Vince Tyra’s press conference to address the firing of head football coach Bobby Petrino was delayed for a few minutes on Sunday afternoon. Not because Tyra was struggling with what to say or because he was shoring up a few minor details, but because he had to catch the end of a soccer match.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” Tyra began the presser. “I had to finish watching our men’s soccer team win the ACC championship.”
While the rest of the Cardinal sports world was focusing on Petrino, the U of L men’s soccer squad was busy taking down second-seeded North Carolina, 1-0, to capture its first ACC tournament title. The victory was especially sweet considering the program came within seconds of winning the tournament in 2014. That year, Clemson netted the equalizer with just eight seconds to play in regulation, and then claimed the championship with a golden goal in double overtime.
On his birthday, Cherif Dieye notched the goal that would ultimately propel Louisville to victory on Sunday.
.@CheriifDiieye with the assist from @TateSchmitt— Louisville Men's Soccer (@UofLmenssoccer) November 11, 2018
The goal that ultimately led to a pic.twitter.com/fgySEWRKyz
Sunday’s victory capped off a monster week in which Louisville took down Wake Forest, the tournament’s top seed and the No. 1 team in the country, as well as North Carolina, who entered Sunday with a national ranking of No. 4. Those two victories have the Cards in position to earn a top four seed in the NCAA tournament, which would guarantee them home field advantage up until the College Cup (soccer’s version of the Final Four).
The Cards will discover their road to the Cup when the NCAA tournament bracket is unveiled on Monday. For the moment, congrats to Ken Lolla and company on achieving one of their biggest preseason goals.
Now let’s go get a national championship.