MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Louisville women's soccer team's magical season ended on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to No. 9 Florida State in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Championship at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
With the defeat, the Cardinals closed their record-setting season with a 14-7-3 record overall, while the Seminoles improved to 17-6-1 overall. Louisville set a school record for wins in 2011 surpassing the previous mark of 13 set in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and 2007. The Cards also earned the program's first NCAA Championship wins with their 2-0 first round victory over Dayton and followed that with a 2-0 win at No. 5 Memphis in the second round.
"Losing isn't the way anybody wants to end their season, but in reality, all but one team does," said Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes, who also led the Cardinals to their first BIG EAST National Division title and their first BIG EAST title game appearance in 2011. "I'm incredibly proud of this team with the run we've put together, the success we've had in the post-season and the chemistry of this group. Probably the saddest part of this for me and for us as a coaching staff is that we won't have an opportunity to train this group as we know it ever again. That is something we'll miss.
"This senior class is special. They put us in a position to do some great things and have some great moments this year and that will never be forgotten. That will always be their legacy. To change things from the way we were last year to this year speaks volumes about our players' character, fortitude and willingness to win. This is a special group and we'll always have very fond memories of this season. We thank the seniors and though we're sad to see them leave, but they leave this program in a much better place."
Florida State opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Kassey Kallman scored on a header inside the left post from the right side on a throw-in from Jessica Price for the 1-0 advantage. It was the third goal of the season for Kallman while the assist for Price was her ninth of the season.
After taking that one-goal lead to the halftime break, the Seminoles pushed their advantage to the final 2-0 margin in the 77th minute when Tiffany McCarty took a pass from Janice Cayman and scored inside the far right post for her team-leading 17th goal of the season. The assist for Cayman was her sixth of season.
Overall, Florida State had a 12-11 edge in shots, including a 6-2 advantage on-goal. Louisville had a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks, while fouls nearly even as the Cardinals were whistled for nine to the Seminoles' eight.
In goal, Chloe Kiefer finished with four saves in the loss for Louisville, while Kelsey Wys had two stops in earning her seventh shutout of the season for FSU.
"It's a bittersweet way to go out, but it's been the most success we've had over four years, so it's definitely been a lot of fun and a good ride," said senior midfielder Jennifer Jones. "Bringing home the first BIG EAST National Division championship for our school has been great, and it's been a great experience with everyone."