Following a mass exodus of nearly 20 players in less than two years the Louisville lacrosse program conducted an investigation. The results ended with Kelley Young leaving the program and Scott Teeter taking over as the new head coach.
A new coach joining the team at the beginning of January, right before the season began, worried fans. Teeter came in with one of the smallest active rosters in the country and quickly went to work trying to lengthen that list before the first game. The roster shows 25 players for the 2018 season with all but three of them being either a freshman or senior.
Sitting exactly halfway through the regular season Louisville holds a 5-3 record. Expectations ranged anywhere from a win-less season to sitting at .500. Between the preseason challenges plus the addition of playing in the ACC, the toughest conference in D1 women's lacrosse, hopes for a winning season were not high.
UofL's greatest difficulty at this point of the season has been conference play. Notre Dame won by five and Duke won by nine to send the Cards to 0-2 in the ACC. Against the Irish, Louisville rallied in the second half, silencing Notre Dame for 15 minutes while going on a 5-0 run to bring the score within one before being overpowered down the stretch. At Duke, Louisville won the second half 7-5 including a 6-0 run, but the first half doomed them.
Looking back, all three of Louisville's losses have come against ranked opponents and the Cardinals never backed down or gave up. In their five wins Louisville has outscored opponents 84-43. The Cards have seen a whopping 12 players score a goal this season. They are led by Caroline Blalock's 23 goals and Tessa Chad's 20 goals. Julia Wood and Jillian Balog are both in the double-digits in scoring with a dozen goals each.
For the most part the offense has had a balanced scoring attack. They have relied on accurate passing and limiting their turnovers to find holes in the defense. It has been a rare sight to see UofL utilize the entirety of the 90-second shot clock, often getting a shot off withing the first 45 seconds.
Defensively, Scott Teeter continues to work his magic. Lacrosse is typically a mid-to-high-scoring sport where double-digit goals are common. Teeter's squad has held four opponents under that mark. His game-plan involves pushing opponents deep into their shot clock forcing either a bad shot or a turnover. The shot clock horn at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium has became a normality with the progression of the season.
From where expectations where set at compared to what the lacrosse team has accomplished this season they are doing great. It won't be one of the most successful seasons in history in terms of wins, but in terms of rebuilding and repairing a damaged program this could be Louisville's most successful year to date.