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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cards and Irish square off tonight





WEDNESDAY @ THE COUPLE:
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-Cards travel to South Bend for Irish
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Lacrosse signs eight for 2012

An early BIG EAST schedule tester for Louisville tonight in South Bend to face #14 Notre Dame in Purcell Pavilion. Reconfigured for basketball last year, Muffet McGraw (pictured right) can invite over 9,000 of her closest friends in to watch this one...the Irish have sold out the arena twice this year and could very well again tonight. Notre Dame is third in the BIG EAST in home attendance behind Louisville and Connecticut. (Photo by AP).
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The Irish were picked to finish 4th in the pre-season BIG EAST Coaches Poll and have amassed a 13-4, 2-2 record so far in the 2010-11 season. Devereaux Peters, fully recovered from knee injuries that have plagued her career at Notre Dame, has had the top hand for McGraw's team as of late and nearly averages a double-double (12.3, 9.7) on the year. She's deadly on the boards and can run the court very well. Skylar Diggins is another outstanding performer wearing the gold and green, the flashy and solid shooting point guard runs the show for the Irish and must be respected whenever she totes the rock. Impressive this year for Notre Dame
is 6'3" freshman post Natalie Achonwa...who hails from Ontario, Canada. She's a rebounding machine that also scores productively from in the paint.
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Natalie Novosel, a Lexington (KY) Catholic product, is a big time scoring forward for Muffet's muppets...a player that will post you up and take you to the rim or burn you from outside if you slack off her. Becca Bruszewski is the enforcer and pounder on the boards...close to scoring 1000 career points for the Irish and way over that total in elbows thrown and picks set. She's a brawler that doesn't back down or give way. She'll be trouble for the Cards. Erica Soloman is another that is capable of a double-double on any night. Brittany Mallory, a clever senior guard, can spark the Irish with her hustle and deadly outside shooting.
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So, it appears the Cards have numerous weapons and threats to worry about as they take the floor tonight. Given the Cardinal philosophy and creed, though...they'll concentrate more on what they can do, their game and try to dictate the pace and flow of the contest. This won't be easy for Jeff Walz's bunch. Notre Dame comes out smothering with defensive intensity and will trap, press and corner opposing guards into steals and turnovers.
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Shoni Schimmel's magician-like ball handling skills will get perhaps the toughest test of the season so far tonight...with no disrespect to Tennessee or Xavier. Connecticut struggled against the Irish defensive intensity and needed Maya Moore to take over the game late to stagger to a win in Purcell...a game that Geno's bunch trailed most of the way. Louisville has shown the ability to jump on opponents early, build a commanding lead and then maintain it the rest of the game...but such a performance tonight would be surprising for the Cards. If this bunch can overcome the road woes they've experienced this year...they'll be competitive and could take the Irish to the final buzzer.
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Game time is 7 p.m. No TV anywhere that we're aware of...which is a shame...but Jim and Paul will do the radio feed for CARDS RADIO 790 AM / 101.7 FM WKRD.
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Kellie Young has inked eight players for the 2012 University of Louisville lacrosse season and the group has a decidedly east coast flavor....four of them from Maryland, one from North Carolina and one from Pennsylvania. The class:
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-Faye Brust...midfielder/attack from Bel Air, MD. A three sport star at John Carroll H.S.
-Carissa Corbett...midfielder from Wilmington, NC. Team captain and MVP at Hoggard High
-Cat Gordon...midfielder/attack from Glen Arm, MD. Played with Brust at John Carroll.
-Kendall Gordon...defense from Worthington, OH. All league, all district.
-Taylor Hagin...midfielder/attack from Cummings, GA. Offensive MVP three years.
-Emily Kolsevich...attack from Pottstown, PA. Prolific scorer in high school.
-Danielle Lazo...midfielder from Stevensville, MD. U.S. Lacrosse U-19 member.
-Casey Pepperman...midfielder from Baltimore, MD. Speedy midfielder, huge potential.


Coach Young is building a solid program here at Louisville and threatens to contend for the BIG EAST top honors this year. We can't wait for the action to begin this spring and with a solid returning class....the CARDS should notch plenty of wins this season. Louisville went 11-6 last year and return stars Bergan Foley, Emily Dashiell, Katie Oliverio, Meghan Ryan, Danielle Pawliw and Liz Lovejoy along with 14 other players from last year and nine freshmen. 10 home games are scheduled for the Cards...beginning Feb., 20th. against Binghamton. If you haven't attended a match, be sure to get out this spring and watch the fast paced, exciting action on Louisville's state of the art field next to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the YUM practice facility on Floyd St.
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