Fueled by goals from four different Cardinals, the No. 24 University of Louisville women’s soccer team triumphed over Eastern Kentucky by a mark of 5-1 in their final nonconference match of the season on Sunday evening at Lynn Stadium. With the win, the Cardinals improve to 6-1-0 while the Colonels fall to 4-4-0.
“Part of it for us was to make sure that we showed Eastern Kentucky the respect that they deserve,” said UofL head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. “They have a good schedule, and they’ve shown that they can beat some very good teams. When we started, we wanted to make sure that we were sharp. I thought we started really sharp, and I thought we looked really good in the first half. We scored three good goals, and in the second half just lost a lot of composure.”
Louisville came out firing on offense, tallying five shots and three corners within the first 15 minutes of the match. They were able to convert in the 17th minute when Arianna Ferraro fired a cross into the front of the box and found Brooklynn Rivers who gave Louisville the early 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals continued to attack on offense, extending their lead to 2-0 just under six minutes later. At the 23-minute mark, Emina Ekic beat her defender and sent the ball to Mollie Rouse, whose shot sailed past the keeper for her first goal of the season.
With a two-goal deficit Eastern Kentucky began to increase their offensive pressure, but the Cardinal defenders were able to keep the Colonels at bay. Louisville’s final opportunity of the half came in the 43rd minute. Callie McKinney’s header off of a corner was saved by Eastern Kentucky’s Zoe Aguirre, but Delaney Snyder found the rebound and sent the ball into the back of the net to give the Cards a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
Louisville finished with 10-1 shot advantage and edged the Colonels 7-0 in corners after the first 45 minutes of play. Gabby Kouzelos recorded a save for the lone shot she faced in the half.
The Cardinals picked up right where they left off coming out of the break as Maisie Whitsett netted Louisville’s fourth goal of the night just over two minutes into the second half off a cross from Anna Henderson.
Three minutes later, the Colonels were able to get on the board as Idalys Rea dribbled into the box and sent a shot into the upper right of the Louisville goal. However, Whitsett quickly countered with her second goal of the night. A shot by Rivers it the crossbar, but Whitsett was there to gather the rebound and sent the ball past the keeper to give Louisville the 5-1 lead at the 53:36 mark.
For the match, Louisville edged Eastern Kentucky 21-4 in shots and held a 10-2 advantage in corners. Kouzelos finished the evening with two saves.
The Cards will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 15 as they open up ACC play on the road against Pittsburgh. Match time is slated for 7 p.m.
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville