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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Louisville Field Hockey -- Sowry ready to tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


When Justine Sowry and the Louisville Field Hockey team defeated Delaware 3-1 on August 27th., the Cards were 2-0 and had just knocked off the defending champs and #3 team in the nation. 

Then, they put the travelling shoes on. A brutal six game road trip awaited Sowry and her charges that included four teams in the top 15 in the nation. It started with a narrow loss to Ohio State and ended with a narrow loss to Northwestern. Coming from the best conference in college Field Hockey and going 1-2 against the Big 10 isn't exactly the way to march to the national championship. But, the Cards have landed back at the Trager and, in the words of Denny Crum, have been playing the best to become the best. 

They're also taking a John L. Smith quote to heart as well. 

"Tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead." The past is the past and you can't change it. The "Flock" has 10 games left in the regular season and the next four at home. It's time to trust the process, follow the scheme and play some winning hockey. 

They come home with Ayeshia McFerran back in goalkeep. When they departed, it was  Hollyn Barr defending the pipes. They left averaging 4 goals a game. They come back the victim of three straight shutouts. The four road losses (Ohio State, Maryland, Duke and Northwestern) were fairly close games except for the Duke debacle...where Coach Sowry's old boss and former UofL head coach Pam Bustin's Devils fire-roasted the Cards 5-0. 

Coach Sowry and I didn't discuss the Durham game when I sat down with her in her offices Wednesday morning. The full interview is linked at the bottom of the page. It's on Soundcloud and will also be re-aired Saturday on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. 

Some of the things we did chat about were: 

-- How the squad looked much better in the 2-0 loss to Northwestern. The team did a better job of retaining possession of the ball and didn't try to force as much on the pitch.

-- The brutal road schedule may have been a bit much to handle but it was key in helping build character and resiliency. They are quite ready and happy to be home. 

-- Ayeshia McFerran's return is important in leading the young defense and helping them grow. Coach Sowry has been most impressed with her leadership skills the last couple of weeks. 

There isn't an immediate, urgent pressure to absolutely, positively, have to beat Wake Forest mentality yet....but consider that the ACC and NCAA Final Four are being played here in Louisville this year and the Cards desperately want to be a huge, winning  part of both. That's not gonna happen unless the wins start piling up and knocking off the Demon Deacons, currently #11 in the DI rankings and RPI, would be a great start for the #15 Cards. 

Coach Sowry can be very pragmatic and calm-headed about things at times. At least around the media. A 4-4 record for a preseason top 10 squad might have some coaches on speed dial with their support group or out on the ledge looking for answers. She sees it this way...though. 

Tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead. 

That new view starts Friday night at 6 p.m. Admission is free for regular season Field Hockey games. Concession stand, beer and other beverages and water cannons at a McDonald's next door.  What else could you want? 




Louisville head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson Dayes has been riding the youth movement this season when it comes to her Kickin' Cards and scoring. 

Freshman Emina Ekic leads the squad in scoring with four goals. Sophomore Allison Whitfield is second with three. All told, six of the nine players who have scored a goal for UofL this season are sophomores or freshmen. 

Goals nay be hard to come by tonight in Lynn Stadium. The unranked Cards (6-3) bring in the #24 Florida State Seminoles (5-2). Both teams are coming off ACC losses...Louisville's to Boston College 2-0 in Beantown and the 'Noles bested by North Carolina 1-0 in Talhassee. Before that. both squads were victorious in non-conference play...UofL blanking Gardner-Webb in Lynn 4-0 and FSU dispatching of Troy 4-1. 

Scorers aren't the problem for Louisville and they have amassed 17 net-finders in their eight games. The Cards have been mostly rock solid on defense...allowed just 10 goals. Keeper Gabby Kouzelos (a red-shirt freshman) has a GAA of 1.25...not bad at all until you look at FSU's net-protector Cassie Miller...who had a 0.86 GAA and two shutouts.  

But, we'll accept a 1-0 win. Certainly. Especially when you consider that FSU leads the series 5-0 and downed the Cards 1-0 last year down there. 

This one is slated to start at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on the RSN network. Women's Soccer is a ticketed event but prices are pretty inexpensive and concession stand pricing very you can get a cold, frosty beverage there as well.  Get out and support your 2017 Kickin' Cards tonight! 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Louisville Women's Sports -- The Jared Anderson View -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


How do you break a three game losing streak? That's a question Field Hockey looks to answer. The "Sticks" have dropped to 4-4 on the season and are looking to turn things around in the back half of the season. Eight games down, 10 to go before Tournament time. 

The 2-0 loss to Northwestern yesterday is the third straight road loss and third straight shutout. My Minnie Mink prediction, a bold one indeed, that she would average two goals per game is done. Especially when you consider that the team as a whole isn't even averaging two goals per game. Louisville Field Hockey has 15 scores in eight contests. 

#14 Northwestern had a goal each half against the Cards. The UofL defense was up against it -- the Wildcats out-shot the Cards 18-11 and the "pride of Ireland" goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran recorded six saves. Lately her teammates on the back line have not dome much to help her out, affording opposing offenses ample scoring opportunities. 

Hollyn Barr has become the invisible women for defending the pipes after receiving much critical acclaim while Ayeshia was out. Do you re-visit that decision? 

As mentioned above, the "Stick Girls" offense is struggling. Marigrace Ragsdale did get off five shots and three of them were "on goal" but Northwestern's net-keeper did an excellent job to earn a clean sheet. 

Louisville hosts yet another top 15 squad when the Demon Deacs visit Friday. At least the Cards are finally home, where they are 2-0 this year. Paulie's headed down to campus today to chat with Coach Sowry and we'll see what he has to say tomorrow about that. 


Paulie discussed the 2017-18 schedule with Jeff Walz yesterday. There's a nice dynamic between this dynamic duo. I'd like to be a fly-on-the-wall to hear what they talk about when the recording device is off...

The non-conference schedule features UK, IU and a bunch of Tennessee schools except for the Knoxville Vols. They probably don't want to see Louisville for a very long time. The one match up I am dreading is when the Cards visit UConn in early February. Geno and his indoor Huskies are very good (NEWS FLASH!) and we just haven't figured out a way to beat them yet. Maybe a phone call to Mississippi St. is in order. As always, the ACC will be a dynamically strong conference and should dramatically improve the Cards S.O.S. 


The Seminoles come to Lynn Stadium Thursday night. Ranked in the top 25 and sitting at 5-2-0 -- this will be a mighty tough one. 

Will we see a 10th. Cardinal scorer this season? I think Callie McKinney or Sarah Feola have the best "shot" as the next new goal-maker. They did have three goals between them in 2016. Be on the lookout for our troublesome front in Ekic, Whitfield, Rivers and compadres vying for more goals against an FSU defense that has allowed only six scores this season. . 

One also must ask the question...has Louiville ever defeated FSU in women's soccer? The answer is no. The Tallahassee lasses are 4-0 against our fillies. FSU has had two contests postponed this season because of that wench named Irma. 

I've been know to go out "on the ledge" a few times this season with my predictions. Here I go again, out the window once more. 

The Kickin' Cards beat the 'Noles. 

Go Cards! 
Jared Anderson

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL -- Jeff Walz exclusive Interview and Paulie's trip to the D.P.S. -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


I had the opportunity to interview Louisville women's head basketball coach Jeff Walz Monday afternoon in his new office at the YUM! Practice Facility on Floyd Street. Coach's office is on the south side of the second floor is where the Volleyball offices used to be. An extensive remodeling job has been done in the space...starting with the entrance to the offices...where a new, security code enabled, installed door awaits you at the top of the stairs. 

Fortunately, assistant sports information director for WBB Nick Evans had agreed to meet me in the first floor lobby to take me upstairs and was there to greet me when I arrived at the facility. We took the elevator to the second floor...but not before we ran into Asia Durr getting ready to leave the facility. It was great to see #25 and we chatted briefly before Nick and I went upstairs. 

One thing you notice when you enter the complex is that one of smiling Kate Tucker's work stations is located inside the door directly to your right. I chatted with Kate a few minutes while Nick went back to see if Coach was ready for our chat. Over her shoulder there is a large series of windows that allow you to see the practice court. As we talked, I was able to see Lindsay Duvall and another player I couldn't quite identify but I'm thinking it was Dana Evans practicing shooting. I noticed a lot of their long-range shots going in as I sat waiting for Coach. 

After my brief, amicable chat with both Nick and Kate, Coach Walz was ready to see me. There is a small greeting/reception area before you enter coach's office. His new digs are the furthest down the hall on the south side of the building and the office is directly across from Sam Purcell's office. His desk faces eastward and a series of comfy chairs are placed in front of his desk next to a large window that allows you to see the lacrosse field further south. I could see Kellie Young conducting practice with the "Laxers" and further in the distance Papa John's Cardinal Football Stadium and soccer's Lynn Stadium are readily visible. Coach warmly greeted me, he's looking to be in great shape and was wearing the customary day-old beard stubble we see on him most of the time. He's lucky...his isn't grey like mine yet. 

After exchanging a few pleasantries, Coach and I started the interview. If you have Soundcloud, you should be able to hear the entire interview that is linked at the bottom of the page. If not, you'll have to wait until Saturday's radio show...aptly named THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. Nick Evans sat in on the interview as well. I've interviewed Walz probably over 50 times since he arrived here as head coach in some interesting settings and with various people present but never with his S.I.D. present. It was absolutely no problem, though, and we must have done a passable job because Nick didn't fall asleep during the 12 minute interview. 

Security coded access points. Security at the door. Interviews conducted under the watchful eye of a Walz staffer. What's this world coming to?  I'm beginning to get the idea that they're on to Paulie after all these years. At least they haven't implemented the body cavity search yet.  (Sorry, was just practicing my sarcastic yet humorous style in preparation for Hoops season...) 

I actually like the extra attention they're paying to Paulie and visitors these days and can understand the need to be a little tighter about things than the way things were set up over at the SAC building...where you could basically walk up on a number of coaches and staffers...even the women's basketball offices without a single check-point except for Margaret or Jeremy out front. I also noticed a couple of weeks ago that my old "back-way" to access the Cardinal Arena floor via elevator also had a security door. I'm wondering if Coach Sowry's office at the Field Hockey complex is set up like that, too? 

Coach Walz and I started with reviewing how the summer went for him. As you listen, you'll hear that he had a great trip to Colorado Springs and then to Japan as the head coach of the USA U 23 team. You'll also hear what lies ahead for him this fall and how excited he is for the opportunity to be a floor coach for the national team. Santa Barbara for the Nationals next stop on the Walz Across America 2017 tour! 

We moved on to a discussion of the 2017-18 schedule after that. Coach is excited about the preseason WNIT that starts Nov. 10th. against SEMO. That's right, kiddies...women's basketball is a mere 51 days away.  We discussed a few of the other non-conference and conference foes...including the early November trip to Columbus, OH where UofL will get a chance to play Ohio State on the court where the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four will take place. 

Our discussion turned to Jessica Laemmle's receipt of a scholarship and Coach talked about how she had put in the work to earn it. He chuckled when I referred to her as an "attack Yorkie". 

We also covered the center position and he made some very good points and observations about the history of that position since he has been the head coach of the program. Following that, we discussed the three 2017 arrivals to the squad and his expectations and thoughts for each of the three (Lindsey Duvall, Dana Evans and Retta Kakala). 

We ended our interview with a discussion of a couple of players that might warrant some special fan attention in the upcoming season...and a general overview of the new facilities. The 12-minute interview seemed to go much faster than 12 minutes. Coach stays busy, so we concluded our talks with a few off-microphone discussion topics, exchanged farewell greetings and Nick and I exited the office. 

I wish I had remembered to bring my cell phone to snap a few pictures but, unfortunately, I left it in my car. Still...a very good and informative chat with the head honcho of Cardinal women's basketball. Then, things took a downward spiral...




I concluded my Monday trip to campus with a stop by the Department of Public Safety Office to re-submit my Handicapped Parking information. This was a follow-up to a previous visit where I filled out the application. The permit request was promptly denied (because it wasn't on the official University paperwork form) . Those friendly and thoughtful folks in that facility (Not!) need a few customer service lessons. They refuse to accept a legal and notarized physician's statement that ol' Paulie is still in need of accessible parking. A document issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky..the place where the campus is not worth the paper it is printed on down on Louisville's Belknap Campus 

I ask you, is this anyway to treat a highly popular but non-paid, part-time radio host on a not-for-profit, community radio station? 

I'm walking a lot better than I was in May after my right hip replacement but I'm not running a 4.3 - 40 yard dash just yet. I've also got a left knee that is failing pretty badly on me. The D.P.S. folks also want the princely sum of $150 for access to what the state gives you free.

I'll repeat that again. $150 a year to park for the handicapped on UofL property. 

 Look what we can do, Louisville, indeed. This boondoggle shakedown is another fine example of how disconnected the UofL administration can be at times toward the needs of their patrons and people promoting their University. UofL doesn't offer on-campus Media Parking permits. They also don't offer much sympathy or assistance to an old man who can't walk as good as most. I thought about calling Tom Jurich...but that man has enough on his plate these days already and probably would not be able to help anyway. Inter-departmental intercourse has a way of ending up vanishing in a sea of tangled communication lines, officious documents, ignored e-mails and rigid policies.

So. A unfortunate ending to a great day. I left my paperwork at the D.P.S. and told them to figure it out. I expect I'll get an update by the first snowfall in our fair city. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the job these officers do to protect and serve on campus. But, their office staff needs to be read their Miranda rights and hauled away. 

I wish I had better bone structure and could walk normally and with ease. I am working hard every day to strengthen my body after the hip replacement and hope to have my knee up and running again someday. Thanks, UofL D.P.S. for your concern, assistance and care in helping me cover sporting events and talk to coaches. I think I'll just heist a golf cart next time and drive the campus with reckless abandon. With Bill the Goat, a passel of Chimps and maybe even a Bjerke on board. 

Back to the positive. After all, that's what we do here. We promote the joy and excitement of UofL Women's Sports. Most days, that's the easiest job around. 

A special thanks to Coach Walz, Nick and Kate for making it a very enjoyable visit, preview and glance ahead of 2017-18 Cardinal Women's Basketball. It could be a very memorable season for Walz and company and we'll be here at Cardinal Couple to cover each step of the journey! 

And...good luck to Field Hockey today at Northwestern! Go Minnie, go Minnie! This one starts at 4 p.m. and is on the BTN2GO network...which means it's subscription based and not a freebie. 




Monday, September 18, 2017

Soccer Stumbles, Volleyball Sweeps -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WSOC Falls to Boston College, 2-0

While Jared's Minout Mink goal prediction is in quite a bit of trouble, my women's soccer win total prediction took a hit yesterday when the Cardinals opened conference play with a loss. The Cards finished the preseason 6-2. That .750 winning percentage meant they only had to win six out of ten conference games to meet the twelve win mark. I was counting on Boston College being one of those games. That said, I may have underestimated the Eagles a bit.

BC came into yesterday's game at 6-3, although they hadn't really played anyone. When two teams are pretty even, the advantage will usually go to the home team, as it did yesterday. BC scored both of their goals late in each half. The first came on a free kick and was scored direct. Louisville was on their heels most of that first half, amassing only 3 shots with just one on goal and earning one corner kick. BC, on the other hand, had 5 shots, two on goal, and three corner kicks. Louisville fouled 7 times to BC's 3 (That's right, they put it on the stat sheet). In the second half, Louisville turned up the aggression, working 9 shots and earning five corners, but putting only 2 on goal. The Cards fouled only 2 times in the second half. 

The aggression never was able to pay off though, as Louisville couldn't find the back of the net, and BC put the game away by going up two goals with less than four minutes remaining. So the Cards drop to 6-3, still a respectable record, with a buzzsaw of a remaining schedule upcoming. Six of Louisville's nine remaining opponents are currently ranked in the top 25. This conference slate will be one to see what Louisville's team this year is truly made of. If the Cards can get 6 wins out of their remaining schedule, I'll be pleasantly surprised. We'll all find out together, and it starts on Thursday when the 16th ranked Florida State Seminoles come to Lynn Stadium. Kickoff is at 7PM, and the game will also air on ACC Network Extra.

VBall Sweeps Kennesaw State

After falling to Kentucky in straight sets on Friday, Louisville hosted Kennesaw State in an attempt to rebound. The Owls had the great misfortune of playing Kentucky on Saturday and Louisville on Sunday. Neither match went particularly well for them. After a poor hitting performance on Friday, Louisville was able to turn around their efficiency and hit .330 on the match. This was partially due to an outstanding .448 in the second game, but games 1 and 3 were both over .250. Louisville finished with 45 kills, only 14 errors, 5 total blocks, and 10 service aces.

Melanie McHenry was the statistical MVP with 11 kills (2nd), 3 aces (1st), 1 block (3rd), 1 assist (3rd, but Wilma Rivera won by a mile with 38), and 8 digs (2nd only to Molly Sauer). Tess Clark was the leader in kills in this one, with only one more than Ms. McHenry. Kennesaw State kept it close in the first game with a .444 game of their own but it ultimately wasn't enough, as Louisville was able to hold them off and put them down in the second and third games more easily.

Louisville returns to action this Friday against Notre Dame. The first hit will be at 7PM in Cardinal Arena and this one will be available on ACC Network Extra as well.

The Inevitable Football Mention

I got my start writing about football games. I wrote a column called "A View From the Student Section" and saw mild success, leading to my being asked to write as a columnist here at Cardinal Couple. Sometime around the finishing of my undergraduate degree, I made a mental health decision to not let sports outcomes affect my life quite as much. I used to be that guy that would be down for a week following a loss. I still get quite emotional during games, whether that be ecstatic or angry, but had I not made the active decision to cool it, I don't know how I'd have made it through last season's collapse. I mention all this to explain why I didn't volunteer to pick up yesterday's article.

Being taken off the Sunday slot this season means I don't write about football all that much, and that's OK. It gives me the opportunity to process a loss in a way I find healthy. For this weekend, that meant attempting to completely dump memory of the game shortly after starting my morning coffee yesterday. Fortunately, the Seahawks were able to put together some semblance of a game winning drive yesterday evening against the 49ers or I'd be even more sour. 

As Jared said, this season is not yet over. There are many more games to be played and an Atlantic title, while much less "in our hands" is still an attainable goal. Louisville's football team needs to scrap Saturday's game and move on. It happened. The Cards looked bad, but it was more a lack of execution than a lack of talent. Just like Louisville trounced FSU 63-20 last season, that could have been the case this year. Except it wasn't. And that's OK. Practice this week will be rough, but I can only imagine that Saturday's game, for Kent State, will be rougher. And don't worry, you'll all get the chance to at least hear me rant about football this year. Maybe I'll even pick up a Sunday article for once.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Football fiasco...WSOC and Wide-Netters do battle today -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Why couldn't UofL play THIS
Clemson team yesterday? 
Getting out of bed this Sunday morning proved to be a rather difficult task. The Louisville football game didn't finish until almost midnight and then I had another hour after that of pouting and mumbling less-than-nice words. The 47-21 final in favor of the Tigers could have been a lot worse, but a couple of fourth quarter touchdown passes from Lamar Jackson made the score look a wee bit better. 

The defense? (Insert your own appropriate sentence or paragraph here). We hope Jaire Alexander (Zaire to Paulie) comes back soon. Credit the Clemson brain-trust for going to a spread offense -- which forced the Cards to insert even more defensive backs into a lineup that has scarcely few decent performers at that position. 

Checking with Paulie this morning about filling in for Jeff and his write-up today -- Jeff was pressed into Sunday work because of I.T. issues at work -- he mentioned a couple of things. Firstly, he didn't get home from the game until after 2 a.m. Seems there was a bit of tailgate therapy session going on about this embarrassment. Secondly, pointed out that Lamar did have over 400 yards of combined offense against Mike the Tiger's bunch.

We got these guys instead and they weren't very kind to us. 
Next, he suggested that Petrino should made a call over to the Trinity football program and see if he can switch defenses with the national high school power. Finally, he wanted to call out "drunk guy" in Sec. 122 one last time. This genius decides to start calling the fans out and blaming them for not supporting the team properly after Clemson made it 33-7. He was subdued and embarrassed with some classic retorts by Paulie and several others -- which included:

 'We let the whole team down!'

'Get out there and play safety if you've got all the answers!' 

'You seriously want us to get fired up about this?'

'Thank you, Mary Poppins!' 

'Game DAY is over! Surrender Dorothy and I'll get you and your little dog Toto too!"

For God's sake, get this cat some sunglasses! 
So, to close the football segment, Game Day was great but post Game Day was not. The defending National Champions came in and showed that they are a contender for that title again this year.

Louisville will re-muster, the world hasn't ended, and they'll enter "the field of honor" next Saturday at noon to take on Kent State. The Golden Flashes are 1-2 on the season and began their year visiting Clemson and falling 56-3. They did come home for their second effort and defeated Howard 38-31. (Howard who....Schnellenger? Johnson? Cosell? Sprague?) 

You guessed it, they probably won't come back here for GameDay next week. 


Our ladies of the pitch visit Boston College today to start conference play. Remember last year's match against them? Two goals in the final fifteen minutes to push the match to overtime. KAELA DICKERMAN gave the Cardinals the win in double overtime. That ended up being the final win of the season for the Cards. 

Louisville is 6-2 this year. B.C. is 6-3. If this one comes down to the wire....remember Dickerman is still on the roster. Live video with commentary on ACC Network Extra. 


Spike one. Molly! 
Coach DBK's serve and volley gals look to bounce back after the road lost to the Cats when they face Kennesaw State today at 3 p.m. in Cardinal Arena. Do you know where Kennesaw State is located? If you listened to The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday you were informed. 

You won't see me carrying a camera around pretending like I know what I'm doing...but I'll make a first half appearance in the crowd to cheer the Cards on. We won't get Paulie down on press row today, either. He's reporting a little swelling in his left knee and is putting himself on the "unable to perform" list. 

This one also available on ACC Network Extra. 


"Dear Minnie Mink

I need your help. I said that you'd score an average of two goals per game this season. So far you have scored a total of three goals in seven games. Help me out and please score 13 times in Tuesday's game to get me back on track with my prediction.

Thank you in advance. A nervous, poor predictor." 

Your friend,

Jared Anderson

The Stick Girls are on a two game losing streak and taking a short break before travelling to scenic Evanston, IL to face a northern bunch of Wildcats of Northwestern on Tuesday. Let's hope they can beat one of those feline mascots that we discussed during THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR yesterday. 

These two squads don't like each other very much. NW is 5-3 on the year and two of the losses have come from ACC opponents Boston College and Duke. 


-- Come to Softball's first fall game Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. It's an intra-squad scrimmage and you can help me celebrate growing older at that still unwise age of 23.

-- Just remember that one game does not a season make, no matter what sport it is. Every team is still in good shape to make the postseason. Stay confident and don't give up too early. 

-- GIve the rebroadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR a listen at the link below if you missed the live version yesterday. Or even if you heard the live broadcast, go back and listen again.  The "A" team was in magnificent spirits, dressed in black and even got Crescent Hill Radio's KEVIN COX from THE MORNING JAM involved in the fray. 


Go Cards!
Jared Anderson

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cards Take Lumps on Friday -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville FH Falls at #4 Duke, 5-0

After a tough road loss against Maryland on Sunday, I'm sure Justine Sowry was expecting a bit of a bounce back when the Cardinal Field Hockey team opened conference play in Durham last night. What they got was a systematic dismantling at the hands of a very good Blue Devil squad. Duke scored early and often, opening the scoreline 4 minutes into the game and finishing with five goals. Louisville was completely outmatched, allowing 10 Duke shots IN EACH HALF and amassing only 2 of their own in the entire game. 

I watched this one on my phone until Duke put the second goal in the net with less than 9 minutes gone in the game. They had complete control for the most part, and Louisville just didn't look the part. The defense was slow to cover, Duke players were finding space and attacking free balls, the offense couldn't hit crisp passes, and overall Louisville seemed more like a bunch of bodies than a top FH team in the nation. Ayeisha McFerran returned to the goal for the second game in a row and played all 70 minutes. She was tagged with 5 goals but saved 6, including a spectacular diving save when the score was 1-0. However, as I said, Louisville's defense looked slow. After the amazing save, the ball bounced no more than 3-4 feet from McFerran but the nearest Cardinal was nowhere in sight. Duke pounced on the opportunity and sent their second goal over a sprawling keeper. McFerran looked good from what I saw, despite the two goals I saw her give up. On the first, it was a surprise back hand that she was able to get the blocker to, but unfortunately the ball hit just inside the crossbar instead of going over the goal.

As far as penalty corners go, at least Louisville defended them well. Duke scored on only 1 of their 4 opportunities, which says not great things about Louisville's open field defense in last night's game. Louisville was 0-2 on corner opportunities, something you could have likely deduced yourself based on their whopping zero goals in the loss. 

The true road game issues continue for Louisville this season, and they'll hope to figure them out soon. The Cards still have a game at #14 Northwestern before they return to the friendly confines of Trager Stadium. We've made a lot of to-do about my women's soccer prediction, but my "no more than 4 losses" prediction for field hockey is in dire straits now as the team fell to 4-3 last night. Hopefully, Coach Sowry can identify some of the issues the Cards are facing and salvage the season with some quick fixes. There are still plenty of games to be played, but the tournament invitations are slim, and Louisville could find themselves on the outside looking in if they can't right the ship on the road. Louisville takes on Northwestern on the 19th at 4PM. Expect to pay for Big Ten Plus if you want to catch this one.

VB Cards Fall 3-0 to Cats

Photo by Jared Anderson
UK evened the overall rivalry series for this year at 1-1-1 in the major team sports and we'll be stuck there until after Turkey Day when Lamar Jackson and company head to the new "Kroger Field." Louisville was unable to overcome a raucous Memorial Coliseum crowd and a bad hitting night as they were swept by the rival Wildcats. While you would always like to see Louisville beat Kentucky, there is no shame in losing to the number 12 team in the country on the road. There may be some shame to be found, though, in hitting -0.094 in the final game and losing 11-25. That's not great, boss. Louisville held with Kentucky in the first two games, losing 20-25 and 24-26. 

The Cards only hit 0.027 in the first game but were able to keep up with the Cats. Louisville actually outhit Kentucky in the second, .300-.250, but Kentucky got the important points when it mattered. UK never hit less than that .250 mark that came in the second game, which was killer for Louisville on a night that they hit poorly. Louisville finished the match with only 30 kills and 20 errors. That isn't going to win very many matches, but it is important to remember that this team is still growing and to not discredit a good Kentucky team. Wilma Rivera was easily the team MVP as she recorded 2 blocks, 18 assists, and 11 digs, leading the team in all three categories. She was tied for the lead in blocks by both Jasmine Bennett and Tess Clark. 

Photo by Jared Anderson
After a tough loss in which it looked as though the Cards might be able to take a game and change the complexion of the match, Louisville returns home to Cardinal Arena to lick their wounds with a match against Kennesaw State tomorrow at 3PM. I know at least a couple of fans that will be in attendance. Coach DBK will look to get the Cards' minds right and put this loss in the past. Louisville remains a plus .500 team with losses coming to ranked or should be ranked teams. The Cards might not completely turn it around this season, but the early returns of DBK's hiring have seemed promising.

Battle for the Atlantic

Louisville's return to the College GameDay scene is about to get underway. When you're reading this, it may have already happened. The important part isn't the pomp and circumstance, though. The important part is the reason the A-Team is even here: the game. Louisville hosts the Clemson Tigers tonight, hoping to finally earn their first win against the defending National Champions. Louisville has played Clemson close in all three meetings, falling just short in each. Bobby Petrino has had this one circled since the schedule came out. In fact, there's a non-zero chance that the reason Louisville hasn't looked it's best to this point is because they've been gameplanning for Clemson since the season started. Petrino doesn't want to lose this game. Lamar Jackson doesn't want to lose this game. I'm quite sure the entire team wants to win this game and put all of the doubters behind them. Louisville fell apart after the heartbreaker in Death Valley last season. Revenge should do wonders for their psyche for the rest of this season. Another gut-wrenching loss could be catastrophic.

Picture via Twitter @Drew_Deener
This game is about more than just vengeance. With Florida State becoming the wounded gazelle in the Atlantic division race after losing Deondre Francois, Louisville's hopes for a division title are better than ever. The game in Tallahassee doesn't just look marginally winnable, it looks like a game in which Louisville could even be favored at kickoff. But it starts today. The winner of today's game is in the driver's seat. A win today not only puts Louisville in the top-10 conversation, it sets them up to hang onto the the division crown. The ESPN commercial for tonight's game points out everyone that is "IN" for tonight. Heisman winner: IN. National Champs: IN. 

I'm IN. Are you?

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Once you've gotten your fill of the GameDay guys in front of Grawemeyer Hall (which is a spectacular set backdrop by the way), come hang out with us on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour from 11-12. You can still have GameDay on to see who the guest picker is and find out whether Corso puts on a Louie head or that of Mike the Tiger (I will in studio), but don't be afraid to tune in to WCHQ and here us give love to the teams that don't get enough of it. We'll break down the field hockey and volleyball losses as well as give props to the women's soccer team for closing up non-conference play with a win. CCRH is on 100.9 FM WCHQ as well as the WCHQ app and the Crescent Hill Radio website. 

Until next time, Go Cards! Beat Clemson!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gamedays and Gameday - FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It's time for the Friday round-up of events to help you make plans for your weekend.

Soccer - Women

You kinda missed one, already.  Last night, Women's Soccer beat Gardner-Webb 4-0 at Lynn Stadium.  2 goals in the first half by Allison Whitfield, and one each to Mollie Rouse and Kaela Dickerman in the second half.  The team gets to a 6-2 overall record and start into their conference slate on Sunday at Boston College.  They're already halfway to the 12-win season that Case predicted...good news for Case...but the road does get a little consistently harder at this point.

Sunday is a 1pm start, and it is available on the ACC Network Extra

Soccer - Men

On the road, Ken Lolla's team will play at 7pm at Syracuse.  This one also on the ACC Network
Extra.  They'll be back in action Tuesday evening at Lynn when IUPUI comes to visit with a 7pm start, available on the streaming as well.  I haven't been following the men closely this season, they're 3-1-1 overall, with the only loss coming to a very good Wake Forest team.  Not a bad start for them, I don't think.

Field Hockey

Tonight, conference play gets underway with a bang.  At Duke, with a 6pm start, available on streaming.  This one is always fun with former Cardinals skipper Pam Bustin at the helm at Duke.  Certain to be a good game.  Just the one game for the stick Cards this weekend.


Not yet to conference play, but still facing a gauntlet in the non-conference schedule, I'll be headed down the road this evening to Lexington to watch the match at Kentucky.  A 7pm start, this one is on the SEC Network (still part of the ESPN world, so available through the same ESPN streaming app, but also with the bonus of being on the linear network this time).  This one will be a big challenge for the Cards as Kentucky is ranked 12th in the country right now.

Kennesaw State will be playing Kentucky on Saturday, but then will join Louisville at Cardinal Arena for a 3pm start Sunday.  Available on ACC streaming (picking up on the theme, here?)

Who Have I Missed

Men's golf will be in Durham, NC for a tournament this weekend, with Men's Tennis also in the general region at the Duke Invitational.  I still feel like I'm missing something...Oh right!


Football hosts Clemson Saturday.  The actual game will be at 8pm on ABC, but, of course, you can tune into ESPN's College Gameday from the lawn in front of Grawemeyer Hall and The Thinker statue from 9 until noon.  Of course, at 11, you'll surely be switching over to Crescent Hill Radio to catch The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour from 11 to noon.

So there's your weekend capsule, with plenty to keep Cards fans busy as we're in the thick of Fall Sports season.

-- JMcA