LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Behind a 10-goal first half, the University of Louisville women’s lacrosse team overpowered visiting Canisius, 13-3, Sunday afternoon at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.
Louisville (1-0), which featured four true freshmen in its starting lineup, jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead and held a 10-goal advantage twice during the course of the game.
“Our offense was smooth,” head coach Kellie Young, who secured her 100th career win, said. “We ran almost every set that we have in our book. We had options off of all of them. We have such a balanced offense with multiple shooters and multiple feeders; it makes us hard to stop.”
The Cardinals’ first two goals of the contest came from a pair of newcomers in Erika Eipp and Cortnee Daley. Eipp scored less than two minutes into the game, and Cortnee Daley took advantage of a man-up opportunity with a goal at the 23-minute mark.
Less than 30 second later, Nikki Boltja got involved on the attack with her first score. The Medina, Ohio, native, who finished fourth in the country last year in goals per game, scored another time during the stretch and freshman Kaylin Morissette capped the 5-0 run by scoring on a failed Canisius clear attempt.
Following the Golden Griffins’ first goal of the game nearly 15 minutes into the contest, the Cardinals continued the offensive onslaught with four more goals before the half.
Faye Brust posted her first goal of the game, Katie Oliverio tacked on one, Morissette added another two and Boltja recorded her third goal of the contest.
A co-captain for the U-19 Canadian National Lacrosse Team, Morissette proved to be just as effective on defense, leading the team with three caused turnovers in the first period. She also was one of seven players to finish with at least two ground balls. Collectively, the defensive unit forced 21 turnovers, including 12 in the first.
“We have our first-years out here who were impacting the score and the draw and our defense,” Young added. “That’s the future of the program. Their enthusiasm and effort is really driving those sophomores and juniors.”
Ashley Herbst, who played all 60 minutes between the pipes, made seven saves to improve to 1-0. The Pittsford, N.Y., native was taxing in free-position situations, as Canisius went just 2-for-9.
Laura Patterson, who was a major factor in the circle, won three draw controls in the first and finished with four for the game. In total, Louisville finished on the positive side of the 13-5 draw control battle
In the second half, possession bounced back and forth between the two teams. Louisville, though, capitalized on its caused turnovers and scored three more goals before the final whistle. Oliverio notched her second goal of the game just 30 seconds into the second, and Morissette and Colleen O’Malley tallied the finals scores of the game.