HARRISON, N.J.- The University of Louisville and Providence College men’s soccer teams battled to a 1-1 double-overtime tie in the 2010 BIG EAST Championship final on Sunday, Nov. 14 in front of a crowd of 1,583 at Red Bull Arena. The Cardinals, who continue their undefeated season earned the BIG EAST Champions Cup on penalty kicks, 3-2. Providence is now 12-5-3 this season, while Louisville moves to 16-0-3.
With 5:15 remaining in regulation, Cardinals junior forward Colin Rolfe found the back of the net from 26-yards out to put Louisville ahead 1-0 after almost 85 minutes of scoreless soccer.
Senior midfielder Matt Marcin took a penalty kick for Providence in the 89th minute, netting the ball into the right corner to knot the game at 1-1 as redshirt-junior Louisville goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux dove to the left.
The score remained knotted 1-1 through both overtimes. The first penalty kick, taken by Providence junior defender John Raley, sailed wide. Louisville’s first kick was fired into the left center of the net from freshman midfielder Dylan Mares, the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Marcin tied up the penalty kicks with a shot into the bottom right corner.
Louisville sophomore midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo’s shot hit the post and Providence went ahead 2-1 when freshman midfielder Anthony Baumann buried the ball into the bottom left of the net.
Cardinals’ junior midfielder/forward Nick DeLeon knotted the penalty kicks 2-2 when he placed the ball into the high left side between the posts. Boudreaux made a save on the next two PC penalty kicks, while redshirt-senior midfielder/defender Charlie Campbell’s goal in the left corner gave Louisville the 3-2 advantage.
Rolfe was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player, while Boudreaux earned Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors.
“I’m very proud of our guys today and the resiliency we showed,” said Louisville Head Coach Ken Lolla. “Days like today we are simply reaping the seeds that have been sown over the last five years. These guys have invested a lot of time and effort into the season and today is the result of that.”
Campbell created a scoring opportunity for Louisville in the first half as he fired a shot from the right side, but redshirt-junior goalkeeper Jhojan Obando smothered the ball to keep the Cardinals off the board.
Providence had a chance to get on the board as sophomore midfielder Marc Cintron found the feet of Marcin on a breakaway. Marcin drilled it towards the net, but Boudreaux punched it out and then gathered up the rebound to keep the game scoreless with 23 minutes remaining in the first period.
Sophomore forward/midfielder Greg Davis had an open shot at the net, but his attempt sailed just high in the 33rd minute. Campbell’s attempt was Louisville’s only shot of the first half, while the Friars had five shots. The Cardinals also had the only corner kick of the first half.
In the second half, Louisville had two opportunities early as DelPiccolo and senior defender/midfielder JT Murray had free kicks within minutes of each other, but Obando punched both out of the net.
DeLeon took the lead on a breakaway, sending the ball across the goal on an open net in the 60th minute, but the ball went just wide as the contest remained scoreless.
Louisville out-shot PC, 20-13 and held a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Providence posted three-straight upsets to reach the final as the Friars shutout Red Division No. 4 seed Villanova 3-0 on Nov. 3 in the first round, defeated Blue Division No. 1 seed Georgetown 2-1 in the quarterfinals and Red Division No. 2 seed Cincinnati 2-1 in the semifinals on Friday.
Louisville claimed the Red Division regular season title, earning a first-round bye. The Cardinals defeated Blue Division No. 4 West Virginia 2-0 in the quarterfinals and shut out Blue Division No. 2 Notre Dame 1-0 in the semifinals on Friday.
“I’m very proud of our players, our program and far we’ve come in a short time,” said Providence Head Coach Chaka Daley. “Ken Lolla has been a little bit of a mentor for me and taught me about resiliency and mental toughness this year.”
From Louisville, Boudreaux, Rolfe, senior defender Austin Berry and Murray were selected to the All-Tournament Team, along with Cincinnati junior midfielder Matthew Bahner, Notre Dame senior midfielder/forward Jeb Brovsky and sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers. Providence’s Obando, senior defender Bryan Minogue, Marcin and senior midfielder Andrew Sousa earned spots on the All-Tournament Team as well.
The 2010 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship, Presented by Travelodge, featured the top 12 of the league’s 16 teams. Selection and seeding were based on regular season conference records. The top six teams in each division, seeded by conference point total, qualified for the league championship. The top two teams in each division earned first-round byes to the quarterfinals. The first-round and quarterfinal games were held on the campuses of the higher seeded teams. The semifinals and final were hosted at Red Bull Arena.