March 16, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville women's lacrosse team continues its five-game road swing, heading to the Sunshine State to face Jacksonville on Saturday, March 17. First draw is scheduled for noon at D.B. Milne Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Cardinals (2-4) dropped a close 14-12 decision to eighth-ranked Vanderbilt their last time out on March 14. Sophomore Nikki Boltja again led the charge on offense, scoring six goals on 10 shots, while also picking up a ground ball. Classmate Jamie Redding was the only other Cardinal to have a multi-goal effort, as she finished with two goals and one assist. Freshman Cat Gordon recorded eight draw controls, the third most in a single game in school history, and helped Louisville edge Vanderbilt, 16-12, in that category. Monica Negron finished with a game-best four ground balls.
Through six games, Boltja has tallied 26 goals, an average of 4.3 per game. As of March 11, her 4.0 goals per game mark ranked fourth nationally. Her torrid pace is only two goals shy of Bergan Foley's 2010 rate, the second of two years in which Foley was the nation's leader in goals per game. Prior to the Vanderbilt contest, Boltja ranked 15th in total goals and 23rd in points per game. Redding, who has a team-best 10 assists and is second with 12 goals, was 29th nationally in assists heading into the Vanderbilt contest. Collectively, Louisville ranked 15th in caused turnovers and 18th in ground balls per game.
Jacksonville enters the contest with a 5-1 record, with its only loss to Florida in the Dolphins' season-opener. Most recently, Jacksonville posted a 17-9 victory over Monmouth on March 13. Thirteen Dolphins scored, led by Morgan Derner's three goals off the bench. Melissa Jaworski and Nicole Albino chipped in with two apiece. Starter Rachel Hannon won a game-high seven draw controls. Defensively, Ali Hoffman had a game-high four caused turnovers, and Monmouth was held to two goals on seven shots in the first period.
Jen Cosgrove and Hoffman lead the team with 14 goals apiece, and Holly Ventimiglia has a team-best six assists. Hannon has won 28 draw controls this season, and Jessica Hotchkiss ranks first on the team with 11 caused turnovers.
The Dolphins are under the direction of third-year head coach Mindy McCord, who's led the program to a 27-17 overall record. Jacksonville was picked to finish second in the National Lacrosse Conference. Jacksonville's top returnees are 2011 first team all-NLC selections Morgan Derner and Ellyn Spangenberg.