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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Louisville Field Hockey upsets #1 North Carolina -- Sunday Cardinal Couple


- #14 Cards pull off upset over #1 UNC in Field Hockey

"Why not?" 

It's the final chant the Louisville Field Hockey team uses
when they break from a team huddle. When I predicted during a Wednesday interview with Coach Justine Sowry (available later today in the CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO archives) that the team would win 3-2 over UNC... it was her response.

Why not?

#14 Louisville downed #1 UNC 3-2 Saturday afternoon in front of over 600 screaming fans in Trager Stadium. Becca Maddock delivered the game-winning goal with five minutes left in the contest off a penalty corner assist from Alyssa Voelmle to break the tie. 

It was helter-skelter from that point on...UNC pulling their goalie to increase their offensive capabilities and try to tie the contest...but the Louisville defense held firm to preserve the win.

The biggest win in UofL Field Hockey history and in Justine Sowry's coaching career. The most noteworthy moment in 2014 UofL Fall Sports. 

Why not?

The teams engaged in a middle-of-the-field defensive struggle for the first half of the first half before the Cards drew a penalty corner and senior Mallory Mason...whose job it is to deliver the first inbounds shot on penalty corners...took a rebound off a missed Alyssa Voelmle shot and corralled the ball past UNC goalie Shannon Johnson for the first score of the game. 

Louisville's 1-0 lead would hold until the final ticks of the first half...another penalty corner attempt for the Cards and almost the same results....Mason scoring near the net...this time on a feed from Chili Garcia. 

2-0 Cards at the half. A huge upset in the making and a sense of guarded excitement from the UofL players and fans. UNC was simply too good to remain shut out and forward Charlotte Craddock scored two unassisted goals in the first two minutes of the final half to tie the game.

Nervous time? Yes, indeed...but the Cards regained their composure and tightened up on Craddock and the Tar Heels.

It looked like UNC had taken the lead with 17:35 remaining when Lauren Moyer slammed one home off a penalty corner attempt...but the goal was waved off since the ball has to leave the circle and come back in on a penalty corner. The ball never left the circle on this particular sequence so the score was disallowed and the Cards retained possession.

The defensive battle continued until Maddock's tie breaker...her fifth goal of the season. 

Statistic to know. The Cards received 5 penalty corners and scored on three of them. UNC received 4 and could not convert on any of them. 

Louisville (5-1) got a yeoman's effort from goalie Sydney King with two saves in the contest. The defense was spectacular in the fact that they allowed just four shots on goal by North Carolina...all in the final 35 minutes of play.

This is the first time that the Louisville Field Hockey program has defeated a #1 ranked opponent and the win also preserved the win streak at Trager...which is now 13 consecutive games. 

The win also shows the rest of the ACC Field Hockey conference and the nation that the Cards are a bonafide contender. The close loss to Virginia last week showed Louisville could compete in the strongest field hockey conference in collegiate athletics. Yesterday's win indicates the Cards just might have a chance in winning the ACC Conference.

Why not? 



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