FIRST-YEAR PLAYERS HAVING HUGE IMPACT ON FALL SPORTS
Traditionally....when we speak of freshmen on college varsity squads, the terms "learning curve", "adjustment to the pace and tempo" and "getting a handle on the college game" come into the conversation.
So, it comes with a bit of a pleasant surprise that four first-years...frosh, if you will...are leading their respective squads in offensive statistics. They're also being joined by a few fellow freshmen in starting roles. Let's take a look at these remarkable rookies:
***** MINOUT MINK - FIELD HOCKEY *****
Call her "Minnie" if you wish (we've had a couple of different advisements on the actual pronunciation of her first name) but also call her the leading scorer on Justine Sowry's Stick Girls. With 11 goals on the season, she's five ahead of the second-leading scorer on the squad. Call her "The Little Dutch Girl" if you want...but the Netherlands native has also provided the winning goal in four of Louisville's 11 wins on the season. During her recruitment, she told the Cards skipper "I score goals. That's what I do."
So far, there's a lot of truth in that advertising. We haven't had the chance to call her name out on any post-game interviews (Field Hockey rarely lets freshmen do post-game chats) but we hope that the coaches keep calling her name out when it comes to starts and playing time. Other "fresh that impress" this season include midfielder Bethany Russ (Australia), attacker Whena Munn (New Zealand) and defender Carter Ayars (Delaware).
***** BROOKLYNN RIVERS - SOCCER *****
The old bar-bet question..."How many rivers run through Brooklyn?" comes to mind here...with a bit of word-play flipping. "How many opponents does Brooklynn Rivers run through" (Answer: all of them). In case you're interested in the answer to the first question...the answer is none...the incorrectly named East River is actually a salt-water estuary...
No relation to Joan Rivers, Brooklynn is a Ft. Thomas, KY freshman who leads the Kickin' Cards in scoring with four goals this season. She's a Ricky Bobby disciple ("Wanna Go FAST!") and can often be seen (but look quickly) leading a Lynn Stadium jail-break with fellow Kentucky freshman Allison Whitfield. Midfielders Sarah Feola and Niamh Nelson are two more "newbies" that are nicely settling in at Lynn.
Rivers was recently named to the top 100 freshmen in WSOC...coming in at #31. We think she'll fly by that with sights on the top ten by the end of the season.
***** MELANIE MCHENRY - VOLLEYBALL *****
Speaking of speed, Louisville freshman volleyball outside hitter Melanie McHenry is from Speedway, IN. She's the Wide Net Cards leading kill artist on the season. One of three freshman on Anne Kordes' leviathan roster..."Mac" has led the Cardinal attack very impressively since her first game as a Cardinal.
Some fun things on the whammer-jammer are that she played football in high school along with Volleyball and her favorite foods are carrots and pizza (hopefully not together....)
Her favorite movie is The Replacements (which ranks high on the Paulie list as well)...we don't see any replacement for her, though...when it comes to front line ferocity. "Melanie McHenry is like a one-woman cold to Volleyball. She's the only one catchin' it!" - Clifford Franklin
***** LAUREN HARTLAGE - GOLF *****
Hailing from Elizabethtown, KY...Lauren has had the lowest score in two of the three Cardinal women's golf meets this fall season. No stranger to success, she was the Kentucky Golf Federation 2015 player of the year.
Hitting the ball is a family affair, her mother played golf at Western Kentucky.
Hartlage plans on majoring in finance...which should come in handy if she makes the LPGA tour. She set a UofL freshmen record with her seven-under-par, fourth place finish in the "Chip and Putt" Cards last outing at the Cougar Classic.
Fantastic results this fall for the ten freshmen listed in today's column. The future looks bright, indeed, for these four sports and their young stars.
PAULIE ON LOUISVILLE FIRST
One of the many things I look forward to each week is my Tuesday morning guest slot on Howie's Lindsey's excellent radio show LOUISVILLE FIRST. It is a fast-paced segment where Howie and I go through the Louisville women's sports programs and their successes and activities.
This morning was no different...we covered Field Hockey, WSOC, Volleyball and Golf and also looked at the fantastic freshmen on these rosters.
To be a part of this excellent three-hour morning sports show is a very nice and somewhat humbling experience. To think that a relatively unknown but passionate, long-time UofL Athletics fan has a chance to talk about what he loves is a great honor and I appreciate it.
|"You've given me something to think|
Here's a link, in case you miss any of these:
LINK: LOUISVILLE FIRST REBROADCASTS