Johnstown High School graduate Kayla May never doubted for an instant that she would someday be a Division I field hockey player.
And after just one college visit, she quickly accomplished her goal.
Following a brilliant career with the Lady Bills, May fell in love with the University of Louisville’s facilities and coaching staff, and is now one of the Cardinals’ leading players.
The 5-foot-7 junior forward is tied for second in points (12), and is second in goals scored (five) for the Cardinals (3-1 Big East, 8-5 overall). Her shooting percentage is an outstanding .846.
Louisville is ranked 11th in the
nation, and has been ranked in the top 20 for the last seven years.
“It didn’t take me long to
decide on Louisville,” said May, who scored a school-record 38 goals her senior year at Johnstown and finished her scholastic career with a school-record 65 goals. “This was actually my first college visit to a Division I program. As soon as I got here, I loved the facilities, the people and the coaching staff. In fact, as soon as I got here, I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to go home, and I even told my mom that.”
Southern Connecticut and Bryant, which only recently moved up to the Division I level, also had interest in May, but she made up her mind that she was going to be a Cardinal.
“Ever since I started playing field hockey in the third grade, I made it a goal of mine that I would play at the Division I level,” she said.
Louisville head coach Pam Bustin is not surprised that May has become an impact player at this level.
“Kayla is opportunistic. She wants to be a goal scorer, and that’s what we want from her,” Bustin said.
“Kayla’s strength is three yards from the goal cage. She is more
deceptive when receiving a rebound or deflecting someone’s hit at the goal cage.”
Bustin heard about the Johnstown program because she went to the University of Massachusetts with a Johnstown alumnus.
“I knew that Johnstown had a great program for many years, and that the intensity and heart of the Johnstown athletes was what I wanted here at Louisville,” she said.
“Kayla’s athleticism is of interest for any coach. She has good size, is strong and quick, but mostly, she has that competitor’s heart and attitude. She’s not afraid to put the work in, and she’s the kind of player we wanted in making the transition from a top-20 team to a top-10 team.”
May scored a pair of goals her freshman season and appeared in six games. Last season, she played in 18 games, and scored three times.
“To tell you the truth, I’m kind of in a scoring slump, right now, and I admit it,” she said.
“I had five goals really early in the season, and I haven’t scored since. Hopefully, I’ll come out of the slump this weekend.
“I would say that my strength is when I get in the circle,” May said. “All I want to do is put the ball into the cage. It’s more of a reaction thing, but before I make a play, I do think about what I would do if I get the ball where I want to. If it’s a scramble in front of the cage, I just go after it and try to put it in the cage.”
u Union College’s field hockey team defeated perennial national power William Smith, 3-0, last week for the first time since Sept. 24, 1980. The Herons had defeated the Dutchwomen 24 straight times.
u On Tuesday, volleyball teams from Union and The Sage Colleges will be going “Passionately Pink for the Cure” to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. The teams will pay at the Viniar Athletic Center at 7 p.m. Fans are asked to wear pink and make a donation of $5 or more to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Contact Union head coach Sandy Collins at 388-6491 for more information.
u University at Albany goalkeeper Steward Ceus tied the program’s Division I record with his 17th
career shutout as the Great Danes played Stony Brook to a 0-0 tie in men’s soccer.
u Syracuse junior Sarah Morton (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) posted 11 kills in the Orange’s 3-0 sweep of Niagara in volleyball.
u UAlbany junior tailback
David McCarty (LaSalle) is eighth in the nation in rushing at 135.2 yards per game. He has rushed for 100-plus yards in 11 of his last 12 starts, and has moved to fifth on the program’s career rushing list with 2,312 yards.
u Three other Capital Region products contributed to the Great Danes’ 24-22 win over the Central Connecticut last week. Jason Poore, a sophomore wide receiver from Hoosick Falls, caught four passes for 47 yards and his first career touchdown. Junior free safety Dave Casale, from Troy, made six tackles. He is second on the team in tackles with 47 and has two interceptions and two pass break-ups this sason. Tim Bush, a senior wideout from Saratoga Springs, tied a career best with six catches for 63 yards. He is 17th on the program’s all-time list with 44 receptions.
u A limited number of tickets are available for Skidmore College’s Athletics Benefit Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday at the College’s Sports & Recreation Center. The speaker for the event will be five-time Olympic speedskating team member Amy Peterson Peck. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees will be Carrie Bennett (women’s swimming, Class of 1999), Lacey French (field hockey, Class of 2001), Brian McCawley (men’s lacrosse, Class of 2002) and Andrew Simon (men’s soccer, Class of 2002). Beverly Becker will be the administrator/staff inductee, and the team award will go to the 1999 equestrian team of Lindsey Phibbs, Charlotte Harwood, Caroline McKenzie, Kelly Sullivan, Catherine Tai and Jennifer Thomas. Call Skidmore at 580-5670 for more information.
Sophomore Chris Coney was named the Liberty League co-offensive player of the week and the ECAC Division III Upstate New York co-offensive player of the week after running for a career-best 343 yards and three touchdowns in the Dutchmen’s
38-35 win at Hobart. His rushing performance was the sixth-best in program history.
Anne Hanson was named the Liberty League co-offensive player of the week in field hockey after leading the Dutchwomen to a pair of wins. She scored her fourth goal of the season in a win over William Smith. and scored the game-winner and assisted on the other goal in a 2-1 win over Rochester.
Matt Horton (Hoosic Valley) was named the Northeast-10 Conference rookie of the week in golf after winning the individual title at the Eagle Shootout at Post University with a 69-76-145. His 69 was the lowest round in school history.
Sophomore Rebecca Moon was selected the NE-10 Conference player of the week in women’s tennis for the second time this season after recording a pair of wins over Bentley and New Haven. She is 4-0 in dual matches from the No. 1 singles position, and is 3-0 in league doubles matches.
Junior goalkeeper Shannon Murpy was named the NE-10’s goalkeeper of the week after winning a pair of games with shutouts.
UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
Junior inside linebacker Justin Brancaccio was named the Northeast Conference defensive player of the week after recording 11 tackles, six unassisted, in the Great Danes’ 24-22 win over Central Connecticut State. He also broke up the Blue Devils’ two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game. He is 33rd among Division I FCS national leaders in tackles at 9.33 per game.
Sophomore Brooke Stanley was named the America East Conference setter of the week in volleyball after averaging 11.29 assists and 2.43 digs per set in wins over Stony Brook and Hartford, respectively.
Freshman Matt Lussier was named the Liberty League rookie of the week in golf for the second time this season after shooting a 75-81-156 to finish 16th overall in the Manhattanville-NYU Classic.
Sophomore goalie Alex Penney was named the Liberty League defensive player of the week, and freshman defender Brad Shelofsky was selected the rookie of the week in men’s soccer. Penny posted a pair of shutout victories, and Shelofsky
anchored the defense in those wins.
Senior All-American wide receiver Jack Phelan (Guilderland) was named to the d3football.com “Team of the Week” for the second time this season after grabbing 11 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown in the Hawks’ 24-19 win over Alfred.
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