JULIE KOUIJZER SCORES WINNING GOAL OVER #4 MICHIGAN
It was, in the words of Louisville Field Hockey head coach Justine Sowry, a real "rip snorter" Sunday afternoon against the Michigan Wolverines.
#5 Louisville Field Hockey got a goal from Julie Kouijzer with 4:20 left in the contest to put Louisville ahead for good over the visitors from Ann Arbor. A penalty corner goal, with Aimee Plumb getting her second assist of the match. The action, though, didn't cease with the Cards score. Michigan attempted five shots on the Louisville defense in the final 150 seconds...but the Cards defense held firm and Cards goalkeeper Sasha Elliott had two of her six saves in that that frantic final 2:30 to preserve Louisville's lead.
The contest started out as a strong defensive battle between UofL and UofM. with only three shots in the first quarter -- two from the Cards and one from the Wolverines. Michigan recorded their only save of the match in those first 15 minutes, Michigan starting goalkeeper Anna Spieker deflecting an attempt by Mattie Tabor.
Michigan turned up an already suffocating defense ever more in the next fifteen minutes. They allowed no Cards shots and got off a couple of shots on their own. Sasha Elliott came up with a huge save with about four and a half minutes left in the half...and the squads went into halftime knotted up in a 0-0 scoreless tie.
Michigan switched goalkeepers to start the second half, pulling fifth year student-athlete Anna Spieker and inserting sophomore Caylie McMahon. The move seemed a bit odd to me, but I found out later on that it was something that head UM coach Marcia Pankratz has done in the previous four Wolverine contests.
Coach Sowry realized that Michigan pressed quite well, so she encouraged her squad to up the tempo and continue to keep the Wolverines quiet on offensive, The opposite appeared to happen, though, as Michigan did out-shoot Louisville 4-1 in the third quarter. Elliott had two saves in the quarter, but Michigan did get on the scoreboard first. With 2:17 left in the quarter, the Wolverines received a penalty corner and Nina Apoola attempted a shot that went wide of the goal. Katie Anderson was there for the putback, though, and her reverse shot from the top of the circle was successful. It was 1-0 Michigan.
It didn't take long for the Cards to respond. They drew a corner attempt less than a minute later and Mia Duchars netted her first goal of the season off Aimee Plumb's assist.
The quarter ended with the 1-1 tie and the fourth quarter promised to be a very exciting one.
The teams were feeling the excitement and things were also starting to get a little chippy on the pitch. Katie Schneider drew a green card from the officials a minute into action and Michigan's Rosie Hope got one three minutes later.
All told, the Cards got four corner opportunities in the fourth quarter and Michigan three. Three of Sasha Elliott's saves came in the fourth quarter and a nervous but excited crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief (if they were wearing red) when the final horn sounded.
We have post-game video and comments from Sasha Elliott, Julie Kouijzer and Justine Sowry. Watch for the Michigan coach going ballistic in the background during Julie's chat with us. We apologize for the windy audio that accompanies the video...mother nature, it seems, also wanted to get her two cents in on the UofL win.
A good win for a Louisville squad that has another tough one coming up on Friday. #2 UNC comes to Trager Stadium for a 3 p.m. match in the ACC opener for the Cards. A squad that had 10 newcomers at the start of the season is showing more familiarity and cohesiveness as the season rolls on. They are jelling and UNC will be a huge test for the Cards. I'm pretty sure Coach Sowry would tell you this one will also be another "rip snorter".
(PHOTOS TODAY BY JARED ANDERSON)