WHAT WILL THE SECOND YEAR IN THE ACC BRING?
We mentioned on our Saturday radio show that we'll be getting the fall UofL women's sport schedule underway this week when women's Soccer begins their schedule with an exhibition game against NKU in Highland Heights, KY.
Let's take a look at three women's fall sports squads and review their first ACC season and what we hope to see in their second one.
For Karen Ferguson-Dayes and the women's Soccer program, the initiative to grow upon what they learned and experienced against ACC competition. In a recent interview with Coach KFD, she indicated that she was OK with the inaugural 3-5-2 conference record but was disappointed with the 4-4 non-conference slate results.
Ten freshmen have become sophomores from last year's team. The return of Casey Whitfield will bolster the offensive attack. Goalkeeping and defense looks solid. Consider that six of the conference games were determined by just one goal.
We see improvement for Louisville women's soccer. We like the additions to the coaching staff and feel that in year two of ACC soccer, the Cards post a .500 or better record.
Justine Sowry's stick-swingers went 15-6 for the year and 3-4 in the toughest field hockey conference in NCAA Field Hockey. They were giant-killers with wins over perennial top 5 programs North Carolina and Duke.
Sowry brings back a proven scoring attack but there are a few questions about defense...who lost to graduation a team that kept all opponents to three goals or less. After the historic wins over Duke and UNC, they fell to Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest. When you consider six of the seven ACC teams spend the season in the top 15 NCAA Rankings...Sowry had a successful first season in the league.
Those six conference opponents return and Louisville will have to travel to UNC and Duke this year. We hope to see Louisville FH go over .500 this year but adding Boston College as an away game might make that tough.
The Wide Net Cards received a recent kudos when Erin Fairs and Katie George were named to the pre-season ACC Conference team. Strong attack specialists Maya McClendon and Janelle Jenkins are back as well.
The 7-11 ACC record was a bit distressing when you consider they lost seven out of their final eight ACC matches...three of those in Cardinal Arena and one in the KFC YUM! Center.
Passing has improved according to all reports and the Cards have a inspiring and talented freshman libero on campus in Molly Sauer.
Can the Cards crack the top five contingent that consisted of UNC, Fla. St., Duke, Miami and Pitt last year?
We see the VolleyCards improving with the additions of Fairs and the overall experience gained in their firs ACC season. A .500 record for this group isn't out of the question and if Fairs can dominate the ACC like she did the AAC...Louisville could be viable for a top five slot in-conference and a return to NCAA Tournament play after missing last season.
Our Saturday Radio show is available on the SOUNDCLOUD. We had a great discussion about the early part of Louisville Women's Basketball non-conference slate and it was a fun hour. See if you can beat Worldwide's 90 on the quiz!
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