April 21, 2013

Louisville Slips by Cincinnati in Big East Game

from press release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville women's lacrosse team used two four-goal runs to defeat BIG EAST opponent Cincinnati 18-10 on Sunday afternoon at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.

The Cardinals (9-6, 1-5 BIG EAST) opened the game with four unanswered scores starting at the 25:53 mark in the first period. Colleen O'Malley found the back of the net on an assist from Kaylin Morissette, who earned her second assist of the season. Nikki Boltja, Cortnee Daley, and Monica Negron each scored goals over a three-minute span to put Louisville ahead, 4-0.

After Megan Bell fought her way past the Louisville defense for Cincinnati's first of just three goals in the half, the Cardinals responded with a three-goal rally. Again, O'Malley initiated the run by converting on one of Louisville's four free-position goals. Boltja scored goal her 53rd goal of the year, and Jamie Redding distanced the Cardinals by six goals, 7-1, on Katie Oliverio's 36th assist of the season.

Neither team had much success offensively after Louisville's seventh goal at the 9:44 mark until Cincinnati (6-8, 0-6) scored the final two goals of the half to pull within four at 7-3.

The second half featured nearly double the amount of offense than the first, as the two teams totaled 10 goals - the combined first half total - in less than 14 minutes of action.

After trading scores in the opening moments of the second period, Daley earned her fourth hat trick of the year on a free-position shot less than five minutes into the half, and Laura Patterson scored her first of two goals in the game to give Louisville its largest lead of the contest at the time, 10-4.

Cincinnati continued to chip away at the deficit, as Courtney Curtis scored consecutive goals within 20 seconds of each other.

The Bearcats' defense, as it did in the opening period, had trouble stopping Louisville's runs. The Cardinals scored three unanswered goals - one each by Patterson, Morissette, and O'Malley - for their largest lead of the game at 13-6.

Three goals brought the Bearcats within four, but the Cardinals' back line and offensive dominance helped Louisville withstand any type of comeback. For the game, Louisville forced Cincinnati into 16 turnovers, nine of which were forced by the Cardinals.

Goals by Morissette and Boltja and a pair of scores by Faye Brust ended the game to deliver Louisville its first conference victory of the year. Boltja, who picked up her 12th hat trick in 2013, has scored 54 goals for the year, surpassing her last season's total by one for sixth most in a season in school history.

The Cardinals kept Cincinnati goalkeeper Meg Gulmi on alert the entire contest. Despite stopping 16 of Louisville's shots, she allowed all 18 goals in the loss.

Ashley Herbst spent all 60 minutes in goal, recording five saves for her ninth win of the season.

Louisville outpaced Cincinnati in the shots 44-23, won the ground ball battle 17-12, and finished with the 17-13 edge in draw controls. Collectively, Louisville displayed tremendous control with the ball in the second half, turning it over just twice in the period. The Cardinals also were a perfect 6 for 6 on clear attempts in the second half.

Prior to the game, Louisville and Cincinnati joined hands around the center circle for a moment of silence to honor those affected by the tragedy in Boston as well as the passing of a member of the Cincinnati women's lacrosse family.

Louisville remains home for its final two games of the regular season, as it plays host to Rutgers on Friday, April 26, at 5 p.m. The Cardinals will honor their seniors two days later on Sunday, April 28, against Villanova at 1 p.m.

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