University of Louisville women’s soccer wrapped up the fall portion of its schedule with a 4-1 loss to No. 9 Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday night.
With the defeat, Louisville falls to 4-5 on the season, while Virginia improves to 8-2-1.
The Cardinals looked to get on the board first in the 16th minute when Nadege L’Esperance had a chance, but her strong-footed kick was deflected by a Virginia defender and went straight into the arms of Virginia goalkeeper Laurel Ivory.
Four minutes later in the 20th minute, Virginia took a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers’ Alexa Spaanstra got behind the Louisville defense, goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos hustled towards Spaanstra and nearly pushed her wide enough to make the stop, but Spaanstra stayed with the play and found Diana Ordonez for the goal.
Ordonez struck again in the 24th minute to give Virginia a 2-0 lead. Kouzelos made a big save on Lia Godfrey’s boot inside the box, but she couldn’t corral the ball and Ordonez took the rebound and placed it just below Kouzelos’ reach for the goal.
Emina Ekic cut the Virginia lead in half with a beautiful goal on a set piece in the 43rd minute. Placed straight on in front of the goal, Ekic’s free kick went through the Virginia line of defense and bended perfectly to the top left of the net past Ivory.
Despite being outshot 11-3 in the first half, the Cardinals trailed just 2-1 and went into the locker room at half with the momentum following Ekic’s goal.
Louisville nearly tied the game in the 48th minute when Savina Zamborini’s shot required a diving stop by Ivory. Destiny Snyder then charged towards the loose ball, but her rebound attempt sailed high after colliding with Ivory at the net.
In the 57th minute, Virginia extended the lead to 3-1 when Ordonez got past every Louisville defender and drove it past Kouzelos for her third goal of the game.
Ekic nearly trimmed the lead back to one in the 68th minute, but her shot was halted by a diving Ivory and then Virginia got on the board again in the 71st minute when Samar Guidry found Spaanstra in space to make it 4-1.
Louisville was outshot 21-8 for the game and had four shots on goal to Virginia’s seven.
Kouzelos continued her strong play despite pressure throughout and finished with three saves.
In what could be her last game as a Cardinal, Ekic finished with a goal, two shots on goal and four shots. The goal marked the 29th of her illustrious career, which ranks fourth all-time in Louisville program history.
Asst. Sports Information DirectorWomen’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer
University of Louisville Athletics