"I knew there would be a lot of intensity with this being the first BIG EAST match for both teams," Louisville Head Coach Karen Ferguson said. The Cards and the Bearcats always bring out the best in each other."
Louisville freshman Deana Waintraub made a career -high seven saves, with six of those stops coming in the second half. She also marked her fifth shutout in six starts, lowering her goals against average to 0.17. The five shutouts ties her with four other keepers for the second-highest single season total at U of L, three off the record of eight, set by Meredith Miller last season.
In a scoreless first half, the Bearcats(2-3-2, 0-1-0) held a 5-3 edge in shots and a 2-1 margin in corners. The Cardinals turned the tables with a 12-9 edge on shots in the second half, out-cornering UC 1-0.
Both teams had scoring chances early in the second half, with UC's Becky Imhoff and Craft each having two attempts turned away.
Another 10-minute span of back-and-forth action saw the teams press the keepers in to make five more saves between the two.
Cardinal (6-1-1, 1-0-0) senior Hollie Minogue entered the match in the 69th minute and quickly provided two shots, the first of which was turned away by UC keeper Sherry Slye and the second of which was wide right.
Shortly thereafter, the freshman defender Mello found the preseason All-BIG EAST selection Craft, who tapped home the game-winner, tying Monique Gjini for the team lead with her third goal of the season. It was Craft's 25th goal of her career, tying her with Joy Bubenzer for fourth in Cardinal history.
"Jessica Mello was unbelievable tonight," Ferguson said. "Nobody got past her and she made a great play to set up Jamie's goal."
Craft had seven of Louisville's 15 shots on the evening, with Jen Avila and Minogue chipping in two apiece.
The Cardinal women's soccer team is off to its best start in school history, after posting a school record 12 wins last season.
The victory was the first BIG EAST win for the University of Louisville athletic department, in this, the first season in the new conference.The Cardinals went 1-16-1 in the first 18 meetings with UC, but have now won three straight, all 1-0 wins, the last two of which were on the road.
U of L will return to the Queen City for a non-conference tilt against Xavier on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Cards will then head to Chicago for a BIG EAST match against DePaul on Friday, September 23rd at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Louisville will return home the following Sunday, when they will host the defending National Champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Cardinal Park at 1:00 p.m. ET. Admission is free to all U of L home matches.