Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Women's Soccer exhibition today -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
WSOC kicks off schedule at DePaul
It won't count in the regular season standings or determine strength of schedule rankings...but UofL women's soccer gets its first test of the year in Chicago today at noon when they play an exhibition match against DePaul.
The Blue Demons could prove to be a tough opening test for UofL...they were 6-1-1 in the BIG EAST last year, 12-4-4 overall and fell in the conference championships title game to Providence.
Karen Ferguson-Dayes takes her team to the Windy City with a few "givens" and several questions. Taylor Bucklin won a tough competition for goalkeeper last season and will anchor the CARDINAL defense. With the exhibition type format, it's likely that Coach K will take a look at all three goalkeepers on the roster...but we're hearing Bucklin is poised to have a fantastic senior season.
Inger Katrine-Bjerke, a CARDINAL COUPLE favorite, will also be back as a defender and will be part of a unit that also returns senior starter Caroline Kimble.
There are a wealth of new players to the roster. At last count, 11 freshmen and three transfers have joined the returning roster. For those who followed the career of Casey Whitfield...she's graduated but her younger sister Alison Whitfield is a freshman on the roster. She's a local product and rumored to be a high-profile scorer out of Louisville Manual.
The Cards scored 17 goals in 18 games last year and a little over half of that fire power returns in juniors Alison Price, Shelby Cohen and sophomores Gabrielle Vincent and Jill Vetere...all had two goals scored last season. A year's experience is bound to improve all four...but there will be challengers for playing time from the returnees and newcomers at forward and midfield. Ferguson-Dayes made it clear at the end of last year that she needed more spark in the offense...averaging less that a point a game would bear that out.
The Cards were 8-8-2 last season, a slight improvement record wise from 2014...but in terms of learning and effort, Coach K. feels they were markedly better. The wealth of newcomers to the program and the short time from the start of practice to game day action probably means that the team will be "picking it up as they go" early in the season...after the DePaul exhibition...the Cards will scrimmage against Morehead St. in Lynn Stadium on Saturday and then get the official season underway at Indiana on Friday August, 19th. The home opener is against Indiana State on Sunday August 21st.
Over .500 this year for the Kickin' Cards? The possibility is there with eight starters back and an impressive array of new talent. It's time to 'get your kicks' on Floyd Street...and hopefully they are net-finders for the Red and Black...
THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Our radio show...THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR...continues to receive high ratings at our broadcast venue...WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the internet.
In fact, we're the highest rated show for July and early August. "They" said a women's sports show would never fly at some stations. We have proved them wrong. Crescent Hill Radio took a chance on us and, to paraphrase Hazel Miller,
"Look what we can do, Louisville!"
WE owe it all to you, the listeners. As we say:
YOU ARE CARDINAL COUPLE. We'll never forget that.
We have an exciting fall planned for you on radio and at this website. A surprise of sorts later this week for you. A commitment to continue to bring you the fan's vocie and perspective of UofL sports and interviews with the student-athletes, coaches and others who make it a pleasure to write about the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics.