Boltja's Five Goals Leads Louisville
from press release
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Nikki Boltja totaled five goals in a game for the second time this season, and the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team used multiple scoring runs to beat Old Dominion 15-12 on Friday night in rainy weather.
The Cardinals, who made a habit of using scoring runs last year to put teams away, had three spurts in which they scored at least three goals to either take or increase their lead. Louisville outshot Old Dominion 35-18 and finished with an 18-11 advantage in draw controls.
"I'm incredibly proud of how we handled tonight's game as a united team," head coach Kellie Young said. "We had a rough day on our defensive end, a usually solid aspect of our game, but our attack responded with unbelievable game management. They showed tremendous attention to detail in our play execution, our shot section in the second half, and our re-defending."
Louisville (2-1) went into halftime with a one-goal 8-7 lead despite three-consecutive scores by the Monarchs to close the period.
Old Dominion scored the first goal of the second session to tie the game before Faye Brust found the back of the net for her third goal of the game. Her fourth score less than a minute later, which came on an assist from Colleen O'Malley, gave the Cardinals a two-goal lead. Moments later, Cortnee Daley rattled the cage and O'Malley netted her second goal of the year to put Louisville at a 12-8 advantage.
Connor Carson brought the Monarchs back within reach after back-to-back goals, but Boltja's team-leading 13th goal of the year secured the victory. Daley scored two more times, and Louisville's defense held Old Dominion to just two goals in the final 19 minutes of play.
Louisville played soundly in the second half, turning the ball over just seven times and going 4-for-4 on clears. Louisville also limited Old Dominion to just eight shots in the period and five draw controls For the first time this season, Louisville wasn't the first team to score in the game. The Monarchs (0-1) found the back of the net at the 27:11 mark for a short-lived 1-0 advantage before Boltja found a zone and became unstoppable.
The senior scored the next three goals of the game, all unassisted, to hand Louisville a lead it didn't relinquish through the first period. A Medina, Ohio, native, Boltja has scored nine of her 13 goals this season in the first period. Teammate Jamie Redding extended the run to four unanswered scores with her second goal of the year at the 17:33 mark for a 4-1 lead.
After trading goals, Old Dominion's Emily Austerberry scored a pair to bring the Monarchs' deficit to one at 5-4.
Louisville, though, put together a three-goal unanswered run to push the lead to four at 8-4. Laura Patterson scored her second goal of the year on an assist from Kaylin Morissette before Brust and Boltja registered the next two goals of the game.
In addition to her three game-high three assists, Morissette won eight draw controls and boosted her season total to 24 through three games.
Leslee Hefner bolstered Louisville's defense, registering three caused turnovers for the second time this season. Anna Kopecka totaled a team-best four ground balls, and Cat Gordon came off the bench for three ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Goalkeeper Ashley Herbst made two saves for her second win of the year.
The Cardinals have a quick turnaround, facing William & Mary on Sunday at noon at Martin-Family Stadium.
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