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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ferguson-Dayes receives honor...Strong leaving?/Cards going...One final look at the UofL v.UK WBB game

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TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Karen Ferguson-Dayes selected Northeast Coach of the Year.

-Football Cards headed to Charlotte...Charlie headed to College Station?

-(We promise) A final look at the UofL vs. UK WBB game.

The University of Louisville's head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes has been named the NSCAA/Mondo Regional Coach of the Year for the NCAA Northeast Division. She was also the BIG EAST Coach of the Year..so the trophy case in the Ferguson-Dayes living room is getting crowded.

Ferguson-Dayes led the Cards to 14 wins this year and to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the Cards furthest foray into soccer's BIG DANCE. Louisville was also the champs of the BIG EAST's National Division this season and lost in the finals of the BIG EAST Tournament to West Virginia.  

Christine Exeter was BIG
EAST Player of the Year.
Dayes has a talented team returning next season, headed up by Christine Exeter...who will be a junior next year. Exeter was BIG EAST Player of the Year and scored 14 goals on the season. Last year, Exeter was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.

The Cards will miss goalie Chloe Kiefer, who graduates next spring, but Dayes has recruited well and should be well-prepared to battle tough BIG EAST opponents and a traditionally tough and demanding non-conference schedule.

Ferguson-Dayes got her 100th. career win in the regular season final game against Cincinnati.

Speculation amongst some fans early in the season about the Cards centered around the girls' slow start to the season and what to do about it. The Cards were 1-4-2 early on against a strong non-conference slate. Sometimes, it takes a team a while to jell...and Ferguson-Dayes got this group running on all eight cylinders when BIG EAST conference play rolled around.

Congratulations to Karen and the UofL Women's Soccer team on their outstanding individual and team accomplishments this year!

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It seemed like the terms "Louisville football" and "coaching departures" were interchangeable back in the prior decade. Both John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino left the program for more (in their opinion) lucrative opportunities. Howard Schnellenberger flew the coop (which caused UofL to hire a "coop" - Ron Cooper) in the mid-nineties. He regrets leaving - even to this day. (Schnellenberger, not Cooper.)

Now, fans are full of innuendo that current football head coach Charlie Strong might be a obtainable target for the Texas A&M football program. This happening while the Cards prepare for a Dec. 27th. bowl game in Charlotte, N.C. against N.C. State.

Clearly, Strong would be a good choice for the Aggies. He has tons of SEC experience and recruits well in the SEC stronghold of Florida. The A&M program is headed to the SEC. He's taken the Cards to bowl games in his first two years as a head coach...a coaching job he waited over 20 years to receive. The Aggies need a head coach after dumping theirs.

"Who said I'm leaving? I got Teddy for
three more years and a tough-ass defense."
Will he go? We don't think so. He's not the job-jumping, eye-always-open job philanderer that Bobby Petrino is. He's not the foolish decision maker that John L. Smith was...thinking he could compete in BIG TEN football with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. Charlie and his family like Louisville. Charlie has stated many times that he wants to put his mark on Cardinal Football. So, the question is....do you want to be a coach of a team that is young, getting better and plays before 55,000 fans or the coach of a team, faced with rebuilding...that may get 70,000 in the seats if the team is winning...but is headed to the toughest conference in college football? WE think he'll see the light and stay.

We hope we're right.

It's probably just one of many future attempts by other college football programs to pilfer Strong from the Cardinal ranks. Just say, no...Mr. Strong..and call "the Pipe" or "Johnelle" if you need any career changing advice. Stay strong, Charlie. Stay a Cardinal.

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The Louisville women's basketball team returns to action Saturday in the KFC YUM! Center to face 0-7 Gardner Webb. For some Cardinal fans, that can't happen soon enough. A chance to wash away the bitter taste of a 20 point drubbing by non-conference opponent Kentucky. A chance to see a probable lopsided, blowout win by the Cards.

We understand the frustrations some fans are feeling about the loss to UK. We were there...and it got a little frustrating and depressing at times during the game. We don't think it's the end of the world and demise of the Cardinal basketball program, though. Sometimes, teams have off performances. UK had six days to prepare for the game - Louisville three. UK threw everything they had into keeping the Louisville guards...especially Shoni...from being able to create and maneuver. Not everybody, in fact...hardly anybody...left on the Lady Cards schedule can play that kind of pressure defense. We'll watch with interest on how UK does against strong ACC affiliated Duke and BIG EAST's Notre Dame.

UK better than the Lady Vols this year? Hard
to convince us otherwise.
The Lady Cards will bounce back. Too much pride and things on the line not to.

UK may just be the best team in the SEC this season. Hard to convince us otherwise right now, after watching Tennessee play a couple of times and not seeing any other powerhouses in the remaining SEC schools. No disgrace in losing to a better opponent, and UK clearly was on Sunday. Learn from it, Lady Cards, and improve because of it. Develop a killer mentality.

And, rebound. Literally... 
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1 comment:

  1. Of course, this was not the game to end all games. Early Dec., lot's of bball left to be played. Bunch of new players trying to create some chemistry and get more comfortable in the flow. Think Jude especially is looking more and more comfortable, waiting on Sara and Cierra to find their niches, and Bria has already shown flashes of being a superstar. And IMO, Walz does about as good a job as any coach, men's or women's, of having his teams hitting on all cylinders come March. The rest of these Dec. games I believe the ladies will make tremendous progress towards becoming the team all of us fans thought they could be.
    GO CARDS!!!
    Stark61

    ReplyDelete

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