EAST LANSING, Mich. (News Release) – The University of Louisville field hockey team fell 2-1 in overtime to host 20th ranked Michigan State (5-3) in the championship game of the Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Sunday afternoon.
“This was by far our best performance to date which makes it a tough way to lose the game in overtime,” said U of L head coach Justine Sowry. “We learned lessons from the first game and applied ourselves today. We achieved a lot of our goals but unfortunately it didn't show on the scoreboard.
The teams battled through over 20 scoreless minutes in the first half before Michigan State’s Abby Barker put the Spartans on the scoreboard with a penalty corner assist from Jessica Lindner at the 22:20 mark. MSU took the 1-0 lead into halftime after holding a 6-1 advantage in shots and a 2-1 edge in corners.
The Cardinals regrouped at halftime and attacked early in the second half, drawing two corners in the first three minutes of the half. U of L capitalized on its third corner of the half when sophomore Alyssa Voelmle connected on a feed from senior Haley Jurich to even the score at 1-1. Louisville would hold a 4-2 edge in shots and a 5-2 penalty corner advantage in the second half, but the teams remained tied at the end of regulation.
For the second consecutive game, the Cards entered a sudden-victory overtime period in which the field was reduced to seven players per side. Yellow cards issued to both teams in the closing minutes of the second half meant that both teams would start overtime with only six players on the field. Louisville’s yellow card expired and brought the Cards to full force for two minutes while the Spartans were down a player, but they could not capitalize. Barker notched her second goal of the game with just over five minutes remaining in overtime.
Senior goalkeeper Erin Conrad (5-3) posted five saves in the game while Michigan State’s Molly Cassidy had two stops. The Spartans outshot the Cardinals 9-6 while Louisville held a 6-4 edge in corners.
“We had an opportunity to press Michigan State in overtime when we were a player up but we were unable to recognize and take advantage of the situation,” said Sowry. “We must now shift our focus to special situations and set plays as we prepare for our opening BIG EAST game on Friday.”
U of L (5-3) will return to Trager Stadium to open BIG EAST Conference play against Georgetown on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.