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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Baseball and Soccer

it's not often that we get to talk about a diamond sport and soccer in the same articles, seeing as we're a UofL focused site, and baseball and soccer at the college level are in opposite seasons.  Today, though, we have both UofL Baseball playing the College World Series and the US Women's National Team in action in the Women's World Cup.  OK, neither are perfectly on point for the Cardinal Couple mission, but we do stray off the side where interest and significance warrants, so let's do this.

Women's World Cup


2 matches today in the Women's World Cup.  both in Group F.  Sweden is starting off the day against Thailand.  At the time of this writing, the game is 23 minutes in and Sweden leads 2-0.  The US will match up against Chile at noon eastern time (EDT).

The US played Thailand on Tuesday, and won convincingly, 13-0.  Thailand qualified for the World Cup.  That means they are a good team in the overall context of the world stage, as only 24 teams qualify, but in the context of the World Cup competition...yeah, ok, they're not great.  After the game there was some punditry and commentary about whether the US should've let up on the gas, put in substitutes, or not celebrated goals after a certain point.

Hogwash (and I'm doing my best to resist using stronger language, here).

They're playing in the World Cup.  This is the most prestigious soccer competition around (yes, even surpassing the Olympics, in my estimation).  Any team that is playing in the World Cup, is a world class team, pretty much by definition.  Goals scored are things to be celebrated.  Goal differential is a thing that can, and frequently does, matter for advancing and seeding in the knock-out round.  Put in the subs?  Doesn't matter too much on this deep US team, and besides, you can only substitute 3 times in International soccer.  Goals are hard to achieve in soccer.  Celebrate away!

So, back to today's matchup.  Chile played Sweden on Tuesday and lost 2-0.  The US should come out on top of this one, but again, this is the World Cup, there are no bad teams, here.  The World Cup history is replete with plenty of big upsets over the years.  The US will need to come out and play the game that they know they're capable, don't listen to the sexist punditry saying they shouldn't play their hardest, and play their best through the last echo of the last whistle.

All Women's World Cup games are televised on Fox Sports.

College World Series


Now let's come back to UofL sports, though we'll need to switch over to the guys side of things.

Baseball starts their College World Series campaign today at 2 eastern (EDT), and will be matched up against a familiar, and always challenging, foe in Vanderbilt.

The CWS is structured as 2 parallel 4-team double-elimination tournaments, the winner from each of those double-elimination tournament then plays a best of 3 series to determine the final champion.  Softball has much the same structure, but they have a "crossover" where the loser of the 1-0 game in each bracket crosses over to the elimination side of the opposite bracket.  Baseball doesn't have that feature (and I do consider it a feature as it gives a little bit more mixing up of the teams than the baseball format that lacks the crossover), so for near future, UofL only has to worry about the other teams their 4 team bracket.

Interestingly, all 3 other teams in Louisville's half of the CWS bracket are SEC teams, with Auburn and Mississippi State joining Vanderbilt as the potential opponents.

From the other 4-team bracket, the potential championship series opponents are Texas Tech, Michigan, Arkansas, and Florida State.  Florida State has been playing very well of late, as a sort of grand farewell tour for their coach who is retiring after the season, so there's a very real chance of an all-ACC championship series.  The CWS did kick off, overall, yesterday with a Florida State win over Arkansas, and Michigan over Texas Tech.

Back to today, Louisville and Vanderbilt have a long history of entertaining and competitive games, including a number of games in NCAA Regionals, a Super Regional, and even at the College World Series (Vanderbilt won, on the way to winning the whole event).  The oak barrel, the trophy for the matchup between the two teams, currently resides in Nashville with Vanderbilt after they beat the Cards 6-2 earlier in the season.  The barrel is not on the line for post season games between the teams, so regardless of the outcome, it will remain in Nashville until next spring when the teams meet up in the regular season again.  The Barrel rivalry began in 2012, and the series is currently evenly split at 4 wins apiece.  In the full history of the teams, which goes back to 1971, Vanderbilt leads 24-10.

Today's game is available on ESPN.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


The quiz slump is real!

Paulie, Case, Jared, and myself were in the studio yesterday and the usual hilarity ensued.  We talked
about Asia "Nite-nite" Durr's 20 point WNBA performance, the Women's World Cup, and plenty of other random topics.

Paulie brought a mixed bag of questions for the Cardinal Couple quiz, on the theme of coaches, where some were (at least in my opinion) easy, and some got a bit tricky.  Jared came away with the one-eared toothpick holding bear, with toothpicks, trophy.  See if you can beat him.

As usual, the stream is available on Facebook Live:

https://www.facebook.com/WCHQfm/videos/vb.123009984388960/693043604477833/


Happy Fathers Day ! 


From all of us at CARDINAL COUPLE to all of you Dads out there...HAPPY FATHERS DAY. This is your day, so we hope you have the chance to spend it in the way you choose.

If you're Dad is still living, be sure to do something special for him today. Even a phone call or visit for lunch and conversation.

Remember, it "took two to make you" -- so give a bit of acknowledgement to the guy who taught you how to put the chain back on your bicycle, stood patiently across from you while you tried to toss the ball in his glove, gave up that weekend morning of golf to make sure you got to (fill in the sport or activity) practice and offered advice when you were uncertain or listened when you had something you needed to discuss. The guy who played with you and your siblings in the yard and responded so sagely when Mom yelled "You're tearing up the lawn!" with the reply "No we're not. We're raising kids."


-- 
JMcA

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Women's Athletics Coming to your TV this Fall -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball, Soccer, Field Hockey to be Featured on ACCN


The ACC Network has started announcing programming for its first fall on television, and the coverage choices may come as a surprise to some. If you are like me, and cut the cord, you probably watch a lot of your sports through sports apps on a SmartTV or computer or phone, so this won't affect you as much. Most people expected that the ACC Network would focus on the primary money making ratings sports--football, men's and women's basketball, soccer to an extent, baseball--and some associated programming to go along with these sports. This idea was supported when it was announced that Louisville would receive and "all-access" football show, similar to the NFL's "Hard Knocks", on the ACC Network this season. It would seem that these sports aren't all the ACC has in mind, though.

As the programming announcements have come out, three women's sports in particular stand to gain quite a bit from the new channel. The ACC Network has announced the airing of 20 volleyball matches (three of which will feature the Louisville Cardinals) as well as announcing that Wednesday nights will be dedicated to ACC volleyball during the season. Thursday nights will be devoted to women's soccer, with some Sunday games being aired as well, and both the field hockey and women's soccer ACC tournaments will be aired to some extent on the channel.

As I mentioned earlier, this won't have a major impact on me. The ACC Network will be an ESPN channel and will be available on cable, but I will probably choose to watch most of my events on the ESPN App if available due to the longer delays I get from my cable streaming service. That said, the exposure that this will bring to women's athletics will be very big for the league. The more people that the ACC can get interested in these sports that sometimes fly a bit under the radar, the better it will be for everyone. Increased interest usually turns into increased attendance, which increases profits league-wide, which is good for the players, coaches, and universities alike. 

These announcements are exciting for the fall women's sports, but also for the winter and spring sports. As often as men's ACC basketball games are covered by other networks, the ACCN should be open to quite a bit of women's basketball this winter. Additionally, lacrosse, softball, and baseball should all see their airtime increase.

After hearing the announcement that the ACCN was coming, most Louisville fans were excited that there would be fewer Louisville football and basketball games on internet only viewing options. That may still be the case for a lot of fans, but this one in particular (and if I had to guess, most people writing for and reading this site), this news is very well received. I'm looking forward to the fall already.

I'll toss the question out there. How will you and how have you watched the Cards when you're not in attendance at events? Have you "cut the cord"? Are you excited about the ACC Network and how will you view events that Louisville women's sports are involved in? Feel free to reply in our comments section.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


We'll have a full house again this week, this time without Jared having to hit the road mid-show. Hopefully we can avoid catastrophic microphone incidents this time around.

We'll catch up on anything we've missed throughout the week, get started into the true heart of the summer slump, and see if Jeff and I can do any better than our embarrassing showing on last week's quiz. Tune in to WCHQ at 11 a.m. to catch the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. You can find the show at 100.9 FM, the WCHQ App, online at wchqfm.com, or watch us on Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


Friday, June 14, 2019

History of Louisville Women's Sports: Chapter III -- Women's Soccer


JARED ANDERSON LOOKS AT UOFL WOMEN'S SPORTS

Annnnnd.... we’re back with another edition of our summertime special here at Cardinal Couple: The History of Louisville Women’s Sports.  In our third edition we continue with the upcoming fall sports as we look at women’s soccer.

Once again, thank you to sources such as GoCards, UofL Libraries, the Courier-Journal, Wikipedia and other sources for the assistance and credit for the facts and numbers.

In 1985, UofL added women’s soccer to its list of Division 1 teams.  At the time they were not a part of a conference nor did they have a set soccer stadium.  Like field hockey, soccer played most of their matches early on in a field marked by coaches and staff members.

Chip Wilkinson was named the first UofL women’s soccer coach.  They won their inaugural match 12-0 over Eastern Kentucky.  That match still holds the program record for goals scored in a match and win differential.  The rest of that 1985 season wasn’t as successful as the team finished 8-9-0.  Wilkinson remained for two more years but never reached that eight-win mark again. 

Sandy Davis came in in 1988 and stayed for just the one year after going 6-11-0.

In 1989, UofL had co-head coaches for soccer in Melissa Mattingly and Jeff Yan.  The duo led the Cards to a 6-10-0 record that year.  Mattingly left at the end of the year and Yan stayed for two more years, but the program never found success.

Sam Asamoah entered in 1992.  He remained with the program for four years and led the Cardinals to their first ever winning season, an 11-7-0 record in 1993.  In his final season as head coach UofL made the transition to Conference USA.  Asamoah eventually left to focus on accounting.  He is now the president of Asamoa (no “H”) and Associates, CPA. 

Tony Colavecchia was head coach from 1996-1997.  His attention turned toward coaching the men’s team at UofL through 2005.  He is the all-time winningest coach for men’s soccer at UofL.  He is now on staff with SC del Sol, a large soccer club in Arizona that features over 50 teams and 800 players.

Karla Thompson entered the scene in 1998 and stayed for two years.  Louisville won one match during her time as head coach.  She is now a US Soccer coach educator in Phoenix.

Karen Ferguson (now Ferguson-Dayes) took over in 2000 and is still with the Cards.  She is entering her 20th as Louisville’s head coach and is the all-time winningest coach in program history.  Ferguson-Dayes oversaw the transition to the Big East in 2005, the AAC in 2013 and the ACC in 2014.  Ferguson-Dayes is married to Hylton Dayes, the head men’s soccer coach at Cincinnati and they have a son (Brandon) who can frequently be seen post-game on the Lynn turf...kicking the ball around with staffers and players. 

Cardinal Park opened in 2000.  Along with the soccer field, Cardinal Park was home to track and field, field hockey and softball.  Tennis was located around the corner and swimming and diving across the street.  Surrounding Cardinal Park is the red path known as the Jewish Hospital Cardio Path.  It served as home to both soccer teams through 2013.

The team moved down the road to Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium, one of the top soccer facilities in the country at any level for the start of the 2014 season.  The premiere facility hosts locker rooms for both teams as well as opposing teams.  It features state-of-the-art equipment and technology as well as an awning to provide shade and shelter from the weather for spectators during the match.  Besides host to many NCAA events Lynn Stadium has hosted USL matches.

Louisville women’s soccer has been one of the top programs at UofL in terms of international players, including recent players from Canada, England, Norway, Slovenia, Scotland, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and Mexico.  Louisville has also had a recent spark in players from California as well as its strong pull within the Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana area.

Recent players to go pro out of Louisville include Gabrielle Vincent, Rachel Avant, Erin Yenney and Charlyn Corral.  There are plenty more on the current roster in good position to follow suit with Emina Ekic being the most well-known player (and Google certified- search “Emina Ekic”) to join the ranks. Mollie Rouse plays for England's U 20 World Cup squad and Chinyelu Asher is on  the Jamaican women's national team. 

Catch Paulie in the press box, Case and Jeff in the stands and myself on the field taking pictures.  If you have any soccer questions, I recommend you direct them to our soccer "expert" Case for the most accurate answer.  Head out to Lynn Stadium to cheer on the Cards in action as they hope to continue climbing in the ACC. UofL women's soccer opens play in 64 days with an exhibition against Butler University in Lynn Stadium.

Catch the A-team in action tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.  You can tune into 100.9 WCHQ FM, WCHQ Facebook page, or WCHQ’s website.  We are ever grateful for the WCHQ staff for allowing us to continue hosting The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour through them.

Happy Friday and Go Cards!

Jared



Thursday, June 13, 2019

"NITE-NITE" HAS A BIG NIGHT IN LIBERTY WIN OVER MINNESOTA -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



DURR GOES FOR 20 IN NEW YORK'S WIN OVER MINNESOTA

A freshman season in any type of league... in any sport can be filled with ups and downs. Learning the styles and talents of new teammates. Understanding exactly what the coach wants and when. A new city, environment, arena and fan base. 


Asia Durr had her best night (so far) in the WNBA with 20 points in the New York Liberty's 75-69 win over the Minnesota Lynx Wednesday night. Playing 34 minutes and hitting 10 of 16 of her shots. Adding two steals, rebounds and assists as well in the Liberty's second straight win on the season. 

Asia and her teammates put a 14-2 run on the Lynx to end the first quarter and start the second quarter...taking a 9-8 lead and pushing it to 23-10 after a Durr jumper with 8:25 until halftime. Durr would shine in that first half with 14 points, which was two better than her previous career high. She and Kia Nurse (26 pts. for the game)  were clicking for the Liberty and the Lynx trailed by 10 going into the final quarter. 

The contest wasn't over, though....and the Lynx weren't ready to head back to their locker room with an "L" just yet. 

Minnesota rallied to cut the New York lead to three in the first three minutes of the final quarter. The Liberty pushed their advantage back out to nine but the Lynx roared back to cut it to four with less than 30 seconds to go.

Then, came the highlight play. 

Asia made a spectacular move with the ball, splitting two defenders and driving to the hoop to score with 20 seconds on the clock to secure the win. 

"I was just trying to make a play. the shot clock was going down. I didn't want to turn the ball over. Just make a move and try to score." Durr revealed after the contest. 

A bit of advice from Liberty head coach Katie Smith to Durr before the contest was key. Shoot the ball more was the message and that encouragement is like advising a eight-year-old to have another few scoops of ice cream at a picnic. Sure, no problem.  

There will be more highs and lows for #25 and her teammates this season. The New York fans got to see what Louisville fans had been raving about for four years last night, though. It is a shame only 1100 were in attendance for the win. I wonder how many would fill the KFC YUM! Center on a Wednesday summer night to see Asia in the WNBA? Your thoughts are welcome in the comments secction. 

Here's the highlights: 

ASIA DOING ASIA STUFF

The combination of Nurse and Durr at guard with Tina Charles in the paint has great potential...going forward...and WNBA squads will have to plan accordingly. 


Durr's stats for the five games she has played in this season are 29.4 minutes a night and 12 points per contest.

Compare that to the #1 2019 WNBA pick Jackie Young...who has seen an average of 21.2 minutes and 6.6 points per game for Las Vegas.

Speaking of ex- Notre Damer Young...the Liberty head to Las Vegas for a contest against her Aces next. They'll match up Friday night at 10:30 PM ET. The Liberty are 2-4 so far this season, Las Vegas 2-3.

The Connecticut Sun are atop the WNBA with a 6-1 mark. 

Have a tremendous Thursday!  

paulie
xxxxx

  


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Women's Basketball Receives High Praise During Camp -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(JARED ANDERSON BRINGS YOU THE WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE. HIS LAPTOP IS BROKEN -- AGAIN -- SO THE ARTICLE IS BEING ENTERED BY PAULIE FROM JARED E-MAIL TO HIM. YEP, THAT'S US. HIGH TECH, ADVANCED I.T. AND ONE STEP ABOVE THE PHONE CONNECTION ON MR. DOUGLAS'S TELEPHONE POLE ON GREEN ACRES.) -- MR. HANEY




Off-season doesn't mean lounging around doing nothing for the UofL women's basketball team. For a few weeks this summer, the coaching staff and players get to embellish on their hard work by working and teaching at summer camps.

The camps are designed to help younger players improve their skills and their basketball IQ, plus have a little fun. The participants are run through drills and practices while being guided and mentored.

Louisville is in Day 3 of a camp currently, but it seems a Monday Morning event as the camp was beginning has brought attention to he program. Wonderful attention. A women who runs a Facebook page called "Quit Being Ugly"  made a post about her daughter that moved many readers.

This woman, who kept her daughter's name and the names of the student athletes private (for obvious reasons) talked about the severe anxiety issues her daughter goes through. Upon arrival at the camp, the daughter had a moment where the anxiety took over. Several of the players and coaching staff came over to talk with the girl to comfort her. Coach Walz came over to spend time with the girl, directing his players and staff to continue the camp while he comforted her.

Here is the full post:

“My daughter went to her first day of her first basketball camp today at the University of Louisville. She is eight and about a year ago she was diagnosed with anxiety.

There is nothing about parenting that is easy. And then there are things about parenting that are especially hard. Watching your child struggle with anxiety is my current dose of “especially hard”.

My daughter is smart, kind, loving, and so many other things that you dream about after you hear the first heartbeat. But she is also anxious. She wakes up with plaguing tummy aches that she desperately wants me to explain and understand. I regularly look back in the rearview mirror and see her taking deep breaths and whispering words of affirmation to herself. A new school year, a new schedule, a new routine can all send unseen ripples into her world. Simple words thrown around on the playground land on her like little lancets; she struggles to understand why she was laughed at on the gaga ball court. A family trip to Disney can stir up waves of unexplainable emotions. She is 8. Her innocent brain seldom slows down enough for her to enjoy just being a little girl in a little town in Kentucky.

My daughter adores the University of Louisville women’s basketball players. Today was the first day of the summer day camp and my daughter was registered to go. Knowing this was going to be intimidating for her, I gave her several chances in the weeks leading up to camp to back out. “You don’t have any friends going to camp with you, are you still sure that you want to go?” “Yes.” “Sam and Asia graduated and won’t be there to coach, are you sure that you still want to go?” “Yes.” No matter the question; always a solid “yes”.

She wanted to go, to be there in the mix with the UofL basketball stars but as soon as we pulled onto the UofL campus, her body started into panic mode. She wrapped her arms around her middle and started counting down each passing minute on her watch as we tried to find the parking garage. She asked me to turn the radio off and then frantically repeated herself while I fumbled with the knob. Her breathing quickened.

See, this is the hardest to explain to people about her anxiety. She is regularly stuck in a state of uncontrollable angst while desperately longing to participate in her life. She wants to be on stage for her school play. She wants to sing the solo and play the piano at her recital. She wants to go to basketball camp where she will meet some of her favorite female athletes. She longs to engage but her body is often frozen in a regular state of stress.

Being a mom to an anxious child is hard. I’ve learned to anticipate the ripples. I knew today would be hard. There were over 200 campers. . . a new environment . . . and a lot of new, important adults.

We walked in holding hands and her pace slowed as we reached the gym lobby until finally she stopped and tucked herself into a wall hidden from the other campers. She looked at me with tears running down her face. Frozen in panic, she said “mom, I don’t feel safe here.”

“I know, baby,” I thought, “I know you don’t feel safe but no one else does either so what do you want me to do?.”

I did the only thing that I could think of that wouldn’t cause her more harm. I walked away from her and over to the registration table, gave them her name and asked if someone could come talk to her with me. There is no way they could have known my fear as I asked that they pull someone away from their task of managing over 200 girls to help with my child. They couldn’t’ve known the roller coaster of shame and indignation and justification as I walked across the gym floor to ask for special treatment for my daughter “who just has a little anxiety”. I was terrified that they would inwardly roll their eyes. Was I being selfish for even asking? Should we just go home? I was so worried that they would just try to shame her or be irritated by the interruption but none of that happened. Instead, I left the gym with eyes full of tears of gratitude because today became a story about a group of adults that took the time to make sure that they met the needs of a little girl.

This is a basketball camp for a top ACC team and they didn’t have to care. They didn’t have to stop what they were doing or send a camp coach over to check on my daughter. They didn’t have to stay with her until she calmed down enough to walk onto the court. They didn’t have to make a game out of taking three steps onto the court and then jumping back. Or have a contest between three UofL WBB employees to see who could make those three steps on and off the court the fastest. They didn’t have to do it discreetly enough for her to feel safe. But they did. They all did it together.

It wasn’t just a player, a camp counselor, or an assistant coach. It was also the head coach. At one point, while he was with my daughter, one of the camp counselors ran over to Coach Walz to let him know that it was time for Coach to start the next section of camp. He looked up without hesitation and told the counselor that they should move on without him and he went back to my daughter. She was important to him and he wanted her to know it. He asked her who her teacher was in school. He asked if she had siblings and her favorite subject. He wanted to know her favorite player so that he could bring her over for an introduction. He then paused and asked another coach to run to the restroom to check on another little girl that had run away in tears.

They were all there for my daughter and every other camper. They all cared.

It was important to every person in charge of that gym that my eight year old little girl felt welcome on their court. I believe that philosophies like what I saw today start from the top. I am so grateful for a program that supports a little girl with big dreams despite her anxiety. Thanks, Coach Walz and the UofL WBB program for helping my little girl feel safe."

If the story moves you to tears, don't feel alone. 


Women's basketball is the primary sport of the UofL womens' sports we focus on here at CARDINAL COUPLE, so I thought this story was worth sharing. The players and staff -- Coach Walz -- are a classy bunch and have represented the University of Louisville well for as long as I can remember and this is one of those moments we can point to as a reference.

Read this, NCAA, and then maybe re-consider how you feel about UofL Athletics,  Read this, journalists and writers -- those of you who have Jeff Walz jumping ship and taking the first job that comes around. Maybe college isn't about seeking and going after the best job or team to play for. Student-athletes and their coaches learning life lessons, on-the-spot, and getting a chance to help another person in need -- maybe that's what we need more of.  Gee. Maybe college is a time to grow, experience and learn. 

The next time you're ready to fly off the handle and lament that "this player didn't do this" or "Coach should have done that" or any other diatribe you might have about Cardinal Athletics...stop yourself. Maybe take a deep breath and go back and read this story again. 

It isn't always all about the dollars, the referees, the rankings, the rivals and the eligibility issues.

It's about being caring, compassionate human beings. 


Jared Anderson. 






Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Louisville WBB -- Start learning the names now, Cardinal fans -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

THESE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW

Being a bit of a movie buff, one of my favorite remakes of a classic was the 2016 remake of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. This remake of the 1960 movie (of the same name) starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.

The plot was based around seven gunmen being banded together to protect a small town from a private army of a destructive and despicable rich industrialist. 

Jeff Walz is offering a live, basketball version of the classic Western when he brings seven "new to the KFC YUM! Center floor" women's basketball student-athletes together for the first time to join another group of student-athletes who seek to defend their ACC Women's basketball regular season share of the title.  We know some of the names...because of their previous exploits in DI WBB. I recommend you commit all seven to memory.


Say "Hello!" to Elizabeth, Kianna and Liz..." 
From Georgia Tech, both ELIZABETH BALOGUN and LIZ DIXON saddle up and ride north to take shots at ACC foes from a different perspective. The duo teamed up for a combined 25 points per game and average of 30 minutes a game down in "hot 'lanta". While Cardinal fans wait to see if they can join the party right away or in 2020-21 -- having that kind of arsenal available will pay huge rewards for the squad -- be it practice or game situations. Balogun, a guard, was the ACC Freshman of the year. Dixon, a 6'5" paint player, was named to the All-ACC Freshman team and the leading freshman rebounder in the ACC. How this for a trade...lose a couple of key guards and post-player to graduation and to the WNBA and gain a couple of key guards and post? I like the restocking strategy. 

KIANNA SMITH makes the journey to the "Ville" from California, where she was a key guard in the Bears system for two years. We do know she'll have to redshirt the 2019-20 season but...look out Cardinal fans after that! A PAC 12 All-Freshman team selection in 2017-18, 35% from beyond the arc and, oh yeah...she was a "burger girl" like Liz and Elizabeth.


A Cardinal Couple welcome to Ramani, Nyah and Norika !
NYAH GREEN arrives from Texas carrying the titles of 2018-19 Texas Ms. Basketball and the 6A Texas Player of the Year in her saddlebags. She's been committed to carrying on the gunfight on Main Street for quite sometime now and, as we all know, you don't "mess with Texas". Green is a delight to watch on both ends of the court and will fit in very well with the "WalzBall" philosophy. 

RAMANI PARKER leaves the "Sunshine State" , where she showed she was a 6'4" forward with outstanding three-point skills and strong rebounding numbers during her one year at Montverde Academy. For Cardinal fans who have been hoping "height" would become more prevalent on the UofL WBB roster...Happy Birthday! You're going to love her game. Talk about a nightmare matchup for opposing squads...

NORIKA KONNO journeys the farthest of the seven to sprout her Cardinal wings and fly. The 5'10" guard has a wealth of international experience. She spent November playing for the Japanese National Team. She was on Japan's 2018 3x3 team. She's a scorer who thrives in a fast-paced basketball environment and should become a fan favorite quickly. 


MOLLY LOCKHART had one of the best seats in the house last year during her red-shirt season at UofL. But, she was busy...as well. Now much stronger, quicker and having gained a lot from the daily practice battles with Sam Fuehring, Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham...Lockhart hardly resembles the high school senior that arrived last year. At 6'1", she's a force to deal with.

Let's put it this way. You try handling and challenging Sam Fuehring up and down the court everyday for a year in practice and see what it does to your game and skills. 



OK.  It's not like these seven are walking down a dusty and deserted Main Street. The Cards have plenty of veterans back from last year's 32-4 squad. Dana Evans, Jazmine Jones, Kylee Shook, Bionca Dunham and Yacine Diop return. They could start for almost any team in DI WBB. Kasa Robinson, Lindsey Duvall and Seygan Robins had key roles on the 2018-19 squad. Jess Laemmle is a crowd favorite "spark plug" who can run the offense and knows Walz's system.  


We sadly say "Goodbye" to these three who affected the Cards so
much in their careers here. 
So..."Magnificent Seven"...meet the "Nine Lives" who greatly impacted the UofL WBB successes of last season. And, Cardinal fans...a bit of personal advice to you from the "Paulie". You better start early with the process of putting these seven's faces and names to numbers. 

Instead of clearing Main Street for an epic shootout, I'm recommending you pack Main Street (and the KFC YUM! Center for UofL WBB home games later this year. You're going to love the fireworks. This "corral" looks "OK" to me! 

It might be wise for the rest of the ACC WBB squads to circle the wagons and get ready for this upcoming attack...


paulie
xxxxx 










Monday, June 10, 2019

Sister Act -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S ATHLETICS HAS THREE SQUADS WITH SISTERS ON THE ROSTER

Don't let the article headline fool you. I'm not doing an article today on the 1992 movie Sister Act that starred Whoopie Goldberg. It is a pretty fun one to watch, though. 

The 2018-19 Louisville women's athletic programs had three teams with sisters on the roster. SOFTBALL, LACROSSE and FIELD HOCKEY might have confused the program printers for their sports when they did the final proof-read for accuracy and saw the same name twice on the roster. But, it's true...so let's take a look at the sibling similarities on the squads.


Riley Schindler
Let's start with Softball, since it just ended recently. Holly Aprile's catch and throw roster had both Riley Schindler and Paige Schindler on the 2018-19 squad. The sisters are twins and hail from Borden, IN and went to Borden High School and were on the 2016 Indiana State Softball Championship team there. They stand 5'7". Riley wore #4 and Paige #7. They just completed their sophomore seasons on the Cards softball squad. 

Riley played right field for Louisville and played in 41 games -- starting 34 of them. Known as a solid fielders with good speed on the base paths, she batted .200 on the season (4-20), scored four runs and had three RBI's.



Paige Schindler
Paige is listed as a right handed pitcher for Louisville but did not see the circle in 2019. She was a valuable pinch base runner for the Cards, though, and appeared in 23 games for UofL in that role. She successfully stole two bases in three attempts. 

It's always difficult to project of predict what a coaching staff has planned for their returning players in the next season. Louisville loses a good "arm" and hitter in Megan Hensley to graduation, so there are opportunities for the Schindler twins to fill in those gaps. Base running is also very key to the success of a squad and Holly Aprile demonstrated a bit of the "bold and daring" strategy there with the Cards in 2019, so opportunities present themselves for the Schindler's in 2020.

Let's move from Schindler's to Schneider's.  Louisville's Field Hockey squad had the sisters Meghan and Katie Schneider on the 2018-19 roster. The Schneider's come to Louisville from San Diego, CA and both played at Serra High School.  


Katie Schneider
Katie is a 5'9" forward who completed her freshman season starting four of Louisville's 19 games. She scored four goals for the Cards and saw 511 minutes on the turf at Trager Stadium. She wore #20.

I ran into a bit of confusion when looking at her high school career, the UofL Field Hockey website lists both her and her sister as playing at both Serra and Sierra High School and it happens that California has a Serra and a Sierra High School and both schools play Field Hockey. Serra is the correct school, though. 

Meghan is a sophomore at UofL and started all 19 games in her second season as a Card. Listed as either a back or a middle, the 5'6" Californian saw 1105 minutes on the turf and wore #5 on her back. She had the sixth most minutes on the squad and scored a goal in the 2019 season. 


Meghan Schneider
I would guess that both Schneider's will be an important part of the Cardinal's 2019 squad with four graduates....having seen plentiful time in 2018. We see changes occasionally in Field Hockey, as well as other "turf sports" in position changes for players. It would seem that both the Schneider's have the versatility to go wherever Coach Sowry and the staff need them to
play. Both Schneider's were on the USA U 19 Field Hockey squads and Meghan also played on the U 21 team twice. 

Field Hockey will have some gaps to fill in 2019, beginning with the graduation of All-Universe goal-keeper Ayeshia McFerran. The Cards also lost all-Conference middles in Taylor Stone and Katie Walsh...but Sowry gets back the rest of her starting lineup. 


Caroline Blalock
Finally, let's visit with the Blalock's. Caroline and Sarah arrived in Louisville to play Lacrosse from Marriots Ridge High School in Ellicott City, MD. They are twins, both are sophomores and both are listed as midfielders on Scott Teeter's roster. 

Caroline started six of the Cards 18 games in 2019 and had 20 goals and 10 assists. She was the fifth-leader scorer for LouLax. She had a season-high three goals against Mercer. She was named to the All-ACC second team in 2018, as well as  getting IWLCA second-team recognition 

Sarah started in eight of Louisville Lacrosse's 18 games and scored 11 goals with three assists. She also had nine draw controls against Ohio State, which was high on the Cards' squad for 2019. She set a personal career record with four goals in five shots against Virginia. 


Sarah Blalock
The LaxCards were not hit too hard by graduation, losing just Tessa Chad...but Chad was the leading scorer on the team and Teeter and staff have some really big shoes to fill to replace her in the lineup. It's not hard to see both the Blalock sisters picking up that slack and being integral players in 2020. 

So, there you have it. Three squads keeping it "all in the family" 

Here are some sister combinations you may not have been aware of. Most of us do remember the Schimmel sisters, so I won't go into detail there. 

There have been other "sister acts" in Louisville women's sports history, as well. Who could forget the Whitfield sisters Casey (2011-15) and Allison (2016-present) who never got to play together on the Lynn Stadium turf. 

Louisville WBB fans will undoubtedly remember the Slaughter's...Antonita (2010-14) and Toni (2006-07). They didn't play together either but both were excellent performers on Tom Collen's (Toni) and Jeff Walz's (Antonita) squads. 



Jamie Soles
Finally, there were the "sisters of Soles" --  ( a.k.a. "the pride of New Egypt, NJ and the new pride of New Egypt, NJ" as we referred to them here at CARDINAL COUPLE) -- Kayla and Jamie Soles. Their careers never overlapped at Louisville but both played college softball in 2015...Kayla as a senior for the Cards and Jamie a freshman at Hartford. Sensing a need to carry on the tradition at Louisville, Jamie transferred to Louisville her sophomore year (2016) and graduated in 2018. 

Do you know of any of sister combinations in Louisville women's sports that I might have forgotten?

Feel free to let me know in the comments section if you know of any other "sister acts".

Have a marvelous Monday !  


paulie
xxxxxx