Senior Marigrace Ragsdale’s goal with 2:03 remaining in the game broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the No. 10-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team to a 3-2 win over No. 11 Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament Thursday at Trager Stadium. With the win, Louisville (13-6) advances to the semifinals for the first time since joining the conference in 2014. The Cardinals will face second-ranked Duke (16-2) Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Trager Stadium.
The game featured three lead changes and two ties and four second-half goals as the third-seeded Cardinals outshot the sixth-seeded Orange 11-9 with each team registering seven shots on goal and four penalty corners apiece.
“Coming out of halftime, we talked about a couple of the adjustments,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “We have such a great group this year that really pay attention to the points that we set out at halftime, came back out and really executed. It came down to the set pieces and I always thought it would be one lost in the circle… I couldn’t be happier.”
Syracuse struck first in the sixth minute of the game when Laura Hurff put one in the back of the cage off an assist from Annalena Ulbrich. The Orange continued to apply pressure throughout the first half and entered the break with the 1-0 lead after holding a 7-2 advantage in shots and a a3-2 edge in corners.
Louisville attacked early in the second half, drawing a corner in the second minute of the period. Freshman Marisa Martin Pelegrina got the corner started and was able to connect on the rebound off of junior Katie Walsh’s shot for her fifth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
Four minutes later, the Cardinals capitalized on another corner. This time, junior Taylor Stone’s shot found freshman Madison Walsh on the post to give Louisville a 2-1 lead at the 41:25 mark.
The lead was short-lived when less than two minutes later, Carolin Hoffman delivered a shot into the cage to even the score at 2-2.
The teams played evenly for the next 25 minutes with Syracuse earning a corner and firing off one shot and Louisville registered four shots.
Senior Nicole Woods intercepted the ball near midfield and sent a pass to Ragsdale who dribbled into the circle and delivered shot into the cage for her seventh score of the season with 2:07 left to play.
“It was a great connection between Nicole and me,” said Ragsdale. “We’ve always worked well together – this is our fourth year together. It was a great ball by her through the defenders and I had a wide open goal so I finished it.”
In the second half, the Cardinals outshot the Orange 9-2 and held a 2-1 edge in corners.
Louisville’s Ayeisha McFerran (9-5) finished with four saves all coming in the first half. Syracuse’s goalkeeper Borg van der Velde (12-6) collected four stops.
The Cardinals will take on No. 2 Duke tomorrow, Nov. 3 at 2:30 pm in the ACC quarterfinals at Trager Stadium.
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics