Nov. 25, 2012
Site: Louisville, Ky. (Cardinal Soccer Park)
Score: No. 10 seed Louisville – 2, Northwestern - 1
Records: NU (13-6-4), Louisville (14-5-1)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Northwestern battled No. 10 seed Louisville in a very tight match Sunday night in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, but a Cardinal goal in the final minutes of the game was the difference as Louisville captured the 2-1 victory.
“I thought it was a great game and I thought it was really well played on both sides,” Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. “Congratulations to Louisville and Coach (Ken) Lolla. He is a class guy and it was class all the way here. I was really proud of our guys. To come in on the road against a good team, you give up a goal two minutes in and it’s very easy to kind of start warming up the bus, but we battled right back and two minutes later, scored a goal.
“Our guys care and when you have guys that care, they’re not going to give up. The fact that Jarrett Baughman, our senior captain who hadn’t scored a goal all year, broke his nose this week, is the guy that scored a goal, that tells you all you need to know about what our fiber is. We have great kids on our team who care about each other and the program and they weren’t going to go down. I was proud of the way we bounced back.”
Sunday’s match was very even on the stat sheet as both teams had nine shots, three corners and three saves. A pair of seniors led the Wildcats on looks as midfielder Chris Ritter finished with three while defender Jarrett Baughman had two shots on goal, including NU’s goal in the opening minutes.
It was a hectic beginning to the match as each team tallied a goal within the first five minutes. Louisville took advantage of a look inside the 18-yard box off as Marlon Hairston fired off a shot from about 16 yards out off a deflection into the upper right corner past NU sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the third minute (2:35).
The Wildcats wasted little time tallying the equalizer and scored their goal off a set piece in the fifth minute (4:08). Junior midfielder, and Louisville native, Layth Masri took the first corner kick of the match on the near right side of the field. Ritter had a look off the corner, firing off a header that was saved by Louisville keeper Mike Mauro, but he was unable to control the save, giving NU another chance. Baughman knocked in a shot into the upper left corner of the net off the rebound for his first goal of the season and second of his Wildcat career.
Baughman, who broke his nose in practice earlier in the week and wore a mask throughout Sunday’s match, was incredibly active in the first half for Northwestern. Shortly after the NU equalizer, Louisville had a corner kick in the ninth minute, which led to a shot by Alex Obbey. NU was credited with a team save thanks to Baughman blocking Obbey’s look.
After a hectic opening to the half, Northwestern controlled possession for a majority of the first frame. The Wildcats were unable to create many chances, but also limited Louisville looks, as both teams had four shots in the first frame (NU slight 3-2 edge in shots on goal). Baughman had two of NU’s three shots on goal.
Louisville opened up the second half with three shots, one which was saved by Miller. NU freshman Henry Herrill had a wide open look shortly after entering the game in the 68th minute. Senior midfielder Nick Gendron sent a cross over from the right side, finding Herrill wide open on the left side of the net but Mauro saved Herrill’s header.
NU picked up the pace late in the second half and had the 4-1 advantage on shots in the closing 18 minutes. Ritter and freshman midfielder Cole Missimo each accounted for two looks, including a header by Ritter that went just wide in the 83rd minute.
Shortly after, Miller stepped up on the defensive end for the Wildcats making a big save in the 85th minute. Louisville’s Dylan Mares was one-on-one with Miller on the right side and Miller made the save with his legs, kicking it away from the goal out of bounds.
With the clock ticking down, Louisville tallied the game-winner in the 87th minute. Mares fired off a shot that appeared to be going wide left but an NU player deflected the ball into the net, giving the Cardinals the 2-1 lead.
"It was difficult the way the game ended but they made a good play," Lenahan added. "I know it was credited as an own goal but I’d like to call that an earned goal, because they did break us down and it just happened to go off a guys leg. They earned that goal even though it was a little bit unlucky on our part."
NU battled until the closing seconds but was unable to get another look at the net as Louisville took the 2-1 win to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The Wildcats wrapped up the 2012 campaign with another impressive season under 12th-year head coach Tim Lenahan. Northwestern won 13 matches and captured its second Big Ten title in as many years. The Wildcats also made their seventh NCAA appearance, all coming under Lenahan, and played in the third round for the fourth time.
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