Women’s soccer opens ACC play with 1-0 win over Syracuse

By on September 20, 2014

By Derek Brightwell–

The Louisville women’s soccer team opened up ACC play with a 1-0 victory against Syracuse in the new Lynn Stadium.

The Cards wasted no time in building off the momentum from an unbelievable comeback earlier in the week against Kent State, scoring off a corner kick by senior Erin Yenney in the third minute of the game.

“I think it was maybe Price who made a great run and got us a corner kick,” Yenney said of the set up. “So I went over there and played it to Vic and the defenders were coming on quickly so I tried to just get off my foot quick and play it in. I wasn’t maybe aiming to shoot, but I was trying to get it close to the goalie because KB (Katrine Bjerke) is great at heading and that’s where I was aiming, really. I think it caught the goalie off guard cause we kind of stuttered a little bit and it went in.”

The goal was Yenney’s first of the season, as well as the first assist by freshman Victoria Martinis.

After the goal, Louisville kept on the offensive, outshooting Syracuse six to none in the first half, with three of them being on goal. But Syracuse was the aggressor in the second half.

“I thought we played very, very, well in the first half,” head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes remarked of her team’s play. “Maybe lost a little bit of our composure in the second half. But I give credit to Syracuse because I think they’re a good team and made us get a little rattled and play a little faster than we wanted to. I was really happy at the end of the game with the younger kids’ decision to hold the ball and keep the ball and understand time and score that late in the game.”

The win, which moves the Cards to 4-4 on the season, also starts off a tough conference season that will pit Louisville against four teams currently ranked in the top 20, including three in the top five. But even with the juggernaut conference ahead of them, they remain focused on the next opponent, in this case, fifth ranked Florida State.

“We don’t look beyond the next game we have to play,” Ferguson-Dayes said. “So I think the expectation is to stay focused on the process. I truly believe and will always be committed to the process and if we can stay focused on the process, the results will follow. We got away from the process a little bit in the second half tonight and I think that’s why we were on our heels. So with a young group, if we can continue to instill that message, don’t abandon the process, it’s what will help you get results. So I think moving forward, that’s what we’re going to focus on as we play some of the top teams in the country.”

After a rough patch of three straight losses, the Cards are riding a wave of confidence with the comeback against Kent State and the ACC opening win.

“My freshman year, we had a similar start. We lost three or four games and it was going pretty rough and then we won one game against a good team and we just flew from there,” Yenney recalled. “So it’s exciting to see and it’s good to have some struggles at the beginning because you can fix a lot of problems early on and the girls can see how much work has to be put in. Really it’s about us upperclassmen being able to keep everyone calm and understanding that it’s about the process and keep focusing on the things you can do well and it will pay off.”

“I think it helps with confidence in general, regardless of what conference we play in, but it’s nice to know that we have three points in the toughest conference in the country,” Ferguson-Dayes said. “We get a little bit of a break here and then turn around and have to play one of the top teams in the country in Florida State, so certainly I think the confidence from tonight will help as we move into that game on Thursday night.”

“I saw a lot of confidence in my team in the Kent State game followed in tonight,” freshman Chatham DeProspo commented on the energy of the team. “I think they’ve had it all along, we’re just finally showing all of it.

“We had a rough patch. I think that really hit us hard,” she added. “But we bounced back from it, and there’s only going up from here. I was really proud; we worked really hard in practice. We tried to get our communication going and trying to work out our problems technically, tactically. We brought absolutely everything we could, our heart, confidence, everything tonight as well as the Kent State game. I think this is our moment, this is our chance and we’re going to keep going. We’re going to push the teams down in Florida State and then Duke. We’re going to give them a run for their money. I absolutely believe in my team.”

Photo by Austin Lassel / The Louisville Cardinal

 

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