Oct. 20, 2012
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville field hockey team celebrated senior day with a 3-1 win over Villanova (6-10, 1-4) in a BIG EAST Conference matchup Saturday at Trager Stadium. The Cardinals improve to 10-7 on the season and 2-3 in league play.
"It was a great game," said U of L head coach Justine Sowry. "We had a lot of nervous and anxious energy this week because it was a big game. We stuck with our game plan throughout most of the game and we kept persisting against a very quality Villanova unit, so it was great to get a result like that. We were able to problem-solve and figure things out on the field and we were able to execute at the times we needed to and now we move on to the next game."
The teams played through a scoreless first half despite the Cardinals holding a 6-2 advantage in shots and a 4-1 edge in penalty corners. Louisville went on the attack early, drawing four corners and firing off three shots in the first four minutes of the game. Villanova's Alex Diekmann picked up a save and Kristen Davila registered a defensive save for the Wildcats during that span. Diekmann went on to collect three more saves while Louisville's Erin Conrad denied a Viillanova shot on goal to keep the game scoreless at halftime.
As the second half started, the Cards again applied early offensive pressure and capitalized just 1:39 into the half when junior Erin Schneidtmiller connected on an assist from freshman Elisa Garcia. Schneidtmiller's fifth goal of the season gave Louisville a 1-0 lead.
Villanova answered midway through the second half when Kayla Kennedy dribbled across the circle and slid the ball into the left side of the cage past Conrad to tie the game at 1-1 at the 47:01 mark.
The Cardinals wasted little time regaining the lead. Three minutes later, sophomore Paige Monsen sent a shot from the top of the circle to the right post where senior Amber Thomas deflected the ball into the cage for her eighth goal of the season to give Louisville a 2-1 lead.
Six minutes later Louisville used a penalty corner to tack on an insurance goal. Sophomore Alyssa Voelmle took an assist from Schneidtmiller and fired a shot from the top of the circle into the right side of the cage for her sixth goal of the season for the 3-1 final.
Louisville outsthot Villanova 12-2 in the second half and 18-4 in the game and held an 8-0 advantage in second half corners and owned 12-1 margin in the game. Conrad had two saves in the game while Diekmann collected nine stops for Villanova.
With the win, the Cards remain in contention for the BIG EAST tournament. They will wrap up conference play at Providence on Oct. 27. The BIG EAST Championship will be held Nov. 2 and 4 at Louisville's Trager Stadium.
Prior to the game, the Cardinals honored the senior class of 2012: Erin Conrad,
Haley Jurich, Natasha Leickly and Amber Thomas. Collectively, the members of the class spent 35 weeks of their playing careers ranked in the national polls and has won 45 games, including 10 over ranked opponents.
Each player has made valuable contributions throughout her career. Conrad is a two-time All-BIG EAST Conference selection. Jurich has played in nearly every game since her freshman season and notched 14 career goals. Leickly was a 2011 All-BIG EAST tournament selection and has started all but one game in career. Thomas, who scored the game-winner against Villanova, is currently second on the team with eight goals and has 22 career goals.
"I am so proud of the 2012 senior group," said Sowry. "They've been inspirational this year on so many different levels: their passion, their fire, their commitment and their leadership. Their contributions will certainly be felt for years to come in creating the culture of this team. I'm very proud of their performance."
Louisville (10-7, 2-3 BIG EAST) will play its regular season home finale against No. 21 Ohio State on Monday at 4 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear black and sunglasses will be given out to the first 100 fans.