Louisville Outlasted by Villanova in Overtime

LOUISVILLE, Ky. In a heartbreaker, University of Louisville dropped a 9-8 overtime decision at Villanova on Sunday afternoon at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa.

After heading into the second period tied at three, the Cardinals (3-10, 1-5 Big East) went on a 4-2 run over the first 16 minutes of play for their largest lead of the game. Goals by Colleen O'Malley and Cat Gordon capped the run to put Louisville ahead, 8-5.

Villanova fought back, though, scoring three goals in three minutes to tie the game at eight apiece.

Although the Wildcats (4-9, 2-3) had a chance to win the game, as Justine Donedeo ripped a shot that hit the post with two seconds remaining in regulation, neither team scored in the final 7:21 to force overtime.

In the first half of the six-minute overtime, a three-minute session, Louisville's Faye Brust won her only draw control of the game, but turned it over just 10 seconds later. After a fouls on Nikki Boltja and Kelsey Garraty, the Wildcats successfully played the ball into the Cardinals' territory. Villanova's Maria Bowman sent a shot wide with just eight seconds remaining, but the Wildcats maintained possession. With only two ticks left on the clock, Ali Judge, assisted by Annie Fallon, scored ultimately the game-winning goal.

The Cardinals' only shot attempt in the final session came from Eleni Kozas at the 2:31 mark, but Villanova's Dani Wiedmeier came up with one of her seven saves.

In the opening period, Villanova jumped on top with a goal by Donedeo at the 20:20 mark. After scores from Casey Pepperman and Jamie Redding for a 2-1 advantage, the Cardinals never trailed.

Villanova countered to tie the game at two, and after Kozas scored her 13th goal of the season to put Louisville back on top, the Wildcats found the back of the net with 7:39 remaining to tie the game at three heading into the second period.

Boltja, the Big East leading scorer, was held scoreless for just the second time this season. Redding, Pepperman and O'Malley each registered two goals, and Redding also was credited with an assist. Gordon won five draw controls, giving her 61 for the season. It is the seventh time this season she has won at least five draw controls.

Defensively, five players collected two ground balls apiece, and Monica Negron had a game-high two caused turnovers.

Today's contest was only the second time in program history the Cardinals have played an overtime match and just the third time they have lost despite their opponent scoring less than 10 goals. The last time Louisville lost while holding its opponent to less than double-digit goals was March 29, 2009, when Connecticut beat Louisville, 8-7.

The Cardinals return to action at home on Friday, April 20, against second-ranked Syracuse at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium. First draw is set for 5:00 p.m., and the game will be televised locally by WHAS-TV.


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