Oct. 20, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The No. 21 ranked Louisville Cardinals capitalized on a penalty kick in the 36th minute and went on to post a 1-0 victory over Villanova on Saturday night at Cardinal Park. The Wildcats drop to 10-4-2 overall, 2-2-2 in the BIG EAST while the Cardinals are now 10-4-1, 6-1 in the conference.
"Louisville is a very good team, it was their Senior Night and we were in a very frenzied environment," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "We give them credit - they got the win. I thought we battled and played well defensively. We were right there and very easily could have earned a point. This is a tough one, no question."
The Cardinals rode the energy in the first half to a 10-4 advantage in shots.
"I thought Louisville did a good job with its possession game," stated Carlin. "But our back wall was solid and (John) Fogarty was outstanding."
The lone score of the night took place in the 36th minute. Louisville was awarded the penalty kick and Fogarty was able to stop the initial shot. But the rebound came to Andrew Farrell who was able to head the ball into the net to give the Cardinals the lead. That was where the score remained at the end of the first half.
Louisville had the better of play in the early stages of the second half but as the clock headed past the 70 minute mark the momentum shifted in the Wildcats direction.
"I thought we had some real high quality scoring chances over the final 20 minutes," stated Carlin. "The guys really battled and were able to keep the pressure on. Our chances didn't always result in shots but I thought we kept the heat on them right up until the final horn."
Villanova ended the night with nine shots while Louisville created 16. Fogarty made seven saves in net for the `Cats while Louisville keeper made two saves in recording the shutout.
Now, the focus for the Wildcats shifts to the final two regular season games this week. On Wednesday night, VU travels to Rutgers to meet the Scarlet Knights, who are one point behind the `Cats in the Red Division playoff chase. Then, Villanova wraps up the regular season on Homecoming Day when Pittsburgh visits West Campus at noon.
"For us, the playoffs have already started," stated Carlin. "These next two games are playoff games for us. There are a lot of different scenarios but the important things is for us to get in."
With victories in both of its final two games, Villanova can secure the No. 3 position in the Red Division and the bye into the BIG EAST quarterfinal that comes with it. First round and quarterfinal games in the conference playoffs will be held on campus sites with the semifinal and final set for Nov. 9-11 at Red Bull Arena in Newark, N.J.