(Courtesy: UofL Athletics) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior Tate Schmitt continued his flair for scoring postseason goals as the No. 4 Louisville men’s soccer team clinched its second straight NCAA Championship quarterfinal berth with a 2-0 victory over Colgate in Sunday night’s third round match at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
Making their fifth NCAA Elite Eight appearance in the last eight seasons, the Cardinals (13-2-4) will host No. 5 Akron on Friday at 7 p.m., ET at Lynn Stadium with a trip to the 2017 College Cup in Philadelphia at stake. The Zips advanced with a 3-2 win against Wisconsin in Saturday’s third round contest. Friday’s quarterfinal showdown will be a rematch of the 2010 College Cup championship match when Akron defeated Louisville 1-0 in Santa Barbara, California.
“Tonight was a great night for us and I’m so pleased he have the next one at home. I was really pleased with how our guys handled the night from the beginning and I thought we handled the whole game really well,” said Cardinals head coach Ken Lolla, who has guided the program to all 10 of its NCAA appearances during his 12 seasons at the helm. “We controlled the tempo of the game and created some great opportunities. I thought it was a great effort for us, a well-deserved win and an opportunity to keep the journey going.”
Schmitt connected on the first goal for the Cardinals in Sunday’s triumph against the Raiders (12-11-1) and has scored the game-winning goal in each of Louisville’s four NCAA Championship wins the last two seasons. Schmitt gave the home side a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute when he successfully finished a corner kick chance with his header from three yards out. Senior Tim Kubel delivered a well-placed corner kick inside the six-yard box where Schmitt found the space needed to score inside the left post.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Schmitt had the game-winning goal in last week’s 3-2 victory against San Francisco in the second round, the clincher in last season’s third round triumph over Notre Dame and the game-winner in Louisville’s 2-1 overtime win against UCLA in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Championship. This week’s goal against Colgate was Schmitt’s fourth game-winning tally of the season and his 10th career game-winning goal. Overall, Schmitt has a team-leading nine goals in 2017 and 21 career goals in his three collegiate seasons.
Less than six minutes after gaining the lead, the Cardinals doubled the advantage when senior Walker Andriot scored his first goal of the season and his fifth career goal for a 2-0 cushion on the 41st minute. After taking a pass from freshman Ziyad Fekri, Andriot served the ball deep into the box from along the right side of the field. Schmitt pushed into the box and narrowly missed on a header attempt but his challenge allowed the ball to deflect off Raiders goalkeeper Jacob Harris and into the goal.
The two goals proved to be more than enough as the Cardinals surrendered just five shots and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Will Meyer turned away the only attempt on goal to clinch Louisville’s 11th shutout of the season. The home side finished with an 11-5 advantage in shots and a 5-1 edge in shots on goal.
Making its 10th NCAA Championship appearance in the last 11 years, Louisville improved to 14-9-1 all-time in the tournament, highlighted by the College Cup appearance in 2010. The Cardinals are 12-4-1 all-time at home in NCAA Championship matches.
Louisville is among three ACC programs to reach the quarterfinal round of the 2017 NCAA Championship. No. 1 Wake Forest will host No. 9 Stanford and No. 3 North Carolina will host Fordham. No. 2 Indiana will host No. 7 Michigan State in the other quarterfinal contest.