University of Louisville Field Hockey Makes History



History has been made! The University of Louisville Field Hockey team made the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history. The (3) seed UL Cardinals will face the (2) seed Michigan 4pm on May 7th. The (4) seed Iowa will face the (1) seed UNC May 7th in the game prior at 1pm. Both games will be held at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC.

The Cards went 14-5 this season with all 5 losses coming to ranked opponents on the road. Mercedes Pastor led the team in goals (13), assists (9) and overall points (32).

It will be a home field advantage for UNC throughout the tournament. UNC has played in the title game 9 out of the last 13 years and have won 4 titles. The Tarheels are the 2 time defending National Champions. They have lost 2 games out of their last 69. Both in Louisville. One was a loss in the 2017 final four. The Champs went undefeated in 2018 & 2019 and their lone loss this season was a 3-1 loss to the Cards. Congratulations on this historic moment! CSZ is rooting for you!

Press release from the University of Louisville athletic department:

COLLEGE PARK, Pa. โ€“ Senior Alli Bitting’s goal in the first quarter stood as the game-winner as the third-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team defeated No. 6 UConn 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Field Hockey Championship Sunday afternoon at Penn State’s University Park. With the win, the Cardinals (14-5) advance to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in program history.

Louisville will take on No. 2 Michigan on Friday, May 7 at either 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C. Top-seeded North Carolina and the No. 3 seed Iowa will face off in the other NCAA semifinal. The national championship game will take place on May 9 at 7 p.m. All three games will be televised on ESPN3.

“First of all, hats off to the University of Connecticut and their coaching staff, they’re a class program, a storied program and they are very well-coached,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “In regards to our performance, to get the win today and get to our first-ever Final Four, I couldn’t be more excited and proud of our team.”

The game was tightly-contested with each team firing off nine shots and earning seven corners. UConn (12-2) had five shots on goal while Louisville finished with four.

The Cardinals jumped on the scoreboard with under four minutes left in the first quarter. Bitting got the corner started and senior Meghan Schneider provided the stop for Pastor who sent a shot toward the cage and Bitting was there to deflect it past UConn goalkeeper Cheyenne Sprecher.

The Huskies intensified their attack in the second quarter, holding a 6-2 advantage in shots, but Louisville goalkeeper Sam Minrath picked up three saves to hold UConn at bay.

Louisville entered the break with a 1-0 lead despite UConn holding a 6-3 edge in shots and a 3-2 advantage in corners.

The Cardinals gained some momentum in the third quarter, drawing four corners to one for the Huskies and held on to the 1-0 lead.

The Huskies held an advantage in numbers when the fourth quarter when a yellow card was issued to Erica Cooper, forcing the Cardinals to play with 10 on the field for five minutes, but the defense held strong through three UConn penalty corners with Sam Minrath posting a crucial save.

UConn lifted Sprecher in favor of an extra field player for the final 2:46 of the game and began to surge forward in the final minute, but stalwart defense kept the Huskies out of the circle.

Minrath collected five saves in the game as she tallied her third shutout of the season.

“The entire year has been a very long season โ€“ two seasons,” said Sowry. “We’ve had some highs and some lows. We’ve had some tears and certainly a lot of laughter and fun along the way. And to get to the point where we are to, pretty excited and relieved. The team is excited to get another matchup against Michigan, another quality opponent. We’re going to celebrate and get back to business tomorrow morning.”

 

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