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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Soccer loses and basketball goes for the title


SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
 
******************FINAL****************

Louisville wins in overtime 97-92! Tied at 86 at the end of regulation...Louisville outscored OU 9-1 in the first 3 1/2 minutes to win. Sara Hammond was selected MVP of the tournament. We'll have much more in the MONDAY edition of Cardinal Couple.

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************SCORE UPDATE***********


Down early 17-2, the Cards went on a late first half run and lead Oklahoma 48-43 at the half. TIA GIBBS with 20 1st half points. Smith and Shoni on the bench with fouls. Both teams in double bonus with nine minutes to go...

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( JENNY O'BRYAN REVIEWS SOCCER'S HEARTBREAKING LOSS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT AND BASKETBALL'S TOUGH TASK AHEAD TODAY)



-Soccer falls on the final penalty kick

The Kickin’ Cards lost a heartbreaker to Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday to close out the 2013 season, as well as their stay in Cardinal Park.  The team went out in dramatic fashion with the game --  hanging in the balance down to the last penalty kick.   The Cardinals have spent a lot of time this season in overtime, but they just couldn’t finish today.  Cards lose, a tied score of 1-1 after two overtimes led to a shoot out of penalty kicks, where the Redbirds took the advantage, 4-3. 

The Cards came onto the field at the start, ready to play.  Less than 5 minutes in to the game Char Corral had a shot on goal that was saved only by a great play from the keeper.    The first half of the game saw the Cardinals dominating possession. The Cards threatened, but could only find the back of the net once in the half.   Sophomore Lexie Niedoba scored her first career goal with this shot. 

It looked to this novice fan to be all Cardinal going in to halftime with 4 shots on goal, 7 corners and a 1-0 lead.   Conversely, the Redbirds had no shots on goal, 1 corner, and the keeper was kept busy with 3 saves. 

For all the momentum the Cardinals had the first half, the Redbirds came out of halftime with their game face on.  The second half of play saw the Cardinals in defensive mode most of the half, giving up only one goal, but spending a lot of time on the wrong side of the field. 

At end of regulation we were all knotted up.  The fans in the bleachers were looking for that golden goal, that first score in overtime that would declare victory.  It was not to be.   The Cardinals, again, dominated possession, and looked to be the easy victor controlling the ball and threatening around the net for likely 9 of the 10 minutes in overtime.  They were achingly close on several shots, only to be denied.   All of that momentum, though, came to a halt as the whistle blew and still, no change to the score. 

At this point it had seemed the teams were taking turns controlling the ball.  Holding true, the final overtime period looked to be all Redbirds.  The Cardinal defense looked exhausted.  Twice the Redbirds came down the field, on the right, drawing the keeper away from the pipes, only to send a beautiful cross to center, to have an excellent chance to end it.  Both times the kick went high, and Cardinal fans groaned out sighs of relief.   The Redbirds seemed to dominate the second overtime, but were unable to finish.

On to the final shoot out. Penalty kicks.  Cardinals were up first.  Corral converted.  Redbirds were up, and made it.  Louisville would go on to miss the next two shots.  The Redbirds made their second and missed their third.   Christine Exeter came up for the 4th kick.  She found the back of the net.  2-2.  Redbirds up, another kick in the net.  Redbirds up 3-2.  The Cardinals arrive for their final pk.  No pressure, right?  If it is in, we are all tied up.  A miss, and it is all over.  Niedoba, who scored the only goal in regulation, is up for the final pk.  She sinks it in the back of the net.   No sweat.  Again, we are all tied.  It is 3-3 in PK’s.  The Redibrds have one kick remaining.  It all comes down to this final kick.  Somehow, the ball gets past the keeper and the Redbirds declare victory. 



It was a heartbreaking loss for the Cardinals, cutting short their post season run.  They played a good game but could just not find a way to finish.   They close out the season exiting the tournament in the first round. 

So here we are.  Cardinal Park has seen the last of these Cards.   A very good season ends with the Cards 12-5-2.

(EDITOR'S NOTE...THE WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM NOW HAS A CLEAR AN DEMANDING TASK AHEAD OF THEM TO TRY AND PRODUCE THIS KIND OF WIN/LOSS RECORD IN THE MUCH TOUGHER ACC WOMEN'S SOCCER CONFERENCE THIS SEASON. A LOOK AT THE 2013 TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS SHOWS EIGHT ACC MEMBERS IN THE BIG DANCE, THEY HAD ALL FOUR #1 SEEDS AND WENT 8-0 IN FIRST ROUND PLAY.
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-Preseason WNIT Championship game a WUG reunion?

The women’s basketball team travels to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the championship game of the WNIT.  It is a reunion of sorts, as Shoni Schimmel spent some time with Oklahoma  Coach Sherri Coale this past summer with the World University Games.  Also on that same team was Sooner standout, senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg. 

As I watched the WUG’s this past summer, I often wondered why Schimmel spent most of the time on the bench.  Coach Coale will not be able to keep Shoni benched this time, and with the way she has been playing, my guess is she will wish she still had the reigns. 

This will be the second time the two teams meet.  The last time was in 2009 when the Cardinals made the March to the Arch, meeting Connecticut in the championship game.  The Cards were the underdogs then, and upset the Sooners 61-59. ( I remember the game very well.) 

This meeting has the Cardinals ranked 5th vs. the 11th ranked Sooners.  The Sooners were the preseason favorite to win the Big 12, surely the first time in the last 4 years, with Brittney Griner having been in the conference. 

The main star power is guard Aaryn Ellenberg.  She is a preseason pick for the All Big 12 Team and also on the watchtlist for Wade, Wooden and Naismith Awards. 

The Sooners return 4 of their 5 starters from last season and a veteran squad that is said to be 14 deep. 

Projected starters for the Sooners are:
Ellenberg, point guard Morgan Hook (who injured her ankle in the Gonzaga game, but who is a projected starter as of this writing), Sharane Campbell, Nicole Korney and Nicole Griffin.  Griffin has the potential to provide a size advantage in the paint, standing in at 6-6. 

Points of interest for the Cards
-Lack of rebounding, specifically offensive rebounding, was exposed by Gonzaga and kept them in the game til the end.    The Cardinals will need to continue the recent trend of outrebounding their opponent, and second chance points on the offensive boards will help put this in the win column.    
-Ellenberg will most certainly be a focal point in the scouting report.  Containing her will go a long way in securing the win for the Cards. 
-The Sooners are priding themselves on defense and speed.  Slowing them down offensively will go a very long way.  The Sooners will try to push tempo and are practicing scoring within 6 seconds of ball possession.  Stopping the transition and slowing the tempo will work to the Cardinals advantage. 
- Gonzaga (in the semifinal game) kept the Sooners in the game by fouling.  The Sooners made a living at the line and won the game down the stretch at the line. The Cardinals will need to stay away from the hand check fouls game and keep the Sooners off the line, who shot roughly 70% most recently. 

I have all the faith in both the coaching staff and the team to be prepared.  The Cardinals very recently showed they can rebound and play tough defense.  I expect to see more of that carrying over from the LSU game. 

I’ve got the Cardinals winning this game going away, much like the LSU game.  Tune in today on CBS Sports Network at 4:00 p.m. to cheer on your Cardinals! 

( EDITOR'S NOTE...LET'S HOPE THIS ONE DOESN'T BECOME A FREE THROW SHOOTING CONTEST. LET 'EM PLAY, REFS! WE DISCUSSED THIS ON THE MOST RECENT BROADCAST OF CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO AND YOU CAN HEAR THE ENTIRE BROADCAST AT THE LINK BELOW   --PAULIE)

CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO

-Jenny O'Bryan

2 comments:

  1. If you have Direct TV the game can be found on channel 221.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also remember the 2009 game well. I had just undergone quintuple bypass heart surgery. I was in a cardiac bed at Baptist East, watching the game by myself. When the Oklahoma player missed the last three-pointer that would have won the game, I wonder what my heart monitor was showing???

    ReplyDelete

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