On the verge of something special, but down they go. Again.

One game short of the College Cup for UofL but it's still the year 2016 (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).
Falling short of post season glory for UofL, a familiar refrain in 2016 (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Still the year 2016, folks, a memorable one for University of Louisville athletics, and not in a good way. Lots of potential, plenty of wins, but consistently falling short of any special post-season milestones.

The latest to fall is the UofL soccer team. Just one game short of making it to the sport’s Final Four, teasing fans with the possibility of a national championship. Losing by a score of 2-0 to Stanford, the defending national champion, before a crowd of 3,247 Saturday at the Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium. 

Stanford's wall-to-wall defense stymies UofL in final game (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).
Stanford’s wall-to-wall defense stymies UofL in final game (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The first goal, a self-inflicted blow, the ball ricocheting off a UofL player into the net at the 63:21 mark in the second half. A dark cloud of impending doom settling over the stadium. 

The UofL baseball team back in June holding a 2-0 lead over Santa Barbara, only to have Zach Burdi load the bases and give up a grand slam home run and lose 4-2 — two games short of another College World Series.

At least the game wasn't decided on penalty kicks (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).
At least the game wasn’t decided on penalty kicks (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The UofL men’s basketball team blocked from competing in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.school announcing a self-imposed post-season ban in February, continuing the embarrassing aftermath of the Andre McGee shenanigans.

The eighth-ranked UofL women’s basketball team, on the verge of another Sweet 16 appearance, somehow drops a 74-73 decision to Depaul on a last second shot.

The UofL football team contending for spot in the College Football Playoffs through the first 10 weeks of the season, only to self-destruct at Houston and roll over the cliff against Kentucky in the final game. 

Been that kind of a year. Grin and bear it, just four more weeks and 2016 is done.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.