Louisville Wins Ninth Straight, Clinches Big East Top Seed
from Press Release
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville women's lacrosse team won its ninth-straight contest and secured sole possession of the BIG EAST regular-season title with a 12-7 victory over Marquette Thursday evening at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.
Louisville never trailed in the contest and finished league play as the only undefeated team at 7-0 for the program's first conference title. With the victory, the Cardinals set a school record for total wins and surpassing the previous best of 12 set in Louisville's inaugural year in 2008. Louisville also totaled a school-best seven conference wins and finished the home portion of its schedule at a stellar 6-0.
The Cardinals are the No. 1 seed in next weekend's four team BIG EAST Tournament in Washington, D.C. and play in the semifinals on May 1. The championship game will be televised on Fox Sports 2 on May 3.
"I think, even in my career at JMU and as an assistant at Georgetown, it was not that often that we went undefeated in conference play," head coach Kellie Young said of the program's first conference title. "We may have had some different faces in the BIG EAST, but we still have very solid teams.
"It is the daily showing up that makes me so proud of this team. Certainly, this first half is what got us through this game. Now, we just have to put 60 minutes together. You can't beat it. For this team to have a regular season championship outright is pretty special thing.
The Cardinals (13-3) outscored the Golden Eagles 8-0 in the first half, with two goals apiece from Faye Brust, Cortnee Daley, and Nikki Boltja. Team-wise, Louisville outshot 18-1 in that period, while dominating the draw 8-1. Marquette turned the ball over 16 times through the first 30 minutes.
Louisville finished the game with a 17-2 advantage in draw controls and went 11 for 12 on clears. The Cardinals also held an 18-13 edge in ground balls.
"That (draw control) was an area that we were good at today," Young said. "People were beating their players in and chasing down ground balls. Of course, Kay did her usual great job. The draw gives you possession and gives you an opportunity to win the game. When our attack wasn't doing well in the second half, when Marquette had come down and scored a few, getting the draw took their momentum away from them. They just couldn't get it back to back to back and that was huge. That is going to help us going forward."
Louisville wasted little dictating the tempo, scoring four of its goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. Brust netted her 56th of the year on a free-position shot at the 29:18 mark, and Daley scored consecutive goals within 35 seconds of each other - one on a pass from Boltja and the other on a free-position attempt. Boltja tacked on the fourth score at the 21:48 mark.
Boltja then set up the Cardinals' fifth goal moments later. After Laura Patterson's shot sailed wide, Boltja found a cutting Anna Kopecka to put Louisville ahead 5-0. The Cardinals tacked on three more goals before halftime, including Monica Negron's fifth of the year.
Momentum shifted to Marquette's side to start the second, as the Golden Eagles (5-11, 1-6) rattled off four unanswered goals.
Following Amanda Bochniak's score at the 15:46 mark, cutting the deficit to four, Brust found the back of the net twice, giving her four goals for the game, to lift Louisville to a 10-4 advantage.
Marquette added its fifth and final goal of the game with five minutes before the Cardinals received goals from Kaylin Morissette and Jamie Redding - on Amy Poteet's first career assist - in the final two minutes.
Defensively, the Cardinals had a strong collective showing. Ashley Peacock made three saves in goal, improving her record to 3-0. Kaylin Morissette tied a career high with four caused turnovers, while picking up four ground balls, and Negron had three caused turnovers.
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