SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
(With no scores to report on...a rarity for a fall women's sports Saturday...we'll turn our attention to today. Field Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball all have games.)
FIELD HOCKEY TANGLES WITH IU
The 9-2, #17 ranked Louisville Field Hockey squad is at home today...at rain-drenched Trager Stadium for an out-of-conference match against IU. It's PINK DAY at Trager, so wear your appropriate colors, bring rain gear and get out and support Justine Sowry's battling stick swingers.
It'll be the second time the two squads have faced this year...Louisville traveled to Bloomington for an exhibition game to start the season. They didn't keep score in that one...but Justine Sowry remarked in one of our earlier interviews with her this season that she thought Louisville was the better team in the exhibition format.
The Hoosiers are 6-4 on the season and 0-2 in Big 10 play. They fell to visiting Michigan St. 4-3 last time out.
Louisville is atop the BIG EAST with UConn with a 3-0 conference record. The Cards sloshed past Temple in Trager Friday night 2-1 in overtime. Freshman Jennifer Pels provided the game winner to hand the Owls their first conference loss. The Temple football team rallied for a touchdown in the final seconds yesterday...losing to Louisville 30-7...so those of you who predicted Temple Field Hockey would outscore Temple Football in games against Louisville got a bad beat.
Pink bracelets, balloons and free pizza for those who attend! The game begins at
HOUSTON...YOU HAVE A PROBLEM...
And it surfaces in the form of a Louisville women's soccer team that has been performing perfectly on the pitch recently. At 7-3-1, Karen Ferguson-Dayes players have won five out of their last six and took down SMU in Dallas 4-2 earlier in the week.
There's no secret to the Cards success...Charlyn Corral and Christine Exeter are two of the top players in the AAC this season and in the top 50 nationwide. They have an excellent support group surrounding them on the field as well and perhaps the best freshman goalie in the nation in Paige Brown.
Louisville is 3-0 in The American. Houston is 1-5-3 and 0-3 in The American. An interesting side note...all three of their ties have been 0-0, double overtime standoffs.
They say everything is bigger in Texas...except maybe the women's soccer offense at UH. They defeated UTCC for their lone win, a 1-0 offensive nailbiter. Today's game is at 2 p.m.
Your pop quiz:
a) University of Tennessee - Central Chattanooga
b) University of Texas - Calabash Community College
c) University of Texas - Corpus Christi
d) University of Timmy, Coco and Calipari
(Answer at the end of today's column)
Anne Kordes' wide net defenders are on a roll. Five wins in a row and a 3-1 putdown of SMU Friday night in Dallas. They also play Houston on the Houston campus today, an identical 2 p.m. start time like soccer. The Cougars are 10-7 overall and 3-0 in the AAC...beating up on a succession of no-bodies in their pre-conference games, but knocking off Rutgers, Connecticut and Cincinnati in AAC play.
For Louisville, the 7-6, 3-0 start to the year has seen a wide variety of Cardinal lineups and strategies. The impressive play of freshmen Maya McClendon and Texan Janelle Jenkins has been a pleasure to observe. The Cards have gotten excellent contributions from Emily Juhl, Brooke Mattingly, Randi Ewing, Hannah Kvitle and top-five-in-the-nation Caitlin Welch.
Conference play is exactly what Louisville needed after a extremely demanding non-conference slate. The American is not a strong volleyball league by any means and the fact they don't have a post-season tournament is another reason why the Cards have to make hay while the sun shines and win it to get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. IF they do, it wouldn't surprise me if they're the only team in the AAC to get invited to the NCAA championships.
Good luck all three Cardinal Women's Sports squads! We'll have recaps tomorrow...