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HARRISON, N.J.- Louisville maintained its undefeated season as the Cardinals posted a 1-0 shutout against Notre Dame on Friday evening in the 2010 BIG EAST Championship semifinal to advance to the final on Sunday. The Cardinals, the No. 1 seed in the Red Division, are 16-0-2 overall this season. The Fighting Irish fall to 10-5-4.
"I was extremely proud of our guys tonight," said Louisville Head Coach Ken Lolla. "We didn't play our best soccer, but I thoguht that the second half we came out much more settled and controlled the game much more. Getting the shutout is huge, especially against Notre Dame. They are clearly one of the best teams in the country."
Louisville had a chance to get on the board 25 minutes into the game as junior midfielder/forward Nick DeLeon found redshirt senior midfielder/defender Charlie Campbell, who fired 12 yards out, but the shot hit the crossbar, keeping the scoreboard clear.
The two teams went into the break with a scoreless tie. The Cardinals out-shot the Irish in the first period, 7-5, while Notre Dame held a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
In the 36th minute, senior defender/midfielder J.T. Murray collected the rebound of his own shot in front of the net and pushed it in to the upper left corner for a 1-0 Cardinals advantage; the goal was Murray's third of the season.
Notre Dame found the back of the net twice in the second half, but both were called offsides.
Notre Dame senior forward Steven Perry fired a shot from 20 yards out as time expired, but Louisville redshirt-junior goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux fell on the ball to end the game. The shutout was Boudreaux's eighth of the season.
Louisville out-shot the Irish 15-11, while Notre Dame had a slight edge in corner kicks, 4-3.
Both teams earned a first-round bye and Louisville defeated Blue Division No. 4 West Virginia 3-0 on Nov. 6 in the quarterfinals to reach Friday's match. Notre Dame defeated Blue Division No. 6 Marquette 2-1 on Nov. 6.
Louisville advances to meet Providence in the final on Sunday at noon at Red Bull Arena. The Friars defeated Cincinnati 2-1 in the first semifinal of the day. The Cardinals opened their 2010 conference season against Providence on Sept. 25, recording a 2-1 victory. Sunday's contest will be Louisville's first appearance in the final and Providence's second trip, but first under Head Coach Chaka Daley. Providence fell to Connecticut 1-0 in the final in 1984.
"I'm not surprised [Providence] is in the final," said Lolla. "They had a very good run at the end of the season. Their RPI is very strong because of their strength of schedule. We are looking forward to [being in the final]. It has everything to do with our growth and development heading into the NCAA Tournament."
The title game will be broadcast live free online via www.BIGEAST.tv as well as numerous regional sports networks including CBS College Sports, SportsNet New York, Cox Sports (New England), Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Time Warner Cable Sports 32 (Wisconsin), Cox Sports Television (La., Fla., Texas, Ariz., Miss., Ga., Okla., Va.), The Comcast Network (Philadelphia), Mid-Atlantic Sports network, WVPBS (West Virginia), Time Warner Cable (Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo) and Wazoo Sports Network (Louisville). The game will also be shown tape delayed on Bright House Sports Network (Tampa) (same day delay, 3:00 p.m.) and FSN Pittsburgh (same day delay, 3:00 p.m.; delay, Nov. 21, 1:00 p.m.).
Updated statistics, notes, recaps and clips are available at Championship Central on www.bigeast.org.