Feb. 22, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
After upsetting its fourth ranked opponent in school history last weekend, the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team returns to action at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium on Feb. 23 with a 1 p.m. match against Old Dominion.
The Cardinals, who beat then-No. 13 Ohio State 12-11 last Saturday, moved into the top 25 in the latest LawPower.com rankings with a No. 18 standing heading into Saturday's contest.
In the win over the Buckeyes, a battle won in the last few minutes of play, Louisville's Nikki Boltja and Colleen O'Malley each scored four goals, with Boltja recording the game-tying and game-winning scores. Defensively, the Cardinals totaled three more caused turnovers (13) than Ohio State (10) as well as three more ground balls with 17. Ashley Herbst had another solid performance in goal, improving to 2-0 after making seven saves.
The Cardinals have shown strength on both ends of the field from the returning players as well as the talented freshmen. Boltja, the reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, already has seven goals under her belt, O'Malley has five, and freshman Kaylin Morissette has four. Eight different players have tallied at least one goal for the Cardinals and junior Ashley Herbst has made 14 saves, seven in each win.
Old Dominion (0-1) fell to previously ranked No. 19 Johns Hopkins' in its 2013 season opener. The Lady Monarchs were led by midfielder Ashmore Standing's three goals, and Nicole Bellini chipped in with two scores. In the win, Johns Hopkins had 10 different players record a point. Sammy Cermack's was one of five players to tally multiple goals, leading the charge with four. Also of note, Johns Hopkins finished with a 26-6 advantage on the draw. On the defensive end, Old Dominion allowed 11 of Johns Hopkins 20 goals to be scored on assists.
Based on Old Dominion's first game, the Cardinals have two trends to focus on. Old Dominion only scored two of its 10 goals on an assist, meaning Louisville's defense must focus on stopping the one-on-one drives to the net. Also, the match against the Lady Monarchs could be prove to be a physical one, evident by Old Dominion's 30 fouls during their season opener; three were yellow cards and all resulted in Blue Jay goals.
Now the team's official head coach, Heather Holt is in her second season at the helm of the program after serving as the interim a season ago. Old Dominion returns four starters, but just three played in the season opener: two defenders and one midfielder. This season, the squad has nine different starters on the field. In the league's preseason coaches' poll, Old Dominion was picked to finish seventh, and Shelby Davis was named to the preseason all-conference team.
Louisville has won two of the three meetings against Old Dominion. Last season, the Lady Monarchs registered their first victory in the series with a 14-12 decision.
Opposing Players to Watch
The opposing player to watch will be sophomore midfielder Ashmore Standing. Scoring three goals, causing one turnover and scooping four ground balls, Standing will be a threat to the Cardinals behind both restraining lines. On the defensive end, the squad's lone goalkeeper is Karen Hayde. The sophomore stopped just seven of 27 shots against Johns Hopkins. For Louisville to have similar success, the Cardinals must continue to show precise shot placement in order to come out on top during this weekend's challenge.
For the latest information on Louisville women's lacrosse, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/louisvillelax or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uofllacrosse.