Match Stats (PDF)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Clemson men’s soccer (12-3-2) fell to Louisville (5-8-1) by a final score of 2-1 in its regular-season finale Friday night at Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium. The Tigers finish the regular season atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division and will host top-ranked Pittsburgh in a match on April 17 for a chance to secure the conference’s automatic bid into the 2020 NCAA tournament.
“We were second best tonight to an inspired Louisville team,” reflected Mike Noonan, Clemson’s head coach. “We will use this week to regroup and get ready to play an excellent Pittsburgh team next week”
Louisville struck first during the sixth minute of the match, as Carlos Sanchis scored on the Cardinals’ first shot and found the back of the net from 22 yards out to give his side an early 1-0 lead. The early goal by Louisville made Friday’s contest just the second time this spring that the Tigers had conceded the opening goal in a match.
Following the early goal, the two teams played a possession-filled 39 minutes with Clemson registering six shots to Louisville’s three. The Tigers’ six shots in the first half were all recorded by different players. A physical battle for control throughout the opening 45 minutes of play saw the teams combine to have 14 fouls called by referee Matthew Kreitzer.
In the 51st minute, a quick counter-attack by the Cardinals along the near touchline forced Clemson’s George Marks to make an excellent one-on-one save on a shot by Elijah Amo. The rebound from Marks’ save fell to the feet of Louisville’s Aboubacar Camara who slotted home the ball from 12 yards out to extend his side’s lead to 2-0.
Hamady Diop scored the Tigers’ lone goal in the 90th minute of the match, converting a penalty kick after Ousmane Sylla drew a foul on a header opportunity inside the box. The goal was Diop’s second of the season, with both coming from the PK spot.
Clemson will now set its focus on its next match as it welcomes top-ranked Pittsburgh to Historic Riggs Field on Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The winner of Saturday’s match will earn the ACC’s automatic bid into the 2020 NCAA tournament, with the rest of the selections for the tournament set to take place on April 19.
For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, be sure to reference clemsontigers.com and follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter.
Photos courtesy of Louisville Athletics.