LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Shannon Sloss, Hailey Netherton and Becca Maddock each scored a pair of goals to help the No. 15 University of Louisville field hockey team open the 2014 season with an 11-2 win over Saint Louis Friday at Trager Stadium.
"You never know what you're going to get in your first game," said UofL field hockey coach Justine Sowry. "The first half was terrific hockey. We played in some tough conditions, but really controlled the play well. We stretched the field well and put some amazing pass patterns together. It was a tale of two halves. The second half was a little sloppy, but overall it was a great start and we are happy to get a win on the board."
Sophomore midfielder Lotta Kahlert started the scoring for the Cardinals just under seven minutes into the game on a scramble in front of the Saint Louis goal. Redshirt freshman Stephanie Byrne continued the scoring in the 22nd minute when she received a pass from junior Elisa Garcia and beat Saint Louis goalkeeper Megan DePew-Brady, burying the ball inside of the right post for her first career goal.
With 16:34 minutes left in the first half, sophomore Shannon Sloss added a third goal for Louisville when she went one-on-one with DePew-Brady after receiving a pass from senior Rachel McCarthy. The Cardinals almost added a fourth goal just minutes later on a penalty corner, but a defensive save by the Billikens kept the score at 3-0.
Sophomore Hailey Netherton notched her first career score off of a rebound from DePew-Brady pads with 12:25 left to play in the first half. Freshman Abby Grimes then logged her first career assist after she sent a ball in front of the goal to Sloss, who scored her second goal of the match to close out the half.
The Cardinals took a 5-0 lead into the break after holding a 17-0 advantage in shots and an 8-0 edge in corners.
Louisville opened up the second half quickly, as senior Becca Maddock scored two goals, the first coming at 33:49 off of a deflection from Garcia's penalty corner shot and the second following a scramble in front of the Saint Louis goal, assisted by McCarthy at 29:17.
Freshman Marigrace Ragsdale scored her first career goal off of a deflection from fellow freshman Nicole Woods' penalty corner shot to put the Cardinals up 8-0. Woods then registered her first career goal from a straight shot from the stroke mark with 20:25 left to play in the game.
Just over two minutes later, Netherton notched her second score of the day to put Louisville up 10-0, before Garcia posted her first goal of the season off of a penalty stroke.
Saint Louis senior Faith Mackin closed out the game by scoring her team's only two goals of the afternoon. Fackin put the Billikens on the scoreboard at the 55:18 mark of the game when she deflected a penalty corner shot from Cassie Sperruzza. Two minutes later, she collected a rebound off of Louisville goalkeeper Sydney King's pads to make the score 11-2.
In the game, the Cards outshot the Billikens 32-2 and held a 17-1 advantage in penalty corners. In addition to the multiple goals by Sloss, Netherton and Maddock, Garcia also had a goal and two assist in the game while McCarthy dished out a pair of assists.
DePew-Brady registered 14 saves for Saint Louis (0-1).
The Cardinals (1-0) will face New Hampshire Sunday at 1 p.m. at Trager Stadium.
NOTE: This was just the third time in program history that the Cardinals scored 11 goals in a match. The goals scored were also the most since Louisville set a school record with 13 goals against Saint Louis in 2009.