LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville women’s lacrosse team begins its 2013 campaign on Sunday, Feb. 10, with a noon matchup against Canisius at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.
The Cardinals, beginning their sixth season in school history – all under the watch of head coach Kellie Young, who has guided the program to a 46-36 mark. Despite its infancy, the Louisville program has recorded 10 wins in four of its first five years.
Dominated by youth in 2012, Louisville returns nearly its entire lineup and boasts IWLCA all-West/Midwest region team members Nikki Boltja, Monica Negron, and Katie Oliverio. Boltja, who garnered all-BIG EAST second team accolades last year, was named on the preseason all-conference squad. Notably, the Cardinals’ regain the services of Oliverio, who missed last year with a torn ACL. The Silver Spring, Md., native was the 2010 NCAA Division I statistical champion in assists per game after averaging 2.71 per contest.
Overall, the Cardinals’ roster features 17 letter winners from last season and nine newcomers. Of the team’s eight freshmen, two came to Louisville with tremendous accolades – Kaylin Morissette was a co-captain for the U-19 Canadian National Lacrosse Team and helped the team win the bronze medal at U-19 World Cup; Cortnee Daley, a U.S. Lacrosse first team All-American, earned multiple honors and was named the 2012 (Philadelphia) Intelligencer Player of the Year.
Last year, Louisville finished in the top-25 nationally in draw controls per game (14.6) and caused turnovers per game (8.6). Individually, Boltja finished fourth in goals per game (3.53) and 20th in goals (53), while Negron checked in at No. 16 in caused turnovers per game (1.8) and 34th in ground balls per game (2.4).
Canisius, which was picked to repeat as Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions, returns seven starters and 15 letter winners from last season that culminated in the Griffs’ second-straight league title. One of those starters, Morgan Leonard, was selected as MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, and two additional players – Lindsey Morgan and Gabby Kotas – earned preseason conference accolades.
Last season, Carly Quinn helped lead Canisius’ offensive attack. She ranked seventh nationally in assists (47), eighth in assists per game (2.47), 18th in points (78) and 25th in points per game (4.11). Kayla Scully, the team’s top goalkeeper, ranked 30th in save percentage (.441) and 29th in goals against average (10.3).
The Griffs are under the direction of 11th-year head coach Scott Teeter, who led them to an NCAA Tournament appearance, with a 10-9 mark last season. In 2012, Canisius ranked sixth nationally in caused turnovers per game (10.26), 13th in points (351), 17th in scoring offense (13.21) and 20th in scoring margin (+2.42).