April 16, 2014
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The University of Connecticut women's lacrosse team hits the road this week for two conference games this week starting on Thursday against No. 18 Louisville at 4 p.m. and concluding at Cincinnati on Saturday at 12 p.m.
The Huskies (8-5, 3-1 Big East) have won seven of their last eight games with their only loss during that stretch coming to Georgetown on last Friday. UConn rebounded with an 11-10 win over Marquette on Sunday behind five goals from Katherine Finkelston (Leonardtown, Md.), who leads Connecticut with 36 goals this season. Finkelston and senior midfielder Lauren Kahn (Nanuet, N.Y.) teamed up on four goals in the win, the last of which came with 7:`17 left in the game to put UConn up 11-9 and the game out of reach for the Golden Eagles.
The duo were both named to the Big East Honor Roll on Tuesday for their efforts against Georgetown and Marquette, while Louisville's Nikki Boltja was named the Offensive Player of the Week and Cardinals defender Stephanie McNamara earned Defensive Player of the Week honors. Louisville (10-3, 4-0 Big East) has won each of its last six games and sits atop the Big East standings, one game ahead of both UConn and Georgetown.
Boltja has accumulated 68 points on 52 goals and 16 assists this season to lead the Cardinals, who are 2-4 all-time against the Huskies in a series dating back to 2008. Louisville leads the Big East with 15.08 goals scored per game, and its 16.62 ground balls a game is also the highest-mark in the conference. Thursday's contest will feature two of the better defensive teams in the conference, as the Cardinals and Huskies are one and two respectively in caused turnovers in 2014.
Louisville head coach Kellie Young is in her seventh season with the Cardinals, who have recorded double-digit win totals five times under Young. She led them to a program-best 12 wins in 2006, and she has coached two Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Americans during her tenure.
The Bearcats (6-9, 0-5 Big East), who have never beaten the Huskies in five tries, are led by midfielders Courtney Curtis and Ashley Helmrath, who have each accumulated 32 points this season. Cincinnati dropped its sixth straight game on Friday, losing to Rutgers, 15-6, despite three goals from midfielder Dani Tunnell and six saves from goalkeeper Meg Gulmi, who fell to 6-9 on the season with the loss.
Cincinnati head coach Gina Oliver is in her second season with the Bearcats after being hired in June of 2012. The Bearcats went 7-9 in their first season under Oliver, who previously coached at Duquesne University for five years before coming to Cincinnati.