October 10, 2016

Field hockey splits weekend series against ranked teams

By Dalton Ray–

Facing the No. 6 and No. 14 teams in the nation, No. 8 Louisville went 1-1 over in a tough weekend series. First, Louisville lost against No. 14 Boston College on Oct. 7. Two days later, Louisville regained their footing and defeated No. 6 Northwestern.

Head coach Justine Sowry says the team is looking up as the season winds down.

“We hit a roadblock Friday night but I think the timing of that was perfect. It made us take a long, hard look at where we were,” Sowry said. “If we think we’re on the right track and sit still, then teams will run right over us. It was a blessing in disguise to drop that first game this past weekend. We ‘re back on track and ready for the (North) Carolina.”

In the game against BC, the Eagles notched a goal early on in the match – scoring in the seventh minute. Minutes later, Boston College doubled their total. Just north of two minutes to play in the half, Louisville got on the scoreboard. Minout Mink passed to Shannon Sloss, who sent in the goal from the left side of the circle.

During an uneventful second half, neither side established themselves as the better team. With about 15 minutes remaining in the game, BC started to control possession against the Cardinals. Boston College took advantage of this by scoring with under eight minutes to play.

The final score read 3-1 and U of L suffered their third loss of the year.

Louisville quickly shifted their focus to another tough opponent in Northwestern. An early goal from standout Nicole Woods put the Cardinals on the right track. U of L downed the sixth ranked Wildcats 2-0.

Taylor Stone added a goal in the second half but Northwestern didn’t give up. Moments after Stone’s goal, NU began to attack goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerron with multiple shots.

One shot got through the All-American keeper but was called off after review. Sowry said it was a moment of relief.

“I was happy to see that goal called off,” Sowry said. “They had momentum and if they got the one on the board then the pressure would of been right back on us. I was pleased to see us preserve a two goal lead and finish the game.”

Louisville withstood the Wildcats’ barrage over the final 15 minutes. The Cardinals even continued to press once NU pulled their goalkeeper out. Sowry said her team returned to form against Northwestern.

“After Friday night’s performance, we really wanted to get back to our identity and the way we play hockey,” Sowry said. “We had to take a look at our press and our big message was ‘do your job’.”

Louisville (11-3) now has only two home games left on the season with a huge home-stand against third-ranked North Carolina on Oct. 15.

Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

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