Thursday, July 30, 2015
HENDERSON TO PURSUE OLYMPIC DREAMS
Dual sport student-athlete at UofL Emmonnie Henderson has decided to put her basketball career at Louisville on hold this upcoming season to concentrate on making the US Olympic team as a shot putter and discus thrower in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
" I wanted to take the year off from basketball, with hopes of returning, to focus on making it to the Olympics. It's been a goal of mine and I know I couldn't do it without the help of coach Dale Cowper and Jeff Walz, so I'm very grateful to them."
"E" will throw in the indoor and outdoor track and field events for UofL. The indoor season traditionally runs from December through February and the outdoor season starts in March and ends in June.
Henderson was to be one of the front-line veterans returning for Jeff Walz...which had only her, Myisha Hines-Allen and Cortnee Walton returning as players who played in the paint last season. UofL will have two freshmen in Erin de Grate and Sam Fuehring competing for playing time under the baskets...as well as Sydney Brackemyer, who sat out her 2014-15 freshman year with a knee injury. Mariya Moore, who can seemingly play all five positions for the Cards, might get some looks at the "4" now...in addition to her wing and guard skills. One never really knows about those last-minute additions and walk on, either...until we see them on the bench or at a practice.
10 is a borderline comfort level number. Geno has done it with fewer players on the roster in the past...the persistent threat of injuries and those nights when it seems everyone has three fouls with 10 minutes to go make us hope for maybe a little more depth.
One thing is for certain...out of the 10 players currently slated to appear for UofL women's basketball in 2015-16...nine of them are freshmen or sophomores.
Depth wise...Louisville loses about 10-15 of playing time in Henderson. As a reserve coming off the bench her first two seasons..."E" has been best noted for streak shooting, rebounding skills and being known as an aggressive defender that had a penchant for picking up fouls quickly.
The dream to represent one's nation in the Olympics is a strong motivator and Henderson has shown significant strides in improvement at the discus...winning the ACC Outdoor Championships in the shot and discus and finishing third in the NCAA Championships in the discus.
She is ranked 12th in the United States in the discus and 23rd in the shot put. She was consistantly the Cards best thrower in both events and her discus skills improved over 25 feet this past season...making her a threat to win any event she entered.
Jeff Walz weighs in on the decision:
“Emmonnie expressed her goal of qualifying for a spot to compete in the 2016 Olympics,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “I truly believe this is the best move for her. We always tell our student-athletes that we want to look out for their best interests, and I think the best opportunity for her to make it to Rio to focus solely on track and field this school year.”
We certainly wish "E" the best of luck in chasing the Olympic dream and hope to see her win many events this season in tosses for the Cards. How great would it be to see her competing in the Olympics and all of CardNation would love to see her return to the Cardinal WBB squad for the 2016-17 season.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
LOUISVILLE FIELD HOCKEY -- CAN THE UPSETS CONTINUE?
It was the intention to get down on campus this week and grab a Cardinal Couple preview of Louisville Field Hockey.
Coach Sowry is on vacation, though. Well deserved, no doubt. She's been busy with summer camps and preparing for the 2015 season. Still about a month before the season. We can wait. We're hearing rumors of a combined preview with FH and WSOC on the same day in mid-August.
So...where would one hold this and who gets to go first?
We'll offer today an unofficial prognostication on UofL Field Hockey. Subject to correction when I get in to talk to Coach....of course.
First off, the upsets over Duke and UNC happened here last year. Significantly tougher to do that on their turf in 2015.
The good news is that there will be 10 home games at Trager this year. Based on a preview of the schedule and Louisville's incredible win percentage at Trager over the last three years (35 wins in 39 games for 90%)...these could end up 10-0 or 9-1....depending on how well they handle Virginia...who beat them in Charlottesville last year.
Add in a couple of road wins...maybe a sweep in California against
Cal and UC Davis (hint...West Coast Field Hockey hasn't caught up with East Coast yet)...and this could be a 13-14 win team entering the tough-as-nails ACC Tournament.
There are key scorers and defenders back from 2014...and a few names missing. A 2015 roster review shows the DuFour sisters missing. We'll let Coach go into that when we catch up with her.
What is impressive is that Chili Garcia, Shannon Sloss, Lotta Kahlert, Nicole Woods and Stephanie Byrne all return to provide Louisville a potent scoring attack.
The defense returns starters Vic Stratton and Gianna Perrone but goalie Sydney King is graduated...leaving backup Elina Pereira as the only listed "keeper in the net." Only four defensive backs are listed and one is a freshman.
At first glance, a roster of 18...compared to 24 from last year.
Another NCAA run? We think so. Success on the road against UNC and Duke? Hopeful.
|Rare photo of a blonde|
How well she mixes the test-tubes and applies the experiments remains to be seen...
I think she'll produce a monster...Tobacco Road should be scared.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The Hype is Getting Real
|Lots of Quarterbacks...not so many offensive linemen|
I'm getting just as hyped as the MSSM is, but it's more for all of the other events that are coming down the pipe than for Football.
I thought I'd take the chance to run down the sports events that will happen between now and then to help you start getting into the Fall sports mood and maybe make some plans to attend some. We will mention these again as the dates approach as we get back into the during-the-season swing of things, but here's the rundown on how things will get going.
Most of the sports that are competing early in the Fall season are women's sports, but I'm going to include the Men's Soccer games in here as they're the only men's sport that really kicks things off before Football starts.
Wednesday August 12thWomen's soccer gets us started with an exhibition match at Northern Kentucky at 7pm
Friday August 15thMen's Soccer starts off the exhibition events here in Louisville with a 7:30pm game vs Lipscomb at Lynn Stadium
Sunday August 16thWomen's Soccer makes their Lynn Stadium debut with an exhibition game against IU at 5pm
Tuesday August 18thMen's Soccer continues exhibition play at Lynn Stadium. 7:30 first kick against UAB
Friday August 21stRegular season opener for Women's Soccer vs Wright State at Lynn stadium starting at 7:30
Men's Soccer finishes up their exhibition schedule against Oakland in Rochester, MI with a 7:00 start
Volleyball hosts their one and only warmup, the Red & Black scrimmage at Cardinal Arena. No start time yet listed, but I expect mid-afternoon.
Sunday August 23rd
Women's Soccer at 1pm at Lynn Stadium vs Washington
Field Hockey wraps up their exhibition work with an Alumnae Match starting at 1:30 at Trager Stadium
Friday August 28th
Field Hockey opens the official season welcoming Appalachian State with a 6:30 start at Trager
Men's Soccer also kicks off their real season at Lynn Stadium where William & Mary comes for a visit
Volleyball starts their season on the road in Champaign, IL with another TBA start time against the University of Illinois
Sunday August 30th
Field Hockey continues play at Trager with IU coming for a visit with another 1:30 start\
Monday August 31st
Men's Soccer takes on the Cardinal-with-no-"s" when Stanford comes to visit for a 7:30 start in Lynn Stadium
Friday September 4th
Field Hockey heads out west with a 3pm start vs the Cal Bears in Berkeley
Volleyball opens the home slate against Minnesota at 7pm (come early for UNC vs Wisconsin at 4:30)
Women's Soccer takes the first shot of the season vs UK at 7:30 in Lexington
Men's Soccer starts at the same time vs Stony Brook at Lynn Stadium
Saturday September 5th
|Consuming oxygen (and other things) with Bon-nay and Gomer|
Cross-Country takes their first official run in Evansville at the Evansville Early Bird
OK, technically that last volleyball match happens after the 3:30 Football game on the 5th, but I wanted to get the full ACC/Big 10 Challenge listed.
Now really, with so many events happening in the month before Football gets started, isn't it a little silly to be consuming so much oxygen on that one sport?
Monday, July 27, 2015
WILSON'S 30 PUSH USA BY PESKY RUSSIA 78-70
USA U 19 got 16 first half points from Azura Stevens and a U 19 record 30 points from A'ja Wilson to overcome and hold off Russia to take the U 19 title game by eight points in the finals at Chekhov, Russia Sunday.
This was a test of two teams that had blown by the competition by an average of over 30 points in their previous six games. A USA team that alternated three point guards looking for an answer against the superior Russia outside shooting and half court defense. In the end, the USA did it the way they'd been doing it all tournament long.
A back and forth 1st quarter that saw Russia gain an early lead and take a 21-19 lead after the first ten minutes.
Stevens was providing the offense...working hard inside against the Russian bigs. Russia finding success with the three ball. Mariya Moore reduced to basically a passer and defender with no first quarter points.
It got scary to start the 2nd quarter. Russia rolled off the first six points and USA was down eight. Dawn Staley called a timeout to right the ship against a pumped up opponent and loud and raucous home court crowd.
Whatever she said...worked.
USA climbed back to a 30-29 deficit after Moore found Stevens inside with 5:15 remaining. Moore would miss a three a couple of minutes later that would have put the Americans ahead...but a 9-2 run over the final three minutes...keyed by Wilson sweeping hook and a Moore pass to Napheesa Collier gave USA a 39-34 lead at the half.
Uncle Mo was on the American bench but the Russians weren't done by any means. Although they would not see the lead again, they made it interesting.
A Musina three three minutes into the 3rd quarter cut the USA lead to 43-41. Moore countered with a three for USA. Another Russian three with 4:27 left in the quarter made it 50-49. Center Chatrice White with an impropable but buzzer-beating three to end the third and USA held on to a 57-53 lead with ten minutes to play.
Moore struck again to start the final quarter for USA with a three to make it 60-53...but thee Russian went on a 10-5 run over the next three 3:20 to get within two at 65-63 after another Musina trey ball. Wilson countered inside with her 27th point of the game seconds later.
Moore's assist to White inside gave America a 70-65 lead with four minutes remaining. A steal and Wilson jumper three seconds later set the advantage at seven. The Russians were finally tiring and the Americans held 77-68 with a minute to go...Russia went 8 for 10 from trifecta range in the final 20 minutes.
Wilson was named MVP of the tournament and Napheesa Collier joined her on the All-Tournament team.
-- A'ja Wilson may be the best 19 year old women's player in the world...but Russia's Daria Kolosovskaia isn't far behind. Selected to the All-Tournament team, she tallied 19 points and made a mockery of the USA defense in the middle with her dribble-drive.
-- Mariya Moore with almost 37 minutes on the court...high for USA. Only six points but the glue that held USA together on the court. Every team needs a passer to set up the scorers and Moore fulfilled that role excellently in the final game.
-- Congratulations to a USA team that had its share of tough breaks and setbacks early on. The top two players of the 2015 Class (Durr and Samuelson) made the team but didn't make the trip and Shakayla Thomas left the squad after the Canada game to return stateside.
-- Kristine Anigwe did not play in the final and logged only two minutes in the semifinal win over Spain. No official word on any injury...but her play in the pool games was impressive.
-- Australia won the 3rd place game over Spain and France finished fifth. Egypt failed to win a game in seven attempts.
-- Those crazy ESPN3 announcers...referring to our #11 as "Marie" Moore. I expected to hear them use Mary Tyler Moore, Maya Moore or even Dinty Moore at some point in time. Obviously siding with the Russians, these two guys nearly lost a lung every time Russia scored. Let's hope they stay overseas...would hate to hear them tackle pronouncing "Arica", "Taja", "Emmonnie" or "Brianna".
-- I wish they would have let Walz and KBA stand on the podium for the awards ceremony. They were just as integral in the USA win as the rest of the squad.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
USA bests Spain...faces Russia today in U 19 WBB...Shoni, Angel in WNBA All-Star game -- Sunday Cardinal Couple
WILSON, COLLIER LEAD USA TO 80-65 WIN OVER SPAIN IN U 19 SEMIFINALS
Napheesa Collier (UConn) had 24 points and 14 rebounds and A'ja Wilson added 20 points and 16 boards in the USA 15 point semifinal win over Spain yesterday in Chekhov, Russia.
Louisville's Mariya Moore added 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists and also keyed a 20-3 second quarter run that broke a 21-21 tie wide open.
USA struggled with turnovers and missed shots in the first quarter...seeing a 20-14 that was bolstered by a Moore assist to Collier disappear in the final two minutes to 21-19.
After Spain tied the contest to open the second quarter... USA ramped up the 1-2-1-1 zone trap pressure and pulled away. Moore block and steal led to a 37-24 lead and a Moore putback set the score at 41-24 with 2:54 to play. USA took a 44-29 lead to the locker room...getting their final points of the half when Moore led a fastbreak with a pass and layup. 44-31 at the break.
The Spaniards did not want to go away and actually got within eight during a 7-0 run in the third quarter that made it 54-46. USA kept with the interior passing to Collier and Wilson, though, and two Moore free throws with 49 seconds to go in the quarter gave USA a 62-50 lead.
It's a good thing the inside game was clicking...USA was 0-8 from trifecta range after 30 minutes.
A spurt from Moore started the fourth quarter. A steal and score from her pushed the lead to 66-52. At the 9:03 mark, she got her second steal in less than ten seconds and created an assist to Crystal Dangerfield to make it a 16 point USA lead.
Staley turned the court over to Ortiz, Cox, Patberg, White and Slocum to get the USA to the buzzer and Cox looked particularly impressive over the final four minutes to get the USA to the 80-65 win.
|NOT in Russia|
-- Shakayla Thomas has left the team and gone home for personal reasons. She wasn't there for the Spain game. Listed as a DNP in the Canada game. We hope all is well...
-- The jolly play-by-play and color analyst guys on ESPN3 mentioned that there were some difficulties in Spain's Angela Salvadores getting clear to play at Duke. They didn't elaborate.
-- USA back in blue unis for Saturday's game. At least Walz's audio wasn't able to be heard in the background. I just don't think blondes look good in blue...IMHO.
|Coach Mario Lopez, who IS in Russia.|
-- UConn looks to be sitting pretty for 2016 in WBB with Stewie back, the big performance from Kia Nurse in the Pan Am's and the play of Crystal Dangerfield and Napheesa Collier. Someone needs to beat those guys...right?
SHONI GETS 13 in WNBA All-Star game
It's become increasingly clear that Shoni Schimmel has played her way back into shape. It's also apparent she does better in All-Star games than regular season games. Schimmel started and scored 13 points in 25 minutes yesterday for the East in a 117-112 loss to the West.
Maya Moore was voted the MVP and had 30 points to back it up.
Hey...wouldn't it be fun to have Maya Moore and Mariya Moore on the same team someday? A PA Announcers nightmare maybe...
Angel added 9 pts. for the East. It was an All-Star game. Shoni and Angel were a combined 9 for 26 from the floor.
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO
Our Saturday broadcast should be available for listening on the SoundCloud later today. You won't want to miss Paulie's interviews with UofL head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes and senior Casey Whitfield.
Program these coordinates into your electrical device:
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Women's Soccer in 18 days!....USA U 19 in Final Four with 93-45 win over Canada.-- Saturday Cardinal Couple
KAREN FERGUSON-DAYES, TEAM ANTICIPATING SEASON START
Mark your calenders...the UofL women's soccer team gets the 2015 season underway on Weds.,Aug. 12th. with an exhibition game against NKU in Highland Heights, KY. Four days later, the Kickin' Cards bring in IU for an exhibition.
Those fall sports we've been waiting for are right around the corner. For soccer, it's a return of some exciting roster names and the advent of an excellent freshman class to defend Lynn Stadium.
Speaking of defense, the Cards had a solid one last year...and Inger Katrine Bjerke, Hannah Konermann and Paige Brown headline a solid unit that will keep opponent's goals to a minimum.
Quite possibly the biggest new is the return of graduated senior Casey Whitfield to the squad after sitting out last season with an achilles injury. She'll join proven scorers Lexie Nieboda, Bella Habuda, Allison Price and Kaela Dickerman in finding the back of the net against a strong non-conference schedule and 11 ACC foes.
Add six highly anticipated first-timers to the program that will compete for playing time right away...and there's a lot to be excited about on the corner of Floyd and Byrne.
Be sure to catch the Saturday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO at 11 a.m. for our exclusive interviews with Coach KFD and Casey Whitfield.
Here's a few teasers...
-- Coach Dayes has been busy with other things than the 2015 squad. Hear her talk about the "soccer revolution".
-- UofL women's basketball isn't the only sport that offers "a day in the life" opportunity to prospective college soccer hopefuls.
-- What did Coach think about the non-conference schedule last year? And this years?
-- Who does Coach KFD see as the team leaders for 2015?
-- What was Casey Whitfield's "dream come true"?
-- What other sport did Casey consider in high school and what other activity does she still enjoy?
-- What does Casey call this particular season?
Make sure and tune in for these answers and the whole interviews!
USA U 19 with another lopsided win in the U 19 Championships in Russia...Canada the victim of a 93-45 drubbing. The win gets USA into the Final Four.
Mariya Moore going 9 for 11 from the free throw line and hitting a three for 12 points in 18 minutes.
This one was 28-5 at the end of the first quarter.
They'll take on Spain in the semifinals today at 1:15 p.m. They'll face the winner of Australia vs. Russia Sunday when they defeat the Spanish team. And, they will defeat the Spanish team.
ESPN3 with the live feed.
WCHQ 100.9 FM
Our final show of July today at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the Internet at crescenthillradio.com
We've gotta lotta hoops to review, a report and interviews on women's soccer and we'll blow up balloons and pop them if we run out of material.
It's all about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and we'd love it if you stop by and get happy with us!
WOMEN'S SPORTS AND A DOG LIVE ON THE RADIO