Horton's heroics send L'ville to final

Forward's last-minute goal helps Cardinals top North Carolina 2-1

#1 Louisville will take on #4 North Carolina

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of University of Louisville

On a chilly night, Louisville freshman forward Aaron Horton once more
displayed a trademark flair for the dramatic, scoring the winner in a
2-1 win against North Carolina just moments before the end of the
regulation to send the Cardinals into their first-ever College Cup
Final.

Off of a combination play, Horton streaked down the left side, where a pinpoint pass from midfielder Ryan Smith
caught the subsitute striker in midstreak. Horton then buried the ball
in the back of the net to keep the Cardinals' dreams of an undefeated
season alive.

Horton's goal comes just a week after another impressive game-winner that put Louisville into the semifinals.

The
Cardinals dominated much of the match, controlling possession
throughout as the Tar Heel midfield -- and star playmaker Michael
Farfan, in particular -- struggled to keep the ball and penetrate the
burly Louisville defense.

The Cardinals took advantage of their
superior control to pressure the Tar Heel back line. While the North
Carolina may have been on their heels early on, timely defending kept
the Cardinals off the board.

Louisville nearly opened the
scoring in the 19th minute, when North Carolina defender Drew McKinney
cleared the ball of the line to rob the Cardinals of their first goal.
Then, just moments later, goalkeeper Scott Goodwin saved a surefire
Louisville goal.

Despite all the Tar Heel heroics, the Cardinals
broke through first when midfielder Austin Berry headed in a
57th-minute corner kick from Dylan Mares. The freshman and recent US
U-20 invitee rose above his marker to slot past Goodwin and into the
back of the net.

The Tar Heels didn't stay quiet for long,
though, and tied things up in the 62nd minute. Alex Dixon made a
fantastic run down the left side, beating several Cardinal defenders
before playing into an unmarked Stephen McCarthy, who smashed home the
equalizer.

With the match deadlocked at 1-1 as time wound down,
it appeared as though the teams would be headed for penalty kicks. But
then Horton rose to the occasion and chipped over Goodwin to send the
Cardinals through.

With their ticket to the final assured, No.
1-seeded Louisville (20-0-3) will take on Akron, who beat Michigan 2-1.
North Carolina, on the other hand, end their third consecutive trip to
the College Cup empty-handed and finish the season with a 16-4-4 record.

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