Field Hockey Wins Shootout Thriller
Louisville and Wake Forest went the distance last night, playing a full game, two sudden death overtimes, and finally going to a shootout before Louisville came away victorious. The final score will go down as 3-2, but Louisville did officially score two goals in the shootout. One of them was scored by Minnie Mink so we'll give her that credit. For the first time this season, she scored two goals in a game as Jared wished she would all year. Both sides of the ball have been struggling lately, so it was good for the Louisville defense to limit goals with the number of opportunities Wake had and it was great for the offense to support the defense's efforts by scoring two goals.
Ayeisha McFerran looked to return to form as the All-American goalkeeper we know her to be and she did so with 5 saves last night as well as keeping balls out of the cage during the shootout. Wake's offensive attack last night was ruthless, as they ended the game having earned 9 penalty corners and taken 15 shots, with 8 on goal. After an efficient second half, in which Wake scored a goal on only 2 shots and Louisville scored their only shot of the half, the teams played an aggressive first overtime. Both teams earned a PC and had three shots. The second overtime was all Wake Forest, but the Louisville defense was up to the task. Wake earned 3 penalty corners and took 6 shots in the second overtime period. Louisville's offense was nonexistent during that time. However, the defense held strong and kept the Demon Deacons off of the scoreboard, taking the game to the aforementioned shootout. In the shootout, Wake failed to convert its first four shots (thanks, Ayeisha) and Meghan Schneider and Minout Mink scored in the first and fourth positions for Louisville. Since Wake's fifth shooter couldn't score two goals at once, the game was over and the Cards were victorious.
Scoring in the regular period, in addition to Mink, was Marigrace Ragsdale, which brought her goal total to 3 on the season. It may not have been the prettiest win, but after the dreadful road trip the team just endured, I'm sure Coach Sowry is more than happy to get a win in any way possible. The victory moves Louisville back above .500 with a 5-4 record (remember that according to my prediction, they can't lose anymore games in the regular season) and earns them their first conference win. The game last night was Wake's first conference loss. Louisville gets the day off before hosting James Madison at noon tomorrow. The game is at home and available on ACC Network Extra.
Dani Busboom Kelly Wins First ACC Game
It was an up and down and back up again match for the Cards last night, but it seemed to be destined from the start. After going the full length with Notre Dame and winning in 5, Louisville is now 20-3 in conference home openers since 1995 (per gocards.com). The win gave Dani Busboom Kelly her first ACC victory as head coach in her first ACC game. Here's hoping for many more.
The Cards jumped out early, winning the first game 25-23, having to come from behind as they trailed 16-20. This would come to be a theme throughout the match. Louisville led the second set 21-19 before ultimately falling 23-25 and led 17-9 in the third set before stumbling to a 25-27 loss. The Cards finally took control in the fourth set, leading wire-to-wire and winning 25-18. The Cards were again in control of the fifth set, trailing only 0-1 before winning 15-11 and taking the match. On offense, the Cards were led by Melanie McHenry with 21 kills, Tess Clark (16), and Jasmine Bennett (15). On defense it was Molly Sauer with 36 digs, Wilma Rivera (21), and Alexis Hamilton (16).
The win over Notre Dame is no small feat. The Irish lost only one game in their non-conference schedule, a sweep against a ranked Ohio State team which they managed to avenge with a 3-1 win two days later. ND also has a win over Michigan State and did not drop more than one set in any match other than the OSU loss. Louisville will continue to test their mettle as they travel to North Carolina to face off with the Tar Heels tomorrow at 1PM. The game will be available on ACCNE.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
With Paulie and I hitting the noon football game, Jared at work, and Jeff fearful of facing the studio alone, we're taking the week off from our standard set-up. However(!), you can still tune into WCHQ via your radio, app, or online at 11AM to hear a collection of exclusive Cardinal Couple interviews compiled throughout the week. These sound clips will include previews, conversations about players, and post-game thoughts that can't be found anywhere but Cardinal Couple. As always, we thank you for reading, commenting, and listening.
Until next time, Go Cards!