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    The University of Louisville football team had its chances, especially in the final minute, but couldn’t escape Death Valley with a ‘W.’

    Host, and 25th-ranked, Clemson held off the Cardinals for a 23-17 Atlantic Coast Conference victory on Saturday afternoon in South Carolina.

    Louisville (5-2, 3-2) had first-and-goal at the Tigers’ 8 with 1:08 to play, but couldn’t score a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Gardner, who looked very good in relief of freshman starter Reggie Bonnafon, threw to Kai De La Cruz for a 7-yard gain on first down before Dominique Brown, who produced well after being MIA the past few games, was stopped for a 1-yard loss. With the clock running Gardner then spiked the ball (should he, or shouldn’t he) to stop it with 27 seconds to play. Then, on fourth and goal Gardner rolled out to his right and under heavy duress threw incomplete to James Quick, whose 73-yard pass and catch with Gardner set up UofL's last-minute scoring opportunity.

    Afterward Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he’d seen UofL coach Bobby Petrino run the same fourth-down play in a game when he was at Western Kentucky last year.

    Defense carried the Cards once again, holding Clemson to 229 yards of offense - 261 below its ACC-leading average - and two field goals, and gave them a chance to win. However UofL’s offense wasn’t great - the Cards were 1-for-17 on third-down conversions - and gave up a punt return for a touchdown while the Tigers also returned a Bonnafon fumble for a TD.

    UofL will try to bounce next Saturday, when it hosts North Carolina State. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

    Here’s what else happened in UofL sports over the weekend:

    • The fifth-ranked field hockey team fell 3-1 at No. 13 Syracuse in an ACC match Saturday afternoon. The Orange led 1-0 at halftime, then added two more goals before Lotta Kahlert scored for the Cards just under three minutes to play. UofL (10-3, 3-2) nex hosts 12th-ranked Boston College at 3 p.m. Friday.

    • The 16th-ranked men’s soccer team suffered a tough 3-2 overtime loss at No. 6 Notre Dame in an ACC match Friday night in South Bend, Ind. It was the fourth straight defeat for the Cards (5-5-1, 3-2-0). Junior Ben Strong scored one UofL goal - a diving header in the 88th minute that sent the game into OT - and assisted the other - by freshman Tim Kubel in the 67th minute to tie it at 1-all. The Cards return to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, when they host Florida Gulf Coast. 

    • The swimming and diving teams routed Xavier University in their season-opening meets Friday night at Ralph Wright Natatorium. The women’s team sunk the Musketeers 204-56 and the men’s team dunked its XU counterparts 205-64. Junior Kelsi Worrell led the women’s team with victories in three individual events - the 50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley - and the 200 freestyle relay. Three others - Andrea Cottrell, Abigail Houck and Devon Bibault - won two events each. On the men’s side, Caryle Blondell, Grigory Tarasevich, Trevor Carroll and Nolan Tesone won two events apiece for the Cards. The women’s team will next compete in the SMU Classic, which starts Friday in Dallas.

    • The volleyball team split a pair of home ACC matches. Fourth-ranked Florida State beat the Cards 3-1 Friday night, but UofL bounced back with a 3-0 sweep of Notre Dame on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center. Laura Blab led Louisville with 12 kills and also added two blocks while Assumption grad Katie George had a double-double (37 assists and 12 digs) against the Seminoles. Meanwhile Janelle Jenkins tallied a team-high 12 kills and Manual grad Maya McClendon added 11 while Roxanne McVey contributed 17 digs against the Fighting Irish. UofL (11-7, 3-3) next plays at Syracuse at 7 p.m. Friday.

    • The women’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss to Boston College in an ACC match Sunday afternoon at Lynn Stadium. The Eagles scored in the fifth minute of play and that goal stood the rest of the match. The Cards (5-6-2, 2-2-2) next host Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

    • The women’s golf team finished 13th in the Tar Heel Invitational, which concluded Sunday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Laura Restrepo led Louisville with a 31st-place while freshman Molly Skapik tied for 42nd thanks to a final round 2-over-par 74. 

    • The men’s tennis team, led by senior Luis Elizondo and junior Jeffrey Brown, had a solid showing at the Wake Forest Invitational. Elizondo and Brown won the B1 Division title Sunday afternoon.

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