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Thursday, October 18, 2018

WSOC Cards v. Duke tonight -- Who's the Twitter Queens? -- Buckin' Katie -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A fall trip to the TarHeel state to many sounds like a wonderful chance to catch the changing colors of the trees, revel in the majestic beauty of the western N.C. mountain ranges or maybe even get in a little golf down in the south east corner of the state at one of the nine courses at Pinehurst or nearby Whispering Pines or Southern Pines. I've had some fun football road trips to schools in North Carolina and make the trek annually to Greensboro for the ACC WBB Tournament and to visit relatives in Burlington and Haw River. 

For the Louisville women's Soccer squad, though, it means two crucial games in ACC competition that offer the Cards a chance to make claim on a high conference ranking and inclusion to the ACC Championships. 

That quest begins tonight at 7 p.m. against the Duke Blue Devils. #10 in the nation and sporting an impressive 11-2-2 record overall. The "Dookies" are also in second place int the ACC and have one more point (16) than the Cards in the scoring system for soccer that Jared explained to you in yesterday's column. The Cards are at 11-3 overall, already achieving more wins than last season with three contests remaining...but getting no love in the NCAA women's soccer polls and rankings. 

If anything, one could suggest a tie tonight (in terms of game outcome, not mode of dress for watching the contest) and not be making a bold or improbable statement. 

These two have faced five times in the series and four of them have ended in ties. Duke has the lone win...the heart-breaker we discussed a couple of days ago. 

Louisville looks to continue the "no goal for you" strategy that they've employed in the last two and seven times, so far, this season. Funny, indeed, how the Cards have the "best goalie in the world" in Field Hockey...i.e. Ayeshia McFerran, but WSOC goal-tender Gabby Kouzelos has a 0.93 G.A.A. average (that means you give up less than one goal a game) and McFerran is at 1.13 in fifteen matches. 

Maybe we and the other media are promoting the wrong goalkeeper for "best in the world". (Don't get mad or send contemptuous e-mails my way, please. Just joking around, right?) 

The Cards have multiple scoring threats, who shows up on which night is the question...but Emina Ekic, Brooklyn Rivers,  Maisie Whitsett and Delaney Snyder are just some of the many on the Kickin' Cards rosterwho have the ability to boot the ball past the defender and into "net city". 

In any event, I expect a low scoring one tonight that can be seen on the ACC Network Extra. Here's a link: DOOKIES AND BIRDS WOMEN'S SOCCER 

Oh, yeah....Tie optional.


Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, You Tube, Quora, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + and Whatsapp. Yes, there are a lot of social networking and browsing sites and apps available for the internet user these days. 

Where will it be ten years from now? 

One of the most popular is Twitter. Do you tweet? A lot of people do, including me and my woeful efforts to put together constructive, meaningful and correct spelling efforts in the a readable, intelligent fashion. Don't even get me started about the "@" and "#" options. 

People track everything these days. An enterprising (whatever) on Twitter that goes by the handle @SkullSparks has tweeted out some figures on the "Top 25 Most Followed Women's Basketball Teams on Twitter." He includes the hashtag #smsports on the tweet.

Nope. Western Kentucky, Louisville WBB's first opponent didn't make the list. 

The Cards did, though...checking in at ninth place. Who's number 1? Why the UConn Huskies, of course. Kentucky WBB beats the Cards with a fifth place finish. 

Does this surprise you? I've included the graphic so you can see who is where in popularity terms. I was surprised that Oklahoma finished in eighth, one above Louisville.

I guess those Sooners are more "trigger/finger/thumb happy" that the Cards WBB fans.

Shoot me a tweet, we can discuss it. @CardinalCouple.  All of the "knuckleheads" at Cardinal Couple have one or more twitter accounts and you can follow them, too...Worldwide's is @CardCoupleRadio, Jared is at @MrAndersonJared and Case goes by @Bstcasescenario

After all, how many cute pet or sweaty locker room and funny GIF's are enough? 


By now, most of you probably know that former Miss USA and Louisville Volleyball standout Katie George has packed her gear and headed to Milwaukee to be the sideline reporter for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. I miss not seeing her on local FOX affiliate WDRB or hearing her on Howie's Lindsey's morning radio show LOUISVILLE FIRST on 790 WKRD. 

Katie seems to be doing OK, though, in the land of  cheese curds and beer. I haven't seen one of her reports yet, but with the NBA season just starting, chances are I probably will soon. Truth be told, I'm more of a WNBA guy in terms of viewing and haven't given the Bucks much eye-time since the days of Junior Bridgeman and Kareem Abdul Jabbar prowling the court for them. 

My NBA watching mostly consists of seeing how former UofL Cardinals are doing in "The League". This time of year has me busy prepping for UofL WBB and following other women's sports on the UofL campus. And, that's quite the task.

A story I'll share on Katie and her mom: 

A few years back, me and Mrs. Cardinal Couple attended the UofL Volleyball banquet and found Katie, her boyfriend at the time (a soccer guy named Paolo Del Piccolo who currently plays for Louisville FC and seemed like an O.K. fella), Katie's mom and a few others at the same table. 

Sonya asked me later that night, on the way home, about "Pablo The Pick and Roll"


We had fun at the table and I caught a few interviews around the room to boot. Not with Katie, but...upon Sonya's suggestion... I interviewed Katie's mom. It's in the archives somewhere her at Cardinal Couple. Katie was listening intently. My rationale was "everyone always interviews Katie but how often does her Mom get any interview requests?" 

We wish Katie the best in Milwaukee. Below, a link to an article recently published about her.

I miss the double fist pump. We always figured she was destined for more than just local Louisville media. She idolizes Erin Andrews.

She could very well become her equal or better down the road. 



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Soccer Prepares for a Trip to Duke and More -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Soccer Prepares for a Trip to Duke

As Paulie covered a little bit yesterday, women's soccer hits the road to face No. 10 Duke.  The Blue Devils currently sit at 11-2-2 and are 5-1-1 in the conference -- a total of 16 points.

Cardinal Couple covers a vast range of women's sports and we use terms & scoring that can be confusing if you don't follow a particular sport closely.  Points in soccer are added up as such:

3 points - win
1 point - tie/draw
0 points - loss

Louisville heads into the match-up at 11-3-0 and 5-2-0 for 15 points in the ACC.  They are riding a
two-game win streak, both being shutouts, multi-goal performances, and conference victories.

Last season, the Cards dropped their match to the Blue Devils in double overtime, 3-2.  Louisville held a 2-1 lead in the second half before Duke scored the equalizer with about 15 minutes remaining in regulation.  Unfortunately, golden goal was not on Louisville's side that night as then-No. 4 Duke left Lynn Stadium with a victory.  You can check out yesterday's article for the interview with Coach KFD following that match.

Duke is averaging exactly 2.00 goals per game while allowing 0.73 goals per game.  They have dominated corner kicks 95-30.  Duke is a perfect 2-for-2 on penalty kicks on the season.  The Blue Devils have been primarily a second half team, scoring twice as many goals in the second half as the first.

Kayla McCoy has been a threat on offense with nine goals and five saves.  Taylor Racioppi has added six goals and one assist.  Ella Stevens has been pass-friendly and is up to eight assists along with a lone goal on the year.  Nine Duke players have scored a goal this season.  To compare, Louisville has 11 players who have scored thus far with Brookylnn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett leading the charge with eight apiece.

What Must Louisville Do To Make the NCAA Tournament?

For starters, not lose out.  Three losses to close the regular season and a first round exit in the ACC Tournament (if they even make it in this scenario) would be the worst thing to happen as it would send their RPI plummeting and chances of a ticket to the Big Dance would follow suit.

With three conference matches to go for most teams, any team except Pitt or Syracuse can tie or pass the Cards if Louisville were to lose out.  Earning three points would put the Cards in the top nine at worse.  The top eight teams make the ACC Tournament.

Louisville needs to earn a minimum of four points to secure their finish in the top eight and get them to the ACC Tournament for the first time in history.  A trip to the ACC Tournament would also keep Louisville high enough in the RPI that they should receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

Similar to basketball, conference victors are automatic qualifiers, leaving approximately half of the rest of the field as at-large bids. Unless a miracle occurs in the conference tournament Louisville will not be an automatic qualifier.  North Carolina is the current favorite for that.

Ultimately, Louisville controls their own destiny.  They can easily finish this season as the best in half a decade.  The talent is there and they play like a team.  The news of Mollie Rouse transferring has not affected game play, and although the news is unfortunate, it cannot be used as a distraction.

So, we hope the future holds good things for the Kickin' Cards as they roll into their last three of the regular season.

Cross your fingers and hope the current roster remains healthy and that they stay strong to finish out the season.

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

WSOC and Field Hockey end regular season travelling -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Hard to believe, but we've seen the end of Field Hockey at Trager Stadium this season and Women's Soccer will spend time on the road before ending their season at Lynn on Oct 28th. 


The #10 ranked and 11-3 UofL Field Hockey squad completed the home part of their regular season at Trager on Sunday with an overtime 3-2 win over non-conference foe Miami (OH). The Cards take to the highway for their final three of the slate...making stops in Syracuse, Albany (NY) and at Kent State to close out the 2018 slate. 

Syracuse and the Cards face off on Thursday, Friday October 19th. Otto the Orange's squad is 8-5 on the season and currently ranked at #9 in the nation. The 'Cuse fell to Wake Forest 4-1 on Sunday...surrendering four straight goals after grabbing a 1-0 lead at Kentner Stadium on the WFU campus.  

After that, the Flock travels about two hours east on I-90 Sunday, Oct. 21st to face the Albany Great Danes. Albany is ranked #23 in the nation and has been whipping up on northeastern schools as of late...knocking off Vermont and New Hampshire in their last two. They are 10-3 on the season. Head Albany Field Hockey coach Phil Sykes (no relation to me that I know of) picked up his 200th. career win versus New Hampshire. 

The Louisville "stick girls" end the regular season on the Kent State campus to face a 5-10 Golden Flashes squad. KSU dropped a 4-0 decision to Ohio State last time out. 

The Cards are currently in third place in the conference standings with a 3-3 record against other ACC schools. UNC tops the league at 6-0 and Duke holds second with a 4-1 mark. The TarHeels have clinched the regular season crown already and the #1 seed in the ACC women's soccer tournament that starts on their campus beginning November 1st. 


The Kickin' Cards return to the pitch on the road Thursday night after a 1-0 win over Syracuse on Sunday in Lynn Stadium on Senior Day. Louisville isn't ranked in the top 25, as of last week, and we'll see if the two-game, shutout win streak that UofL is on can boost them into the top 25. The poll comes out later today. 

First stop for WSOC is at Duke against an #11 ranked Blue Devils squad that downed Clemson in their last with a 3-2 margin. The Cards and Duke engaged in a two-overtime thriller last year in Lynn Stadium with the Durham school emerging the victor. Duke is 11-2-2 this year. 

I reviewed this poignant and wide-ranged interview with I did with Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes after the heart-breaker against Duke last year and you can see/hear it at the link below: 


After Duke, the soccer squad travels to Raleigh, NC to take on Ms .Wuf's pack -- North Carolina St. on Sunday. The 'Pack played FSU to a 1-1 tie on Sunday and is 9-4-3 on the season. It's Senior Day for NC State WSOC on Sunday, so...the Cards will be facing an emotional and fired up Wolfpack crew. NC State is un-ranked but is #15 in the RPI listings and getting votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll. 

Karen Ferguson Dayes' kickers return home to end the season against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Oct 25th. The Hokies/Gobblers of Blacksburg are 7-5-3 this season and fell to #3 in the nation North Carolina last time out 2-0. 

In the ACC race for the top spot, North Carolina tops the conference with 21 points. Boston College is tied with Duke at 16 points and the Cards are tied with Virginia at 15 points.  

Good showings so far for both the Louisville Women's Soccer and Field Hockey squads and they enter a very crucial part of the season now that will help determine where they start in conference tournaments and whether they'll get NCAA Tournament bids or not. 

We'll update you here at "The Couple" on viewing options on these as they become available. For now, we know that the Thursday 7 p.m. match against Duke for WSOC will be shown on the ACC Network Extra.  The Friday 7 p.m. Cards vs. Syracuse face off is also scheduled to be on ACC Network Extra also. 


A new conditioning technique? An event designed to further the "mad scientists" coaching strategy? 

No and no. It was UofL WBB's annual golf scramble at the Cardinal Course at Covered Bridge yesterday. 

Honestly, I had no clue it was taking place. I might have...probably would have ambled out to take a few pictures and commandeer a cart or two if we had known. (Maybe that's why we were kept in the dark about the event...and have been for the previous five years /outings).

Conspiracy theory? Nah, they know where the money is and it isn't with this non-profit. 
Would we have covered it? Yeah, sure...if we'd known about it. 

Then again, the prospect of seeing Sam Fuehring walking out of the woods with a stick in her hands just might have caused me to hide in the clubhouse. 

Cold morning for "gripping and ripping" it, for sure. A fund-raiser, for sure and we don't have any money to send WBB way. Hope it went well, haven't seen any results.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Field Hockey wins on Senior Day -- Loretta Kakala transferring -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


In cool and damp conditions and for the second straight contest, the Louisville Field Hockey squad found themselves faced with overtime in their Sunday contest at Trager against Miami (OH). This match had been a scoreless affair, much like the Friday tilt with Duke, until the RedHawks capitalized on a penalty corner with no time left in the first half. 

Louisville drew even with about eight minutes gone in the final half. Meche Pastor sent a baseline shot net-ward that Madison Walsh corralled and put past the RedHawks goalkeeper. For Madison, it was her first score of the season. 

Miami was relentless on the attack, though, and with about 12 minutes of action remaining, drew a couple of penalty corners. The RedHawks found success on the second corner and Leonor Berlie got her second score of the contest to put Miami in the lead. 

As the end of regulation drew near, a succession of green and yellow penalty cards (four in all) started stacking up on the RedHawks and the ultimate came when Miami head coach Inako Puzo received a red card for comments and was ejected from the contest with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. Just a few seconds earlier, the Cards had earned a penalty corner and Bethany Russ got her first score of the contest to tie action at 2-2.

Miami nearly won it at the end of regulation when their leading scorer on the season -- Paula Portugal -- found herself in front of Cardinal goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran with the ball. Her shot sailed high over the net, though -- the Cards had escaped the last ditch effort by the RedHawks and this bird battle was headed to overtime. 

With the 7v7 format in overtime in place, Miami (OH) actually had just six players on the turf because of the late yellow card on attacker Noor Breedijk and Louisville used the player-up advantage to control action, ultimately getting a penalty corner chance just a minute-thirty into extra action, where Russ delivered again, her ninth goal of the season...this time on a pass from Alli Bitting to end the sudden-victory session. 

More on could hear the Miami skipper's comments and complaints up in the press box and his continuous dissatisfaction and belittling of the officiating crew caught up with him. It's the first time I can remember a coach getting ejected from a field hockey contest that I've seen. He watched the remaining action through the fence on the McDonald's side of Trager. I did see him after the contest back on the field surrounded by his wife and children -- an unfortunate loss of control and decorum by him...earlier...which, although may have not cost the RedHawks the contest -- his assistants seemed in control of the situation out of the field -- but his unfortunate actions certainly didn't help the RedHawks chances. 

Louisville hits the highway for their final three games of the regular season. The Cards will visit ACC foe Syracuse on Oct 21st, swing over to Albany on the 23rd and end up at Kent State on Oct. 28th. 

Paulie caught up with Coach Sowry and the four seniors...Ayeshia McFerran, Maria Gomez, Taylor Stone and Katie Walsh...after the contest and you can hear those interviews below: 




The tweets started surfacing Sunday and my voice mail, inbox and texts started piling up in an rapid fashion. 

Redshirt freshman Loretta Kakala had made public via her Instagram account and Twitter feeds indicated that she was transferring from the University of Louisville women's basketball squad. Heading to Pacific (CA) University. 

And the question came up.....why? 

I guess we'll never really know. Indications seemed to lead to the stated desire to play closer to home and get a fresh start with the possibility of more playing time at school very close -- fifteen minutes -- to her home town of Manteca, CA.

Speculation developed after the Cards 2017-18 season what role she would play on the 2018-19 Cardinal WBB squad. Most figured she'd contribute a few minutes on the front line, with returnees Sam Fuehring, Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham getting the majority of the minutes at power forward and center and incoming transfer Yacine Diop from Pitt definitely contributing there. 

Reports from a source near the program indicated that her conditioning wasn't exactly going as planned but these reports were not confirmed by me and the announcement of her transfer on Sunday caught many Cardinal WBB fans by surprise. The bottom line is, as it is in most transfer situations, is that you want to do the right thing for the player and their student-athlete experience and if it's determined that the player might be more comfortable and receive more playing time elsewhere...then they should go pursue those desires and goals. 

Hello there! 
A check of the UofL roster at the GoCards site still had Kakala listed, but sometimes it takes a bit to change this information, especially when the announcement is made on a Sunday. And, sports information rarely posts or discusses transfers out, which is understandable. 

The 6'2" center played in four games in 2017 for the Cards...a total of 43 minutes (10.8 a game average). She totaled 12 points on 6 for 16 shooting and had 12 rebounds. She red-shirted after the fourth contest. 

Pacific has a D-I women's basketball program and competes in the West Coast Conference. 10 conference members...maybe best known for Gonzaga, BYU and Pepperdine. The Tigers were 15-17 last season with a 7-11 conference mark and finished sixth in the conference. 

So, "Retta"...we barely got to know you and wonder what might have become of your career at UofL women's college basketball fans...certainly wish you good times, a great career and the best of luck at Pacific. 

Transfers in. Transfers out. All an increasing part of the college basketball games these days. The bottom line analysis is that any college basketball roster is going to change throughout the year and those changes, whether they be injury, red-shirt or transfer...have to be dealt with in terms of what is best for the student-athlete and the team must move forward. 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sharing Swimming and Softball Success this Sunday

It was a good day for the women of Cardinals athletics.  While none of the "Big 3" fall sports were in action for the women (volleyball, field hockey, and soccer), several other sports that we try to cover were in action.


To start with the one I can personally report on, Softball wrapped up their fall season yesterday with games against Kentucky and WKU.  It was a lengthy afternoon at Ulmer with 3 games on the schedule, as Kentucky and WKU tangled between the two UofL games.

The Cards started with the Wildcats at noon.  I arrived about the 4th inning for this one after finishing up the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour and grabbing a quick bite to each for lunch.

UK has some fantastic fielding prowess, but the Cards were able to get 3 up on the scoreboard while holding the Cats to just 2.

After the Cats and Hilltoppers tangled (Kentucky won, 2-1), the Cards took on Western Kentucky and dispatched them with relative ease, 3-0.

No stats sheets are available for these exhibition games, but some generalized thoughts and some observations on a handful of players that caught my eye.

The team played smart ball.  Throws were to the right places, they didn't make throws to try to get
outs that they had no chance of getting, they made smart hitting and running decisions.  Maddy Newman, a sophomore, has some serious wheels - look for stolen base stats, here.  Freshman Charley Butler won't be far behind.

Sidney Melton, the last member of the original Cardinal Couple All-Syd/Sid/Szyd team still playing at UofL will be super valuable to this team.  She was holding down the corner at 3rd, and may be one of the savviest base runners I've ever seen.  Combine with decent speed, and joining Maddy and Charley and I look for this team to rack up some serious stolen bases this year.

So. Many. Pitchers.  5 players on staff listed as pitchers, and all apparently are healthy at the moment.  Megan Hensley is expected to be the ace of the staff, but redshirt freshman Taylor Roby certainly acquitted herself fairly well in the circle yesterday as well.

Funke getting funky? 
Lastly Celene Funke covers area in the outfield well, but she also appears to be the heart and soul of this team.  If you've seen pictures of the Softball team goofing around, you've seen pictures of Celene Funke as she will quite reliably be in the middle of it, but more importantly, she celebrates her teammates successes, and is there to help and guide them in moments where they don't accomplish what they set out to do.  I'm only seeing the team dynamics from the outside, but she appears to be stepping into a major leadership role, and I can't think of a better candidate for it.  And she's only a Junior.

The main Softball season typically gets underway in February.  With weather patterns being what they are in Louisville, a typical schedule starts with about a month of road trips to the south and west before rolling back the tarp at Ulmer.

Worldwide asks Holly about the Softball Doubleheader at the link below:

Swimming and Diving

The Cards were in Dallas for the SMU Classic.  A bit of a funky format for this meet, with each team
only able to bring 8 swimmers and a single diver.  There are only two heats for each event, a Consolation heat and a Championship heat and each school can only enter one swimmer in each heat.

Louisville has placed second in this event by the slimmest of margins in the past two years, missing out on the top team spot by a single point in 2016, and by a mere half a point in 2017.

It was a major step forward for the Cards this year, winning the meet by a substantial margin, with a total of 358 points, with Southern Cal finishing 2nd with 312 points.

True to form, Mallory Comerford won every race she entered (each swimmer is limited to two single events and two relays as part of this format, if I understand it correctly).

A number of other names that we've heard before continue to do well and comprised most of the rest of the roster.  Alina Kendzior, Grace Oglesby, Casey Franz, Sophie Cattermole, Mariia Astashkina, Arina Openysheva, all return for the Cards, while freshman, Diana Dunn made the roster in her first season.  Molly Fears, also a name that has graced the pages of Cardinal Couple in the past, was the diving participant, and finished in 5th place.

Activity Today

In action today is Women's Golf down at UNC, and Field Hockey at Trager Stadium with a noon

It's not a stellar day for Field Hockey with drizzly rain falling, but it is Senior Day for the squad.  They will be honoring the 4 seniors on the squad, Maria Gomez, Ayeisha McFerran, Katie Walsh, and Taylor Stone.

The foe for Senior Day will be a non-conference opponent, but an always challenging Miami (Ohio) (32nd in RPI).

The Cards are currently sitting 3rd in the ACC with a 2-3 conference record, with only one conference matchup, against Syracuse (1-3) to go.  They are mathematically eliminated finishing any better than 3rd, with Duke in 2nd at 4-1 after their narrowest of victories over the Cards Friday.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Only two of us knuckleheads were in-studio yesterday for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  Paulie and I kicked it old school, and I wasn't much help as I spent the week in a casino-induced week-long work event news brown-out in Atlantic City.

It still was a good show nonetheless, Paulie even managed to work his way through the scheduling and twitter without mishaps.

A lot of great interviews to listen to and hear Paulie get flustered when talking to the WSOC seniors! 

Catch the replay on Facebook Live:

-- JMcA

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Field Hockey loses heartbreaker to Duke -- Volleyball and WSOC triumphant -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


An exciting but ultimately sad outcome for Louisville Field Hockey in cold and wet Trager Stadium...the Cards falling in a shootout after regulation and two overtime periods failed to produce a score. The match went to a shootout and after that one ended in a tie, another took place. Duke scored one more goal in the shootout and takes the win over Louisville

Defense was the name of the game in this one...after regulation and the two overtimes, the Blue Devils held a 3 to 2 advantage on shots on goal. The Cards were holding firm against Duke all-Americans Margaux Paolino and Rose Tynan but couldn't put anything together offensively. It seemed the Cards spent most of their time on defense in the overtime periods but kept the shut-out intact. 

Onto the shootout. Five players lined up for each squad to try and score, one at a time and one-on-one against the respective goalkeepers. Meghan Schneider and Taylor Stone found success for the Cards but Duke countered with two scores on Ayeshia McFerran and the contest went to a continuation of shoot outs. 

Duke's Erin Scherrer knocked in the winner in the second attempt at shootouts and two hours plus of Field Hockey had come to an end. A challenge earlier led to a video review that took a goal away from the Cards Mercedes Pastor and the officials called for a "re-do". Louisville should have used the "liar, liar, pants on fire" response but the subsequent attempt...the re-do, if you will, was scored by Taylor Stone past Duke goalie Sammie the officiating decision just wasted time.  Reports vary about what the referees saw that cause the re-do, I heard two different I'll go with the time-honored classic..."The refs tried to screw Louisville but it foiled" . 

Duke won it when Steele blocked Bethany Russ's attempt to tie it in the second shootout.

The Cards go to 10-4 on the season and 2-3 in the ACC. Duke remains in second place in the conference standings at 12-3, 4-1. 

I got a brief chance to talk with Duke head coach Pam Bustin after the match (no audio recorded though) who was grateful for the win and commented on how good the Cards were and how Louisville vs. Duke contests are always good ones. The teacher got the pupil this time. 

We caught up with Justine Sowry, too, after the defeat. Here's that clip: 


VIDEO VERSION  (with the complementary CSX visit and Carole Banda walk-thru).

Louisville faces Miami (OH) Sunday on Senior Day. 


Louisville Volleyball goes to 8-0 in the ACC with a three set sweep of Virginia Tech tonight 25-17, 25-18, 25-20 in Cardinal Arena Friday Night.. 

Three Cards reached double figures in the kills department with Megan Sloan leading the way with 12. Both Melanie McHenry and Amanda Green recorded 11 for Louisville. 

McHenry became the 19th member of the Louisville 1,000 point club in the second set of the contest. 

The Cards jumped out to a 12-6 lead in the first set after Green powered one from the back row. Louisville increased that to 21-14 and went on to win by eight.

The second set proved more of the same for UofL...Wilma Rivera's service ace had Louisville enjoying an 11-8 lead. That lead increased to 20-15 as the set progressed and the Cards hit .400 in a 25-18 win. 

After the break, the Cards went up 7-4 and led 15-11 after a Molly Sauer service ace. Victory looked well-in-hand after a Piper Roe tip created a 22-16 UofL lead and the Cards went on to take game, set and match with the five-point win. 

The Pitt showdown looms ever closer...just eight days away between the top two in the ACC

Worldwide Jeff will bring a lot mote about this one on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR tomorrow at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM

Dani Busboom Kelly had this to say after the match:


Cardinal women's soccer picked up three points and improved to 11-3, 5-2 with a 2-0 shut out of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Friday night in Winston-Salem. 

Emina Ekic got the party started when beat three defenders and fired a net-finder past Wake's goalie at the 23 minute mark in the the first half. That score held up for the remainder of the first half. Gabby Kouzelos was not tried in the first half, due to the Cards stellar defense. 

Just seven minutes into second half action, the Cards found success again. This time, Gabrielle Vincent sent a long, free kick toward the goal and Callie McKinney "used her head" to knock the ball into the goal. 

The Cards maintained possession for most of the second half...Kouzelos challenged with just two shots and getting two saves in the final 45 minutes and the defense held strong. Louisville had a couple of other scoring opportunities in the second half...including a chance by Delaney Snyder that bounced off the side post and a Maisie Whitsett attempt that just barely went high over the net.

Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes was pleased with the effort and outcome, commenting: 

"Tonight was a great team win against a very talented Wake Forest squad. I'm very proud of our group, they stayed extremely focused and I thought we played well tonight." 

The Cards return to action on Thursday night when they face #11 Duke in Durham, NC. 


We'll be at half-strength Saturday Morning for The CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR...with both Case and Jared out of town, but Worldwide Jeff and I have "been there before" and went with a duo format often... back in the early days of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.

We'll still bring you the best hour of chat about UofL women's sports around. 

We've got player and coaches clips, plus a review of Volleyball, women's soccer, field hockey and more in store for you. Plus, Paulie bumbles through the upcoming schedule of events for Louisville Athletics.

Please join on Facebook Live, at 100.9 FM WCHQ or at the Crescent Hill website for the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics! Download the WCHQ app at the website and take WCHQ with you wherever ye shall go! 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Field Hockey Faces Duke tonight...WSOC On the Road..VBall at Home -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A huge weekend for the #10 ranked Louisville Field Hockey program with Duke coming to Trager Stadium on Friday night and then senior day on Sunday against Miami (OH).

The Cards go into Friday action with a 10-3 record overall and are 2-2 in the ACC. Duke is 11-3 and 3-1 in conference play. Duke is second in the ACC with that record while the Cards are tied for third with Boston College. North Carolina sits atop the ACC with a perfect 5-0 conference record. 

Louisville successfully defended the Trager turf Sunday with a 4-1 win over Michigan State. Overall Coach Sowry was pleased with the outcome, especially the first half, where the Cards did their damage to the Spartans. 

Duke will be the last regular season ACC opponent to visit Trager this season. Coached by former Cardinals skipper Pam Bustin, Duke and Louisville split in action last year. The Blue Devils walloped the Cards 5-0 during the regular season but Louisville got revenge in the ACC Tournament semi-finals with an overtime, shootout win 3-2. That Cardinal win sent them to the tournament finals.

Rose Tynan leads the  Duke attack. The current ACC Player of the Week has 12 goals on the season. Goalkeeper Sammi Steele has four shutouts on the season and has a 1.46 goals against average. 

We caught up with Justine Sowry Thursday and got a preview of the upcoming game and weekend. Coach talks about the importance of the game, what they'll try to do and try to prevent against Duke and salutes the seniors among other things in our conversation.  We'll have more on Sunday's match in the Sunday Cardinal Couple edition.

All-World Cardinal goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran has 47 career wins going into the weekend, which places her second out of all the active goalkeeps in college women's behind Penn State's Jenny Rizzo

ACC Network Extra will have the feed. 



Getting there can be half the battle sometimes. 

The University of Louisville women's soccer team faces Wake Forest tonight at 5 p.m. in Winston-Salem tonight. The start of a three-game road trip. Original plans were to have the Cards fly to Atlanta and then proceed from there to the Demon Deacons campus. Corcerns over Hurricane Michael, though, altered those plans and the Cards departed from Belknap Campus via bus Wednesday to make the seven hour bus trip to Winston Salem.

I've made that trip numerous times over the years...en route to Greensboro for the ACC Women's basketball tournament, see Louisville Football in action and to visit relatives in Burlington and Haw River, NC. That's been by car for the most part. The hills of West Virginia and Virginia are a formidable task, driving wise, if you go the I-64 route. 

The Cards face a formidable opponent in Wake Forest. The Deacs are 6-6-1 ( 2-4 in ACC) and gave Boston College their lone loss of the season, in overtime, back on Sept 27th. Since then, Wake had dropped three in a row, all against ranked opponents and most recently to FSU in Talhassee. Wake Forest is currently 10th. in the conference standings with six points and desperately need a win to be in contention for the ACC Women's Soccer Tournament. 

Louisville (10-3, 4-2) sits tied for fourth in the ACC with Clemson and Virginia. The Cards
have gained 12 points in conference play. UNC leads the way with 18 points and Boston College sits in second with 15 points. Duke is one point ahead of the Cards in third place. A Cardinal win would certainly solidify their ACC Tournament hopes and, depending on what the Tigers, Blue Devils and Cavaliers do...maybe even lift them into third place or a tie for second. 

Louisville looked great offensively and held Miami to just one shot in a 3-0 win at Lynn Sunday. Here's hoping the Cards can continue the scoring and keep on demonstrating their dominant defense.  The Friday forecast for Winston-Salem is dry with a high of 68 degrees, although that will probably drop into the 50's by the second half of the contest. 

This one is listed as being available on the Fox Sports Network. 


After the change-of-venue, comeback win Wednesday night over Notre Dame, # 22nd ranked Louisville Volleyball returns to power-restored Cardinal Arena to face Virginia Tech tonight. This one is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start and viewing will be provided on the ACC Extra Network. 

The Hokies (or Gobblers, take your pick) come to Louisville with a 12-6 overall record and 3-3 in ACC play. They've won their last two...straight set sweeps over Clemson on Sunday and Georgia Tech last Friday. 

The Cards soar along undefeated in ACC play (7-0) and 14-4 overall. They remain tied with Pitt for the conference lead and the two are the only undefeated team against conference opponents . VT is in sixth place in the ACC standings...needing a win against a top 25 foe to salvage chances for a possible NCAA bid. VT is 3-2 on the road this season and 9-4 at home

A trap game? We certainly hope not. Preferably, the emotion and exhilaration from Wednesday "Miracle of Sacred Heart" will roll over tonight and the Cards will be sharp. crisp and avoid any early serving errors.   

With a chilly night here in the Ville, it just might be a good night to whip up a batch of chili or bean soup and hang out in front of the internet to watch all three contests if you're unable to hit Floyd Street for either match. Paulie will be in Trager and we're guessing Worldwide gets back in town to descend upon Cardinal Arena in time for "serve and volley" action. 


A visitor from Japan on the UofL campus this weekend to check out the WBB program. So, where does the UofL coaching staff take a player and parents to eat? 

Why, a Brazilian steakhouse, of course! A CARDINAL COUPLE reader noticed the happening last night while dining there and dutifully reported the sighting to yours truly.

Coach Jeff Walz is known for his bold strategies and combing the globe for prospective talent and he's failed to disappoint again with this new prospect. Our guess is that it's maybe Noriko Konno, a 5'11" guard who has had great FIBA 3x3 success with valuable experience in the 2018 Asian Games.

Walz was in Japan to scout out talent earlier this summer. Although we don't know exactly who he internet research seems to lead to her as the visitor. I don't know much more than that. Recruiting is one thing, verbal commits another and nothing is settled until that player announcement of college choice, of course. Maybe keep an eye open at the various UofL women's sports events tonight and Sunday to see if they show up at Volleyball or Field Hockey.  

Hey, I'll drink a sake toast to that! 

We'll have the full recap of all three events here at the Couple tomorrow morning.