February 19, 2013
The University of Louisville Womens' Lacrosse team has been flying under the radar for the most part since the program was added to the Cardinal roster six years ago.
In fact, crosstown academic institution Bellarmine University is probably better known for its Lacrosse efforts and successes.
On a cold, blustery Sunday last week, UofL defeated #13 Ohio State University 12-11. The biggest upset of ranked team in Louisville Lacrosse history.
I was one of the 500 or so in attendance. A closely played game, with neither team gaining a clear advantage until OSU took a 10-8 lead with 14:16 to go.
The Lacrosse Cards of old would have probably fallen apart at this juncture and OSU would have walked out of the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium with a significant win.
This isn't your old Lacrosse team.
Led by last year's leading scorer Nikki Boltja, the Cards rallied. Colleen O' Malley got Louisville within one. Nikki tied the game with 10:53 to go. A minute later, OSU regained the lead, but Boltja scored twice in the final 9:17 to give the Cards the lead and the win.
Down goes #13.
Head lacrosse coach Kellie Young gushes when she talks about Boltja. Her hard work, her dedication. Practicing on her own, hitting bag after bag of balls in fading daylight, before classes and in all kinds of weather.
The hard work is showing dividends. Young had also brought a stellar 2013 recruiting class to campus. Eight freshmen...four of them who start...have challenged the veterans for playing time and installed in them the desire to pick up their game.
"I used to recruit athletics, who we tried to teach lacrosse. Now, I'm getting girls that are lacrosse players and athletes. Their Lacrosse IQ is already in place. We just work on increasing and honing their skills." Young matter-of-factly states.
It would seem that she's on the right track. Louisville (2-0) hosts Old Dominion Saturday, Feb 23rd. at 1 p.m