By Dalton Ray–
In the final home game of the regular season the sixth-ranked Louisville lacrosse team lost to seventeenth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers. After sixty minutes of play the final score was 10-9. Kaylin Morissette lead the Cardinals with game highs in goals, three, and draw controls, five, while also adding an assist.
After starting off the day leading 2-0, Louisville will only score one more goal in the first 30 minutes. Virginia lead 6-3 at half time. Junior goalkeeper Kelly Gielner made her first start of the year after previously leaving the team earlier in the year. Sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Read suffered a torn ACL in the lost to North Carolina and according to coach Kellie Young.
Gielner, naturally, needed some time to adjust to live game action. In the first 36 minutes of play Gielner allowed eight goals. Over the remaining 24 minutes she only allowed two while making four saves. During that 24 minutes she didn’t let up a goal for 17 straight minutes.
Despite not coming out on top, Young was proud of the way her goalkeeper performed.
“We came into the game without a goalie and we’re so thankful Kelly has came back and rejoined our program,” she said. “Her performance was remarkable. She hasn’t seen a ball in three months and she comes out today against a ranked team and gives us a chance to win, we’re really proud of her.”
Virginia claimed their biggest lead of the game at the 24:25 mark after getting ahead 8-3. Jillian Balog started off the scoring streak for U of L one minute later. After what appeared to nearly be a blowout, the Cardinals scored four unanswered and brought the game to 8-7.
Morissette and Balog led the comeback scoring two goals each during that stretch. Virginia wouldn’t just give up the lead as they scored to continue hold the lead late. The Cardinals brought the game to 10-9 with 4:38 to play after Morissette found Kelli Gerding.
UVA gained possession after winning the draw control and the Cavs were able to hold that possession and kill the clock until there was only 19 second left. Over that four mine stretch U of L committed six fouls, allowing Virginia to continue to set up. Cortnee Daley forced a turnover with 19 seconds left and was fouled three seconds later. After the reset, Madison Hoover was able to get a shot off with five seconds but it missed.
Coach Young was able to take away some positives after the lost.
“We simply came out hesitant today, you look at the team that started the day and the team that came out of half time and they’re completely different,” she said. “The second half team is what this program is capable of being. The second half team is the one that will make it far in the postseason, we just have to make sure we come out attacking.”
The graduating class is one of the best Young has ever had. After the game Young said she isn’t ready to talk about the senior class leaving just yet.
“We still have a lot of season to play so I won’t talk about them leaving us just yet,” she said. “They’re such a big part of our program and they’re extremely talented. They’ve developed over their time here so we know we can develop our current and future players to be like them (current seniors) but they’ll have so big shoes to fill.”
We the lost U of L now sits at 12-3 and 3-3 in the conference. With the hopes of hosting NCAA tournament games seemingly fading away, the team needs to beat fourth-ranked Syracuse next Saturday to stay in that conversation. The win could place Louisville in third place in the ACC and possibly up to second if they got some help. The game in Syracuse, New York will be the last of the regular season then the Cardinals travel to Blackburg, Virginia for the ACC tournament. Next Saturday’s season finale will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
Photos by Sam Draut / The Louisville Cardinal