By Matt Bradshaw —
No. 10 field hockey (10-4, 2-3) lost to No. 4 Duke (12-3, 4-1) in heartbreaking shootout fashion. Both sides were scoreless in regulation and overtime, then Louisville stumbled in the second round of the shootout and fell 1-0.
The Blue Devils played hard and physical, and their shootout victory comes as revenge after last season. The Cardinals reached their first ACC Championship in 2017 after defeating Duke in the semifinals via shootout.
Duke held an 11-4 overall shot advantage, but U of L’s midfield nearly created the same amount of shots on goal and came close to winning the match.
The opening ten minutes featured high-tempo, back-and-forth play. The midfields of Duke and Louisville worked hard to control possession of the ball and gain an edge.
Duke earned the first penalty corner of the match at the 18th minute. The Cardinals blocked three shots from their opponent and cleared the ball without a score.
U of L had their only penalty corner opportunity at the 25th minute and was unable to convert.
Both teams played physically and received several green cards. Neither side had the outright advantage with no score at halftime.
Ten minutes into the second half, Duke came close to scoring with a ball behind Louisville’s defense. Senior keeper Ayeisha McFerran used her quick feet to slide and clear the ball to safety.
Shortly after, redshirt freshman Biz Allgeier recorded the Cards’ first shot on goal that was saved by the Blue Devil keeper.
Rain began to fall and momentum shifted in favor of U of L. They possessed hard at the offensive end but still could not manage a score.
McFerran saved a potential game-winning shot from Duke with 16 seconds remaining. Overtime commenced after both teams were scoreless in regulation.
Duke had several dangerous chances early on that the Louisville defense turned away. The Blue Devils played with a clear advantage in the first overtime period.
Redshirt sophomore Bethany Russ recorded two shots in the second period and both were saved. Sophomore Mercedes Pastor got off one final shot as time expired but could not find goal. A shootout was necessarily to decide the match.
Louisville shot out to a lead in the first round of penalties with the help of McFerran. Duke came back with two straight conversions and senior Taylor Stone kept the Cardinals alive with the final stroke, tying things up 2-2.
Both teams missed their first attempt and converted their second attempt in the second round, making the score 1-1.
The Blue Devils made their final attempt and the Cards missed, giving Duke the shootout victory.
Field hockey hosts Miami (OH) on Sunday, Oct. 14 at noon for senior day.
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Photos by Adrianna Lynch / The Louisville Cardinal