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Friday, September 16, 2011

Field Hockey Heads to nation's capitol...

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CARDINAL COUPLE FRIDAY EDITION

-Field Hockey faces test in D.C.

-Volleyball in Champaign

-Soccer starts Big East

-Angel & Atlanta start playoffs

-Cats vs. Cards in football: One man's opinion

Get ready, Cardinal women's sports fans...the weekend is full of Cardinal sports. Let's look at the action!

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Justine Sowry takes the UofL Field Hockey team to D.C. this weekend but they wont' be spending much time at the Smithsonian or Capitol Hill. Instead the stick Cards will battle Georgetown on Saturday and American on Sunday. Nice streak for the Cards coming into these two...they've outscored their opponents 10-0 in the last two games and they're getting great play out of goalkeeper Erin Conrad. 

Against the Hoyas, Louisville leads the all-time series 5-0 and took a 6-1 win over them last year at Trager. This year's G'Town squad is 2-3 and have lost to Davidson, LaSalle and Bryant Universities. 

American U. is ranked #17 currently and the Cards are 1-1 all-time against them. Louisville won 2-1 last year in Trager. The Eagles are 2-3 on the year, with losses to Northwestern, Ohio and Old Dominion. 

Hayley Turner (right) leads the Cards with five goals and four assists this season. Both she and Erin Conrad were selected for the BIG EAST Honor Roll Sept. 12th. The Cards will need big performances out of both to sweep the weekend trip.

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 Anne Kordes and the Louisville Volleyball squad participates in the BIG EAST vs. BIG TEN challenge this weekend in Champaign, Il. Not an easy task ahead for the Cards...with undefeated and nationally ranked Purdue and Illinois on the docket. As Lola Arslanbekova goes...so do the Cards. 

Louisville scrimmaged against both schools this spring...defeating the Boilermakers and narrowly losing to Illinois. The Cards will need big time matches from Emily Juhl, Kaitlynn James, Taylor Brauneis and Caitlin Welch along with the powerful Lola to win this weekend.

UofL is keeping mum about the status of Gwen Rucker's injury, so we'll check the box scores and see if the talented senior from Lexington get any action...

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It hasn't been a easy season, so far, for the University of Louisville women's soccer team. The BIG EAST provides a chance to turn it around this weekend. The Cards will travel to Notre Dame for a Friday match before returning to Cardinal Park for a Sunday tilt against DePaul.

Goals have been the problem for Karen Ferguson-Dayes squad this season and the Irish aren't an easy team to score on...allowing only six in their first seven games. WE'RE not greedy here at Cardinal Couple...we'll take a 1-0 win over the Irish anytime. Things should get easier for UofL when DePaul visits Sunday. The Blue Demons (2-5) have only scored six goals this year.

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Angel and the Atlanta Dream start the WNBA Playoff against the Connecticut Sun tonight and since Sancho Lyttle has returned to the Dream starting lineup, the Dream have been a nightmare for opponents. A certain #35 for Atlanta has also had a lot to do with the Atlanta squad recovering from an early season 3-9 mark. This one will be a war.

Gotta love Angel's chances for the MVP slot in the WNBA if Atlanta can reach the finals again. She and Diana Taurasi were the scoring leaders in the league with 21.6 points per game and Angel's liable to pop for 30+ on any given evening.

The Sun and Dream were 2-2 in head-on match ups this season...both teams winning their games at home. Sun star Kara Lawson isn't afraid:

"There is no reason why we can't we can't win the title this year. All we have to do is tighten it up defensively." 

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(We asked CARDINAL COUPLE'S David Watson to put on his bicycle helmet and run into his garage wall a few times before commenting on the upcoming UofL vs. UK football game. He sends this report in from the E.R.)

OK, it is finally here. Cards vs. Cats. Maybe without the luster and importance of past years. No Randall Cobb, Bilal Powell or Brian Brohm type players on either squad this year. Amazingly, Mother Nature is smiling down benignly on Lexington this weekend with moderate temperatures and no rain. Maybe she's got a wager on this one. If she's smart...she'll take the seven points and UofL. I did.

I keep hearing that neither team has much of an offensive. I'm holding my hands over my ears and shouting "la la la la la" to those words. UofL has two great running backs and four potential Sunday receivers. The Cats will eventually figure out how to use Morgan Newton and newcomer Josh Clemons is running the ball at a 6.6 yards per carry pace. They're averaging 20.5 points per game. That doesn't look like three plays and a punt to me.

As most games are, this one will be won in the trenches. That's where UK has the decided advantage. Seven guys on UK's O-line with starting experience. The Cards without Mario Benavides at center have been a work in progress up front when Will Stein leads them out of the huddle. Time for Hernandez, Miller, Kupper, Smith and Kessling to grow up.

Both school have good punters. Wade Tylacka might be a tad better than UofL's Chris Philpott. Philpott is a danger when he decides to go with the fake, though, so the Cats may create some big return opportunities for Eli Rogers and Scott Radcliff if they're watching out for Chris's scooting skills.

Charlie Strong claims that UofL isn't a very good football team currently. Is it a motivational ploy? We'll find out around 10 p.m. or so Saturday night. I'm going with the Cats 33-28. My heart's going with a 28-24 UofL win. Given my football prognostication skills, this one will probably end up 10-7. Good luck, Cards.

(Just a reminder, you can nab a $10 Panera Gift Card if you can predict the winner and get closest to the final score. Send those guesses to cardinalcouple@insightbb.com )
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