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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- MidTerm Grades from Paulie



THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Paulie's MidTerm grades for Field Hockey, V-Ball and Soccer

- Soccer travels to The Lone Star State for two

-Columnist Jeff McAdams' latest post at Rivals


We've reached the midway point for the three sports we cover the most in the Fall Season...Field Hockey, Volleyball and women's soccer. My esteemed colleague and columnist for us...Jeff McAdams would argue that Volleyball is only 40% thru their regular season ( he would be correct) but I'm doling out grades anyway today because I have no games to report on that took place yesterday and even though soccer plays tomorrow in Dallas...we have time to preview that one.

As usual, complaints and audit requests can be filed with Timmy the Intern...who will wrap them up in a shiny ribbon and hand them to Jenny (for a nominal fee).

FIELD HOCKEY    Grade = A

The power of the hat...fear it
I like the way Justine Sowry has this eclectic combination of freshmen and upperclassmen playing currently. They're 8-2 and undefeated in Trager in four matches. They've lost to the #1 team in Field Hockey nation (Virginia) and not that badly. The other loss came to Michigan...where the offense took a siesta in a 1-0 beat.

Wins include THE Ohio State University and Northeastern...two better than average squads. The Stick Cards have won eight out of their last nine. Impressive.

Sowry's flock is 2-0 in BIG EAST Conference play and the start is the best in 20 years for Louisville Field Hockey. They'll host Temple in a tough match Friday night in Trager at 6 p.m. and they sure could use a packed east side bleachers to cheer them on. Please be there and yes, they do have convenient and accessible concession stands and restrooms. Plus, it's free. Spend a couple bucks in gas and cheer them on.

WOMEN'S SOCCER   Grade = B

Through ten games...Karen Ferguson-Dayes kickers are 6-3-1. They've also won five out of their last six since the loss at UK. Sporting a 2-0 record in AAC play is about what we hoped for...the convincing win at higher ranked Rutgers shows that Dayes is getting her shooters to become makers.

Freshman goalie Paige Brown has been impressive between the pipes and Corral and Exeter are scoring as expected.

We'll watch closely the upcoming jaunt to Dallas (SMU) tomorrow and Houston on Sunday. The Cards have a much higher RPI than both conference members and should win each without much trouble. If they don't, it could spell trouble down the road for more impressive AAC foes like Connecticut, USF and UCF.

We'll have full reporting coverage on the results of the SMU game in Friday's Cardinal Couple.

VOLLEYBALL    =  Grade B-

Anne Kordes has the wide net Cards back on the right track after a formidable pre-conference schedule straight out of hell. Four wins in a row after a five match losing streak has Louisville back at .500 at 6-6. They are 2-0 in AAC play and also take off to Texas for matches against the aforementioned SMU (Friday) and Houston (Sunday).

The good things are Caitlin Welch is probably one of the top five liberos in the nation, senior Brooke Mattingly has been solid and steady (and gets Jeff's MVP award so far this year) , freshmen Maya McLendon and Janelle Jenkins have been pleasant surprises and Hannah Kvitle is good as advertised. Randi Ewing has been entertaining. I hope Emily Juhl stays healthy...she's been stellar at times.

The not-so-good aspects were the puzzling losses to Northern Iowa, Wisconsin and Pepperdine. UK was a heartbreaker that the Cards were four points away from winning in Lexington. Kordes has been shuffling the lineup non-stop. It most likely means she hasn't found what she's looking for yet fully.

40% through the season so far. A record of 6-6. I'll venture a guess and say they go 15-3 the rest of the way out. The AAC doesn't appear to be nearly as tough as the pre-conference gauntlet Louisville had to run. And, yes..I'll probably raise their grade at the 2/3 rds mark of the regular season if they can run off a win streak of eight or so in a row.

Make me look good, Anne.

Lord knows I need all the help I can get when it comes to good looks...

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We mentioned earlier in today's article about women's Soccer and Volleyball making a swing through the Lone Star State over the next couple of days. Karen Ferguson Dayes' kickers will start of the festivities with a match tonight against SMU.

The Mustangs are 6-4-0 on the season, 1-1 in conference play. They defeated Temple last time out after losing to UConn last Thursday. They're led offensively by a Redman...not not that Redman...Shelby Redman, who has seven goals on the year.

This is the first meeting ever between the two teams.

Makers, not shooters....Coach. SMU has allowed a scant three goals in their last four games...scores could be at a premium tonight.

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Jeff McAdams has written an excellent recap over at our local Rivals site (and proud partner) that is featured this morning.

Check out the Jeffaroo's article at:

http://louisville.rivals.com/




-Paulie


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