Tonight, Real Monarchs SLC makes its way to Lynn Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville to play Louisville City FC in the USL Championship Final. For most of the players and coaching staff it’s unfamiliar territory as this will be the first time the Monarchs and Louisville have faced one another. For Monarchs Forward Tate Schmitt however, he’s returning home.
“It’s very exciting,” Schmitt said. “It’s a little bit weird playing back at the stadium I called home in college. But to be back in the city to see my friends and family that made this city feel like home to me and to see them it’s really just heartwarming and I’m very excited for the game.”
From 2015 to 2018 – before signing a homegrown contract at Real Salt Lake – Tate Schmitt played his collegiate soccer with as a Cardinal. Through his time as a Cardinal, Schmitt became a legend among his teammates. After U of L moved to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament’s Quarterfinals after a 2-0 win over Colgate, the U of L Athletics said that Schmitt has a “flair for scoring postseason goals.”
Schmitt has certainly found success in the postseason at Lynn Stadium previously, having tallied four game-winning goals through seven matches he played in the postseason tournament. In 2016, Schmitt found the golden goal winner in the 94th minute over UCLA before breaking the 1-1 deadlock against Notre Dame in the 71st minute to help lift the Cardinals to the 3-1 win. In 2017, Schmitt continued his postseason form by finishing off San Francisco in the 78th minute to secure a 3-2 win before finding the opening goal against Colgate.
“I would just say its the postseason in general,” Schmitt said about his postseason success. “It’s just those games you live for – do or die situations – I just feel as a player I’m always working to never have that last game.”
Despite his time at the U of L and the success he had to become an All-ACC First Team Honoree, the 2018 ACC Championship Tournament MVP and earning recognition on the United Soccer Coaches All-South Region First Team, Schmitt isn’t looking back when it comes to tonight’s USL Championship Final.
“It’s funny because the reason why it’s cool to be here is because of what I did at college but you want to focus on the now and what this year – what we’ve done to get to this point,” Schmitt reflected. “I don’t want to try and think about it as ‘Oh I’m playing back at my old stadium,’ I’m trying to just look at this as another game in a way. Different venue and a different team we have to play against and just focusing on what this team has done this year to be successful and to continue it.”
Watch Tate Schmitt and the rest of the Real Monarchs fight to become the first side to lift the USL Championship Trophy away from home when it kicks off tonight, Sunday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m. MT. The match will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.