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Post-Game Interviews: Jestine Angelini - Coach Nancy Stevens
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - No. 1 seed Connecticut topped No. 4 seed Louisville 3-2 in the first semifinal match of the BIG EAST field hockey Championship on Friday in Syracuse, N.Y. The Huskies will face the winner of the second semifinal matchup between No. 2 seed Syracuse and No. 3 seed Villanova to be played later this afternoon. The final will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. at J.S. Coyne Field on the campus of Syracuse University.
Louisville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Connecticut senior Cara Silverman scored the game-winning goal in the 61st minute to give the Huskies the victory.
This game marks the sixth time in the last seven years that the two teams have met in the BIG EAST semifinals, with Connecticut winning all six meetings.
Louisville grabbed an early lead when senior Hayley Turner notched a goal in the third minute. The BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year received a pass from freshman Mallory Mason on the left side of the cage to punch in the goal.
The Cardinals added to their lead in the 11th minute when sophomore Erin Schneidtmiller sent a pass along the goal line that sophomore Elizabeth Vance was able to slip past Huskies goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield, making it a 2-0 game. The second goal represented only the fourth time the Connecticut defense has given up multiple goals in a game, with Louisville registering two goals for the second time this season (the Huskies beat the Cardinals 4-2 on Oct. 1 in Storrs).
Connecticut got on the scoreboard less than two minutes later when senior Jestine Angelini capitalized on a corner with assists from senior Kim Krzyk and junior Allison Angulo in the 13th minute. Angelini, the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year has scored nine goals this season.
The first half ended with a 2-1 Louisville lead. Connecticut held a 6-2 shot advantage and a 2-1 corner advantage. Junior goalkeeper Erin Conrad recorded five saves for the Cardinals and Mansfield had no saves for the Huskies.
Connecticut opened the second half applying pressure on the Cardinal backline. Sophomore Anne Jeute evened the score in the 41st minute on a corner pass from Angelini. The ball bounced to Jeute inside the circle who was able to slide it into the right side of the cage.
After many opportunities from both teams, Connecticut took its first lead with the goal by Silverman. Fellow senior Ali Blankmeyer sent a shot across the goal to Silverman who was waiting in front of the Louisville cage to slide it past Conrad.
The Huskies finished the game with 14 shots and four penalty corners. Louisville registered two shots and two corners. Conrad recorded nine saves on the day.
Connecticut advances to the BIG EAST Championship final for the 19th time in school history and improve to 30-10 all-time in BIG EAST tournament play.
All BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship action, including live stats, free live streaming, recaps, highlights and box scores will be available through Championship Central.