Feb. 6, 2013
By Emily Ryan for GoCards.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - During its fall season and heading into the spring, the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team's attacking corps dedicated countless hours to improving in all facets of the game, with the goal of ranking among the nation's elite scoring offenses.
Nikki Boltja was named the team MVP for the 2011-12 season and earned Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association all-West/Midwest Region second team honors as a sophomore. She scored the most goals per game (3.53) and free-position goals per game (1.0) in the BIG EAST, while ranking fourth in nation in goals per game and 20th in the nation for overall goals (53). She scored four goals against Syracuse's touted defense, and she also tallied four goals against BIG EAST foes Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown and Rutgers. Boltja has set the bar high and has the opportunity to beat her own and other scoring records this spring.
Overall, Louisville's offense returned four of its top five scorers from the 2012 campaign. Along with Boltja, these players include Jamie Redding, Faye Brust and Colleen O'Malley. Redding totaled 22 goals and 13 assists, and Faye Brust and Colleen O'Malley both tallied 13 goals and a handful of assists. Along with this talented attack, two-time captain Katie Oliverio rejoins the Cardinals, returning from a redshirt injury last season.
Oliverio ended her 2011 season ranked second in the nation for goals per game with 2.53 per game, and fifth in the nation for overall assists with 43. Oliverio will help the attack with her ability to find the back of the net and her keen eye for an open player. Her strong presence on the field will play a major role in the team's attacking schemes.
Along with the well-established returning five, the Cardinals welcome the strength of the freshman class. Newcomers Kaylin Morissette, Erika Eipp, Cortnee Daley and Laura Patterson are expected to strengthen Louisville's attack based on their well-decorated body of work at the high school level.
At the prep level, Morissette was named co-captain of the U-19 Canadian National Lacrosse Team, helping lead her team to a bronze medal, earning MVP of the game and selected to the All-World team.
Patterson is a three-time county, region, and state champion for her high school in the state of Maryland. A two-time all-county selection, Patterson was also a team captain.
Eipp, a Groton, Mass., native, holds her high school's single-game record for goals (seven) and assists (nine), and was the team's leading scorer as a senior after tallying 120 goals.
A two-time captain of All-Star Max Exposure team, two-time captain and MVP of her high school, Daley was named a U.S. Lacrosse first team All-American her senior year.
During the 2012 fall ball season, the Cardinals posted a 9-1 record with wins over George Washington, Vanderbilt, Robert Morris and James Madison, only falling to Harvard in a close decision. Louisville started the 2012-13 season eager to play and hungry to win. Throughout the fall season, Louisville's attacking end has shown improvement with handling and finishing the ball and is continuing to work for a better record this spring.
A similar schedule from the fall allows for the experienced returnees to adapt to the talent of their opponents and teach the newcomers the intensity they must play with in order to triumph over established teams like Syracuse, Loyola and Georgetown.
With the season's start just days away, the Cardinal attack boasts a plethora of weapons that is expected to make for a promising spring season.