Once again we sent Michael Wells, a local photographer in the Kentucky area to cover this past weekend games between Louisville, Cincinnati and Kentucky.
Louisville vs Cincinnati
Louisville came out sloppy. Cincinnati was able to strike first thanks to their great speed and Louisville’s unorganized defense. Louisville’s goalie was even caught out of the net once, but #43 DeNoers was able to jump in the net and block a shot with his poll. When speaking to the Cincinnati player taking the shot afterward, he said, “I think I missed the shot because I was just caught off guard. I mean, who does that? Just jumps in the net with their poll and instantly becomes a goalie?”
However, DeNoers time in goal would be short-lived, and so would the Louisville defense as a whole. No communication was being made. The Cards quickly found themselves trailing 5-0 early in the first quarter. #13 Summers even found himself one-on-one with Cincinnati’s goalie two times in the first quarter, but could not get anything past him.
#5 Porter would find the net for Louisville with 1:17 to play in the first quarter to make the score 5-1 in favor of the Bearcats, and as soon as Porter scored, the rain began to fall. Both teams sat through two thirty-minute lightning delays before the game was officially called off with :49 remaining in the first quarter.
Cincinnati vs Kentucky
To everyone’s surprise, Kentucky scored first, and very quickly. Within the first two minutes, it was 1-0 in favor of the Wildcats. However, the Bearcats would answer very quickly to tie the game at 1-1, and not look back! Cincinnati would score five unanswered goals in the first half to bring the score to 5-1 in favor of the Bearcats at halftime. Sloppy play on offense by the Wildcats, mixed with a great performance in goal by Cincinnati, left Kentucky scoreless for just under 19:00.
Kentucky did the exact same thing in the second half as they did in the first. They came out, got possession and scored right away; ending over 20:00 without a score. At 5-2, the two teams would trade goals thanks to great offensive ball movement of offense and great communication on defense. At 6-3 with 11:00 to play, the Wildcats started to gain some momentum, but that momentum was shortly lived. The Bearcats would score two more goals thanks to Kentucky penalties. Kentucky would add another to their side of the scoreboard to make it 8-4 with 2:29 to play, but the Bearcats were not done.
#30 would score for Cincinnati with 1:19 to play, and #32 would score another one with :19 to play to get the Bearcats to double digits on the scoreboard and claim the 10-4 victory over the Wildcats.
Louisville vs Kentucky
Louisville came out very strong on defense, but the offense simply couldn’t capitalize. Finally, after five minutes of play and multiple shots on goal by both teams, Kentucky scored to make it 1-0 in favor of the Wildcats. The Cards defense would continue to stand strong. Multiple shots were blocked by #35 Long in goal for the Cards, but halfway through the first quarter, the Wildcats would score again to make it 2-0 in favor of Kentucky.
Just when the momentum was starting to shift and the Cards defense was starting to weaken, #44 Buchbinder would get the Cards on the scoreboard and regain the momentum. At the end of the first quarter, #5 Porter of Louisville would find the net, but it was ruled that he was in the crease, and the goal was called off. Trailing 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals still had the momentum on defense, they just needed their offense to come together.
Kentucky started the second quarter with a goal to make it 3-1 Wildcats, but #12 Summers would quickly answer and bring the Cards back within one at 3-2. #35 Long and the Cards defense would then stop multiple shots and kill a penalty before #11 Fuson would tie the game at 3-3 with under 5:00 until the half. Both defenses would perform very well the next 5:00 minutes, but #32 George would find the net with :18 to play in the first half, putting the Cards up 4-3 on the DII #7 ranked Wildcats headed into the half.
The third quarter would be all Wildcats. Kentucky was able to score three unanswered goals to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Wildcats. The Cards had not scored since George scored with :18 to play in the second. The Cards defense was not bad in the third quarter, the offense simply couldn’t get anything going. Multiple turnovers and penalties led to numerous shots on goal, and three getting past #35 Long.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Cards found themselves on defense again. three quick blocks by #35 Long kept the Cards alive and the Wildcats from scoring to open the fourth quarter. #19 Mayer would break the scoreless streak and bring the Cards within one (6-5) with 11:40 to play. Louisville would then capitalize on a Kentucky penalty with 5:27 to play, as #12 Summers would tie the game at 6-6.
The next possession #5 Porter would score to make the score 7-6 in favor of Louisville, and with just 1:45 to play, the Cards would find themselves up 8-6 and headed towards an upset. However, Kentucky would win the face-off and go straight to the goal and get one past #35 Long to make the score 8-7 in favor of the Cards with 1:33 to play. Louisville would then win the next face-off, but turn the ball over to Kentucky with :32 to play. The next :32, #35 Long would see three shots sent his way, and he would block them all! Including the game winning save with :01 left on the clock.
Louisville upset DII #7 Kentucky by the final score of 8-7, and Kentucky ended the day with a 10-4 L to Cincinnati and a 8-7 L to Louisville.
Hats off to Mike for another solid write-up and photo gallery job! His photos are below. Make sure to follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Check out more of his images right here