Louisville field hockey head coach Justine Sowry has agreed to a contract extension that will keep her in this role until the year 2028. As the program’s leader, she has built one of the elite field hockey programs in the nation. She will now have the opportunity to continue building the juggernaut for the foreseeable future.
Coach Sowry has been in her current role for 10 seasons and led the program to become a perennial top-10 program nationally. Last season was Coach Sowry’s most successful in her tenure. She led UofL to their highest national ranking ever at number 2 and earned a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The season ended with a the program’s first ever Final Four appearance.
Coach Sowry has continued to build on the momentum from last season with this season. The Cards are currently 13-2 and ranked 6th nationally. Their only two losses came to top-ranked Iowa at home (2-0) and 3rd-ranked Michigan on the road (2-1). They look like legitimate Final Four and national title contenders again.
Now Coach Sowry will have the chance to continue to build a power house program at UofL and hopefully win a national title. With her new extension running until 2028, she has plenty of time to cement her legacy by bringing UofL its first national championship.
Below, you can read about Coach Justine Sowry’s contract extension, including quotes from her.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville Athletic Association Board of Directors approved a contract extension for field hockey head coach Justine Sowry through the 2028 season.
“I love the city of Louisville, the University, and our field hockey program,” said Sowry. “I started my collegiate career here as an assistant and I want to finish here. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I will continue to strive toward the goal of achieving an NCAA championship. I am grateful for the opportunity Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, Vince Tyra, Amy Calabrese and Rachael Cosgrove have afforded me and for the trust they have instilled in me to lead the program into the future.”
Sowry is in her 11th season at the helm. During her time at Louisville, she has guided the Cardinals to 150 wins, six NCAA tournament appearances, reaching the quarterfinals twice and advancing to the semifinals for the first time in program history in the 2020-21 season. Additionally, Louisville earned its first-ever national seed (fourth) in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship in 2019 and followed with another national seed (third) in the 2020-21 campaign.
“We are thrilled to extend Justine’s contract,” said Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “She is a talented leader who has elevated our field hockey program to new heights as we consistently contend for a national title. We know that she will continue to develop her teams and we look forward to seeing what comes next.”
Under Sowry’s tutelage, Louisville has tallied a pair of conference titles, including the 2020 ACC Fall Regular Season crown, and a pair of runner-up finishes in the ACC Championships.
In the 10 complete seasons that Sowry has been at the helm, UofL has produced 18 NFHCA All-America selections, including four straight years with a trio of All-Americans, two regional players of the year, 45 All-Region team members and two Honda Award finalists.
With UofL’s 1-0 win against Indiana on Sept. 10, Justine Sowry reached 200 career victories in her 15th season as a head coach.
Building of the nation’s elite programs
• So far in the 2021 season, the Cardinals have spent all seven ranking periods in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Top 10, with six of those weeks spent in the top five, reaching as high as No. 3 twice.
• Louisville has spent 14 of the last 15 weeks ranked among the top five in the nation. Last season, the Cardinals spent all seven weeks in the top five after debuting at No. 2 – the highest ranking in program history – on March 16, 2021. After two weeks in that slot, UofL remained in the top five throughout the rest of the season, finishing the year at No. 5. The Cardinals also concluded the 2019 campaign at No. 5.
• The Cards have been ranked among the top 10 for the last 27 weeks spanning back to the 2019 season when they appeared at No. 8 on Sept. 10.
• Louisville has now spent 92 consecutive weeks in the top 20 in the nation dating back to the 2013 season.
Recent Success in the Classroom
• In 2020-21, the UofL field hockey team led the ACC with seven student-athletes on the 2020-21 ACC Academic Team. Additionally, Louisville led all schools with 12 NFHCA Scholars of Distinction, 25 National Academic Squad members and stood fifth in the nation with a 3.809 team GPA in the fall semester. The Cardinals surpassed that mark in the spring with a program-best 3.814 GPA.
• ACC Field Hockey Scholar Athlete of the Year Meghan Schneider was also named the NFHCA Scholar Athlete of the Year and was the 2020-21 NCAA Elite 90 Award Winner –becoming the first Louisville player to win the awards. She was also a Honda Award Finalist for Field Hockey, marking UofL’s second consecutive Honda Award Finalist.
• Mercedes Pastor, a Honda Award finalist in 2020 was also a 2020-21 ACC Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.
Sowry Career Highlights at Louisville
• 2020-21 – Due to COVID-19 protocols, the field hockey season was played in both the fall and the spring… Finished the 2020-21 season with a 14-6 overall record and ranked No. 3 in the NFHCA coaches poll, the highest final ranking after reaching as high as No. 2 – also a program-best… Won the ACC regular season title and earned the top seed in the conference tournament after producing a 5-1 record which included a win over two-time defending national champion North Carolina, snapping the Tar Heels’ NCAA-best 47-game win streak… Posted a runner-up finish to UNC in the fall ACC tournament… In the spring, earned the overall No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the program’s first NCAA Final Four – falling 2-1 to No. 2 Michigan in a sudden-victory shootout.
• 2019 – Produced a 16-6 overall record – tying a school record; reached as high as No. 5 in rankings; Earned the overall No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, hosted first and second rounds; advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
• 2018 – Posted a 13-6 overall record, reached as high as No. 7 in rankings
• 2017 – NCAA first round; Tied for second in ACC regular season; Finished runner-up in ACC Championship
• 2016 – NCAA first round
• 2016 Front Rush/NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year
• 2015 – NCAA first round
• 2014 – NCAA first round
• 2013 – Louisville won a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season title