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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Lacrosse on a roll


THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Lacrosse needs to sweep the BIG EAST


Louisville Lacrosse is on a roll recently. Which is, actually...kind of a bad thing when you look at the way the game is played. Carrying the ball in the wicket at the end of the stick is the preferred method of transportation of the orb, with a few well-planned passes and an eventual shot on goal. Rolling is usually detrimental. There are ground ball stats...but they involve recovering one and not producing one.  

Nevertheless...Louisville has won their last four games, is ranked #19 in the coaches poll and Canadian sophomore Kaylin Morissette was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week last week. (She can also score in bunches). She is the mistress of draw controls. The draw control is not a term for supervisory authority over artists. It's kind of like the jump ball in hoops and is performed after each goal. To describe it in detail would take another five paragraphs.

With two conference games in the books and two wins...they sit atop the BIG EAST standings with Connecticut and are 8-3 overall.

The three losses have not been blowouts and have all come on the road. They've been against teams ranked higher than Louisville. #7 Duke won 14-11. #11 Notre Dame defeated Louisville 12-9. #17 Ohio State squeaked by the Cards 12-11. Two of the three will be conference mates with Kellie Young's crew next season in the AAC

UofL is in a  very good place...position wise...with five regular season/conference games left before tournament time...but Louisville needs to "win out" and win at least the opening game in the BIG EAST Tournament to have a shot at an NCAA bid.

The ACC is the powerhouse of women's lacrosse.  Six ACC schools made the NCAA Tournament. The tournament had 28 participants. I know, it's a weird number. There are automatic bids for other conferences. Three of the Final Four were ACC schools and North Carolina won it all.

Despite a 11-6 record, the Cards did not get an invite to the tournament in 2013. The 3-5 conference record was probably a big factor in that...so conference wins are worth their weight in gold.

Louisville has already defeated Georgetown...in Washington D.C...who was tabbed the preseason favorite. Georgetown and Syracuse were the only two BIG EAST teams to make the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Syracuse is in the ACC now. Louisville needs to finish second at worst.

They will get a chance to play current co-leader Connecticut here in Louisville. They will also get Rutgers and Marquette at home to complete the regular season. Those should be wins...given the seasons both have had so far.

This weekend will be key toward winning the final five. They travel to play Temple on Friday (currently in sixth place) and Villanova on Sunday ( currently in third place). 

The team is jelling and absolutely destroyed rival Cincinnati 23-2 Sunday in the Queen City. Everyone scored, it seemed, except Coach Young and the assistant SID.

13-3 for the regular season and a conference tournament win should secure Louisville a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Depending, of course...on how many teams the NCAA decides to have participate in the 2014 Tournament. 32 seems like a good number to us...four regions with eight teams each.

It makes sense.

That is why the NCAA will probably decide against it...most of the rhetoric and policy that comes out of the governing body of college athletics is nonsense.

Get out and support the squad for the final three at home. The Connecticut game is on Thursday, April 17th. It's a 4:00 pm start. Take off work early and go. The Cards play Rutgers two days later at 1 p.m. The home finale is Thursday, April 24th. against Marquette at 4 p.m.

The BIG EAST Tournament is May 1st and May 3rd. The top four teams in the standings participate. It takes place in D.C. Current standings are listed below:

Louisville 2-01.00037158-3.727165973-05-30-08-2W 4
Connecticut 2-01.00027207-4.6361211103-23-21-07-3W 6
Villanova 1-1.50024236-5.5451111043-23-30-05-5L 1
Marquette 1-1.50019185-6.455971273-12-50-05-5L 1
Georgetown 1-1.50025194-7.3641241262-42-20-13-7W 1
Temple 1-1.50021254-7.364971264-30-40-03-7W 1
Cincinnati 0-2.0008376-6.5001091443-23-40-05-5L 3
Rutgers 0-2.00022266-6.500891174-32-30-04-6L 2

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