March 26, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville women's lacrosse team completes its five-game road swing with a contest against BIG EAST foe Cincinnati on Tuesday, March 27. First draw is set for 5 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Cardinals (2-6, 0-1 BIG EAST) were unable to withstand seventh-ranked Notre Dame's offense their last time out, falling to the Fighting Irish, 13-11, on March 24.
Louisville led by as much as 5-1 nearly halfway through the first period courtesy of goals from five different Cardinals. Notre Dame, though, responded with a 9-0 run to take a 10-5 lead, one it wouldn't relinquish. Nikki Boltja scored three goals in the final 10 minutes and finished with four scores in the game. Cat Gordon had a strong all-around performance with two goals, one assist and seven draw controls, giving Louisville the 17-9 advantage in draw controls. Janaye Dzikewich also had a pair of goals and registered a team-best two caused turnovers.
This season, the Cardinals rank in the top 30 nationally in draw controls (No. 8 at 15.38 per game) and ground balls per game (No. 27 at 16.75 per game). Individually, Boltja ranks second in goals per game (4.0) and eighth in goals (32), while Gordon is seventh in draw controls per game (5.25). Cincinnati ranks first nationally in draw controls per game (17.5), 19th in scoring offense (13.83 goals per game) and 23rd in ground balls per game (17).
Cincinnati (3-3), which will be playing its first BIG EAST game of the year, is coming off a 21-13 loss to Iona on March 17 at home. The Bearcats and Gaels were knotted at 10 at the half, but Iona outscored Cincinnati, 11-3, in the final period. Cincinnati's Laura Simanski had five goals in the loss, and Rachel Mercier added four goals with one assist. Iona's Emily Taddei and Casey Scully each scored five goals in the win, and goalie Maria Ortiz had seven saves. Iona won the draw control battle, 20-16, holding Cincinnati to just four in the second period, and limited the Bearcats to just five shots in that period.
Simanski currently leads the team with 17 goals and 11 draw controls, while Katie Kiriazoglou ranks first with 24 points. Megan Bell has 32 draw controls, which is tops on the team.
The Bearcats are under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Lellie Swords, who's led the team to a 19-52 overall record. Cincinnati was picked to last out of nine teams in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll.