University of Louisville field hockey coach Justine Sowry has announced that six prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to join the Cardinals in the fall of 2018. The six-player class features Erica Cooper, Caitlin Cunningham, Mackenzie Karl, Samantha Minrath, Taylor Orsi and Camryn Pichea.
“I am excited to announce the addition of six, talented and well-rounded young women who will make an impact across all positional lines,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “Collectively, our incoming class has earned numerous accolades throughout their high school careers and we are eager for them to showcase their talents on the collegiate stage. It is an exciting time to be part of Cardinal field hockey and I would like to welcome each of them our field hockey family.”
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Assumption
Club Team: IFHCK
Louisville native Erica Cooper joins the Cardinals after playing for two-time state champion Assumption High School. The two-time all-state honoree (2016 and 2017) was an All-Catholic Field Hockey first team selection, a 2016 Metro Louisville all-area team member and, Kentucky Field Hockey all-state select. She was also listed as one of Max Field Hockey’s Top 50 Players.
Cooper earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Region honors and was invited to the U17 Junior National Camp in 2015.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Cooper earned NFHCA National Academic Squad honors in 2017.
Erica Cooper on Louisville
“I chose Louisville because it gives me the opportunity to play the sport I love at the highest level and all of the resources we are given to succeed on and off the field.”
Justine Sowry on Erica Cooper
“A lifelong Louisville fan, Erica comes from one of the areas most storied high school programs and successful clubs. She is a tenacious competitor and will see time in either the midfield or forward lines. Her improved attacking stick skills combined with her high work rate and speed will add a strong scoring threat to our attacking line. She one of the most athletic, explosive, and dynamic players in the area and is a tremendous fit for our program.”
Hometown: Whitehall, Pa.
High School: Whitehall
Club Team: WC Eagles
Cunningham comes to Louisville from Whitehall, Pa., where she was a four-year starter at Whitehall High School. During her senior season, the team captain led the team in scoring and earned all-league honors. She also played for the WC Eagles club team, which participated in the U16 National Indoor Tournament in 2015 and won the Pool I championship in 2016. Cunningham helped her team win the U14 National Club Championship and the Disney Junior Showcase Jasmine Flight in 2014 and post a second place showing in the Cinderella Flight of the U16 Disney Showcase in 2015.
The multi-sport athlete also played soccer, basketball and track and field.
Cunningham was also successful in the classroom as a member of the Distinguished Honor Roll (2013-15) and earned NFHCA National Academic Squad Scholar of Distinction honors in 2017.
Caitlin Cunningham on Louisville
“I chose Louisville because of the atmosphere, campus, culture, coaches and team.”
Justine Sowry on Caitlin Cunningham
“Caitlin has a quiet demeanor, but on the field, displays a fighter’s mentality. Having overcome a lot of adversity in recent years, Caitlin has developed into a strong and well-rounded athlete. She has great field sense and solid passing skills. When under pressure, she has the ability to stay calm, keep the play simple, and retain possession until her teammates are in a support position. She is an incredibly coachable and determined young lady who possesses an unbelievable drive to succeed.”
Hometown: Centreville, Va.
High School: Westfield HS
Club Team: Rampage
Karl joins the Cardinals from Centreville, Va., where she was four-year starter for 2017 Virginia Class 6 state champion Westfield High School. One of Max Field Hockey’s Top 50 Players, she is a three-time Max Field Hockey and NFHCA All-South Region team member (2015-17). The midfielder also earned all-state honors the past four seasons and was the 2016 Conference Player of the Year. She is a three-time All-Concorde Conference and All-Northern Region and all-Met selection and was named Westfield’s team captain her junior and senior years.
In addition to her high school accolades, Karl was selected to USA Field Hockey’s Under 17 team in 2015-16, is a six-time National Futures Level I tournament participant, a two time Futures Elite selection and competed in the Futures Elite Championship in 2015. Karl was a Junior National Camp selection in 2015 and 2017 and a three-time Junior Olympics participant (2013, 2014, 2015).
Mackenzie Karl on Louisville
“I chose U of L because of the amazing facilities, all of the opportunities Louisville has to offer for their student athletes and because I wanted to compete at a high level with a great team culture.”
Justine Sowry on Mackenzie Karl
“We are thrilled Mac decided to be a Louisville Cardinal. She is a great athlete, a fierce competitor and possesses a strong skill set. Her versatility and ability to play multiple positions will likely allow her to compete for a position from the outset. We will look for her to further strengthen our backfield or midfield lines. Having been well coached at both the club and high school level, she has good field vision and reads the play well. Mac is coming off of an outstanding high school career led her team to a state title during her senior campaign.”
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Christian Academy of Louisville
Club Team: IFHCK
Minrath, who elected to continue her field hockey career with her hometown Cardinals, was the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) state tournament Most Valuable Player after helping Christian Academy of Louisville to its first state title in 2017. The 2017 NFHCA All-Midwest Region and three-time all-state selection went on to earn Midway/KHSAA Field Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year honors. The goalkeeper set a school record with more than 1,000 saves in her four years.
While playing club hockey for IFHCK from 2010 through 2017, Minrath has helped her team compete in six National Futures Championships and five National Club Championships, capturing a gold medal in the 2015-16 Shooting Stars Tournament and a bronze medal in the 2013 and 2014 Disney Tournaments.
She is currently a member of USA Field Hockey’s National Indoor team after serving on the U17 national indoor team in 2017. In 2017, Minrath helped the squad win the Austrian RohrMax Indoor Cup and was an alternate on the USA Pan American indoor team.
Minrath’s success extends to the classroom as a three- time NFHCA National-Academic selection (2015-17), earning Scholar of Distinction honors in 2017.
Samantha Minrath on Louisville
“After visiting many schools, I chose U of L because no other schools even compared. The team at Louisville is truly a family and the coaching staff is absolutely amazing. Besides that, the facilities are out of this world and the city strongly supports its collegiate athletes.
Justine Sowry on Samantha Minrath
“Sam is an extremely well-rounded individual exceling on the hockey field and in the classroom. Having represented several USA indoor teams, she has a great resume and is one of the best goalkeepers in her age group. Her long reach both through the air and on the ground, allows her to cover a lot ground quickly. She is athletic, explosive and reads the game well. While she has experienced great success in the indoor game, she is learning to transfer those skills to outdoor play and has tremendous potential. Whether she stays on her line or closes down the play, her “savability” is outstanding.
Hometown: Downingtown, Pa.
High School: Downingtown West
Club Team: XCalibur
Taylor Orsi joins the Cardinals from Downingtown, Pa., where she was a four-year varsity starter for Downingtown West High School. The two-time Ches-Mont all-league selection was named to the Max Field Hockey Top 50 Player list and was a 2017 Max Field Hockey All-American Player to Watch
In addition to her high school accomplishments, Orsi played for X-Calibur Field Hockey Club and most recently helped her team to a silver medal finish in the Holland Cup and the Women’s Canadian Classic. The midfielder has played for the U16 and U19 teams and helped the squads to a gold medal showing at the 2016 Women’s Canada Indoor Classic as well as the Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) in 2016 after earning a silver medal in the 2015 JPIL tournament. Her teams also competed in the Shooting Stars Tournament and the National Indoor Tournament (NIT), winning a gold medal with the U14 team in 2014 and again with the U19 team in 2016.
While playing in USA Field Hockey’s Futures program, she competed in three regional tournaments and two national championships as well as the Junior Olympics, the 2017 Stars and Stripes Tournament and the 2017 STX Select Tournament. She was also selected for the Junior National Camp in 2016.
Taylor Orsi on Louisville
“I chose Louisville because the facilities are amazing and the players and coaches felt like family – they were so nice and welcoming.”
Justine Sowry on Taylor Orsi
“Taylor has an accomplished high school and club resume and has already achieved great success. A multi-talented young player with strong attacking stick work and solid defensive abilities. Her capacity to read the play and then apply a strong tackle makes her relentless on defense. With both offensive and defensive skill, Taylor will likely see time in both the midfield and backfield lines. She is incredibly athletic and works hard off ball to create space, recover, or provide support for her teammates.”
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Assumption
Club Team: IFHCK
Louisville native Camryn Pichea chose to play for her hometown Cardinals after graduating from two-time Kentucky state champion Assumption High School. The three-time NFHCA All-Midwest Region selection (2015-17) was included on Max Field Hockey Top 50 Player list. She is also a 2017 all-state first team selection and was named the 2017 Louisville Catholic Sports Network Player of the Year. As a junior, she earned all-area and Kentucky Field Hockey all-select honors.
In addition to her high school accomplishments, Pichea played for IFHCK club team which won the 2016 U16 NIT gold medal and competed in the Disney Showcase. While competing in the USA Field Hockey Futures program, she was a Junior Olympics and Regional selection.
Pichea has also been successful in the classroom, earning NFHCA National Academic Squad Scholar of Distinction honors in 2017.
Camryn Pichea on Louisville
“I chose Louisville because I loved the atmosphere and it felt like home.
Justine Sowry on Camryn Pichea
“Another Louisville talent who experienced great success while competing for both established and accomplished high school and club programs. Cam has great field awareness with the ability to cover the field from end-to-end. She has outstanding elimination abilities which includes much improved 3D skills. Her athleticism and speed will be great assets against the rigorous demands of the ACC. While suffering a few setbacks late in her senior season, Camryn is determined to return mentally and physical stronger. Cam will position herself to either play in the midfield or up on the forward line.”
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics