Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Connecticut

STORRS, Conn. - Freshman forward Marie Elena Bolles and junior forward Cara Silverman each scored to propel the No. 4 University of Connecticut field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over No. 12 Louisville in BIG EAST Semifinal action on Saturday afternoon at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Conn. With the win, the Huskies advance to yet another BIG EAST Tournament Final and will face No. 1 seed Syracuse on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cards slip to 13-7 on the year.

Connecticut improves to 18-3 all-time in BIG EAST Semifinal action as the team pursues it's 12th BIG EAST Tournament title. The victory also marked UConn's 14th-straight in BIG EAST Semifinal play.

The Huskies struck first when Bolles found the back of the net at the 24:48 mark. All-BIG EAST Second Team selection Ali Blankmeyer drilled a shot from the top of the circle, which was saved by U of L keeper Erin Conrad. She was unable to kick it out of harm's way though and Bolles was there to collect the rebound and poke it into the goal, giving Connecticut an early 1-0 edge.

UConn rode the momentum of that first score and added some cushion less than five-minutes later. The Huskies earned one of their four first-half corners and made it count. All-BIG EAST First Teamer Rayell Heistand ripped a shot from the top of the circle that Conrad seemed to have sized up. However, Silverman, an All-BIG EAST Second Team pick, redirected the shot into the back of the net and Conrad never stood a chance.

Connecticut dominated in the first half, out-shooting U of L by a 10-0 margin and holding a 4-0 edge in penalty corners.

To make matters worse for Louisville, the Cards were forced to play a player down for the last 39:17 of the game because BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Nicole Youman was issued a red card towards the end of the first stanza.

The Cards showed some fight and cut the Huskies' lead in half just 1:51 into the second half after Karah Nall hit a shot from the top of the circle past BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Sarah Mansfield.

That was the only goal the Huskies would give up though as the defense clamped down for the remainder of the contest.

UConn out-shot the Cards by a 19-6 count and the Huskies held a 9-6 edge in penalty corners.

Mansfield was not forced to make a save on Saturday while Erin Conrad stopped six shots for U of L.

Connecticut will continue the defense of its 2010 BIG EAST Championship when the team takes on No. 1 seed Syracuse on Sunday. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Conn.