#10 Louisville vs UConn
We devote the Friday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE to the Saturday matchup between #10 Louisville and #5 Connecticut that will take place Saturday at noon in Trager Stadium. We're fortunate enough to have three exclusive interviews with senior TEAM CARDINAL Field Hockey Players and head coach Pam Bustin. The ladies are ready to roll and if they show the determination of Nicole Youman (pictured here) they'll send the Huskies back to Storrs on the short end of the score.
(On the Cards 2008 win over UConn at Trager Stadium)
" I did play in that win. It was the opening of the Marshall Center and a big home win for us. We're hoping to duplicate that again."
(On the rivarly with UConn)
'Definitely our arch rival in the conference. It was a heartbreaker losing to them last year. Maybe it was the theme of the season...heartbreaking, because we had so many overtime losses. WE came out strong but a couple of minutes can lose you a game, so we need to stay strong all the way."
(On scouting this year's UConn squad)
"We need to be ready. Especially on defense, they have skilled forwards..so were looking to skill them outside, delay as best we can on defense. We definitely don't want to give up a lot of corners because they've scored well on those this year."
(Her message to CARDINAL COUPLE readers)
'Come out and cheer us on. WE want your support."
(On the 2008 win over UConn)
"It was one that you don't forget, for sure. They were ranked fourth and we won."
(On getting open to score on UConn)
"It's really a team thing. It's all about all of us working together. About getting that open shot on the goal and if that happens to be me...yeah, that would be great."
(On having an advantage if the game goes to overtime)
"I think so. Because of our passion and determination right now. We've learned a lot from overtime this year and I'd be comfortable going in to it."(On facing players from the last couple of UConn teams)
"There are a few back from the last couple of years. They have a lot of foreign players that are in and out every couple of years...so there will be a few new faces but there are a few girls that I'll remember from last year."
(A special message to the CARDINAL COUPLE readers)
"It great to have all the fans coming out. The support we've had on our Facebook page...yeah, please keep coming out and hopefully we'll put on a good game, get the win and make it worth their while."
(On beating UConn in 2008)
"It was a very exciting game! It was an incredible thing...we just played so well together and it really showed. WE got the win and it was incredible.
(On what to expect out of UConn on Saturday)
"They are very skilled. They're the #5 team so it will be great competition. WE know their tendencies. WE really just want to move the ball around, I want to just get the ball to those who will score...trusting them and their abilities."
(Her message to CARDINAL COUPLE readers)
"It's going to be a phenomenal game, so come out and watch. It's going to be very exciting!"
( On the mood, tempo and tone of the players going in to the UConn game)
"Everyone is really excited. I think that our focus is the key to this match. Having a week to prepare and having it be Connecticut....who we always look forward to playing. It's going to be a balance of keeping the energy high and keeping them relaxed as possible. We've just been taking care of our own business here every day and getting into what we have to do to combat Connecticut."
(On Youman and scoring against the UConn defense)
"Nicole Youman is obviously a very good forward and field hockey player and I'm sure Connecticut has a plan to minimize her impact on the game...but for us we've been working on our entire attack unit, so..hopefully as Nic does what she can to open up other players and maybe distract some of the defenders...we'll be able to take advantage of some of the opportunities and score.
(Do we want to see this one go into overtime?)
"No! But if it has to, we'll do what we have to do to win. Despite what the record shows, we actually played really well in our first two overtime games this year. It's just a matter of us finishing the game. I'd rather win in regulation, but if we have to win in overtime...we'll do it."
(On her pregame talk to the team)
"I think inspiration may not be the issue here. Focus and relaxation...trying to get them ready to go. Balanced...getting them ready for what they have to do to get the result they want. We don't need to be too jacked up for this game. The desire..it's gonna be there."
(To the CARDINAL COUPLE readers)
"Come on out and support us! We've been playing some beautiful hockey this season. We're ranked tenth in the nation right now and we're not satisfied with that. We've been hitting a wall...trying to break thru that tenth ranking. Hopefully on Saturday, with good focus and good support and a good game...we'll be able to climb a little bit up that ladder there.'
What else can be said? Be there, be a part of it and come to know the excitement, dedication and drive that is TEAM CARDINAL.
It's gonna be a good one. Don't miss it. CARDINAL COUPLE will have a full report on the contest Sunday and on Saturday...Paul will have a piece on his visit to practice on Thursday.