Halftime of the Louisville-UConn game Sunday featured a presentation of the past and present in women's sports at the University of Louisville. The parade of athletes old and new was impressive. The growth of Louisville women's athletics since Tom Jurich and Julie Herrmann arrived at Louisville amazing.
Back when I attended college, about the only women's sport that ever drew any attention or much of a crowd was women's basketball. The university I attended had a pretty decent women's basketball team at the time and sometimes several thousand would show up for a game. The other women's sports...nowhere near that kind of crowd. Field Hockey was lucky if we had 50 on the sidelines. And that included the teams. We literally played in front of coaches, referees and other players.
The University of Louisville is blessed with conference champions and NCAA powehouses in several women's sports beside basketball in case you haven't noticed.
The volleyball team won the Big East this past season and went to the NCAA tournament. Women's softball hosted the Big East tournament and also got a bid to the NCAA tournament. Field Hockey has hosted the NCAA Final Four a couple of times, the Big East tournament and the Field Hockey Cards are a Big East power and NCAA tournament team. Fans fill Cardinal Arena to watch volleyball, the Trager Center for field hockey and Ulmer Stadium for softball.
Women's swimming is top 15 nationally ranked. The rowing team and lacrosse teams have become nationally recognized and respected since the sports were introduced to colelge competition. Soccer is a Big East contender each year and track and field is favored to win the Big East tournamnt later this month. Tennis with Mark Beckham continues to improve.
We've come a long way, baby.
There is still much to do, though. Fan support is so important. Not just for the women's basketball team and volleyball. Women's softball plays in the best ballpark in Big East softball. Trager is a state of the art field hockey facility.
The busy spring sports season is just around the corner. The women athletes at the University of Louisville would love for you to attend their games. And, you just might have an excellent time.
If Rick Pitino can find time to attend a Louisville women's swimming meet...I bet you can squeeze in a couple of hours to watch the exciting sport of women's lacrosse. See you out there.
Written by Sonja