LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior Erin Schneidtmiller’s goal with 5:49 remaining double overtime lifted the 17th ranked University of Louisville field hockey team to a 2-1 win over Rutgers in a BIG EAST Conference game Saturday afternoon.
The Cards improve to 11-4 and are now 4-1 in league play which places them tied for second with Old Dominion. Rutgers falls to 8-6 (2-3 BIG EAST).
“I’m thrilled beyond words,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “This was a must-win game for us against a great BIG EAST opponent. We had our opportunities and we’re not finishing where we need to in the circle and penalty corner opportunities. The game saw unbelievable goalkeeping from both keepers. We endured, we played hard and at the end of the day we came out on top. Our motto for the season is ‘get it done’ and we are well on our way to securing a berth in the BIG EAST tournament.”
The Cards rallied from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game with less than five minutes left in regulation on freshman Shannon Sloss’s eighth goal of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Sydney King had seven saves in the game, including two crucial stops – one on a penalty stroke - in the second overtime.
The Scarlet Knights got on the scoreboard less than two minutes the game. Alicia Stever dribbled down the left side of the field and sent a pass from around the 25 yard line to the circle where Rachel Yaney deflected a shot into the upper left part of the cage to give Rutgers a 1-0 lead at the 1:49 mark.
Louisville went on to outshoot Rutgers 7-3 in the first half and had a 5-0 advantage in penalty corners, but the Scarlet Knights held the 1-0 lead going into the break after goalkeeper Sarah Stuby collected three saves. King had one stop in the first half.
In the second half, Louisville held a 9-3 advantage in shots and outcornered the Scarlet Knights by a margin of 5-0. King stopped two shots, while Stuby had three second half saves. Rutgers maintained the lead through most of the second half, but the Cards finally broke through at the 65:19 mark in the game. Sloss connected on her eighth goal of the season when sophomore Elisa Garcia directed a shot from the top left side of the circle to Sloss who was waiting on the right side Stuby to send the ball into the cage to tie the game at 1-1.
Louisville threatened to take the lead by earning a penalty corner with less than three minutes left in regulation, but freshman Lotta Kahlert’s was turned back by Stuby to send the game into the first of two overtime periods.
The teams battled through a scoreless 15-minute 7v7 overtime despite the Cards outshooting the Scarlet Knights 4-2 and holding a 4-1 edge in corners. When the second overtime period ensued, the teams traded shots and Rutgers drew an early penalty corner, but the Cardinal defense held strong. Four minutes later, Rutgers’ Katie Champion fired a shot into the right side of the cage, but King made a dynamic stick save to hold the Scarlet Knights at bay. The momentum continued to shift toward the Scarlet Knights when they were awarded a penalty stroke midway through the sudden-victory period, but Sofia Walia’s shot to the left corner was stopped by King to turn the tide.
A series of passes sent the Cardinals back down the field and junior Mallory Mason fired a shot into the circle and Sloss got a stick on the ball to deflect it to the left side of the cage. Schneidtmiller picked up the loose ball and sent it past Stuby for the game-winner. Schneidtmiller’s eighth goal of the season came at the 94:11 mark in the game.
In the game, UofL outshot Rutgers 24-11 and held a 14-2 advantage in corners. King (11-4) collected seven saves while Stuby (4-4) had 10 stops.
Louisville (11-4, 4-1) will conclude alumnae weekend Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Cards play host to No. 11 Northwestern. Admission is free.