The University of Louisville women's soccer team kicked off play within the American Athletic Conference with a 3-2 overtime win over Memphis. Before falling to the Cards on Friday night in Cardinal Park, Memphis entered the game ranked first in the AAC, with a record of 7-2 on the season.
The Cardinals improved their record to 5-3-1 when senior forward Christine Exeter found the net just two minutes into the extra period.
"It was a scary moment for me," Exeter said after the game. "I had a lot of opportunities (throughout regulation) and I got them on frame but I just couldn't score."
"At this point it was overtime, so I was thinking to myself if I can get this goal, it'll be the end of it."
A bright spot for the Cardinals in the win over the Tigers was the play of goalkeeper Paige Brown, who was credited for four saves, but also nixed several other opportunities for Memphis throughout the match.
"(Paige) was exceptional tonight," head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes said. "Absolutely exceptional. She had three saves in the first half that really kept us in a good position, there's no question about that."
A freshman from Jackson, Mo., Brown was thrust into the starting spot at the beginning of the season and has been trusted in the net ever since. Starting all nine of Louisville's 2013 matches, Brown has accumulated 30 saves on the year and has an average goals against of lower than two.
Brown said that her veteran teammates have helped her handle the pressure that comes with starting as a freshman.
"(Starting so quickly) wasn't too (intimidating) at first," Brown said. "I knew I was going to have to come in and take this role."
"(The team's eight seniors) have really helped me along. They've encouraged me and told me what they want me to do, what they're used to."
Ferguson-Dayes has displayed growing confidence in Brown as the season has gone on, and the goalkeeper's performance on Friday night will only continue to help that trust.
"I say this all the time: she's getting better every game," Ferguson-Dayes said. "I told her after the game that (the performance against Memphis) is her standard now."
"We knew she could do it, and she came up big for us tonight."
The Cardinals will continue conference play when they welcome Rutgers (7-1-1) to Cardinal Park at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.