Friday, August 28, 2015
VOLLEYBALL, FIELD HOCKEY AND SOCCER ALL IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND
What a great weekend for UofL Women's Sports coming up!
-- Field Hockey opens the regular season against Appalachian State in Trager tonight at 6:30.
-- Volleyball takes on top ten ranked Illinois in Champaign. It's a 8 p.m. match and available for viewing on the internet at www.fightingillini.com
--Soccer looks to go 2-1 against Kent State on the road.
This one kicks at 4:30 p.m. Live stats and video can be seen at www.kentstatesports.com
The weather may be a little warm...but we encourage you to get out and see Field Hockey on campus. If you read us and live in the central Illinois area or around Kent State, go support Volleyball and Women's Soccer.
SYDNEY ZAMBROTTA, OTHERS TO MAKE WBB VISITS
Christ the King's Sydney Zambrotta is on campus today to make a visit with Jeff Walz's UofL WBB program. The coaches fell in love with her during the summer and the talented guard will begin her senior season of high school hoops at the same school of Cardinal standout Bria Smith.
Also scheduled in for official visits are:
Sept 4th -- Jazmine Jones
Sept 25th -- Lauren Cox
Oct. 22nd -- Natalie Chou and Ciera Johnson
There will undoubtedly be more. Cox played with Mariya Moore on the U19 team that took the gold in Russia this summer. Jones is a 5'10" off guard out of Tallahassee, FL who is ranked 4th at her position and is being heavily recruited as well.
Chou is a 6'0" guard that plays for Plano (TX) West and the #3 ranked player in her position. Ciera Johnson, a talented 6'4" low post out of Duncanville, TX.
Happy hunting, coaches and enjoy the 'Ville...prospective Cards!
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Three games in two days for the Wide Net Cards in Illinois Classic Tournament.
The southern rockers Atlanta Rhythm Section had a minor hit in 1978 with the song Champagne Jam. 37 years later, Anne Kordes and her Volleyball squad are headed to Champaign, IL to do a little jamming, setting and passing of their own in the Illinois Classic that starts Friday on the Illinois campus .
The Cards will start off with the Illini on Friday at 8 p.m. They'll have a bird battle with the Bluejays of Creighton Saturday at 1:30 and finished the birdfest later in the day against the RedHawks from Miami, OH at 5:30 p.m.
The Illini are ranked #8 in the nation, coming off a 3rd place Big 10 finish and 26-8 record. They advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament and return 13 letter winners. The Cards last saw Illinois in 2012 in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge and won a 3-2 match.
Creighton was picked unanimously to win the Big East this season after winning the Big East Tournament and going 25-9. They bowed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon State. It'll be the first time Louisville and Creighton have ever met in Volleyball.
Miami (OH) had a successful MAC season in 2014, going 12-4 in conference and 21-10 overall. They didn't make the NCAA last season...but return five starters and four players who had over 200 kills each. Louisville faced the RedHawks in 2008 and took a 3-2 match.
All matches at the Illini Classic will have free video, courtesy of Illinois Athletics. Links will be set up at www.fightingillini.com/watch to watch the webcasts.
The Friday match against Illinois will also air on WDWS in Champaign. To access that stream, visit www.fightingillini.com, then click on "Tunein Stream" under the "Watch/Listen" tab at the top of the page.
It looks like three very good tests for the Cards. Let's hope we can hoist a champagne toast to their Champaign successes Saturday night!
Click here to hear Atlanta Rhythm Section's Champagne Jam
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
GARCIA, WOODS NAMED TO ALL-ACC PRESEASON TEAM.
We've said it before and we'll continue to say it.
ACC Field Hockey is one tough league.
The ACC and NFHCA polls (National Field Hockey Coaches Association to clarify) were released within hours of each other Tuesday and the Cards were #12 nationally and # 6 in the ACC.
Senior midfielder Elisa (Chile) Garcia and sophomore midfielder/forward Nicole Woods were selected to the Preseason All-ACC squad.
All seven ACC teams are in the top 13 nationally. UNC grabbed the #2 spot behind Connecticut and Duke is #4.
The Cards open their regular season Friday night with a 6:30 match against Appalachian State in The Trager.
The Cards have been impressive in the preseason, as my steamed colleague Worldwide pointed out in yesterday's article. Buoyed by his stellar PA duties on Sunday, the Stick Swinging Cards romped the alumnae 7-1. Equally impressive was the 4-0 win over #17 Iowa in the exhibition Saturday.
Admission is free for Louisville Field Hockey. In this...the 2015 Year Of The Fan as proclaimed by Tom Jurich and the athletic department...get yourself out to Trager and be one. It's about to get real on Warnock...
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Ridiculously Early Worldwide Season Analysis
The fall season for sports is barely underway for soccer and not officially underway for field hockey and volleyball yet at all, but we have had a chance to see all of these teams on their respective fields of play, so it's time for a ridiculously early analysis of what we've seen.
Justine Sowry's stick squad has two exhibition competitions to base our observations on. First a Saturday mid-day tilt against Iowa, who finished last season in 18th in the RPI, missing the 19 team cut for the NCAA tournament. Nonetheless, the Hawkeyes traditionally have put up some reasonable competition, but it wasn't to be found Saturday.
|Midfielder Elisa "Chili" Garcia|
A 4-0 win in regulation surely inflated the expectations of the Trager Defenders. This heightened expectation would have only been slightly dimmed by Iowa's sudden victory goal in the 7v7 overtime session that they played despite a non-tied regulation outcome. The 3-1 victory in the 1v1 shootout also would have served to encourage the team as well.
The next day saw the alumnae return to the field and a bit of a deflation of that excitement. Sowry thought the team came out flat (listen to the radio show Saturday for the comments), and an early goal by the alumnae may have brought the competition back into focus for the current team. Conditioning certainly helped as well as the current squad went on to thoroughly control the second half with a winning score of 7-1
What We Saw
We saw a team that plays a solid defense and makes chances on offense...a good basic recipe for a solid season result.
We did see some minor problems on penalty corners, though. Specifically we saw some technique issues on stopping the ball inbounded from the baseline hashmark. Ideally, the ball gets stopped and then hit by another player, either at the goal, or over to another player or two to take a shot. Several times in the two games, however, the ball popped up into the air when it was stopped. This drastically limits the options on the attack, and unsurprisingly, the team did not score on these bobbled attempts. This is an issue that should be readily resolved with some targeted practice on the technique.
We have an excellent 1v1 goalkeeper in case of shootouts in Ayeisha McFerran, which also translates into defense of fast breaks, which I don't think we'll see much of, but it's good to know that we have a GK that can handle them.
A Reasonable Goal
Elite Eight, or Final Four appearance
With two exhibition games completed as well as two regulation games in the books, we may have the best sense of where the soccer team is.
A crazy goal at Northern Kentucky handed the team an exhibition loss, so we'll put that one aside for a moment. A good pre-season win against IU is encouraging, and a 2-1 win over Wright State in the season opener is also encouraging. The second regulation game saw a very good Washington team get the 2-1 win.
What We Saw
We saw a team that creates some real chances on offense with reasonable protection on defense. This is, clearly, an overall young team, but there is some leadership to help out.
|Senior Forward Casey Whitfield|
It's fantastic to have senior Casey Whitfield back, and she has already proven her value with several assists, but has yet to find the back of the net herself. A mere 2-1 win over Wright State may sound a bit disappointing, but there was a significant barrage of shots that technically weren't on goal, but bounced off of the posts and crossbar. Keep that up, and points will start showing up on the scoreboard.
This team has some potential this year. I'm not going to hold my breath for a national championship, but we should see a better outcome than last year, and that's the definition of progress.
A Reasonable Goal
Return to the NCAA tournament. Win a tournament game.
We've got the least data on volleyball, with only an intra-squad scrimmage in the rear-view mirror. That also means any scores are pretty much meaningless as players switch back and forth between the two sides of the competition pretty much on every play in the Red & Black Scrimmage.
So, let's get directly to...
What We Saw
Passing and digging was much improved over what we saw last year. We already had some evidence that this was the case based on some interviews and getting to see an early practice, but it's encouraging to see it in person in more of a game-type of setting.
We also saw, however, a number of service errors, and some hitting errors as well that need to get cleaned up if we're going to have a strong season.
A few things that I saw that I really liked...we have three left-handers on the squad, which gives other teams a different and slightly unusual look to attacks that can throw off their spacing a bit. Southpaws also tend to put a bit of a different spin on serves, which can cause the other team some problems. Speaking of serving, I saw Gabbie Wiley, one of the lefties, serving a jump serve in pre-season practice last year, but she didn't use in during the season. I saw more work on it in pre-season practice this year, and she brought it out for the scrimmage. I'm hopeful we'll see it during the season as well.
|Freshman Right Side and Setter Morgan Miller|
Freshman Morgan Miller, also a leftie, looks pretty good on the right side, and is a competent setter as well, so I would expect to see her on the court in that right side position and giving the squad almost a double-setter look. Might we even see Katie George take a swing if Miller has to take the set? It's possible. Incidentally, the other leftie is our backup true setter Kali Eaken.
Erin Fairs and Maya McClendon both can play full rotation as left side and back-row attackers which makes for more balance in the attack, and more options for our setters. Our middles, primarily Tess Clark and Maggie DeJong are just as amazing as they were last year.
A Reasonable Goal
Return to the NCAA tournament. Maybe a sweet sixteen appearance.
Monday, August 24, 2015
PEREZ'S TWO SCORES DOWN CARDS 2-1
Louisville Women's Soccer scored first in the match against #20 Washington but saw Washington counter with the final two goals of the game.
Rachel Avant got the Cards on the board at the 30 minute mark...connecting right in front of Husky goalkeeper Megan Kufield...but the Huskies notched their first score a minute later on a corner kick where Amanda Perez found net.
The Huskies took the lead 13 minutes into the final half when Perez took a UofL goalie Taylor Bucklin deflection and sent it past her for the eventual game-winner.
The Cards celebrated US women's team head coach Jill Ellis being in town with a special halftime presentation and Q and A with the fans...plus a post game clinic and skills session for the youth in attendance that Ellis mentored. Ellis was also honored at a special team dinner with the Cardinal squad Saturday evening at the home of head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes and spent a couple of hours talking with the squad.
Washington outshot the Cards 15-11 and both Bucklin and Kufeld have five saves each.
FIELD HOCKEY STARTS SLOW BUT ROMPS THE ALUMNAE 7-1
In the annual Field Hockey vs. Alumnae game at Trager Stadium...it was the grads who got goal first when 2004 All-Mid-American Suzanne Irwin Bush connected in the 19th. minute of play. The alums held that advantage another ten minutes before Shannon Sloss found net twice in the final six minutes to give the undergrads a 2-1 halftime lead.
Coach Sowry delivered an "inspiring" speech (by some accounts) to get the 2015 squad fired up for the final 35 and it did the trick.
Five minutes into the final half, Victoria Stratton got Louisville's first goal of the half on a penalty corner. Then came Katherine Gwynne-Wood, Stratton again, Tess Hannah and finally Stephanie Byrne in the final two minutes for the 7-1 final.
Over 30 alums were present for the scrimmage...including Cardinal greats Alyssa Voelmle, Erin Schneidtmiller and coaching legend Sherill Brakemeier.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
CARDS GET BALANCED SCORING IN WIN OVER HAWKEYES.
Justine Sowry's defensive units have been masterful over the past few seasons and today's scrimmage against Iowa which the Cards won 4-0 revealed that probably isn't going to change in 2015. What was a bit surprising and exciting to see was that four different Cardinals scored in the exhibition win at Trager Stadium.
Senior Katherine Gwynne-Wood got the Cards on the board six minutes into the contest and Wood set up junior Shannon Sloss for a score about ten minutes later to make it 2-0 Cards. That lead held into the halftime break...Louisville getting superb defensive efforts from defender Victoria Stratton and freshman Ayeisha McFerran.
The Cards increased the advantage to 3-0 when junior Lotta Kahlert fed sophomore Nicole Woods near the cage. Kahlert picked up her second assist five minutes later when she found freshman Tess Hannah for the Cards final score.
Coach Sowry was pleased with the intensity and is excited for the regular season to begin next week.
"We're very excited for the season. We just have to keep working hard and remain humble and hungry and if we do that and take one game at a time, then we have a very good season ahead of us. There is such a long way to go, but this is a good start for us."
The teams also participated in a seven-on-seven sudden victory period that the Hawkeyes won with a score three minutes in. The activities concluded with a goalie shootout that Louisville captured 3-1.
Field Hockey takes on the alumni today at 1:30. They were scouting in the stands today and we did confirm that Coach Sowry is not suiting up for this one.
FALL FAN FEST FUN FOR ALL AND FULL OF FOOTBALL.
Louisville's second annual Fall Fan Fest took place yesterday in Cardinal Arena and football dominated the venue...sitting at tables and providing autographs for the fans. Coach Petrino did the same...and had long lines of the Cardinal Faithful waiting to have him sign posters and items.
Worldwide and I managed to find the Volleyball and Field Hockey teams and got some remarks from them about the event and their seasons so far.
Worldwide captured the sights and sounds on Periscope...including Paulie's participation in Field Hockey passing drills.
It's tougher than it looks....friends.
(I'm just glad they didn't have a volleyball net set up so the Wide Net Cards front liners could use me for target practice.)
BLACK DOWNS RED 3-0 IN VOLLEYBALL SCRIMMAGE.
A busy day on the Belknap Campus concluded with Volleyball's first pre-season outing...Anne Kordes divided the squad and treated the fans to a Red/Black game.
Although I wasn't able to stay for it, the report is that Black bested Red in three straight sets.
Word is junior ourside hitter Maya McClendon led all with nine kills. Defensive specialist added eight digs and Assumption freshman Molly Sauer added seven digs and a couple of kills.
Anne Kordes liked what she saw:
"I am happy with the outcome and overall play defensively from an effort standpoint. Our technical standpoint needs a little work but we are so much further along than we were at this time last year. I was happy with the focus of the defense and the effort was phenomenal. Katie George showed the reason she is our captain. Our hitting errors I attribute to jitters. The passing was great and that put all our setters in a postion to have all options."
Volleyball starts the season next week in Champaign, IL in the Illinois Tournament...where they'll face Creighton, Miami (OH) and Illinois.
WSOC WELCOMES WASHINGTON
Don't forget Women's Soccer today at 1 p.m. The Kickin' Cards defend The Palace against Washington...a top 25 pre-season ranked team.
It should be a good one. Louisville comes in after a win against Wright State Friday. The Huskies fell to Kentucky Friday in Lexington.
Jill Ellis, who was the head coach for the USA Women's World Cup that took the trophy this summer, will be there teaching clinics, greeting the fans and sharing her secrets for success.
LIVE AND UNREHEARSED ( and it shows)
The latest edition of the Cardinal Couple Radio Show is up and available on the heavenly SoundCloud at Crescent Hill Radio.
We play some great interviews that you can hear with Anne Kordes, Katie George, Karen Ferguson-Dayes and Lexie Niedoba...plus our usual assorted nonsense and discussion of the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.
THE ANNE KORDES AND KATIE GEORGE SHOW! OK, NOT REALLY BUT THEY DO A GREAT JOB ON OUR LATEST BROADCAST !
Friday, August 21, 2015
TWO FIRST HALF GOALS LEAD WSOC TO WIN
University of Louisville Women's Soccer got first half goals from freshman Gabrielle Vincent and senior Lexie Niedoba and held on late during a Wright State rally to win the season opener in front of roughly 2000 fans in Lynn Stadium Friday night.
Vincent started the scoring 10 1/2 minutes into the contest when she took a Casey Whitfield corner kick and headed it into the net past WSU goalie Kelsey Deal. The Cards added a second goal with 1:08 left in the first 45...Niedoba getting a nifty feed from Rachel Avant and connecting from the upper left corner.
Cards starting goalie Taylor Bucklin, a transfer from Michigan and the solid Cards defense of Inger Katrine Bjerke, Isabella Gutierrez, Hannah Konermann held the Raiders scoreless for 87 minutes...a score off a cross got WSU within one. Louisville kept the Raiders from tying in the final three minutes.
Statistically, Louisville dominated on the offense. The Cards attempted 23 shots...15 more than the visitors. Louisville also had 10 shots on goal to WSU's 4. Deal was kept busy with eight saves...Louisville narrowly missed several scoring opportunities on shots hitting the crossbar or barely sailing over the net.
-- Built for speed -- If Rachel Avant isn't the fastest player on the Cards roster, she isn't far behind. Cut loose on several breakaway opportunities, the senior transfer from Iowa Central Community College and Frankfurt, Germany narrowly missed two scoring chances.
-- Did you see that! -- Bucklin had an incredible save in front of the goal with 13 minutes remaining. It turned out to be huge...without it, this one could have ended in a tie.
-- Putting in overtime -- Bucklin, Shelby Cohen, Gutierrez, Konermann, Bjerke and Alison Price played the entire 90 minutes for the Cards.
-- A tough call -- Head UofL coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes said in a post-game interview with CARDINAL COUPLE that starting Bucklin in goal was one of the hardest decisions she's had to make so far this season. The Cards have three outstanding goalies in Bucklin, red-shirt freshman Victoria Gabor and last year's starter junior Paige Brown.
-- Look-alikes?-- My steamed colleague Worldwide is convinced Cardinal sophomore midfielder Shelby Cohen bears a remarkable resemblance to former Cardinal Softball outfield Kelsi Jones. You decide...
All-in-all...a good opener for the Cards. Coach KFD has won 13 season-openers in a row now. It gets rougher Sunday when top 25 Washington comes to town.
Be sure to listen to the CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO SHOW this morning at 11 a.m. for post game interviews with Coach KFD and Lexie Niedoba. We'll also have interviews from Volleyball's Anne Kordes and Katie George, preview Fall Fan Fest Day and talk about Field Hockey's opening exhibition game against Iowa that starts at 11:30 this morning. Volleyball also has a intra-squad scrimmage at 6 p.m. in Cardinal Arena. It going to be a busy day. Hear our show on WCHQ 100.9 FM locally or on the internet at www.crescenthillradio.com
We have a link to the show below:
CARDINAL COUPLE ON THE INTERNET!
You can also hear the post-game interviews (and see Paulie's Tascam Voice Recorder!) over at gocards.com