By Matt Bradshaw —
Women’s soccer and field hockey ended their runs in the conference tournament with losses in the ACC quarterfinals. Both teams lost their matchup by one score in the round of eight.
Here’s a regular season rundown for the two programs, highlighting the player achievements and the road to the postseason.
Women’s soccer worked their way to a 9-1 record midway through the season and won their first three ACC matches for the best start in conference history.
As conference play wore on, U of L dropped four out of their last seven games. The ACC is the best soccer conference in the country, and three of the losses came by a difference of one goal against Virginia, Duke and Virginia Tech.
Despite a season-ending loss, the Cardinals finished with an overall record of 12-5 and conference record of 6-4. They finished tied for fifth in league standings and earned their first-ever appearance in the ACC Tournament.
Louisville faced No. 11 Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals and lost the hard-fought match 2-1. Freshman Sarah Hernandez gave the Cards an early lead, but the Cavaliers overpowered the U of L defense with 12 shots and found the back of the net twice.
Forward Brooklynn Rivers guided the U of L attack throughout the season, finishing with a career-best eight goals (including four game-winners) and six assists. The junior earned her first ACC postseason honors with a third team selection.
Maisie Whitsett led the Cardinals in scoring with nine goals. The freshman forward had an extremely productive season up-top and proved she has a bright career ahead.
Emina Ekic was named to first team All-ACC after earning preseason All-ACC honors. The sophomore overcame injuries from last season and drove the midfield with six goals (including two-game winners) and five assists.
Redshirt sophomore Gabby Kouzelos started all matches in goal for the Cards and recorded 29 saves. This season was the final run for senior Gabrielle Vincent, who anchored the Louisville defense and center back.
Women’s soccer now waits to find out whether they qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Field hockey began the regular season ranked No. 8 in the nation. They posted a 3-2 record after five matches, including a tough loss to No. 2 North Carolina to begin conference play.
U of L followed by winning the next three matches and topping No. 9 Boston College for their first ACC victory.
On Sept. 16, Louisville defeated Northwestern for head coach Justine Sowry’s 100th career victory.
The Cardinals split their final four conference matches, losing to Wake Forest away and No. 4 Duke at home in a penalty shootout.
Finishing with an overall record of 13-5 and 3-3 in ACC play, U of L earned a three-seed in the conference tournament. Six-seed Wake Forest defeated the Cards for the second time this season and killed their goals of an ACC Championship.
Sophomore Bethany Russ leads the team with 11 goals and earned second team All-ACC honors, and freshman Erica Cooper follows with nine goals. The underclassmen have bright futures on the team following such productive seasons.
Senior Katie Walsh dished out a team-high nine assists and earned second team All-ACC honors as well.
Goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran was named to first team All-ACC and remains one of the best keepers in the country. The senior ended her final season as a Cardinal with five shutouts.
Mercedes Pastor was also named to first team All-ACC. The sophomore posted four goals, including one double-overtime game-winner, and played every game with a talented presence in the midfield.
Like women’s soccer, field hockey hopes to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament.
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal