Louisville hosted Mississippi State and Butler this past weekend, so once again we called on Michael Wells, a local photographer and all around NCLL fan to provide images and game notes of the days action. Here are Mike’s notes and photos from the field.
#14 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Louisville Cardinals
Mississippi State got off to a slow start on offense and was struggling to communicate. This led to poor passes and multiple turnovers. Louisville was able to take advantage of this and got on the board first, but that would remain deadlocked for the majority of the first half. With great stops by both goalies, both offenses were having trouble finding the net. The Mississippi State defense as a whole was struggling, allowing multiple shots on goal, but the Cards just couldn’t get the ball past the Mississippi State netminder.
With 1:00 to play in the first half, Mississippi State tied the game at 1-1. Mississippi State then scored immediately off the ensuing face-off, making the score 2-1 at the half.
The Bulldogs were held scoreless for 29:00 of the first half before scoring 2 goals back to back on a relaxed Cards defense.
Sam Long, who was the key factor in last weeks upset victory over DI opponent Ohio State, stepped in goal for Louisville in the second half. But Mississippi State scored quickly in the 2nd half to shift momentum back to the Bulldogs.
At the end of the third, the score was tied 3-3 thanks to a mild collapse in the Mississippi State defense. Come the fourth quarter, Cardinal Midfielder Mike George took over for Louisville! George scored back-to-back goals midway through the fourth, followed up by another goal from #5 Porter. With 4:44 to play, George would score his 5th goal of the day, putting the final nail in Louisville’s coffin, 6-4.
#14 Mississippi State vs Butler
Butler came in fresh and rested and got off to a good start.
However, the defense started to fall apart in the middle of the first quarter, allowing Mississippi State to take a 3-2 lead.
While up 4-2, O’Neal of Butler took a nice clean hit to the chest, fell to the ground and didn’t move. All attention was drawn to O’Neal on the ground while the Butler offense scooped up the ball and scored. It was the highlight of the first half, as O’Neal jumped right up after the goal was scored and joined the celebration.
Mississippi State took advantage of some Butler penalties late in the second quarter to keep the game close. Butler was ahead by the score of 5-4 at the half.
Mississippi State would come out hot to start the second half and countered a Butler goal with 2 of their own to take a 7-5 lead. The Mississippi State defense would hold Butler scoreless the final two minutes of the third quarter.
The two teams would trade goals with 8:35 to play, bringing the score to 8-6 in favor of Mississippi State. With 4:03 to play, the Bulldogs would eliminate any chance of a Butler comeback, soring a back breaking goal to bring the score to 9-6. Both defenses would hold strong the final four minutes and the final score would be: #14 Mississippi State 9 – Butler 6.
Louisville vs Butler
Butler came out strong early on, scoring the first two goals in a matter of minutes. Butler was also controlling most of the early face-offs.#45 only allowed Louisville to win a total of two face-offs. However, Louisville would respond with three unanswered goals by three different players (#32 George, #19 Mayer, #44 Buchbinder) to close out the first quarter up 3-2.
After another great face-off win by #45 of Butler, the Bulldogs took one shot on goal and scored, tying the game at 3-3. The game would be scoreless for the next nine minutes until Louisville would find the net with 5:51 left until the half. #19 Mayer would add another goal for Louisville to close out the first half, bringing the score to 5-3 Louisville at the half.
The Bulldogs were obviously tired at this point.
Butler’s defense appeared gassed and the offense was just simply not communicating like they should had been most of the day. Even after an extended halftime, the Bulldogs were not able to stop the Cards. The Cards scored on their very first possession of the second half, bringing the score to 6-3. #43 DeNoers made it 7-3 shortly after that, as the rain began to fall.
Louisville started to play sloppy as the rain started to fall. The Cards allowed two goals in a matter of minutes, bringing the score to 7-5 with 2:55 to play in the third quarter. The Bulldogs started to get some momentum back when Mike George found the net for the Cards, bringing the score to 8-5 in favor of Louisville.
The two teams would trade goals in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 10-7. Louisville would add one more in the final minutes to bring the score to 11-7 in favor of the Cards.
The Louisville Cardinals upset DI Ohio State last week, and they upset DII #14 Mississippi State this past weekend. Louisville now prepares for DII #7 Kentucky and DI #16 Cincinnati at home on Sunday, April 7th in 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.