LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 16th-seeded Ohio State men’s soccer team fell to top-seeded Louisville, 2-1, in the third round of the NCAA Championship Sunday night at Cardinal Park in front of 4,251 fans. The Buckeyes conclude their season with an 11-6-3 record, while Cardinals remain undefeated in advancing to the quarterfinals with an 18-0-3 mark.
Austin McAnena leveled the score at one in the 52nd minute, but the Cardinals’ Austin Berry netted the eventual game-winner late in the 63rd minute of action to seal their first berth in the round of eight.
“I am disappointed for our guys,” John Bluem, 14-year Ohio State head coach, said. “I thought they fought really hard and staged an excellent comeback in the second half to get us back into it. I think Louisville was, and is, an excellent team.
“I think they played very well tonight and they were a little bit better than us tonight and at the end of the day, I think they were the better team tonight. We wish them the best of luck.”
The Cardinals struck first as Charlie Campbell connected on a header following a loose ball in the box that he sent into the upper right corner of the net early in the 24th minute. Ohio State rebounded, however, and goalkeeper Matt Lampson closed out the period with three of his six saves on the night.
After trailing at the half for just the third time this season, the Buckeyes wasted little time in getting on the board in the second. Omar Vallejo sprung the ball forward to McAnena, who beat the Cardinal ‘keeper Andre Boudreaux down the right side and shot across into the far corner for his fifth goal of the season.
The score remained even for roughly 11 minutes as play settled for a moment on both sides. Louisville gained momentum, however, and late in the 63rd minute, Campbell struck again for the Cardinals, this time dumping the ball off to Nick Deleon in the corner, who then crossed it into the box for Berry to send into the back of the net off a diving header.
Ohio State responded by rattling off nine shots through the balance of regulation after tallying just two in the half prior. Konrad Warzycha led the charge with seven on the night, including four in the late-game barrage.
Louisville finished the night with an 18-16 advantage in shots, while Ohio State held the 4-1 margin in corner kicks. Lampson tallied six saves in the loss, while his counterpart Boudreaux was only forced to make one.
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