that we absolutely willed ourselves into the BIG EAST final four," said Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. "They are a special group and we're excited to be in the great company of Notre Dame, West Virginia and Georgetown in the BIG EAST semifinals. However, our mission hasn't been accomplished yet because we want to win a BIG EAST Tournament championship. Now, we will refocus and prepare for the job ahead."
The Cardinals controlled Sunday's game throughout and opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Jones (Louisville, Ky./Assumption HS) curved in a corner kick from the left side where it deflected off of Providence (8-9-3 overall) goalkeeper Caitlin Walker and into the goal for the 1-0 lead. It was the third goal of the season for Jones, one of the Cardinals' two co-captains this season.
Louisville maintained that one-goal edge into the halftime break and then added to it in the 79th minute when Exeter (Pickering, Ont., Canada/Pickering HS) took the ball away from a Friar defender, moved to her right and found the lower left corner of the goal from 10 yards away for the final 2-0 margin. For Exeter, it was her team-leading 13th goal of the season and the 12th in her last 11 games. She now has 20 career goals as a Cardinal, while her 13 goals this season are the most for a U of L player since former All-American Jamie Craft scored 14 goals in 2004.
The two goals were more than enough for goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Divine Saviour HS) and the Louisville defense as they completed their third straight shutout and the seventh of the season overall. Kiefer needed just one save to keep the Friars off the scoreboard as Louisville finished with a 16-2 advantage in shots, including a 7-1 edge on-goal. The Cardinals also finished with a 12-2 advantage in corner kicks while being whistled for six fouls to the Friars' four.
The win clinched the Cardinals' second BIG EAST semifinal appearance in five seasons and the first since 2007. The 11 wins for the Cardinals are the most since a 13-win season in 2007, while the seven-game winning streak matches Louisville's season-opening winning streak from 2010. Louisville also improved to 4-0 in BIG EAST Tournament games at home, including 2-0 in quarterfinal games.
Following Sunday's game, the Cardinals were presented with the trophy for winning the BIG EAST Conference National Division regular season championship.