Louisville Tops Rutgers in Big East Contest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Late Thursday night and even into the Friday afternoon hours, head coach Kellie Young doubted the Cardinals' game against the Scarlet Knights would take place. After the first 12 minutes of the game had passed, Young might have hoped for worse weather.

Trailing 4-0 at the 18:38 mark in the first half, University of Louisville orchestrated a comeback that led to a 10-8 win over Rutgers behind seven second-half goals, with the sun peaking through the clouds and Young happy the inclement weather held off.

“The Rutgers coach and I had probably talked four or five times about how we were going to get it in, do we want to start with just two officials, how is the third one going to fly in? We really wanted to get done by 6:30 p.m.,” Young says. “Although I would like the sun, this is perfect playing weather. In the end, somebody was looking down and gave us a great lacrosse day.”

The outlook was just as cloudy as Louisville's first-half performance, with Rutgers (7-5, 1-3 Big East) leading, 5-3, and a one-person advantage heading into the second period following a Louisville yellow card. The Scarlet Knights held an 18-9 shot advantage and a 13-9 lead in ground balls.

After a Rutgers goal by Marlena Welsh to open the scoring in the second period, Louisville (9-4, 2-2 Big East) rattled off four-straight scores, capped by Lianne Bobal's lone goal of the game on a Katie Oliverio assist that gave the Cardinals a 7-6 lead at the 19:14 mark.

Liz Lovejoy started the run at the 23:31 mark on a free-position shot. After Bergan Foley missed a scoring opportunity on a free-position attempt, Lovejoy collected the ground ball behind the net and weaved her way through the Rutgers defense to beat the goalkeeper for the goal. Less than a minute later, Foley scored on a free-position shot for her 50th tally of the season. Then, at the 21:07 mark, Katie Oliverio netted her 18th goal of the year to tie the game at six apiece.

“We just had to dig out. We didn't follow the game plan from the start, which seems to be a common theme,” Young admits. “Once they settled themselves into how we play, we were fine. Ashley (Herbst) made a couple of great saves, we started fighting more for the draw, and our attack was more specific for shooting.”

Rutgers' Ali Steinberg knotted the game at seven five minutes after the Cardinals took the lead.

Lovejoy, who finished with four goals, gave Louisville an 8-7 lead at the 13:12 mark – a lead the Cardinals would not relinquish. Freshman Nikki Boltja then tacked on her fifth goal of the season to give Louisville a two-goal lead and Lovejoy netted the final goal of the game at the 6:28 mark, putting the Cardinals ahead, 10-8.

“It was a really solid day for her,” Young says of Lovejoy. “It scares me some of the dodges that she takes, but you put her on the eight meter and she kept scoring. She stepped up when her teammates were having a tough day, and we needed it.”

In what has appeared to be a theme in each game Louisville has played this season, the contest featured numerous fouls (59 combined) and six yellow cards. In one instance, Foley took a stick to the face that bloodied her nose and forced her to leave the game for a few minutes.

“To be honest, I think it motivated them,” Young says of the physical play. “When Bergan went down with blood streaming down her face, her teammates got upset and that's when we really took the momentum out of them. Their attack got tentative, our defense jumped and transitioned, and that let us open up stuff for our attack. In some ways, that aggressiveness helps us.”

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2011-04-15



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