SECOND HALF RALLY GETS FIELD HOCKEY BY PENN STATE 2-1
Louisville Field Hockey improved to 2-0 on the season with a come-from-behind win over Penn State at Penn State Sunday afternoon. The Cards got goals from Katie Schneider and Aimee Plumb to tie and pass the Nittany Lions, after Louisville found themselves trailing at halftime 1-0
Head coach Justine Sowry was deservedly proud of her Field Hockey flock:
"I am so proud of this young team. We took some lessons from Friday's game and we were able to connect on some great attacking plays. The winner of the day was our gritty defense all over the field against a quality opponent."
The #9 Cards have gathered four 2-1 wins so far this season, two in exhibition games and two in the regular season... 2-1 wins over Bucknell and, now, #11 Penn State. The Cards were probably pretty lucky to be trailing by just a 1-0 margin after the first half. Penn State had a 8-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 3-2 edge in penalty corner attempts. A tip of the cap to UofL goalkeeper Sasha Elliott, who had seven first half saves.
Whatever strategy Justine and the coaches discussed with the Louisville squad to rev up the offense during halftime worked.
The home-standing squad wasn't getting nearly as many shots or shot opportunities in the third quarter. Try zero, as a matter of fact, for PSU. And, with 27 seconds left in the third quarter, Katie Schneider worked her way open for a shot-on-goal and sent it into the net to tie the match at 1-1.
The squads combined for eight shots UofL 5 - PSU 3) in a frenetic final quarter. Louisville drew a penalty corner with 4:20 to play and Aimee Plumb scored to put the Cards ahead 2-1.
Louisville survived a couple of Penn State penalty corners in the final 30 seconds of play. Elliott got a block on the first attempt and a Cards defender made sure the second attempt failed also.
Penn State's head coach Charlene Morrett-Curtis saw the loss this way:
"I thought it was our game to win. We have to either find a teammate, get the ball on corner or get a corner. It was hard for us to get corners or players in front of the goal. We made great runs to the goal and we got the ball into the circle but people weren't there. That can't happen."
The Cards return to action Friday when they continue the run of playing schools from Pennsylvania...this next one against Penn at UNC.
WSOC DOWNS NKU 1-0
Louisville women's soccer made the trip up I-71 to Highland Heights, KY and defeated Horizon league member Northern Kentucky 1-0 Sunday evening.
The Cards got the only score of the night when they earned a free kick with 14:44 gone in the contest. Maisie Whitsett's shot was deflected, but Karsyn Cherry was there for the header to give the Cards a goal.
Louisville dominated this one in offense stats numbers. The Cards had a 18-1 shot advantage and held a 7-1 corner attempt edge.
Louisville dominated this one offensively. The ball spent a lot of time in the NKU half of the turf. I know the Cards had a huge shot advantage at one time, the major problem is that the shots were wide or high. Shots on goal were 4-1 in UofL's favor.
Cardinals goalkeeper Erryn Floyd had a pretty quiet evening. A great defensive effort by all the Cards, but Sarah Hernandez, Anouk Denton and Cherry made sure the Norse weren't getting a good look at anything except Louisville maneuvering with the ball in the NKU portion of the pitch.
Louisville did have a huge opportunity to score with 16:21 let in the first half when a shot went off the crossbar and landed in front of Morgan Bentley. Her put-back sailed just left of the goal, though.
And, so...it was a win that the Cards needed after losing to Xavier on Thursday. A win that had to reinforce in Karen Ferguson Dayes' thoughts that this squad can definitely play some very good defense. Something that will be needed when ACC play rolls around.
A road trip for the Cards (2-1) to James Madison University next -- to play JMU and Memphis next week -- will give the Cards a chance to try and develop a few more offensive weapons. We know Maisie Whitsett can be a scorer, the question is who will join her in burying balls in the back of the net. Pam Ward, Ravin Alexander and Savina Zamborini seem to be the logical candidates and we can't help think that Corinne Dente could add a lot to the attack also. Morgan Bentley and Brooke Dardano have shown they can move and distribute the ball quite effectively and I'll wager neither is shy about shot attempts.
When the defense keeps giving you the ball possession, you need to convert with goals.
Still, we'll take a 1-0 win a dozen more times or so the remainder of the season. The old adage is that offense puts people in the seats but defense wins games. In Louisville's case, defense is leading the way right now and offense needs to catch up.