The ninth-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team will open the 2017 season this weekend when the Cardinals welcome Indiana to Trager Stadium for a 2 p.m. matchup Friday. Louisville will continue its opening weekend Sunday when defending national champion, third-ranked Delaware visits Trager Stadium for a 12 p.m. contest. Both games will be carried on the ACC Network Extra. Admission is free.
The Weekend Ahead
Aug. 25: #9 Louisville vs. Indiana
Location: Louisville, Ky.; Venue: Trager Stadium
Time: 2 p.m.
Television: ACC Network Extra; Announcers: Jeff Milby (play-by-play), Suzanne Irwin Bush (analysis)
Live Scoring:
Twitter Updates: @ULFieldHockey
Aug. 27: #9 Louisville vs. #3 Delaware
Location: Louisville, Ky.; Venue: Trager Stadium
Time: 12 p.m.
Television: ACC Network Extra; Announcers: Cortnee Walton (play-by-play), Suzanne Irwin Bush (analysis)
Live Scoring:
Twitter Updates: @ULFieldHockey
• Louisville enters the 2017 season ranked ninth in the Penn Monto NFHCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. This marks the highest preseason showing in program history and UofL’s 11th straight top 10 appearance dating back to Sept. 8, 2016.
• The Cards were picked to finish fourth in the ACC preseason coaches’ poll. Ayeisha McFerran, Minout Mink and Nicole Woods earned All-ACC preseason honors.
• UofL went 15-6 in 2016 and earned their third consecutive NCAA at-large bid. Louisville returns 14 letterwinners from last year’s team and welcomes 10 newcomers.
• Head coach Justine Sowry is in her seventh season at the helm for the Cardinals. The 2016 NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year has compiled an 80-41 record at Louisville and has an overall 138-72 record while in her 11th season as a head coach.
Cards against the opponents
Series History: UL leads 12-7; The Cards have won the last four matchups
Last Meeting: Aug. 23, 2016 – Minout Mink scored twice in her collegiate debut and the Cards got goals from Marigrace Ragsdale, Katie Walsh and Whena Munn chipped in with first college score as the Cards beat the Hoosiers 5-1 in Bloomington. Sam Scire scored for IU.
Scouting the Hoosiers: Indiana posted an 8-12 overall record and a 3-5 mark in Big Ten play in 2016.
• The Hoosiers will be led by Big Ten preseason selections seniors Elle Hempt and Maddie Latino and sophomore Ciara Girouard. Hempt was a valuable member of the Hoosier defense, helping the team to three shutouts in 2016. Latino, a Louisville, Ky. native, returns as Indiana’s top scorer with 14 career goals and 16 assists. Girouard stood third on the team with four goals in 2016.
Series History: UD leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 12, 2016 – Delaware won 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Delaware 1 – Louisville 0
Ninth-ranked Louisville fell 1-0 to No. 8 Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Field Hockey Championship at William’s Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Cardinals were shut out for the only time in 2016 despite outshooting the Blue Hens 11-4 and holding a 4-1 advantage in penalty corners.
• Maura Zarkoski scored the only goal of the game as Delaware would go on to win the NCAA title.
Scouting the Blue Hens: The Blue Hens enter the season ranked No. 3 in the NFHCA preseason poll – the highest ranking in school history. The defending national champions posted a 23-2 overall record and finished the season on a 19-game win streak.
• Delaware has been picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for the fifth straight year. Junior Greta Nauck was chosen as the preseason Player of the Year in the CAA after earning NFHCA All-America status last season. Nauck led the nation in points per game in 2016 with 3.04 and goals per game at 1.32, finishing with 33 goals and 10 assists in 2016.
• The Blue Hens added four others to the CAA preseason All-first team including seniors Taylor Lister and Emmeline Oltmans and juniors Kiki Bink and Lisa Giezeman.
Up last
Louisville showed some impressive offensive fireworks in a pair of preseason games last weekend. Senior Marigrace Ragsdale tallied four goals while sophomore Whena Munn added three scores. Ten other Cardinals added to the scoring output.
Louisville 6 – Miami (Ohio) 2
The Cards used goals from six different players to beat Miami (Ohio) 6-2 in a preseason exhibition Friday at Trager Stadium.
• Whena Munn, Taylor Stone, Marigrace Ragsdale, Sydnie Swartwood, Jillian Shive and Minout Mink each tallied a goal for the Cards.
Louisville 11 – Alumnae 0
Senior Marigrace Ragsdale scored three goals and sophomore Whena Munn added a pair of goals to pace the current Cardinals offensively. Abby Grimes, Taylor Stone, Minout Mink, Sydnie Swartwood, Madison Walsh and Annie Mulford also scored in the 11-0 win.
Cards No. 9 in NFHCA Preseason Poll
UofL is No. 9 in the 2017 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Preseason Poll, marking the highest preseason ranking in program history.
• The Cardinals have appeared in the NFHCA top 10 in 11 straight ranking periods dating back to Sept. 8, 2016. UofL finished last season at No. 9 after posting a 15-6 overall record and earning its third-straight NCAA tournament bid.
• This marks the 43rd straight week the Cardinals have appeared in the top 20 rankings dating back to the 2013 season.
• On Oct. 7, 2014, Louisville appeared at No. 5 in the coaches’ poll marking the second top-five appearance in program history with Louisville achieving a program-best No. 4 ranking in the 2002 season.
ACC power
All seven ACC field hockey programs are ranked among the top 15 in the nation with five appearing in the top 10. The ninth-ranked Cardinals join North Carolina (No. 1), Duke (No. 2), Syracuse (No. 5) and Virginia (No. 10) in the top 10 while Boston College (No. 12) and Wake Forest (No. 15)
• Every ACC field hockey team has been ranked for the entirety of the last four seasons, a streak that dates to October of 2012 and includes 47 consecutive NFHCA Polls.
Cards picked to finish fourth in ACC
The University of Louisville field hockey team was picked to finish fourth in the ACC according to a vote of the league’s seven head coaches. The Cardinals led the conference with three players selected to the Preseason All-ACC team with senior Nicole Woods, junior Ayeisha McFerran and sophomore Minout Mink earning the honor.
• Woods (Beverly, Mass.) picks up her second straight ACC preseason accolade. The three-year starter is a two-time All-ACC and NFHCA All-Region pick and is a member of USA Field Hockey’s National Team.
•McFerran (Larne, Northern Ireland) is also making her second appearance on the ACC Preseason Team. The two-time All-America selection and member of the Irish National Team led the league with six shutouts and stood second with a 1.27 goals-against average last season.
• Mink (Haaksbergen, Netherlands) earned NFHCA All-West region honors after leading the Cards with 15 goals and 33 points in 2016.
2017 ACC Field Hockey Preseason Poll
1. North Carolina (1) – 31
2. Duke (2) – 27
2. Syracuse (2) – 27
4. Louisville (1) – 22
5. Virginia (1) – 21
6. Wake Forest – 12
7. Boston College – 7
International experience
The Cardinals’ roster is bolstered by several players who have gained valuable experience within their countries’ national programs. The following is a list of players and their national squads.
Marisa Martin Pelegrina – German U18 Team
Ayeisha McFerran – Irish National Team (2015-present)
• World League 2 Champions (Named Goalkeeper of the Tournament)
• Seventh place finish in World League Semifinals
Mercedes Pastor – Argentina U21 Team
Meghan Schneider – U.S. U19 Team
Taylor Stone – U.S. U21 Team (USA/England Tour Roster); Also played in 2017 Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem
Nicole Woods – U.S. National Team (Summer 2017)
• 2017 World League Champions (Johannesburg, S.A.)
• Bronze Medal 2017 Pan American Cups (Lancaster, Pa.)
Championship City
Louisville’s Trager Stadium will serve as the host site for two major field hockey championships in November 2017. UofL will kick off the postseason by hosting the ACC Championship Nov. 2-5 and two weeks later will welcome the NCAA DI final four teams. Additionally, Trager Stadium is proud to stage the DI, DII and DIII title games on Nov. 19.
• While this will be the first time the Cardinals have hosted the ACC Championship it will be the sixth time that Trager Stadium will serve as the host site for the NCAA Division I Field Hockey National Championship. The event was also staged on the Cardinals’ home field in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011. Trager Stadium has also been selected as the host site for the 2018 NCAA Field Hockey Championship.
• In addition, the NCAA Division II Championship was played at the facility in 2010. Located in Cardinal Park on the UofL campus, Trager Stadium opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2008 with a seating capacity of 2,500.
Tough road ahead
Twelve of Louisville’s 18 opponents appear in the NFHCA preseason top 25. In addition to their ACC opponents, the Cardinals’ non-conference slate features matchups against No. 3 Delaware, No. 6 Maryland, No. 11 Michigan, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 19 James Madison and No. 21 American.
Home Sweet Home
The Cards posted a 7-2 record at Trager Stadium in 2016 to bring their home tally to 32-6 since the 2013 season.
• The Cards were 8-1 at Trager in 2014. On Oct. 17, 2014 Louisville fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 17 Boston College, snapping a 16 -game home victory streak dating back to the 2012 season.
• Prior to the Boston College loss in 2014, the Cards’ last home loss came on Nov. 2, 2012 when they fell 2-1 in overtime to then-No. 5 Connecticut in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship.
• In 2013, UofL posted a perfect 10-0 record at Trager Stadium, going undefeated at home for the first time in school history.
• Louisville carries a 24-game win streak against non-conference opponents at Trager Stadium. The Cardinals have not lost to a non-conference opponent at home since Aug. 24, 2012 when they fell to Northeastern in their season opener. – Louisville also lost a 2-1 decision to UConn on Oct. 6, 2012 when both teams were members of the BIG EAST Conference.
Lori Korte
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics


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