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STORRS, Conn. – No. 3 Connecticut outlasted No. 2 Louisville, 2-1 today in the second semifinal match-up of the 2010 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex on the University of Connecticut campus.
Connecticut struck first as freshman forward/midfielder Marie Elena Bolles scored off a rebound in the 25th minute. The goal was her sixth of the season. The Huskies used their offensive momentum and netted the second goal of the contest during the 30th minute. UConn junior forward/midfielder Cara Silverman scored her 12th goal of the 2010 campaign from a deflection off a corner shot from the top of the circle. Junior back Rayell Heistand earned her sixth assist of the season off of Silverman’s goal.
Louisville was given a game-altering red card in the 31st minute when BIG EAST Offensive Player of Year Nicole Youman was sidelined for the remainder of the contest. Youman dominated the BIG EAST this season in every offensive category, registering 17 goals and dishing out 19 assists.
The Cardinals fought back in the second period as junior midfielder Hayley Turner and senior forward/midfielder Tuli Lim assisted senior midfielder/back Karah Nall off a corner in the 37th minute. The assist was Turner’s eighth and Lim’s seventh of the season, while Nall registered her fourth goal this year.
BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year UConn freshman Sarah Mansfield gave up one goal over 70 minutes, while Erin Conrad recorded six saves for a complete game effort in the cage. The Huskies won the penalty corners contest 9-4. UConn outshot the Cardinals 10-0 in the first half and 19-6 for the day.
The Cardinals are now 0-6 all-time in tournament play, while UConn advances to the BIG EAST Championship title game for the 18th time in program history. The Huskies vie for their 12th championship title tomorrow, squaring off against No. 1 seed Syracuse at 1 p.m. This is the third consecutive year the two have met in the BIG EAST Championship final.
All BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship action, including live stats, free live streaming, recaps, highlights and box scores will be available through Championship Central at www.bigeast.org.