By Justin Stephenson
Coming off of a semifinal appearance in the Big East tournament and featuring
eight new players on a star-studded veteran roster, the Louisville Cardinals field hockey
team is out for cardinal red blood this year as their tenure in the Big East conference
comes to a close in their final season of Big East play.
With the strength of this year’s schedule the Cards expect to go out with a bang
instead of a whimper; featuring six top 25 teams from the AP Coaches Poll a year ago.
“We want to prove that we’re ready to move to the ACC and compete on a
consistent basis with top 20 teams,” junior mid-fielder Paige Monsen said. “As a team,
we should use this year to measure ourselves. How well we do in this conference will be
a way for us to gauge how well we’ll adjust to the ACC. Personally, I want us to win the
Big East title and compete in the NCAA tournament.”
Louisville returns senior forward Erin Schneidtmiller and junior forward Becca
Maddock, who proved clutch scoring three game winning goals in last year’s regular
Heralding in are freshman newcomers forward Shannon Sloss, forward Hailey
Netherton, and mid-fielder Stephanie Byrne to the lineup. The roster is stacked with an
arsenal of open field attackers.
Although the defense so no less intimidating, with veterans Mallory Mason and
Victoria Stratton looking to lead the roster full of transfers and incoming talent, the d-line
has the athleticism and depth to compete with any conference foe.
The midfield is on par with the rest of the team, as two-time all Big East
selection, junior Alyssa Voelmle and newly appointed deputy captain Paige Monsen,
who lead the team in assists last season, look to take the helm. Along with is senior
Kelsey Rosenmeier to catalyze the scoring of a talented and deep roster.
The goalie position proves to be promising as well, with sophomore Sydney King
being touted as a breakout star this year. Along with freshman Elina Periera, the goalies
will look to fill the yawning gap left by all Big East selection Erin Conrad.
When asked which game this year is the toughest, third year coach Justine Sowry
wisely replied, “The first one- every game is tough, but the first game is the toughest.
Our team is larger in size this year; we have ten returning players and eight new players
on the roster. So the first two weeks and the preseason will be all about us finding the
right combinations. After those games we’ll just be utilizing the good ole’ cliché one
game at a time.”