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Thursday, October 8, 2015



Louisville Women's Soccer recorded the biggest win in the history of the program Thursday night with a 2-1 overtime win over #1 ranked and previously unbeaten UNC in front of 1800 screaming fans in Lynn Stadium.

An improbable but thrilling end to the overtime session when Louisville was awarded a free kick with 45 seconds to go in the extra session. Hannah Konermann coolly surveyed the situation from about 30 yards out while the clock ran, sent a precise kick into a crowded mass of players in front of the UNC goal and Hannah Harris got the ball to Caroline Kimble...who placed a header past outstretched UNC goalie Lindsey Harris for the game-ender with nine ticks left on the clock.

Then pandemonium took over the Lynn Stadium turf as the Cardinals flocked to a wild victory celebration in front of the net where the contest was decided. 

Cards WBB over Baylor. Louisville Field Hockey over UNC and Duke. Add Louisville Women's Soccer to the list of big-time upsets accomplished by these Louisville ladies...

" I just had to keep pushing through. I was getting tired but I knew we could do it and we kept pushing and we did it." Caroline Kimble 

The Cards battled UNC for almost 35 minutes in the first half before the TarHeels connected off a cross inside the box to take a 1-0 lead. The first half ended that way...a half where UNC outshot the Cards 16-4 and seemed to be on the offensive attack the entire 45 minutes. 

" I didn't do anything (at halftime). I didn't have to day anything to them that they didn't already believe. It starts with the belief. I told them that any given team could win on any given why couldn't it be us today?" 
- Karen Ferguson Dayes

The Cards evened the score just 3 1/2 minutes into second half play when Konermann found Gabrielle Vincent on a free kick and despite numerous UNC attempts to score...the Cardinal defense held firm and regulation ended at 1-1. 

Some things defy description. Seeing this hard-working, never-say-quit squad take the shots, the bumps, the no-calls and the pressure...and then burst onto the field in joyous celebrations is a sight this old reporter won't forget for a very long time. I'm not sure words can fully capture it. 

And, the Paulie 5% success rate of predicting games is safe. I had teased Coach KFD on Tuesday about picking against them at Syracuse. They, of course, won. After some gentle chiding from her...I told her I'd have to pick against Louisville again on Thursday night to assure the Cards would win. 

And it was the first thing she pointed out to me when she came bounding over to the reporters after the win. The rainbow appeared, Coach Karen. You said it would. 

Glad to oblige...Kickin' Cards. I won't pick you to win another match this year. 


Challenges and planning -- the process of Louisville women's sports. THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


We discussed the challenges ahead for Louisville women's soccer in yesterday's column. If Justine Sowry, the affable Louisville Field Hockey coach and women's soccer chief Karen Ferguson-Dayes decided to get together and discuss scheduling could hardly blame them.

24 hours after #1 North Carolina women's soccer visits the "Ville" tonight...the #1 Syracuse field hockey squad will do battle with "The Flock" at Trager Stadium. 

A chance to discuss the fifth ACC contest of the year with Coach Sowry yesterday revealed several items. 

-- ACC Field Hockey is the gold standard...the top of the mountain in college Field Hockey. Winning the ACC Tournament Championship is a tougher task than winning the NCAA Field Hockey Championships...and the field will be full of ACC schools. 

-- All seven ACC participating schools are in the top 11 in the NCAA rankings and RPI ratings. This is the Elite Eight...and adding former ACC member Maryland into the mix makes it a dominance like no other in any other NCAA Division I sport. 

-- The goal is to elevate the Cards to the top of this super-conference. The progression to that status could take some time. If there is anyone that can accomplish is Justine Sowry and her hard-working players and staff. 

The illustrious former head football coach at Louisville...Howard Schnellenberger once said:

"We are on a collision course with the national championship. The only variable is...time."

Justine Sowry is on that same collision course. And don't bet against her on achieving it. 

Be sure to catch our exclusive Justine Sowry interviews on the Saturday CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR on WCHQ 100.9 FM at 11 a.m.



I have to admit that I enjoying interviewing all of the UofL women's sports coach a great deal...but my professed favorite of the group is Sandy Pearsall...the UofL head Softball Coach. 

(...and HAVING SAID THAT...I'M SURE THE MESSAGES AND E-MAILS from the other dozen UofL women's sports coaches are on the way...)

Maybe it's because she was our first coaches interview in the fledgling days of CARDINAL COUPLE...when we were having a hard time getting in any doors and getting any respect or credibility.

Maybe it's because I respect and admire her straight-forward, "shoot-from-the hip" and "tell it like it is" style.

Maybe it because she came onto campus 17 years ago and built a softball program and has always gone out of her way to provide us access to personal and player interviews and invites to the softball banquets. I will never forget Crystal Bustos' heart-felt and inspirational keynote address last January.

Regardless of the reason, a planned 5 or 6 minutes of commentary always turns into the 5-10 minutes of side discussion that never reaches the airwaves. It's hard to leave her office because of the level of sincerity and genuineness. 

A great visit was had Wednesday with the original "Coach P" and it will be broadcast in its entirety on the Saturday morning CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.

Some teasers to listen for:

- What malady has struck the post-fall schedule Cards squad?

- Which popular ex-Card will be gracing the field in 2016?

- Who was impressive in the "Hit and Pitch" Cards 6-0 fall season slate? 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Louisville Women's Soccer focused on the next, prepared for the future -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple


It is truly hard to believe that the UofL women's soccer team is 2/3rd of the way through the regular season. The Cards (6-5-1, 2-2) have faced a very tough pre-conference schedule and have been involved in 1-0 affairs the last four games...winning three of them....and against three ACC opponents.  

But this last 1/3rd of the schedule is absolutely brutal and will test a young team that has already exceeded hopes for a rebuilding season. 15 of the 25 on head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes' roster are freshmen or sophomores. Two of the triad of leading scorers are sophomores in Bella Habuda and Alison Price. 

The gauntlet over the next two weeks is without a doubt the toughest four game stretch any UofL women's soccer team has ever faced. #1 UNC comes to town Thursday night. They'll be followed by #20 Duke and then #2 Florida State visits Lynn Stadium. After that, the Cards travel to #3 Virginia. 

Insanity, yes and a schedule no coach would ever purposely arrange...the ACC provided this nightmare to Coach KFD at no additional charge. Welcome to the show...

To be the best, you must beat the best and the Louisville Soccer women know full well the challenge ahead. On campus yesterday, I was impressed and proud of how sophomores Habuda and Price are taking the upcoming challenge.

Where there might be fear, and understandably so...there is excitement instead. There is confidence in their own abilities and their teammates skills. A confidence built by having only known one conference since their arrival to Louisville and how well the team plays against the "best of the best". Ready to see how they fare against against 1,2 and 3 in the nation. 

As freshmen, Habuda and Price were involved in a tie against Duke and just a one-goal loss to Virginia. They know they've gotten better individually in their second season and are also looking for revenge for a dominating 6-0 loss at FSU in 2014. They believe they can win these next four. Having the Lynn Stadium crowd behind them for the first three is huge.   

The first step is UNC. A team that Louisville did not play last season and unique and different in their three-forward attack and aggressiveness designed to keep the ball in opponent territory and hammer away offensively, with an average of 22 shots per game. North Carolina (11-0-1) has allowed only five goals in their 12 contests. Intruders trying to invade the fortress known as The Palace on Floyd Street. 

Coach Ferguson-Dayes speaks of how the "back four" have become the anchor of this team. They will certainly get a chance to steady the boat tomorrow night against the mis-named TarHeels.   

Quality, top-notch women's soccer at the finest soccer facility in college athletics. A litmus test to see just where this Louisville women's soccer squad is after 12 games. Another possible huge upset by a school that has provided several of them over the last several years. 

You need to go see this one Thursday night. Game time is 7 p.m. Bring your voice.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Will the Louisville men's basketball "scandal" affect UofL women's sports? -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple


More than several of you...kind readers...have asked me about the current UofL men's basketball "scandal" and if it will affect the UofL women's sports programs. I put "quotes" around "scandal" because the investigation is still ongoing. 

It should be pointed out that this is not the FBI or a vice squad doing these investigations of the allegations. It is the NCAA and the University of Louisville. It does give me the creepy-crawlies, think that a mother would send a 15 yr. old daughter out for alleged and self-admitted acts of prostitution and performance dancing. Is there no legal response to this alleged "pimp" and the acts of sex for money? 

At first...I decided to "keep mum" on the whole affair/issue. We enjoy men's basketball but it's not in our wheelbase of coverage here at CARDINAL COUPLE. the inquires keep coming...I figured it was time to look at it, discuss it and make a comment. 

Will the "scandal" affect UofL Women's Sports? 

No, I can't see that happening. 

The incident may come up on the recruiting trails, sure...but 

1) What hooker would want to write an expose' about Lacrosse or Softball? This is men's entirely different world. The Chippendale's, gigolos or escorts don't apply here. Chunks of $200-$250 distributions are much more needed for game equipment and supplies. 
2) The need to favor or impress recruits and their parents in women's sports doesn't rely on any extra benefits issues or enticements. For these young's a school choice made on academics, the coaches and surrounding players and love for community...carefully thought out by a player and parents. The seamy smell and sell of sex is a non-factor. 

3) Women are inherently smarter and wiser then men at
that age. A flash of skin or "daddy getting lucky" is a preposterous and ludicrous thought-process or enticement to get Sally Serve to serve tennis balls to ACC opponents. How many women have shown up on the UofL campus with a parent to see if they wanted to play sports and get a degree there? Plenty. How many have shown up looking for sex for them and their guardian?  

4) Track record. Have any UofL women's sports ever had any scandals surround them? Even the alleged incident with a spring sport a few years back was just the posturing of a no-brains reporter who eventually left the city because his tripe and ennui equaled low readership.

Whatever the outcome of the investigations...women's sports at UofL will remain a shining example of how programs can be...and effectively and cleanly.

The coaches, directors of operations, players and parents wouldn't have it any other way...the fans expect as much.

As for Andre McGee, "the madam" Katina Powell  and the legal and moral issues here...I hope justice takes its course, if the admissions turn out to be factual. 

It's a money grab by the supposed "madam" involved that has been published...that's a sad enough fact. How accurate and substantial it is will be determined in the future.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Cards hit Sunday trifecta with Volleyball, Field Hockey and Soccer wins -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

The locations ranged from downtown Louisville to Floyd Street to Syracuse, NY...but Louisville women's sports recorded three wins in the space of a frentic 150 minutes on Sunday afternoon. 


The Kickin' Cards get their second 1-0 win of the week and Isabella Habuda got her second game-winner of the week as Louisville capitalized on a 12th minute goal and made it stick to improve to 6-5-1 overall and 2-2 in the ACC.

Taylor Bucklin finished with five saves for the Cards. Syracuse had a crazy 8-1 corner kick advantage over Louisville and outshot the Cards 7-6...including a nervous final 16 minutes where the Orange had scoring opportunities in the 74th, 76th, 87th and 89th minutes but Louisville's defense held. 

Karen Ferguson Dayes was happy with what she saw:

"A win on the road is huge in this conference. I'm really proud of this group. It was a great team win today. We will enjoy it the rest of the day and then get ready for our next opponent."

That would be #1 North Carolina, who will visit Lynn Stadium on Thursday for a 7 p.m. match

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About an hour after soccer got started, the action began in Trager Stadium on the UofL campus where a fatigued UofL Field Hockey team was facing Massachusetts. The Cards were returning from a tough match in Durham, NC against Duke in horrible weather conditions on Friday...but held it together to take a 1-0 win over UMass.

Defenses ruled through a scoreless first half and it wasn't until a mere seven minutes remained in the contest that Shannon Sloss found Nicole Woods in front of the UMass goal and got a pass to her that Woods slid past the UMass goalkeeper Sam Carlino for the only score of the game. 

Perhaps apropos for Woods to get the game-winner...the sophomore forward is from Beverly, MA....

Louisville goalie Ayeisha McFerran recorded two saves in her fifth shutout of the season. Louisville outshot the Minutewomen 10-6 and had a 9-3 edge in corners.

Justine Sowry challenged the team before the contest: 

"I talked at the very beginning of the game that you have to choose between one of two's either discipline or regret. Today we had to dig in deeper and be a very disciplined unit. We were fatigued, you could tell that, but we stayed together and we were able to get it done. It was not pretty but I'm just really proud of the effort that our team put forward and that we got it done." 

The Stick Cards will try to get it done again on Friday when #2 Syracuse visits Trager Stadium for a 6 p.m. game. 

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Anne Kordes had a chance to use the entire roster in a straight set 25-12, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of the Boston College Eagles in a match that started right about the same time Field Hockey was doing battle on campus. 

Janelle Jenkins and Aniah Philo led a balanced Cardinal scoring attack with 12 kills each and the Cards hit .282 for the match while improving to 4-0 in the ACC and 9-4 overall.

Kordes reflected on the opponent, the team and the future after the contest: 

"I think Boston College is better than they played. There's no doubt about that. I watched them play on Friday Night against a good (Notre Dame) team. We have a big week this week playing on the road. We haven't been on the road in a little while. We use these opportunities to polish what we have been working on and we've got to stay focused." 

Louisville Volleyball heads to Georgia Tech Friday and then Clemson Sunday. 

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The CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR broadcast from Saturday is available on the heavenly Crescent Hill Radio Soundcloud. A link below where you can listen



Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Busy Day for a Cardinal Fan --SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

With No Real Results To Report

( Editor's Note: Our illustrious columnist Jeff "Worldwide" McAdams took to the streets Saturday and gives us a great insight into the dedication and effort we go through some days to pursue the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.) 

It was a busy day for a Cardinal Women's Athletics fan to end up with no real results to report.

The day started out by oversleeping from my normal waking time on Saturdays, but my normal morning routine includes about a half an hour at Heine Brother's Coffee on Frankfort Avenue before reporting for duty at WCHQFM for The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. So that means, yesterday morning I had a few less minutes at the coffee shop...I'll survive. We usually converge on the studios at around 10:30 to give ourselves a bit of time to prepare to go on the air. 

The "we" refers to myself, Paulie, Monk (otherwise known as station manager, Kathy Weisbach), and Pumpkin (if I remember correctly, a mix of setter, hound, chow, and some random other breeds). Paulie and I hand off any recordings from the week to Monk...this week I had two Volleyball post-match interviews with Coach Anne Kordes, while Paulie had three from the soccer game against Morehead State. The radio show starts promptly at 11am, and runs until noon, plus however long Paulie and I run over...about three or four minutes this week.

After the radio show, we pack up and slowly depart, always chatting as we go. As I mentioned on the air yesterday, I turned towards downtown, the waterfront, and the G. Garvin Brown III boathouse next to Towhead Island. The Red and Black Regatta had started at 10:30 and I was hoping to catch a few minutes there with Head Coach Derek Copeland to get some audio about their upcoming season and about the team. Mission accomplished, listen for it on next week's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Oh, and getting to munch on an impressive buffet anchored by a grill pumping out hamburgers and hot dog was a nice bonus.

Next up was to head out towards UofL's campus and Ulmer Stadium to catch some of the last of fall Softball play. There are a lot of new faces on the team, so an opportunity to learn some of the new players, trying to put names to faces and players on the field in the fall, is good before we get into real spring play. There were supposed to be three games, round-robin, between three different teams today, but due to weather reasons, Walters State didn't make the trip. That altered the day into a double-header between Louisville and Lake Land Community College. Honestly, they just weren't that competitive of games, with The Cards taking both 10-0, and 9-1, both after six innings.

They weren't playing a strict run-rule, but did limit each game to 90 minutes, to about the same effect. While they weren't riveting games to watch, the Football game was on the TV in the press box, so it was a good opportunity to catch most of that game and see another Cardinal win.

After the game, I got a chance to get a few words with coach Sandy Pearsall, about wrapping up fall play...there are two more games this afternoon, which will be your last chance to see the Softball team in action before spring...and a bit about what they will be working on over the winter, and a couple of questions about when the Oklahoma City Challenge is, and when practice starts in the spring. Again, check out next week's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour for the audio.

Finally, after a solid eight hours on the go, I got back home, my inner introvert thoroughly spent, and collapsed on the couch to watch something brainless on the laptop and recharge myself a bit before writing this column.

All in all, a good way to spend an overcast and chilly autumn Saturday. I look forward to sharing the audio I collected today, along with, barring unforeseen obstacles arising, some more audio from the Volleyball match tomorrow, on the radio show next Saturday.

As always, we thank you, our readers and listeners, for supporting Cardinal Couple and helping to make what we do to bring you the website and radio show as much fun as it is.




The broadcast Jeff mentioned in his column today is available on the heavenly Crescent Hill Radio Soundcloud. A link below where you can listen


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Volleyball and Field Hockey...SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Blocks Syracuse

In a Friday night matchup filled with familiar faces, Syracuse got the lion's share of the blocks, but Louisville came away with the victory in four sets (25-12, 22-25, 25-16, 25-18). The evening honored former members of the UofL program from alumnae players,

Syracuse, coached by former Louisville skipper Leonid Yelin, came in prepared to put a lot of blocks at the net...and they did, winning the blocking category 13-7.5 (in volleyball stats, if three players go up for a block, they each get credited with "half" of a block meaning the total can come out with some number "and a half", which is weird, but it's the way it work in Volleyball). But a game isn't decided with just blocking, and UofL did lot's of other things right to come away with the win.

Notably, The Cards were able to run a really quick offense and get the ball to the hitters before The 'Cuse could get their blocks up in place. With a defense completely designed around good blocking, the rest of the defense was easy pickings for The Cards offense committee.

The match started out with some ugly early service errors by the Cards, but once the early match jitters and the worst of the service errors were over, the Cards settled in ran the score out to a relatively easy win. In a rough second set, with some sloppy passing slowing down the pace of the offense, Syracuse was able to get their blocking engaged and stop the Louisville attack.

After the set break, UofL got their passing back on target and was able to get the offensive pace back up to the speed they wanted. Once they got back to beating out the blocks, they got a couple of relatively easy wins to close out the match.

Erin Fairs tallied the most kills with 16 on 35 swings, for an acceptable .229 percentage. Joining her in double-digit kills was Janelle Jenkins with 12 on 40 tries, for .200, which is relatively error free hitting. Tess Clark also got a dozen on 20 attempts, and with only three miscues, that gives her a whopping .450 percentage. The other side of our middle power duo showed what efficiency is like as well, with eight out of 15 for Maggie DeJong for .400.

We did see the return of Maya McClendon to the floor, after not seeing any playing time in the past two matches. Her role was limited, but she did get a few swings out of the back row for a very efficient .400 on a, notably mistake free, 5 attempts. Molly Sauer continues to patrol the back row with a level of play beyond what is normally expected from a freshman, getting 29 digs, and claiming two service aces.

This one was streamed on ESPN3, so if you missed it, you can go catch an on-demand replay. The VolleyCards will be back in action Sunday against Boston College.

Duke Rains on Field Hockey's Day

Field Hockey headed southeast to play against Duke on Tobacco Road. The dominant player may have been Hurricane Joaquin, soaking the playing field. The rains may have given the UofL squad some challenges, as Duke got an early goal and kept that lead into halftime.

The Cards held a 3-1 advantage on penalty corners, but this is a Louisville squad that has not been able to capitalize on penalty corners very well all year resulting in a 5-3 shot advantage for Duke at halftime.

The same basic pattern continued in the second half, with Duke getting the only score, and outshooting the Cards 6-4, but UofL getting more penalty corners 5-3.

UofL takes the loss against another former coach in Pam Bustin, and returns to play Sunday against UMass.


The CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR airs today at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM locally and streaming live on the Internet at

We have a great show planned for you today with recaps and discussions on volleyball, field hockey and soccer. We'll also put out the Worldwide Quiz for you and we invite you to see if you can beat my steamed colleague.