By Matt Bradshaw —
In the first regular season game of fall sports, women’s soccer kicked off Louisville athletics with an 8-1 victory over Wright State. The Cardinals overcame an early 1-0 deficit and took control of the match with possession and punishing offensive play.
Sophomore Emina Ekic and freshman Maisie Whitsett led the team with two goals each. Sophomore Nadege L’Esperance and freshmen Kennadi Carbin and Delaney Snyder each added one goal and one assist. Sophomore Taylor Kerwin netted the final goal of the match.
With eight goals, Louisville set a new Lynn Stadium record for most scored in a single match.
Louisville controlled possession for the first ten minutes of the game. L’Esperance and Ekic powered the midfield with their passing, moving the ball without mistakes.
Taking advantage of a counter attack, Wright State drove the ball deep into Louisville’s side of the field and drew a foul. Erin Graeffen of the Raiders took advantage and buried the free kick for a goal.
Wright State did not enjoy the lead for long. Ten minutes later on a Cardinal corner kick, L’Esperance crossed the ball on the ground to Ekic. The Louisville native volleyed the ball over the keeper and tied the match 1-1.
After that, the Cards took tight control of the game. Head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes used the depth of her bench and subbed in several players.
At the 26 minute mark, Carbin crossed into the box to Whitsett. The freshman used one touch and volleyed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal for a 2-1 Louisville lead.
Four minutes later, Snyder received the ball in the box and tapped it past the keeper for a 3-1 score.
Following an explosive first half, the Cardinals reentered the game and got things going immediately. Beginning at the 51 minute mark, Louisville scored four goals in under seven minutes.
Carbin scored her second goal of the game with a header. L’Esperance followed 40 seconds later with a goal from 25 yards outside the box.
Two minutes later, Ekic mimiced L’Esperance’s shot with a laser of her own from 25 yards beyond the goal. It was Ekic’s second goal and gave Louisville a 6-1 lead.
At the 58 minute mark, Whitsett scored her second goal off a pass from senior Allison Whitfield. Kerwin followed at the 69 minute mark with another goal, widening the Cardinal lead to 8-1.
After the eighth goal, Wright State held Louisville at bay until the conclusion of the match. The Cards won the game with 24 shots (14 on goal) to Wright State’s two shots (two on goal).
Louisville moves on to face Xavier at home on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
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Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal