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Monday, October 24, 2016

Meatloaf Monday? Not Quite - Monday Cardinal Couple

In the words of the classic Meatloaf song, "two outta three ain't bad". Alas the main three women's sports only managed one outta three Sunday. All three of, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball were on the road, but only Field Hockey chalked one up in the win column.

Field Hockey


We're down to the nitty gritty in Field Hockey, with only one game left this weekend.  The conference slate is all wrapped up and the ACC tournament field is set.  The Cards still have the opportunity to make a statement at the national level, with a game against #12 Michigan Saturday afternoon at 1pm in Ann Arbor.

In the meantime, the team took care of business this weekend in Virginia with bouts against #9 Virginia, and #17 James Madision.  The 3-2 win over Virginia was recapped in the Saturday edition of the Cardinal Couple.  The Cards continued to roll with a 4-2 win over James Madison, the Dukes, in Harrisonburg, VA.  The Cardinal faithful were loud and proud and could be heard on the live stream that JMU thoughtfully provided online.

JMU actually dominated a significant amount of the playing time, maintaining the pressure on the Cardinals defense and Ayeisha McFerran with 13 shots, and 6 on-goal.  The Cards only got 9 shots off, but were more efficient, with 7 of them on goal.  To be fair, the 4 score for the Cards was in the waning minutes of the game against an empty net (here's your cue Paulie).

Goals were scored for the Cards by Lotta Kahlert who fired a rebound off of a save home in the 6th minute, Lizzie Gittens who got a corner penalty in the net off a JMU deflection and assists to Nicole Woods and Stephanie Byrne in the 32nd minute  Finally, Nicole Woods gets the last two, both in the 2nd half, in the 42nd minute with an assist to Abby Grimes, and the last in the 66th minute into an empty net on a break, with an assist to Marigrace Ragsdale.

James Madison is definitely a quality non-conference win, and will only help the Cards' resume' as
they head into NCAA tournament selection time.  There is essentially no doubt that the Cards will have a berth, and of course, an ACC tournament victory, while a big challenge, is of course still a possibility for an automatic qualifier.  Really the Cards are playing for seeding, though.

Before we get too far ahead, however, we do still have a regular season game against another high quality non-conference opponent in Michigan.  The Wolverines have played a blistering schedule, with wins over then #1 UNC, #7 Wake Forest, #11 Stanford, and are just coming off of wins against current #16 Iowa, and #10 Northwestern.  The only head scratcher I can find in their schedule is only a mild one against an unranked Indiana team that has played some quality opponents to very tight games.

Beyond the regular season, the Cards will also tackle the ACC tournament starting November 3rd against 5th seed UNC with the winner to play top seed Duke, who gets the sole bye.  In other games, 7th seed Wake Forest tangles with Syracuse, and 6th seed Virginia draws 3rd seed  Boston College.  The tournament goes through November 5th, and all games are on The ACC Network Extra.

Soccer


The Women's Soccer team lost a heartbreaker against a good Florida State team who stands 2nd in the ACC with a 6-1-2 record.  This one was scoreless through most of the game, with the stats overall looking quite even.

I only got to watch a few minutes of this one in between watching Field Hockey and Volleyball, but after playing most of the game competitively, it has to hurt for the opponent to get the only goal of the game in the 81st minute.

Taylor Bucklin performed well in goal with 3 saves (matched by FSU's 3).  The only real stat divergence is in corner kick opportunities, where FSU had 4, with 3 of them coming in the 2nd half, while UofL didn't get any.  The would be a credit to clean defensive play by FSU.

The Kickin' Cards have one more regular season game, against Virginia here at Lynn Stadium.  The Cards current sit in 10th place in the ACC, while only 8 teams make the ACC tournament.  8th place is still theoretically in reach for them to sneak into the tournament.  A tie would put us in a tie in the standings with NC State (assuming they don't get any more points)...a team that we tied with when we played them (here's your cue Case).  An outright win by the Cards puts them in 8th place...assuming NC State and VT don't get wins of their own.  The takeaway here is that it's still a tangled mess, but UofL still has an opportunity to get into the ACC championship.

Volleyball


After a decent win against VT on Friday, the Cards dropped the match against Pitt, in Pittsburgh in
straight sets.  Pitt is roughly at the top of the middle of the pack in ACC.  They're a team that has consistently improved, year over year, for the past several years.

The Cards' passing and digging woes continue, although I felt (and this is a very subjective impression of the play) like it is improving, but it still has a long way to go.  Molly Sauer got 15 digs, which is pretty good for a 3 set match.  Meanwhile Melanie McHenry got 7, Morgan Miller, who is really developing well as a player late in this season, got 5, and Gabbie Wiley got 4.  What's not really captured in the stats, (and thus I can't really quantify well) is how many passing mistakes were made to get those digs.

On the offensive side of things, the bright spot, while not terribly bright, is Jasmine Bennet again, with a .200 average with 7 kills on 20 attempts.  Morgan Miller has the next highest percentage at .129 with 7 kills on 31 attempts.  The Cards were without Janelle Jenkins again this weekend as she is continuing to recover from a strained PCL.  Due to (I'm gonna be blunt, here) a very stupid ACC rule, the team can only take 15 players on road trips, so Jenkins didn't even travel with the team this past weekend.  The team is hoping to have her back in action this weekend at The KFC Yum! Center.

Still a lot of season left for Volleyball.  This weekend sees the Florida contingent of the ACC coming to town, with #12 Florida State on Friday with a 6pm start, and Miami comes in Sunday with a 2pm start.

-- JMcA

10 comments:

  1. The way it looks right now for WSOC is they must beat Virginia Thursday and NC State and Virginia must tie or lose. If the Cards tie Virginia, they need NC State and Virginia to lose.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure a tie gets them beyond Virginia? That leaves them in a point tie in the standings...What's the tiebreaker situation there? (I haven't looked that deep)

      Delete
    2. If they follow most styles, I would say that tiebreak would be conference goal differential.

      Delete
    3. If we tie Virginia and NC State loses, we would both have 10 points in conference. VT, with nine points like us, could leapfrog us both with a win and Cardinal and Wolfpack tie or loss. If we are tied at 10 with NC State, and since both teams tied during the conference schedule with each other...they would send Mrs. Wuf to a neutral spot (I'm thinking Knoxville or Beckley to meet with Paulie and work out the details.

      Honestly, I am not sure on how they would solve that...chances are the point differential Case discussed. Or maybe conference record...where NC State has us by one game.

      Our best case scenario (see how i worked that phrase in?) would be beating Virginia and both NC State and VaTech losing. That's unlikely to happen, since both are playing team that have worse records than them and those schools have to travel to NC State and Virginia Tech to play.

      I say we travel to NC State, assure that they lose...getting their attackers stuck in an elevator could work...and take Mrs. Wuf out for casual cocktails before the game.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. Don't have overtime or don't have draws. Make up your mind, college soccer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree. Get rid of the tie system in soccer. Adopt what field hockey does. 7V7 and then a kick against goalie sequence if still a tie. I saw that the NFL game tied last night between Cardinals and Seahawks. That's very rare. And, Paulie, you stay away from Mrs. Wuf! Mr. Wuf may come to Louisville and huff and puff and blow your house down! The Deb Factor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is alright. I got Worldwide (who is full of more hot-air than anyone). He'll just blow back at Mr. Wuf and neutralize the threat.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. You all are getting way too caught up in a 8th. place soccer bid. If you were any good, you'd be like Kentucky and be in the SEC Tournament already.

      Matthew Mitchell For Governor

      Delete
    3. Right Guv - We're all in total awe of UK...

      Delete
    4. Mattie, you're 1-6-3 in conference. Unless it's a "take all" tournament, you ain't going

      Delete

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