With a goal in the final minute of regulation, the top-ranked Louisville men's soccer team defeated UCLA 5-4 on a snowy, cold Saturday evening in Cardinal Park. The Cardinals improve to 19-0-3 on the season and advance to the program's first-ever NCAA College Cup.
The Bruins got on the board first in the eighth minute and again in the 18th minute to extend the Bruins' lead to 2-0.
The Cardinals broke through in the 29th minute as junior Colin Rolfe took a free kick from 22 yards out. Rolfe's shot bounced into the air off one of the UCLA defenders and floated over the keeper into the goal making the score 2-1. UCLA came right back in the 33rd minute to regain the two-goal advantage.
Louisville was awarded a penalty kick in the 40th minute when freshman Aaron Horton was taken down in the box. Redshirt-senior Charlie Campbell took the shot for the Cardinals and was able to convert, cutting the UCLA lead to 3-2.
The Cardinals came out quickly in the second half, knotting the score in the 48th minute. Sophomore Paolo DelPiccolo took a free kick from 40 yards out that Rolfe was able to head in for his second goal of the game to even the score at 3-3.
Louisville scored again in the 55th minute when Campbell crossed the ball to Rolfe that nearly hit the post, but Rolfe was able to cut it back across to junior Nick DeLeon for the score to put the Cardinals up 4-3.
The Bruins again tied the game in the 80th minute, but the Cardinals came back in the final minute of play as Horton received a pass in the middle of the field and was able to work his way around a slew of UCLA defenders, firing the game-winning shot.
The Cardinals were able to weather a final flurry of UCLA chances as the seconds counted down to zero, sending Louisville to its first College Cup. The five goals scored in the game match the most scored by the Cardinals in a game this season, as they scored five goals in the win over Appalachian State.
Louisville finished with a 20-18 shot advantage, along with a 4-2 corner kick advantage. Redshirt-junior Andre Boudreaux finished with five saves. The Cardinals set a new BIG EAST unbeaten record with their 22nd straight game without a loss, surpassing St. John's previous record of 21 set back in 1993.
The Cardinals will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 10 to take on North Carolina in the NCAA semifinal in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Fans are invited to send off the top ranked Cardinals to the College Cup by attending the free event at the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 5:00 p.m. in the lobby. The first 500 kids at the event will get a free Louisville soccer t-shirt. The coaches and team will be available for autographs.