Louisville Women’s Lacrosse Prepares for No. 13 Ohio State Saturday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After opening the season with a sound victory, the University of Louisville women’s lacrosse team returns to action with a 2 p.m. matchup against No. 13 Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.

The match has been designated as a ‘Black Out’ and the first 100 fans through the gates will receive a free official adidas T-shirt.

Last time out, the Cardinals (1-0) used a 5-0 run to open the game and displayed supremacy on both ends of the field to secure a 13-3 victory over Canisius. Seven different players registered goals and the defense forced 21 turnovers and allowed just one first-half goal to deliver head coach Kellie Young her 100th career victory.

Freshman Kaylin Morissette, the WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week, fueled the offense with four goals and also had a game-high four caused turnovers. Classmate Laura Patterson also had a strong collegiate debut, winning a game-high four draw controls and contributing with a team-best three ground balls. Nikki Boltja picked up where she left off in 2012, tallying three goals, and Katie Oliverio finished with three points. Playing all 60 minutes in goal, Ashley Herbst improved to 1-0 after allowing just three goals and stopping seven shots.

For Ohio State, it Saturday’s contest serves as the Buckeyes’ season opener. The team returns 20 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last season’s squad that posted an 11-6 overall mark and reached the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament semifinals. At the year’s conclusion, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 15 nationally.

The Buckeyes’ top returnees include attacker Jackie Cifarelli, defender Tayler Kuzma and goalie Tori DeScenza. Cifarelli was second on the team in assists (32) and points (58) last year. Kuzma ranked second on Ohio State in ground balls (35). One of the nation’s top netminders, DeScenza ranked fifth in the country in save percentage (49.4), 15th in goals-against average (9.21) and 33rd in saves per game (7.88).

Under the direction of third-year head coach Alexis Venechanos, the Buckeyes have posted a 56-50 overall mark. In her previous two seasons, she has led Ohio State to double-digit win seasons and appearances in the ALC semifinals.

For the latest information on Louisville women’s lacrosse, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/louisvillelax or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uofllacrosse.

Match-up to Watch
The matchup to watch will be Cifarelli against the Louisville defense. With only one returning impact attacker, there will be a challenge for the Buckeyes to break the Cardinals’ veteran backline. Cifarelli, the returnee with the most turnovers from last season, must display an improved ability with maintaining possession. The Cardinals, who ranked in the top 20 in caused turnovers, will seek revenge from their 21-7 loss last season. On the other end, the Cardinals will need to continue their strong start in attacking the net in order to shake DeScenza from another top-10 ranking of save percentage. With seven different players scoring last weekend in the Cardinals’ season opener, DeScenza must be aware of Louisville’s countless scoring options.

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