Sunday, February 5, 2017
Louisville Lacrosse takes season opener 19-8 over Vermont -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CONTI LEADS CARDS WITH SIX GOALS
One of the questions about the #18 Lax Cards going into the season was where was the scoring going to come from beside seniors Hannah Koloski and Heidi Smith? And, although the "H & H" girls did their part with three goals each...it was a pair of talented sophomores who found the most 'net' success in McKayla Conti and Meghan Siverson.
The duo combined for 11 goals (Conti six and Siverson five) in Louisville's convincing 19-8 win over un-ranked Vermont.
Conti, a midfielder/attack specialist from Ocean Township, NJ, got things brewing for the Cards early with the first score of the season just 72 seconds into the contest. Koloski, from Lakeville, MN followed that up with a goal at the 27:37 mark and it looked like the Cards were off to a furious start.
Vermont wasn't ready to climb back on the bus and head for Burlington, though. They countered with four straight goals over the next eight minutes...three of them from another sophomore on the pitch...Jenna James...and Louisville head coach Kellie Young decided to use a timeout with 19 minutes left in the half to talk things over. Young on the time-out:
"To be honest, it was a pretty calm timeout. It usually would be a time to light this team up but I don't think they needed that. We just needed to settle in. Vermont was using a consistent pattern and we needed to understand that pattern and make the necessary adjustment."
The adjustment worked.
Louisville shut down the Catamounts offensively and the Cards scored the final six goals of the half...two from Conti, three from Siverson and one by another sophomore in Elsie Koehl and took a 8-4 advantage into halftime.
Smith kept the Cardinal scoring spree going with an unassisted goal just 12 seconds into second half play. Vermont threw one last challenge into the LouLax
squad with a three-goal counter...two from Alison Bolt...and the Cardinal lead had been trimmed to 9-7 just five minutes into final half action.
Once again, the Cards would stiffen up the defense...limiting the America East Conference visitors to just one score the rest of the way. UofL scored eight times in the final ten minutes to put the contest away...Conti getting three in a row and Siverson tossing in the final for the 19-8 win. Freshman Ashley Lynch also picked up the first goal of her career in the second session.
Brittany Read had six saves in goal for the Cards and allowed all eight Catamount scores. She wasn't as busy as her net counterpart on the other end of the fiedl...the Cards put up 51 shots, compared to Vermont's 18...and Vermont goalkeeper Maddy Kuras allowed 19 goals and had 20 saves.
The Cards travel to Marquette for their next game...facing the Golden Eagles Friday at 3 p.m.
A Cardinal squad that looks to have a ton of attackers and scoring options. An impressive group of sophomores starting to reap the benefits of working hard and learning as understudy freshmen. And, an opening win on a day where two new names...a couple of Jersey girls (Siverson is from Morristown, NJ) popped into the Cardinal Lacrosse vocabulary for the fans.
And...the name Conti in Louisville now appears to have an additional description besides a coffee roaster. Someone in Louisville marketing/advertising needs to hop on that pronto, right?
Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal
QUOTES AND COMMENTS
I caught up with McKayla and Coach Kellie after the game for these comments on the victory.
MCKAYLA CONTI ON THE VICTORY
COACH KELLIE YOUNG AFTER THE 19-8 WIN
Even though Louisville women's basketball doesn't play until Monday night...along with Notre Dame, Miami and Florida State...the rest of the conference isn't taking Sunday off. Let's look at the Sunday contests first and then the Monday games.
Duke heads north to Wahooland facing a Virginia squad that has been on again and off in their last five games. The "off" button gets selected today for UVA against a Duke squad ensconced in the five-way tie for third in the ACC. DUKE
Syracuse goes east...something they don't do so very often in ACC play to climb the Chestnut Hill and face Boston College. Q has his oranges in that traffic jam for third-place and should beat Baldwin's bunch in Boston. SYRACUSE
North Carolina takes a southern sojourn to the Tigers den to face a Clemson squad that got dumped by Duke last time out. Things don't get any easier for the felines as they get it stuck to them by the TarHeels. NORTH CAROLINA
In a "tech"nical battle, the Virginia version heads to Georgia to roll with the Ramblin' Wreck. The Hokies haven't been able to find the formula recently but they solve the equation today against Georgia Tech. VIRGINA TECH.
Wake Forest defends the trees against a prowling pack of Panthers in Winston-Salem. A tough call here...but Pittsburgh hasn't won an away game in ACC play yet this year and it's not going to happen today for them. WAKE FOREST
A top-20 battle between the Florida entries in the ACC. Miami heads north to face Florida State looking to topple the tribe. These Noles aren't any wooden Indians and should take another scalp by beating Miami. FLORIDA STATE.
The Cardinals fly north to battle the Irish in a ESPN2 game. Notre Dame has had a few scares this season and, in my upset special, the Birdies take the fight out of the Fighting Irish and get the win in South Bend. LOUISVILLE.
ON THE ELECTRIC RADIO AND LAPTOP
We gathered in the basement on a hill Saturday for the weekly edition of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR and had a lively time discussing Cardinal men's and women's hoops, lacrosse, Spring Sports Media Day and other topics of possible interest. A fun show where Case outlined how Louisville MBB would defeat Boston College (and they did convincingly) and WorldWide revealed his plans for going to Cincinnati and trying out for the baseball Reds.
OK, he's going for a test-drive on a new vehicle...not a quest to take over third-base...but the car conversations were inter-spiced with some great audio and observations. You can hear the replay at the link below:
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 2-4-17
Have a GREAT Super Bowl Sunday and we'll be back Monday to preview the Cards WBB squad's contest against Notre Dame.