SENIOR MEGHAN SCHNEIDER SELECTED FOR SPORTS AWARD
If you followed Louisville Field Hockey in the 2020-21 season, you'll well remember the Cards sparkling 14-6, NCAA Final Four appearance, a first in Louisville Field Hockey history, You might also remember that the Cards were very stingy in surrendering goals. Out of those 20 games, Louisville recorded four shutouts and allowed just one goal in 10 matches.
A big part of Louisville's defensive success came from the stick of senior defender Meghan Schneider. The elder sister on the UofL squad (her younger sister Katie is a redshirt sophomore forward) from San Diego, CA started all 20 games for Louisville and was one of the key components in allowing opponents just 1.2 goals per contest.
Her defensive efforts have been recognized by a panel of coaches and those in the know from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.(NFHCA)/ They are the ones who come up with the Honda Sport Award each year for the ttop women athletes in Field Hockey -- an award that is also presented in 11 other NCAA sanctioned sports. It is "the best of the best" and the finalist in each category becomes a candidate for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Honda Cup.
Consider that Meghan also had to work with two different goalkeepers during the 2020-21 split Field Hockey season. Hollyn Barr was in goal keep for the fall 2020 season, opted out for the spring, and Sam Minrath tended goal.
Meghan is the third Cardinals Field Hockey student-athlete to be named as a finalist. Last season, Mercedes Pastor got the call and back in the 2005-06 season Jessica Javelet was on e of the four named to the finalist list.
For this season, Schneider is joined by UConn's Sophie Hamilton, North Carolina's Erin Matson and Stanford's Corinne Zanolli as finalists. Matson won the 2019-20 award. In the women's basketball division for the award, Cards fan might also remember that Cards Dana Evans was a finalist in the 2019-20 Honda Award for Women's Basketball. Sabrina Ionescu was the award winner.
Schneider has also been named to the NFHCA DI Senior Team. She earned the Elite 90 Award for the 2020=-21 NCAA DI Field Hockey Championship -- which means her GPA of 4.0 was the highest of all the participating semi-finals teams student athletes.
Meghan was a co-captain of the UofL squad last season and earned NFHCA All-West Second Team honors in 2019. She's been a three-year starter for Louisville and was a huge part of the successes that former Cardinals great Ayeshia McFerran (2015-18) had at Louisville.
Off the pitch, Meghan Schneider is a biology major who has plans to attend medical school once her undergraduate days are over.
Back in the days when media member could actually sit down and do interviews face-to-face with Cardinals coaches and student-athletes, I remember interviewing Ayeshia McFerran. She contributed a lot of her success at goalkeep to the strong defensive line in front of her during matches. Meghan was a part of that defensive back line back then, with standouts Carter Ayars, Taylor Stone and Maria Gomez.
Defending the opposing squad's forwards and keeping them from getting shots on goal is a huge part of the Field Hockey game and "d-backs" also get the ball to their own forwards to initiate the attack. Because of the low-scoring nature of Field Hockey, just one goal can prove to be a huge difference in the outcome of a contest. If you can "keep the goalkeeper clean" and limit an opponents' offensive attack, it creates more opportunities for your attack.
Meghan Schneider has been exemplary at reversing the course of the ball during her time at Louisville and it has translated to a 57-24 (.700) win percentage for Louisville Field Hockey since she came to campus.
A huge CARDINAL COUPLE CONGRATULATIONS to Meghan for making a difference on and off the pitch for Louisville Athletics!!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!