Senior Mohamed Thiaw connected for a pair of goals in his final regular season home game but it was not enough as visiting NC State rallied for a 3-2 triumph over the No. 5 Louisville men’s soccer team on Saturday night at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
Both of Thiaw’s goals came in the second half giving the Cardinals (10-2-3, 4-2-1 ACC) a late lead, but the Wolfpack (8-4-3, 3-3-1 ACC) answered with two goals in the final nine minutes to clinch the win. The loss ended Louisville’s unbeaten streak at nine matches, while NC State extended its own unbeaten streak to six.
With his second multi-goal performance of the season, Thiaw leads the team with eight goals in 2017 while also scoring 20 goals in his 36 career matches with the Cardinals. After NC State scored the only goal of the first half on a tally by Manny Perez in the 32nd minute, Thiaw evened the score in the 58th minute with a successful penalty kick. The PK was created after Thiaw was taken down near the goal by a Wolfpack defender.
Louisville gained its first lead of the night in the 79th minute when Thiaw found the back of the neat on a tight angle from the right side. After controlling a perfectly placed ball into the box from along the right sideline by senior Tim Kubel, Thiaw worked past his defender before connecting on a perfect right-footed strike from eight yards.
The advantage was short-lived for the Cardinals as NC State found the equalizer in the 82nd minute after Clayton Sparks received a cross into the box and scored inside the right post. Perez was credited with an assist on the goal after his crossing pass from the right side found Sparks, who evened the score at 2-2 with his third goal.
The Wolfpack capped their furious late charge in the 88th minute when Perez closed his terrific night by scoring inside the right post from 12 yards out for the game-winner. After receiving a long pass up the right side from Ade Taiwo, Perez worked his way beyond the Cardinals’ backline and directed the ball into the goal for his second goal of the night and his fifth of the season.
NC State’s first goal of the match ended Louisville’s school-record scoreless streak at more than 563 minutes (563:41) surpassing the previous mark of 560 minutes set in 2013. The Cardinals also had their shutout streak halted at five matches, which equaled the school record.
Louisville dropped Saturday’s match despite finishing with a 13-5 advantage in shots, including a 4-3 in shots on goal. The Cardinals also had the only four corner kicks of the match.
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Cardinals honored its 2017 senior class consisting of Thiaw, Kubel, Walker Andriot, Sawyer Edwards, Joey Kunkel and Campbell Weyland.
Up next, No. 5 Louisville will close the regular season with a visit to No. 7 Clemson on Friday at 7 p.m., ET.
Fans can follow Louisville men’s soccer on Twitter (@UofLmenssoccer) at http://twitter.com/uoflmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.
Assistant Sports Information Director
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