LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Freshman Jennifer Pels’ goal with 4:01 remaining in overtime lifted No. 14 Louisville to a 3-2 win over Providence (8-9, 3-4 BIG EAST) Friday evening at Trager Stadium. With the win, the Cardinals (14-4, 6-1) earn a share of the BIG EAST regular season title for the first time since 2008.
“It was a great result for us,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “I’m really proud of our team right now to be at least co-champions with a couple of other teams. Overall, not a bad performance. Providence really brought their ‘A’ game today and made life difficult for us. Like the general feeling for the group this year, we’ve shown a lot of character and resilience and we just keep persisting.”
The Cardinals took an early lead when junior Becca Maddock connected on a pass from freshman
Shannon Sloss at the 5:46 mark in the game. Senior Erin Schneidtmiller got the play started when she delivered a pass from the top of the circle to the left side of the cage to Sloss who slid a pass to the right post where Maddock’s dove to connect on her sixth goal of the season.
Providence answered at the 14:02 mark in the game when Henni Tietze fired a penalty corner shot into the right side of the cage with assists from Kaleigh Fitzpatrick who inserted the ball and Emma Mackie who provided the stop.
The Friars pulled ahead five minutes later when Steph Gugleilmo drove a shot which was stopped by Louisville goalkeeper Sydney King, but Sally Adua was there for the rebound to make it a 2-1 game.
Louisville responded with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. Sophomore Elisa Garcia fired a shot which was stopped by Providence goalkeeper Deidra Clymer, but junior Mallory Mason sent the rebound into the upper right side of the cage for her fourth goal of the season to even the score at 2-2.
The teams entered halftime tied at 2-2 with the Cards holding an 8-6 advantage in shots and a 4-3 edge in corners.
In the second half Louisville outshot Providence 9-5 and had eight corners to the Friars’ three. Both teams had chances to score in the closing minutes of regulation. With five minutes left on the clock, the Friars earned two penalty corner within a two minute span, but shots by Caitlin Malone were stopped by a Cardinal defender and then goalkeeper Sydney King. Louisville drew back-to-back corners in the final two minutes, but the Providence defense held them at bay.
With the score still knotted at 2-2, the teams entered a 15-minute 7 v7 sudden-victory overtime period. Louisville took the first shot in the extra frame, but Garcia’s attempt just missed the cage. Providence worked the ball down the field and earned a penalty corner, but King turned back Malone’s shot and the Cardinals regained possession. Junior Alyssa Voelmle dribbled down the left side of the field inside the 25 yard line and sent a pass to Pels who notched her fourth game-winning goal of the season.
In the game, Louisville outshot Providence 19-12 and held a 12-7 advantage in corners. King (14-4) had six saves while Clymer (8-9) had 10 stops for the Friars. The victory also marks the most since 2008 when Louisville went 14-7 to finish the season.
UofL (14-4, 6-1) will honor seniors Michelle Amon, Kelsey Rosenmeier and Erin Schneidtmiller in the Cards home finale against Kent State Sunday at 12 p.m.