April 17, 2011

Louisville Notches Key Big East Victory

from press release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Down the stretch of any team's season, conference matchups carry a significant amount of weight. After improving to 2-2 with a win over league foe Rutgers, the Cardinals sat in fifth place as of Saturday night in the BIG EAST standings, with only the top four in the league making the BIG EAST Tournament.

Determined to be one of those four teams and understanding what another league win means, the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team powered past Villanova, 16-4, on Sunday afternoon at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium to earn its second-straight league win and tie Notre Dame for fourth in the standings at a 3-2 league mark, improving to 10-4 overall.

"The two wins in a row matters - Rutgers didn't matter individually and Villanova didn't matter individually," coach Kellie Young says. "It's the fact that we finished the weekend 2-0. Villanova's a good team, but we took them out of their rhythm with the turnovers at midfield and a solid defensive day.

"It prepares us for the next two games. Syracuse and Connecticut are great programs, and we need to be ready for them. It was really great to see all aspects of our game together today."

Emily Dashiell opened the scoring just five minutes into the game for the Cardinals. With the tally at the 25:02 mark, the senior extended her goal-scoring streak to 32-straight games and also continued her point streak to 40-straight contests.

Villanova (5-7, 1-4 BIG EAST) tied the game at the 18:23 mark on a score from Carly Miller. It was one of few goals that the Wildcats would enjoy, as the Louisville defense stifled Villanova to just 12 shots, seven draw controls and a lowly 44 percent (8-of-18) on clear attempts. Additionally, Villanova finished with just eight shots on-goal.

"Defensively, if you look at our Cincinnati game, we got a lead and then got complacent," Young admits. "Our defense was letting Cincinnati come back into the game, and Cincinnati started working harder. Today, we finally held our ground and kept playing until the last two goals in the last two minutes when we had subs coming in."

After the Wildcats' lone first-half goal, Louisville's scoring onslaught began, netting 10 unanswered goals, including the first two of the second half. During that stretch, Bergan Foley and Liz Lovejoy each recorded three goals, Katie Oliverio tallied two, and Nikki Boltja and Lianne Bobal netted one apiece.

The Wildcats' Miller momentarily stopped the run, with a score at the 22:12 mark in the second period, but the Cardinals were not finished, scoring five more goals before the game came to a close.

Louisville finished with a combined 39 shots, with a .615 shots on-goal percentage (16-of-26), while also winning the ground ball (24-12) and the draw control (15-7) battles. The defense forced Villanova into 24 turnovers, with 15 coming in the opening period.

Lovejoy and Foley each finished with four goals, with Foley also collecting two grounds balls and forcing two caused turnovers. Dashiell, winner of five draw controls, Bobal and Oliverio each netted a pair, and Oliverio was credited with two assists, bumping her season total to 36.

Freshman Monica Negron had a game-high five ground balls and also won a draw control. Ashley Herbst played more than 53 minutes of action and made four saves to earn the win.

The Cardinals now turn their attention two an important two-game road swing, facing 13th-ranked Syracuse (5-7, 3-1 BIG EAST) on Thursday, April 21, and then heading to Storrs, Conn., for a contest against Connecticut on Saturday, April 23.

"Syracuse is just a powerhouse program," Young reiterates. "Everybody has underestimated them, but they're still very good and we have to be ready for them because we haven't beaten them in the past. It's about being prepared and taking it play by play.

"Connecticut is a team that's been 50-50 - we've beaten them twice, and they've beaten us once. We always have to be ready to play them. Being in the BIG EAST, it's tough because you're playing two games in three days. Not having a travel partner that's as solid as the other teams makes it tough because they have an easier game before they play us. We want to win out, but we have to take it one game at a time."

Notes

Today marked the 17th time in program history and fifth time this season Louisville has won a game by at least 10 goals.

The Wildcats became the third team the Cardinals have gone 4-0 in program history against. Villanova joined Cincinnati and Manhattan. Louisville has scored 198 goals in those 12 games.
Louisville has won at least 10 games in all four years of program history. The Cardinals have won seven games at home this season, tying the school record for most home wins in a season, set back in 2008.

Emily Dashiell set a school record for draw controls in a season. She recorded five against Villanova and currently has 68 for the season, five more than her total of 63 from 2010.
Monica Negron set a season high in ground balls, recording five on the afternoon.

Janaye Dzikewich and Meg McCarthy saw their first action of the season today. Dzikewich finished with a caused turnover and a ground ball.


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