A View From the Student Section: Charlotte
If you're anything like me, you've been waiting a long time to hear the train horn. Spring game train horns are worth as much as a three dollar bill and every passing train is just a tease. We got our fill of train horns Thursday night. As you already heard from Paulie (and probably elsewhere), Louisville drubbed
UNC Charlotte 70-14. Louisville scored on 8 of its 9 first half possessions and held the 49ers to a goose egg. In his post game press conference, when asked about Lamar Jackson's record 8 first half touchdowns, Bobby Petrino replied, "It probably should have been 9." Couple that with the two minute drill execution when already up 49-0 in the first half, and I'd say that "Bobby Ball" might officially be back.
|A wild celebrity appearance stole the show Thursday night.|
Speaking of Lamar Jackson's 8 first half touchdowns... According to ESPN Stats & Info, only 8 other college quarterbacks have ever accounted for 8 touchdowns in a game. Yeah, the whole game. As in, twice as long as it took Lamarvelous on Thursday. Of course, many will point out that Charlotte is considered to be the worst team in the FBS. That might be true. Charlotte isn't very good. Their program is only four years old, and this is only their second year in FBS. However, they brought to Louisville a proficient defensive line and former Miami quarterback (and current total jerkwad), Kevin Olsen. Charlotte felt slighted that Louisville wouldn't allow them to perform walk through on PJCS (newsflash: no one gets to do that), and provided quite a bit of bulletin board material for the Cards. Whether or not the first string guys needed it is unknown, but the Cards certainly showed that they weren't going to be upset material.
|The team pays its respects to fans and students postgame.|
The crowd in this one was solid; at least for as long as you might expect. The University officially announced a sellout around noon on Thursday. In my experience, this meant that I expected to see the stadium about three quarters full at kickoff. Much to my surprise, the number of pink chairbacks that I could see when the Cards ran out of the tunnel was rather low. The crowd intensity was there, which was encouraging for a week night game against a far inferior opponent, and that intensity will need to make its return in two weeks when the Cards take on the mighty Seminoles from Tallahassee.
On any normal day, I might have far more for you about a football game, but let's be real. What else is there to say? The first string looked fantastic, but it's supposed to against a team like Charlotte. The offensive line had a couple of lapses and the defense may have been burned a few times against real competition. I'm sure the coaching staff found more than a few things to talk about in the film room and will have the team's heads screwed on tight when they go on the road Friday night to face perennial annoyance, the Syracuse Orange.
Women's Soccer Falls to UK, 3-1
For what feels like the gazillionth straight time, the Louisville women's soccer team dropped its annual matchup with the rival Wildcats. While I don't know the actual number of consecutive losses to the Blue, I know how frustrating it must be for the ladies to struggle game in and game out against a rival.
While Louisville appeared to be the stronger side pre-game (UK was winless on the season before last night at 0-2-1), the teams looked pretty even once the game started. This one was scrappy from the beginning, and two yellow cards being awarded during a first half scuffle didn't do much to temper the aggression. The game ended with more than 20 total fouls and many more uncalled on both sides.
|Starting lineups being introduced|
Louisville opened the game much like they did in the past three blowouts... In control. The Cards held onto possession, limited Kentucky's attacking touches, and applied pressure on the opposing defense. The pressure paid off when freshman Sarah Feola knocked in the games first goal after approximately 20 minutes. (I apologize for my vagueness. I failed to take notes for this one, as I was very much being a fan at the game. I also did not get a stat sheet, and (at the time of writing) the game summary is not yet available.) Anyway, the productive Canadian, Feola, will be robbing the Cards of her talents for the next couple of weeks as she has been called up to represent her country on Canada's Women's National Team. Congratulations to Sarah, as we wish her health and good fortune during this tremendous experience.
Kentucky picked up the equalizer (and the first goal scored by women's opponent in Lynn this season) on a Louisville defensive mishap in the 32nd minute. Senior goalkeeper, Taylor Bucklin, came off her line for a ball that was running toward the box, but was caught out of position when a defender's errant clearance attempt found the Kentucky offense. It was frustrating to watch, as I could hear Bucklin, who was in the east goal, call for the ball from the concession stand on the west end of the stadium.
Starting shortly after their goal, Louisville's play was notably more sloppy. I attributed this a case of being over hyped for a rivalry game. Often, rivalry games can have just as much of a negative effect on the better team as they can a positive effect on the lesser team. I believe that was the case last night, especially after scoring the first goal. Louisville's players got so into their own heads about what the rivalry game meant to them that they lost sight of their fundamentals. I hoped that the half time conversation would bring the team's focus back, but it wasn't meant to be. Despite consistent efforts towards the goal, Louisville was unable to pick up anymore goals, while Kentucky made the most of its significant shot disadvantage (18-7), and scored twice more. It was a frustrating defeat for the Cards, but one that is not without it's lessons. The loss drops Louisville to 3-1-1 on the season. The Cards have a short turnaround as they host Harvard at 7:30 on Sunday, but Coach, Karen Ferguson-Dayes, says that her team will be ready. Hear more from her interview with Paulie below.
The men's soccer team fared better than the women's last night, going on the road to knock off #14 UCONN in Storrs, 2-0. The win, which pushes the Cards' record to 2-0-1, was huge, as Louisville was able to put aside a rocky home start (0-0 D vs Butler and 2-1 W vs Quinniapiac) with a big road showing against a ranked team. The Cards will hope to ride that momentum to Lexington when they take on the Wildcats on Tuesday at 7:30. They (and I) will be hoping for a positive result.
The volleyball team also suffered its first defeat of the season last night, falling to Santa Clara 3-1. Worldwide will have more on that, as well as both of today's games, in tomorrow's article. Louisville will face Stony Brook at 10 AM and Auburn at 7:30 PM today. These games are part of a hike and spike package, and your football ticket from Thursday night should net you free admittance to the weekend's volleyball matches in the Yum! Center.
Finally, today is your first chance to catch all three of us on the radio at the same time (without one of us on the phone at least). I'll be with Paulie and Jeff, broadcasting the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour live from the Yum! Center at 11 AM. Listen in at 100.9 WCHQ or online at Crescent Hill Radio.
Until next time, Go Cards!