Season Review: Lacrosse
In another session of reviewing seasons for different UofL sports we sit down and take a look at UofL Lacrosse. The lax squad is still in the rebuilding stages of the program but showed signs of improvement from other recent seasons.
In Scott Teeter's fourth overall season and only his second true full school year and season, the Cards finished 5-11 on the year with a 1-9 mark in the ACC. Louisville evened earned as high of a ranking as #15 midway through the season, an accomplishment they have not seen since joining the ACC. The Cards also earned their first ever ACC victory when they took down Virginia Tech 13-9.
The Cards faced ranked opponents in 12 of their 16 games this year with seven of them being against teams in the Top Five. Louisville went 1-11 against ranked teams, but held a perfect 4-0 record against unranked opponents.
Three losses came down to two goals or less. Two of their other losses, both to Notre Dame, came down to the wire with the Irish pulling ahead down the stretch.
Louisville saw plenty of bright spots this season. One notable accomplishment was Ally Hall reaching 100 career goals with the milestone coming in her final career game with the Cards. Her career average was 1.67 goals per match.
Caroline Blalock also broke the 100 career goal mark and finished the season with 106 career goals. She added 38 assists in her career with 11 this season and holds a .395 shot percentage. Blalock has expressed interest in returning for another year. So far, nothing is confirmed.
Rachel Florek continued her impressive career at Louisville with 140 saves, ranking her second in the ACC and eighth in the NCAA. The 140 saves this season also ranks fifth best in program history. Florek is up to 348 career saves over her three years with Louisville after transferring in from Towson after her freshman year. Like Blalock, Florek has expressed interest in returning for another season.
A total of 13 different faces scored a goal with six players scoring in the double-digits. 14 different players recorded an assist. An offense spread out among several players is a good sign for a well-balanced offense.
In a few other interesting stats, Louisville committed 24 less turnovers than their opponents and only had 16 less ground balls on the year. Two-thirds of Louisville's goals were unassisted while opponents relied on unassisted goals for about 45% of their offense. Louisville was outscored 218-154 on the year, but sometimes it's tough to go up against #1 UNC twice, #3 Syracuse twice, #5 Boston College twice, and #4/6 Notre Dame twice.
The biggest focus next season should be finding a way to take down some of those top teams. Louisville got their first ACC win so we know it's possible. They got close to winning a few more. But it's the ACC and everyone is good. Conference play is typically about half the season so having a sub-.500 record will not bode well for RPI and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
This graduating class came in under Louisville's old coach in the fall of their freshmen year, but Coach Teeter came in just a few months later right before the season started. Teeter is now able to bring in his own recruits, and based off what he did at Canisius and what he has done with the Canadian National Team, he knows how to bring in top talent.
I wouldn't mind seeing another night game out at Cardinal Stadium, preferably against a team that isn't North Carolina or Duke. Perhaps a team like Denver or Vanderbilt or Mercer would be better. These are all teams that made the tournament this year that Louisville has beaten in the Teeter Era. The nighttime games can draw bigger crowds and a close game or even a victory in front of a large crowd can boost support. Still, let's keep a majority of the games at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium.
The stadium itself does need a few alterations in the next couple of years. The video board has had several technical difficulties and needs to be angled where all the fans have a clear view. There are no true bathrooms or concession stand at the lacrosse stadium, both which could be argued as a necessity. The turf field and the press box are both still in great condition and just having an entire stadium dedicated solely to lacrosse puts Louisville ahead of a majority of schools.
Continue following along as we recap many other sports in the coming days and weeks. I may ask for some assistance from our volleyball guru Worldwide and women's soccer guru Case when it comes times to review those respective seasons.
As the summer season quickly approaches we are always trying to find new content for you. If there is anything you would like us to write about please let us know. We always appreciate feedback. Many of you enjoyed our history of the different UofL sports a couple years ago. Maybe this summer we could look at explaining certain rules with different sports as we all have been baffled by a tricky rule here and there. Perhaps you'd like to hear of some of our all-time favorite players across the different sports. Please let us know!
Now, off to a nice birthday dinner for my dad tonight after work. He is a fan of Ditto's on Bardstown Rd so I assume we will head that way. Then mom's birthday and my brother's birthday all follow suit in the next two weeks. My brother chose to go a more expensive route with Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, but your 21st birthday only comes once, so drink up! Ironically, my birthday is the only one in the immediate family not in this two week time frame, but I am fortunate to enjoy many fall sports on my birthday instead.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!