March 5, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville women's lacrosse team is back home and will take on Vanderbilt on Wednesday, March 6, at 1 p.m. in the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.
The contest will be broadcast statewide on WHAS channel 11.2, Insight 432 and Comcast 207. It also can be seen online free of charge here.
The Cardinals (3-1) dropped their first match of the season this past weekend, falling at Denver, 19-13. Katie Oliverio and Nikki Boltja scored four goals apiece, but the team turned the ball over a season-worst 19 times and gave up a season-high 19 goals. The Cardinals only converted five of their 10 free-position shots, and tallied 13 goals off 26 shots. Ashley Herbst posted her fourth-consecutive game of seven or more saves with eight, but she allowed 13 goals in 48 minutes of action. Monica Negron had a team-best four caused turnovers.
After four games, Louisville is ranked 24th nationally in overall points and draw controls per game. With an average of 12 caused turnovers per game, the Cardinal defense is ranked sixth nationally. Individually, Boltja is 13th in overall goals, with 15 on the season, and 14th in goals per game (3.75). Freshman Kaylin Morissette averages 3.75 draw controls per game, giving her a 35th overall ranking in the center circle. With a strong showing to open the season, Herbst ranks 15th nationally in save percentage (49.2).
Vanderbilt leads the all-time series against the Cardinals, holding a 2-1 edge. During the 2012 season, Louisville fell to then No. 8-ranked Vanderbilt by only two goals. Nikki Boltja led the Cardinals' second-half rally, scoring three goals to bring Louisville within one. However, the Cardinals couldn't close the gap and fell 14-12.
This season, the Commodores (1-5) have lost twice to top-10 contenders (Duke and 2012 national champions Northwestern). Vanderbilt, which averages a five-goal deficit in its losses, dropped a 15-12 decision to then-No. 8 Duke. The Commodores beat Kennesaw State 22-3 for their lone victory in 2013.
Ranked 10th nationally in overall goals, Vanderbilt has finished the ball 96 times this season. Senior attacker Carly Linthicum is ranked second in the nation for total goals (22), sixth for overall points (27), and 15th in goals per game (3.67). Senior goalkeeper Chelsea Pasfield has 61 saves this season, giving her the No. 1 overall ranking in saves and sixth in saves per game (10.17). Pasfield has a save percentage of 46.2, which puts her 13 spots behind Herbst at 28th.
Under the direction of Cathy Swezey, who is in her 17th year as head coach, the program has posted a 138-104 overall record. Swezey has been nominated and honored as coach of the year three times in her career. Her teams have reached the NCAA tournament multiple times, finishing within the final four once.
Opponents to Watch
The Vanderbilt players to watch are seniors Carly Linthicum on attack and Chelsea Pasfield in goal. Their threatening talent stretches to both ends of the field. Back for their final seasons, the experience and field knowledge could pose a potential threat to the Cardinals, who recently showed weaknesses in finishing the attack and preventing shots.
Linthicum could capitalize on a week defense after the Cardinals' performance at Denver. The Cardinals scored 59 times off 112 shots this year, giving them a shot percentage of 52.7. However, Pasfield's save percentage is among the best in the country and has shown the ability to keep the game a low-scoring affair.