Louisville Hangs on at Drexel; Improves to 7-1
from staff reports
|Katie Oliverio had three assists
to help the Cardinals improve to 7-1.
© Kevin P. Tucker
PHILADELPHIA — After winning its last two games by a combined 39 goals, the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team managed to come out victorious and hang on in a close decision.
Louisville persevered even with its leading scorer Nikki Boltja being held scoreless for a 9-8 win on a chilly afternoon at Vidas Field to improve to 7-1 on the season. The freshman duo of Kaylin Morissette and Erika Eipp combined for seven of Louisville's goals.
A low-scoring affair, the second period saw just six combined goals.
Trailing 6-5 entering the half, Morissette scored the first goal of the period to tie the game, and Eipp found the back of the net less than a minute later to give the Cardinals the 7-6 lead.
Drexel (6-2), as it did all afternoon, had an answer. Kelli Joran scored her second goal of the game at the 22:18 mark on a free-position shot to tie the game at seven apiece.
Eipp, however, struck again on Boltja's seventh assist of the season to give the Cardinals an 8-7 lead, and they never looked back. Colleen O'Malley added what seemed to be an insurance goal at the 10:39 mark, and although Drexel was able to put another tally on the scoreboard with 7:10 remaining, it wasn't enough.
Louisville iced the game with solid ball control. The Cardinals kept the ball out of the Dragons' possession after a Jessica Rudloff turnover with 2:44 remaining. Louisville only had three turnovers in the second half.
Morissette rattled off a hat trick in the first 7:56 of the game, allowing the Cardinals to jump out to a 3-0 lead.
Midway through the first half, the Dragons' Amanda Norcini knotted the score at three. Monica Negron responded with her second goal of the season off of a feed from Katie Oliverio to put Louisville back on top. Eipp pushed the Cardinals' advantage to two with 9:46 remaining.
Drexel responded with a 3-0 run and took the lead at 6-5 on Kelly Palace's goal with 5:19 remaining in the first half. Morissette netted her fourth goal of the contest to tie the score at six at the 24:00 mark of the second half. Eipp put the Cardinals back ahead just 34 seconds later.
Louisville also took care of the ball all afternoon in transition finishing an unblemished 15-of-15 on clear attempts.
The Cardinals limited the Dragons' offensive opportunities all afternoon and held a 23-12 advantage on shots. Drexel only had five shots in the second half.
Louisville remains on the road when it squares off against 11th-ranked Loyola (Md.) on Friday, March 22, at 6 p.m.
Louisville's 7-1 start is tied for the best eight-game stretch to start a season in program history tying the mark from the 2011 squad. The win marked just the fourth one-goal victory in program history and first since a win at then-No. 16 Loyola (Md.) on April 18, 2009. Junior Monica Negron has recorded 12 draw controls over the last two games.