Women's lacrosse surges past Louisville

After surrendering four goals, Virginia outscores Louisville 17-5

After scoring only four goals against Notre Dame last weekend, the No. 6 Virginia women’s lacrosse team bounced back with 17 goals in a 17-9 win against No. 11 Louisville Sunday in its penultimate regular season game.

“We were very humbled last weekend and there was no way we wanted that to happen again,” coach Julie Myers said. “Louisville had our attention in part because of the Notre Dame debacle but also because they’re a worthy opponent.”

Louisville (9-5, 1-4 ACC) quickly scored after winning the opening draw, but Virginia (10-5, 3-3 ACC) countered with a long-range shot from just inside the eight-meter arc from freshman midfielder Kasey Behr. The two teams exchanged subsequent goals in the next 10 minutes and appeared evenly matched until the Cavaliers went on a 5-0 run to close out the half and quiet the Louisville crowd present at Klöckner Stadium.

“This is a kind of a home game for a lot of Louisville families — they live closer to Charlottesville than Kentucky, but I thought our crowd did a nice job,” Myers said. “The band was really fun, the group that sung in the beginning — it made it feel like a Virginia day and a Virginia home game and we’re really thankful for that.”

And indeed it was Virginia’s day, as senior attacker Casey Bocket challenged the Cardinal goalie –– who was out of the net –– to receive a backwards pass from her teammate, causing a turnover, leading to an easy wide-open goal for the Cavaliers and igniting the 5-0 first-half run.

Virginia finished the half with another exciting goal. With 11 seconds left on the clock, senior midfielder Courtney Swan won the draw and drove the ball down the field before handing it over to redshirt senior attacker Liza Blue for the score with two ticks left on the clock.

The Cavaliers finished the half outshooting the ACC leaders in shots by 10, while only turning the ball over once to Louisville’s five.

Virginia opened the second half with another goal to extend its 9-4 halftime lead, but the Cardinals would control the next seven draws and score off five of them, including a string of four-straight to pull within three at the 14:04 mark. But that was the last time Louisville would score, as Virginia closed out the game with five unanswered goals to win their seventh in eight games.

“I’m really proud of how our girls played today,” Myers said. “It was a really clean game. Getting eight people score 17 goals and really being pretty efficient with that made a big difference as well. Our defense did a nice job. They cracked a little bit, but then they came together and got stops when it was really important. It was a great team effort that resulted in an awesome opportunities and a great win.”

Louisville outshot the Cavaliers by five in the second half, but Virginia only turned the ball over once more in the half and held a slight 12-10 ground ball advantage at the end of the game. The Cardinals finished with four more draw controls than the Cavaliers and were 3-of-6 on free-position shots, but Virginia finished the game with two more saves overall.

Bocklet added one more goal in the second half after a phenomenal first half that featured three goals and three assists and finished with two forced turnovers.

“I think we had a ton of assisted goals, so we were really just moving the ball and everybody was just sharing the ball well and that’s why we were so successful,” Bocklet said.

Leading the Cavaliers in the second half was junior attacker Kelly Boyd, who had four goals –– all after the break. Swan finished with three assists and two goals.

“We knew they were going to start pressuring out on our attack because they were down and the game was running out of time, so I find myself in those situations wide open in the middle a lot,” Boyd said. “It’s just my job to finish when I have that opportunity, and I think I did that well today.”

Leading the Cardinals was junior midfielder Kaylin Morissette, who secured an incredible 13 draw controls and a goal, while sophomore attacker Hannah Koloski led her team in scoring with three goals.

“Their draw kid was such a big focus for their team, and we were able really able to prepare for her — that’s something that separates them from other team,” Myers said.

Virginia will return to the field Friday to close out its regular season against Virginia Tech.

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