By Derek Brightwell
The Cardinals lacrosse team started their home season with a strong 18-1 victory over the University of Detroit Mercy Sunday afternoon.
Led by sophomore midfielder Kaylin Morissette’s six goals, the Cards jumped out to an early 10 goal lead before surrendering the only UDM goal late in the first period, which they answered quickly with 2 more goals in the last minute and a half of the period.
The win came after a disappointing loss to number five Duke in which they also jumped out to a quick lead early. That loss played an important part of their mentality in their home opener.
“We played pissed off,” Morissette said. Morissette scored all six of her goals this season in the win. “We wanted to win against Duke. We fixed the things we had to and we came out strong. In the back of our minds we still had the loss in our heads but it’s the first game and you have to go on. We have 15 more games to prove ourselves.”
The game could be a coming out for the sophomore who struggled in the Duke loss.
“It’s night and day between this weekend and last weekend,” Head Coach Kellie Young said. “She really improved her game sense, her awareness of double pressure coming to her, moving the ball sooner.
Morissette will be an asset for Louisville’s Lacrosse team moving forward as she builds upon this strong performance.
“It’s important for her to gain that confidence, to build on her lax IQ, to make decisions that will help our team win. That will help us going into next year,” Young said.
For her part, Morissette already views herself as a leader on the field, but still looks to the team’s nine seniors.
“I learn everyday. Every practice, every game, I learn how they communicate with all the girls. How they get us pumped up,” Morissette said of the senior class, including all American Nikki Boltja. “When they graduate, I think our team will be set because they’ve done a great job leading the pack.”
The Cards had great performances all around, with four players scoring two goals: Morissette scored six, Boltja scored three, Cortnee Daley scored three, and Faye Brust scored two. Anna Kopecka, Hannah Koloski, Laura Patterson and Jamie Redding all added in one goal each. Boltja continued to build upon her great season, with a total of 8 goals and 2 assists in just the first two games.
The Cards also had a strong defensive showing, causing 10 of UDM’s 20 turnovers and only allowing the Titans to get off four shots. A showing that wasn’t good enough for Coach Young.
“We need to improve our defense, which I know sounds crazy when they only have one goal,” Young said. That’s a scary thought for U of L’s opponents the rest of the year.
The Cardinals look to build upon a promising season when they play at Old Dominion on Friday, February 21. They return home to play Denver on March 1 at 1:00 pm.