Louisville field hockey falls 2-1 to Duke

By on September 16, 2016

By Matt Bradshaw–

Second-ranked Duke handed Louisville field hockey their first loss of the season in U of L’s conference opener. Falling 2-1, Louisville is now 6-1 while Duke churns along to 7-0.

“This was our ACC opener and we prepared all week, but we were on the back-foot from the beginning of the game,” coach Justine Sowry said. “It was very disappointing.”

The first half saw Duke scoring quickly off a corner to gain a 1-0 lead. The Blue Devils controlled the game early on, and the Cards were hard-pressed to fight back and make chances of their own.

“In that first half they out-hustled us, out-worked us, and wanted it more,” Sowry said.

Despite falling behind, Louisville had their opportunities. The Cardinals the edge over Duke with shots (5-3) and shots on goal (4-2). Sowry’s team created chances, but were not able to convert. Duke goalie Sammi Steele had four saves and reigned in the Cardinal offense.

In the second half, both sides struggled to gain the upper hand. The Cardinals managed to tie the game 1-1 off a corner at 51:10 on Taylor Stone’s second goal of the season.

“It was pleasing that we came out a little stronger in the second half,” Sowry said. “We changed our line-up to ignite some attack. But Duke is a good team, and you have to play for all 70 minutes.”

After Stone’s goal, teams exchanged back and forth play. At 62:10, Hunter Bracale of Duke netted a goal to give the Blue Devils the lead once again. With only six minutes left to play, the Cardinals were not able to make another comeback and ended up falling short 2-1.

“This one hurts no question. We have to get back to playing our game and our identity,” Sowry said.

Louisville will be back in action at Trager Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Ohio State.

Courtesy photo – Michelle Hutchins / Louisville Athletics

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