Oct. 23, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - -
Junior Amber Thomas' goal in the second half proved to be the only scoring the University of Louisville field hockey team would need as the Cards (10-7) celebrated senior day with a 1-0 win over Indiana (9-6) Sunday at Trager Stadium.
"It was great to get a win on senior day against a really tough opponent," said U of L head coach Justine Sowry. "The seniors haven't had a win over Indiana in a while, there was definitely a lot of fire and spirit from our team and it was a total team effort from the first minute right up until Erin Conrad made a game-saving stop in the last minute. The coaching staff is thrilled and I know the team is thrilled. Now we've got to prepare for Northwestern."
The were evenly matched throughout the game, each drawing scoring opportunities, but solid defensive play limited the number of shots taken. The game was a scoreless first half with the Hoosiers holding the edge in shots (4-3) and corners (2-1).
The second half featured much of the same with Indiana drawing an early corner, but coming up empty.
The Cards finally struck when junior Haley Jurich collected the ball inside the 50 yardline and dribbled down the field and into the right side of the circle where she sent a cross to Thomas, who was waiting on the left post to connect on the eventual game-winner at the 56:11 mark in the game.
The Hoosiers had an opportunity to tie the score in the closing minute of play. After calling a timeout with 1:01 remaining in the game, they subsequently worked their way to the circle where Audra Heilman fired a quick shot into the left side of the cage. Junior goalkeeper Erin Conrad stopped the ball with her glove to secure her second straight shutout.
The teams finished the game with five shots apiece and Indiana held a 3-2 edge in corners. Conrad had three saves en route to her sixth shutout of the season. Indiana's Viki Green had one stop for Indiana (9-6).
The Cardinals honored seniors Caitlin Collins, Heather Stevens and Hayley Turner in their final regular season home game. All three are co-captains and starters this season with Turner leading the team with 10 goals, eight assists and 28 points. Stevens has three goals and five assists, with Collins tallying three goals and three assists.
"This senior class has been phenomenal," said Sowry. "As a first-year coach here, I couldn't have asked for better senior class. They really bought into the change in the system and the culture. But we're not done yet, we're going to try to finish strong and win the first round of the BIG EAST tournament."
Louisville (10-7, 3-3 BIG EAST) will travel to No. 20 Northwestern on Oct. 30 for its regular season finale. The Cards have also earned a spot in the BIG EAST Conference Championship which will be held Nov. 4-6 at Syracuse.