Louisville men's soccer falls 2-1 in second overtime in ACC Cham - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville men's soccer falls 2-1 in second overtime in ACC Championship game

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville men's soccer team led Clemson, 1-0, and needed just a couple minutes of solid defense to close out the ACC Championship game.

A Clemson goal in the 90th minute and another in the second overtime, however, changed what was nearly a conference championship into a 2-1 loss.

Louisville led the game early with a 13th minute goal by Ricardo Velazco off a cross from Adam Brody. The Cards dominated possession in the build up to the goal, which was exemplary of U of L's early attacks against Clemson.

But as the first half waned, Clemson mounted more and more pressure on the goal and Louisville's keeper Joachim Ball was forced to make a few uncomfortable saves.

Very physical play led to two yellow cards in regulation, with a third for Velazco's shirtless goal celebration. A fourth was given in overtime for Clemson forward Diego Campos' handball on a Tiger attack.

Clemson's bigger, stronger back line played physical in one-on-one challenges and 50/50 balls, but the Cards' possession-oriented game prevented that from becoming a problem until a corner kick in the second overtime.  

Louisville's 22 fouls were a testament to the intensity the Cards showed against Clemson's size, though the Tigers were unable to capitalize on that advantage during regulation.

Clemson put further pressure on the Cards' defense with a number of set piece plays in the second half, but well-timed tackles and quick clearances kept the tigers scoreless until the closing seconds of the game.

With two seconds remaining in the clock, Clemson midfielder Paul Clowes struck from the top of the area after the ball took a deflection on a cross. All three of Clemson's ACC tournament games went to overtime, with the first two decided by penalty kicks.  

And with 5:17 remaining in the second overtime period, Clemson's Ara Amirkhanian scored off corner kick to give the Tigers the sudden-death victory.

Both teams will hope to return to WakeMed Park in North Carolina for the NCAA College Cup in December.

Louisville will learn its NCAA Tournament destination on Monday when all 48 teams are released on NCAA.com at 1 p.m.

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