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Cards fly away with 11-2 rout of St. Louis
By Justin Stephenson
As fireworks began to engulf the open air of Lynn Stadium and the surrounding neighborhood, Louisville’s Field Hockey team found some offensive fireworks of their own in an 11-2 blazing of the St. Louis Billikens.
In this dynamite display underclassmen were the spark. Only five-and-a-half minutes into the game, forward Lotta Kahlert snakes past the defense and flings her first goal of her college career into the net putting the Cards up 1-0. Eight minutes later red-shirt freshman mid-fielder Stephanie Byrne flung in a backhanded shot from the right side of the net off of a well-timed pass from the top of the circle, courtesy of junior mid-fielder Elisa Garcia. And as the avalanche discharged, the Cards had buried St. Louis in a 5-0 deficit by halftime.
As the lead grew, U of L began to experiment with the rotation; and to the behest of the Billikens, the cards clicked every time. Freshman Nicole Woods and Marigrace Ragsdale both scored in less than a ten minute span.
“Were very happy with our freshman, they’re a great group doing a great job,” Junior Elisa Garcia said. Garcia’s two assists of the game were matched by freshman Rachel McCarthy and Nicole Woods’.
Although the freshman stole the show the other veterans didn’t forget to pitch in either. Led by senior forward Becca Maddock the upperclassmen continued to add balance to a well-executed offensive game plan.
“We were able to get a lot of people and a lot of combinations working,” Coach Sowry noted. “Everyone was able to take the field and we were very enthusiastic about it.”
During the game, there were many great individual plays, five goals were unassisted, as well as plays of teamwork and selflessness, six goals were assisted on. As a team, Louisville shot over 80% from the pitch and as a team forced 17 corner shots.
Its also important to know that chemistry made history as well, as U of L’s 11 goals were the most scored in a Louisville Field Hockey game since 2009 against the St. Louis Billikens.
On defense, though, is where the celebration comes to a standstill. St Louis managed to still shoot 100% from the pitch, albeit on only two shot attempts. In the second half in particular is when the game began to get away from the confident Cardinals. St Louis managed 15 saves in 70 minutes of play, six in the second half.
“It was a tale of two halves, the second half was a little sloppy,” Coach Sowry noted.
Sloppy it was as St. Louis’ senior forward Faith Mackin made a discernable dent in the Cardinals’ defense, scoring two goals within two minutes of each other.
“We still have to work on some things,” Garcia stated.
The blow out victory was a promising start to the 2014 season. But with a four game road trip looming over their heads, Sowry’s Cards might be working overtime.