By Daniel Rankin —
On Friday, Nov. 12, The University of Louisville Field Hockey team will face Harvard University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards recently fell short of winning the ACC Tournament after losing to Virginia in the semifinals. However, the season was still successful. Prior to the loss against the Virginia Cavaliers, U of L was able to take down Syracuse on senior day; allowing them to move on to the ACC Championship. Overall, the Cards finished the season 16-3, an impressive feat given they had one of the nation’s toughest schedules.
“To be the best, you have to play the best,” said ACC Coach of the Year Justine Sowry, “Our ACC and non-conference opponents have stepped up their game which sets us up nicely for the NCAA tournament.”
The season’s most impressive wins included ranked wins against Princeton, North Carolina, Syracuse, Ohio State, Boston College, and Virginia. Louisville will be looking to build off their successful 2020 run, making the final four for the first time in program history and returning nine out of eleven starting players.
“Having great experience over the past couple of years and more depth could be an advantage, but it isn’t automatic,” noted Sowry, “We still have to work hard together to advance.”
Junior Forward Mattie Tabor explained that early exit in the ACC Tournament has given them extra motivation. “It’s now one and done time, and we can’t take any games off,” she stated. “We’re motivated as a team to fight for those 50/50 balls and take the next step forward.”
Should Louisville advance to the quarterfinals, they’ll face the Michigan vs. Maine/Miami (Ohio) winner on Nov. 14. While the Cards have never met Havard before, they’re familiar with potential opponents Michigan, taking a hard-fought 2-1 loss and Miami (Ohio) dominating 4-1 earlier the season.
The semifinals will be on Nov. 19 and the championship match on Nov. 21, with the University of Michigan playing host.
Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics