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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Volleyball in YUM!...Field Hockey hosts BIG teams...Soccer takes a road trip...Softball scrimmages

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CARDINAL COUPLE THURSDAY:

-Big weekend ahead for UofL women's sports

-We look back at:

The action will be fast and furious for four Cardinal women's sports teams this weekend. Let's look at what lies ahead...

Louisville goalie Chloe Kiefer
Women's Soccer goes on the road to face two BIG EAST opponents...starting with Connecticut on Friday at 7 p.m. and finishing up at Providence with a 1 p.m. Sunday match. The Soccer Cards are coming off a tie against DePaul and win over Notre Dame last week...which boosted their record to 3-4-2 overall and 1-0-1 in the BIG EAST. Louisville will look to the leadership of Christine Exeter and play of freshman Erin Yenney to produce points and goal tending skills of Chloe Kiefer to sweep the journey east. Providence has been shut out in their last five games and sits at 3-3-5 overall...the Huskies are 4-4-0 and 1-1-0 in BIG EAST action. Both are winnable for Karen Ferguson-Dayes squad.

The Jurich twins will lead the
Field Hockey Cards into battle.

Field Hockey returns to Trager Stadium for Friday and Sunday games. The Justine Sowry led Flock shut out Georgetown and American on the road last weekend and Cardinal stars Elizabeth Vance and Erin Conrad received BIG EAST Player of the Week honors for their efforts. The weekend games against Syracuse and New Hampshire will be tough ones...both are ranked in the top ten. Syracuse - 5-2-0 on the season and #5 in the nation - is first...with a 3 p.m. Friday face off. UofL students should show up in big numbers for the one....free Papa John's pizza for them during the afternoon tilt. Louisville is an impressive 6-2-0 on the season and have shot out their last four opponents.

Lola leads the Cards
Volleyball heads to the KFC YUM! Center for their weekend matches...first ever for the UofL program in the downtown arena. They'll host St.John's on Friday 7 p.m. and Connecticut visits Sunday for a 2 p.m. match. The Cards faced two top 25 opponents last weekend in the BIG EAST vs. BIG 10 Challenge in Illinois and Purdue and took both opponents to five games before falling. Lola Arslanbekova has been scorching the nets lately for Anne Kordes' squad...with 20 kills against the Boilermakers and a career-high 30 kills in the Illinois contest. There are still six game packages for the YUM! Center contests available for only $30. Regular admission is $8.


Bemis doesn't know why this
roustabout is asking her questions..
Softball welcomes Murray State to Ulmer Stadium for a double header scrimmage on Saturday afternoon. The Cards got great pitching last weekend from Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins...limiting the Bellarmine Knights to just three hits in a double header sweep. Cardinal coach Sandy Pearsall is faced with the task of replacing the left side of her infield this spring...losing Colby Wherry and Chelsea Bemis to graduation...but several freshmen contributed to last weekend's wins and the Cards do return key components in Kristin Austin, Jordan Trimble, Maggie Ruckenbrod, Taner Fowler and Hannah Kiyohara...just to name a few. Since football is on a bye week, why not head over to Ulmer and get a sneak peek on what Pearsall's 2012 fence swingers have in store for Cardinal fans. Morehead State will complete the busy pitch-and-catch weekend with a visit to "play two" on Sunday. First pitch is 2 p.m against the Racers on Saturday and 1 p.m. against the Eagles on Sunday.


Good luck to all Cardinal teams headed into play this weekend!

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Angel's double-double led
Louisville past the Terps.
Louisville headed into the Raleigh regionals final with a chance to do something no Cardinal women's basketball team had ever accomplished before - reach the NCAA Final Four. The task would not be easy, however. Ahead lay Maryland, the #1 seed in the region. A bittersweet reunion for Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz, a former assistant coach at Maryland and recruiter of Maryland star Marissa Coleman.

March 30th, 2009 would be a day Cardinal fans would remember for a long time.

The Cards, survivors of a tough Baton Rouge first and second round opener, had earned the right to be in Raleigh...defeating LSU on their home court to advance. Two nights earlier, Louisville had dispatched of Kim Mulkey and Baylor 56-39 in the opening round of the Raleigh Regional. It was showdown time.

Louisville came out strong to start the game, shutting down Coleman and sensational freshman Kristy Tolliver and jumped to an early lead. The Cards went on a 13-3 run, capped by a Monique Reid layup to lead 24-14 with eight minutes remaining. 

Then, the ball ran out of air for the Cards. A nearly six minute scoreless streak saw the Terps climb back into the contest. Angel with eight straight misses before hitting a buzzer-beating jumper to give the Cards a tenuous 30-25 lead at halftime. 

Louisville had work to do and it was time to for Angel to put on the hard hat. 

The Cards held on...keeping Maryland at bay and increasing on the lead for most of the second half...but Coleman drained a difficult three with five minutes remaining to cut the Cardinal advantage to eight at 54-46. Candyce Bingham responded with a layup, though, and the UofL squad took off on a 13-6 run that put the game out of reach. An Angel three and Bingham inside putback set the score at 67-52 and the Turtles were on their backs and helpless. As the clock ticked to zero...Louisville celebrated on the sidelines with a 77-60 win.

"I told them it's one of the toughest games I've ever had to coach. It's different if you're playing them in a regular season game because everybody's career carries on. This was a game where we came out on the top side, though and their (Maryland's) senior's careers are over." Jeff Walz commented after the win.

McCoughtry led the Louisville assault with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Dez Byrd finished with 17 and Bingham added 15. Freshman Becky Burke completed the Cards double figure efforts with 10 points. 

"I'm dreaming right now...pinch me Dez." McCoughtry laughed after the game. "It's time to go to Disney World...oh, wait..we have two more games." 

The Cards would advance to St. Louis...to face the winner of the Oklahoma vs. Purdue game. Mom (Bingham) and the crazy aunt (McCoughtry) were headed to the Arch.

Because of business related travel, Paul had to watch the game from a hotel bar/restaurant in Evansville, IN. By the time the game ended, all 14 patrons and employees remaining were UofL fans. Ironically, several Purdue fans were in the place and chipped in cheering for the Cards. Being a good sport...Paul stayed and rooted on the Boilermakers...but their efforts fell short against Oklahoma. He relates:

"My cell phone started ringing non-stop with about three minutes to go in the UofL game and way into the rest of the night. Finally turned it off around 1 a.m. and had seven voice mails the next morning when I woke up....including one from a Kentucky fan I had met several months back and given a business card to. He assured me the Cards would make it to the finals. That night was truly one of the greatest moments in UofL women's sports ever. CARDINAL COUPLE wasn't even created yet...we were writing for Charlie Springer over at Card Game and he even called a few times. And, Sonja was going ballistic at work that night, calling me every few minutes while listening to the game on the radio."
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