March 14, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Sophomore Nikki Boltja scored a game-high six goals, but a rally by the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team fell short at eighth-ranked Vanderbilt in a 14-12 setback Wednesday afternoon at Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex in Nashville, Tenn.
Vanderbilt (5-1) led 8-4 with 10:30 left to play in the first half before Boltja swung momentum back in Louisville's favor, netting consecutive goals in less than a minute span to cut the Cardinals' deficit to two.
Less than 90 seconds into the second half, Boltja picked up where she left off, scoring her third unassisted goal of the game at the 28:35 mark in the second period. Vanderbilt, however, countered with two scores, both from Katie Mastropieri, to give itself a two-goal lead.
The Cardinals' offense remained aggressive, though, and scored three of the next five goals. Boltja tallied her fifth goal of the game on a pass from Hillary Bushway, and then Jamie Redding and Boltja sandwiched two Vanderbilt goals to keep the Cardinals within two. Faye Brust and Eleni Kozas added one goal apiece in the final seven minutes of the game, but Vanderbilt's late scores ultimately staved off the comeback.
"We just played the No. 8 team in the country to a two-goal game," head coach Kellie Young said. "We can no longer say we are young. We are playing with the best. Our first years and sophomores are competing with All-American juniors and seniors. It's time we realize how good we can be; we need to become better students of the game and go into attack mode."
Louisville (2-4) got off to a slow start in the first half as the Commodores netted three unanswered goals to open the game. Boltja and Redding scored to stop the run, but Vanderbilt scored in between Louisville's tallies and the Commodores then tacked on goals at the 22:02 and 19:21 marks.
Bushway registered her ninth goal of the season, and Colleen O'Malley netted her fourth goal of the year two minutes later to put Louisville within two before Vanderbilt scored two more goals for an 8-4 advantage.
Freshman Cat Gordon had a strong game in the circle, winning eight draw controls, which is third most in a single game in school history, and collecting one ground ball. Monica Negron had a solid game as well, totaling four ground balls and one caused turnover and leading the defense that held Vanderbilt to just six second-half goals.
The Cardinals return to action on Saturday, March 17, against Jacksonville. Start time is set for noon at D.B. Milne Field in Jacksonville, Fla.