One miss two weeks ago was enough for Tim Kubel.
He wasn't about to miss again Tuesday night.
Because he didn't, ninth-ranked Louisville escaped with a 2-1 victory over archrival Kentucky.
A standing-room crowd of 3,368 was on hand at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, even packing the sloped lawn opposite the team benches.
Kubel's goal, in the 79th minute, snapped a 1-1 tie.
Ricardo Velazco, who scored U of L's first goal in the 64th minute, assisted with a cross from the 6-yard line and Kubel fired from about 15 yards out.
"It was tremendous. It was unbelievable," Kubel said. "Two weeks ago we played in St. Louis and we were in the same situation — on the left side, he played a cross and I got the ball on the right side. It was through all of the guys, and I missed it.
"Today, I can tell you I was so tired after 75 minutes. I was on the mid-line and I saw it. ... I made the run and the ball was coming to me. I hit the ball perfectly with my left foot, just inside the post. After I saw the ball was in the net, it was unbelievable. I was so happy."
The Cardinals (4-1-1) then packed it in on defense and kept UK from a serious threat at coming back.
"I thought we were mature in how we did it," U of L Coach Ken Lolla said. "We didn't let them get a rhythm. We dealt with the restarts pretty well, any balls in the air, and we didn't allow them any really good chances towards the end. Part of being a mature team and learning how to win games down the stretch, when you have that lead, is preserving it. And I thought our guys did a pretty good job of that tonight."
Velazco opened the scoring, the first goal surrendered by Callum Irving after 477 minutes and 4½ games.
Ben Strong drew the assist, back-heeling the ball across the box to a wide-open Velazco.
UK (4-3-1) scored the equalizer at 71:54, when Bryan Celis one-touched a bullet past Cards keeper Joachim Ball.
Kubel had the last say, though.
"I think taking your chances is a big difference," UK Coach Johan Cedergren said. "Of course you've got to give a lot of credit to Coach Lolla and his staff and the team that they have. They've got a couple of really special players up front. But, at the same time, we have one of the best back six in the country. And I think what's gotten us to this point is really, really good defending. I want to see those two goals again on video — I don't think it was that dangerous and somehow we just overcommitted somewhere and made a little mistake.
"The problem with playing really, really good teams is if you make a ... mistake, then they're going to punish you. I think that their front four quality, it's very, very good and when you play a team like that, you've got to make sure that you do everything you can defensively. And I thought we were a little soft today. I think we can do better going forward."
U of L had the better chances in a scoreless first half, although UK's Napo Matsoso used a free kick for the only shot on goal.
The Cardinals had a pair of near misses.
The first, 24½ minutes in, sailed just wide left of the net, off the foot of Will Vitalis from near the top of the 18.
The second, 43½ in, was launched inside the penalty box by Kubel, who put the ball into the side of the net.
"I thought once we got the ball moving and started finding the spaces, I thought it made a huge difference," Lolla said. "And then once we got forward, we created some good chances in the box."
Play got chippy late, with eight yellow cards shown in the final 28 minutes.
Louisville 2, Kentucky 1
Goals—UL: Ricardo Velazco, Tim Kubel; UK: Bryan Celis. Goalkeepers—UL: Joachim Ball; UK: Callum Irving.
Records: Louisville 4-1-1; Kentucky 4-3-1.