Second half goals by Brooklynn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett powered the University of Louisville women’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Notre Dame on Thursday evening at Lynn Stadium.
With the victory, the Cardinals improve to 8-1-0 (2-0 ACC), matching their best start in program history and defeating Notre Dame for the first time since joining the ACC. The Fighting Irish fall to 4-5-0 (0-1).
“Super excited about the win,” said UofL head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. “We always defended, and obviously we were able to attack as well. The game at this level is a game of moments that dip and float. I thought for 15 minutes we carried the game, and for 15 minutes they carried the game. It goes back and forth. We talked a lot about managing when we didn’t have control of the game and taking advantage when we did have control of the game. I thought we did a really good job of that.”
The Cardinals had a number of near-goals in the first half, but were unable to convert. In the 10th minute, Allison Whitfield’s shot sailed just inches wide of the goal, sparking an abundance of action on both ends of the field.
Minutes later, Notre Dame had a close-call of their own. Niamh Nelson made a crucial stop for the Cards, batting away Eva Hurm’s shot to keep the Fighting Irish off the board.
Louisville continued to be aggressive on offense, nearly scoring on multiple occasions through the remainder of the half. The Cardinals held an 8-4 edge in shots, while Notre Dame took a 3-2 advantage in corners. Rivers led the Cards with three shots, followed by Whitfield with two.
Notre Dame increased their offensive pressure coming out of the break, controlling the possession in the early minutes of the second half. Within the first 10 minutes, Gabby Kouzelos made four clutch saves to prevent the Fighting Irish from taking the lead.
Despite Notre Dame’s momentum, the Cardinals were able to regain possession. Louisville gained the 1-0 advantage in the 59th minute as Mollie Rouse sent a pass to Whitfield who delivered a cross into the box and found Rivers, whose header flew past the keeper and into the goal.
Looking to even the score, the Fighting Irish continued to press on offense. However, the Cardinals were able to take a two-goal lead at the 77-minute mark as Emina Ekic broke away from her defenders, passing the ball to an open Whitsett who fired a shot into the back of the net.
Louisville held Notre Dame at bay for the remainder of the match, securing the 2-0 victory. The Cardinals finished with a 15-12 advantage in shots, while the Fighting recorded a 5-3 edge in corners. Kouzelos matched her career-high in saves, collecting six on the evening.
The Cards will be back in action on Sunday when they host Syracuse at Lynn Stadium. Kick-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville