Field hockey’s season ends in NCAA tournament

By on November 13, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

For the third straight year, the Louisville field hockey team fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The eighth-ranked Delaware Blue Hens knocked off ninth-ranked Cardinals 1-0, giving Louisville their first shut out of the season.

U of L outshot Delaware 11-4 but the Hens had seven saves compared to Louisville’s one. The Cards also had more penalty corners, 4-1, than Delaware, but couldn’t take advantage of the statistical edge.

“We’re devastated, there’s no question. To have a season like we did and have it end like this is devastating. Delaware is a good team, coached very well and they stuck to how they play hockey for 70 minutes. The last 20 to 25 minutes, we started to play Louisville hockey and started to press them. Credit to the Delaware defense and their goalkeeper because they kept the ball out of the back of the net. At the end of the day, we weren’t able to get the job done,” Sowry said.

Delaware’s Maura Zarkoski sent in the game’s lone score in the ninth minute. Zarkoski received a cross from Lisa Giezeman and put the shot in the left side of the cage.

The Cardinals started the second half out with a much more attacking style. Eight of Louisville’s 11 shot came in the second half. Five of the eight shots in the second half were on goal while two hit the post. Louisville’s best chance to get on the scoreboard came early in the second half.

Lizzie Gittens’ shot off a penalty corner got past Delaware’s goalkeeper Emmeline Oltmans, but another Blue Hen defender stepped in to make the save. Oltmans continued to make saves against the pressing Cardinals as seniors Nicole Woods and Lotta Kahlert had both of their shots hit the post.

With under two minutes to play, Sowry pulled the goalkeeper to put another attacker on the field. The Cards’ final chance to score failed as Louisville couldn’t get a shot off.

The final horn blew and the 2016 season was over for Sowry’s team. A tough way to end the year, Sowry is thankful for her senior class.

“I want to congratulate our seniors, all eight of them. They’ve been wonderful ambassadors for our program,” Sowry said. “They left it all out on the field today, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get a win for them.”

The 2016 campaign ends with 15-6 record and 3-3 record in conference play. The Cards spent most of the season ranked and registered 10 weeks in the top 10.

Freshman Minout Mink led the Cardinals in goals (15) and points (33) this season. She also led U of L with the most shots on goal (37) and game-winners. Mink stayed among the nation’s best in total goals and goal per game all season.

Senior Erin McCrudden led the Cardinals in assists (18) and ranked second in the nation in assists and assists per game. The senior was responsible for 22 points in her final season while owning a 87.5 shot on goal percentage.  McCrudden stepped up in a huge way her last season as a Cardinal as she chipped in 15 more assists and 13 more points during her last go-around.

Kahlert also played her final game wearing a Louisville jersey. Contributing a career-high nine goals in this year, Kahlert walks away with 20 career goals and 49 points.

All-American goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran had another standout year. Ranking fifth in the nation in save percentage, 75.5 percent, McFerran had 77 saves on the year with six shutouts. She now has 144 career saves and a record of 27-13 in two seasons.

Sowry loses eight seniors. This season, the seniors accounted for 24 of the 57 goals and 30 of 61 assists. This 2016 class leaves Louisville with a 58-24 overall record and boasts a 32-6 home record.

Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-18) that is technically award winning.

Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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