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Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Winning Friday -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Field Hockey Takes Win in Exhibition 


Louisville took down Miami (OH) in yesterday's midday exhibition with a final regulation score of 6-2.  After the regulation period, the teams continued to play an overtime and shootout to get in some practice for future situations. Louisville prevailed in both of those as well, scoring about halfway through the sudden victory period and taking the shootout 3-2. Prior to Louisville running away with the game, the Cards and Redhawks were locked in a battle, reaching ties at 1-1 and 2-2. The half finished at 2-2 with Louisville holding a 10-3 shot advantage. The advantage in possession and scoring opportunities came to a head for Louisville in the second half as they scored 4 unanswered in the second half. Louisville's regulation goals came from all over with Whena Munn, Jillian Shive, Marigrace Ragsdale, Taylor Stone, Minout Mink, and Sydnie Smartwood. Whena Munn added her second goal during the overtime period and Stone and Mink grabbed their second goals during the shootout. Freshman Alli Bitting rounded out the scoring with a goal during the shootout.

Louisville is still without Ayeisha McFerran as she is on international duty, but sophomore goalkeeper Hollyn Barr did well in her place. She gained one save on Miami's 6 total shots. Louisville field hockey will be back in action today when they play their annual alumnae game at 2PM today.

Women's Soccer Holds on in Tight Win


The regular season got underway for the women's soccer team last night as they hosted Boston University. After a one-sided first half with Louisville leading 2-0, the game became very interesting in the second half before Louisville finished with a 3-2 victory. Fans on the west side of Lynn Stadium were treated to the most action with 4 goals coming in the goal in front of the Berm. Louisville dominated the first half, with 10 shots in the first half to BU's 1. They used their opportunities to gain a 2-0 advantage. They started the scoring in the 19th minute when Gabby Vincent sent a deep ball toward the box. Off the bounce, Brooklynn Rivers flicked a touch to the Boston goalkeeper's left and put her shot on frame in a mostly open goal. Boston goalkeeper, Hannah Ciolek, was able to get a hand on the ball as she worked backwards but not enough to keep it out of the net. Less than five minutes later, Louisville put up another tally when Emina Ekic slotted a ball into the bottom right corner of the net from the top of the box. Kaela Dickerman crossed the ball to the top of the arc, and Ekic turned a sent the ball on goal with her left foot. Ciolek was unable to get to the ball with her outstretched hand. 

The second half was much less in favor of the Cardinals and they actually wound up losing the half 2-1. Boston University scored their first goal in the 63rd minute when Kelly Park scored on a header from a free kick. Louisville stretched their lead back to 2 after a potentially frustrating sequence for the Terriers. A clearance went awry and bounced off of the leg of the center official directly to a Louisville midfielder who passed it to Allison Whitfield. Whitfield worked around defenders at the top of the box before sending an almost identical ball to Ekic's into the goal. Louisville led 3-1 in the 74th minute. The extended lead was short lived as Boston University's Kiana Ghamarifard scored a rebound shot from a corner kick 14 seconds later. The final 16 minutes were mostly on edge as BU threatened to tie the game and Louisville did their best to hold. Arianna Ferraro was issued the only yellow card in a fairly chippy match and Louisville played the stall game in BU's corner of the field for the final two minutes, much to the dismay of the Boston fans, players, and coaches.

The first half of last night's game looked much better than the second, but there are definitely items to focus on for the Cards today prior to their game against Miami (OH) tomorrow afternoon (1PM in Lynn Stadium). Many of Louisville's passes felt as though they lacked purpose, with balls being sent ahead to no one or sent aggressively out of reach on through balls or wide passes. This was something Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes noticed as well as she spent much of the second half yelling "FEET" at her players, indicating she wanted passes to go TO a player instead of just around them. The second issue I had was with the comfort Louisville has in passing back to goalkeeper, Gabrielle Kouzelos. Against DePaul last week, the ball was sent back often, and Kouzelos almost always placed it to a Louisville player with her clearance. However, such was not the case last night. Kouzelos sent the ball out of bounds and straight to Boston players, putting herself in uncomfortable positions. Some of those errors were unforced but others were because she was fed the ball in bad situations. Louisville's defenders need to be more cognizant of when they are making those passes back or the Cards could find themselves giving up some very easy (and frankly, very stupid) goals this season. (Also, Gabrielle, if you're coming out for a ball outside the box and you're passing a defender to get to it, that shouldn't be your ball). Finally, Louisville struggled on set pieces last night. Both Boston goals were given up on set pieces and Louisville was unable to score on 9 corner kicks and at least 5 free kicks in the offensive third. It will take better execution on designed plays to succeed in ACC play.

All in all, Louisville came away with a 3-2 victory to open the season 1-0. You can't ask for too much of a better start, and hopefully the adversity will prepare them for future games. Paulie has interviews with Coach K and a player, which you can likely hear on today's radio show.

Volleyball Opens with Red vs Black Scrimmage


Tonight is the first opportunity to see the new Cardinal Arena as the volleyball team opens its doors for the annual Red vs Black scrimmage. Jeff McAdams had a great preview of the volleyball season yesterday so be sure to check that out. The match starts at 6PM and admission is free. Be sure to stop by and check it out if you're interested in all of the new excitement surrounding this year's team.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Today


Because I am out of town and on the wrong time zone, you're probably not reading this until after the CCRH has aired today, but I promise it's going up before air time. The guys are back in the studio with guests hosts as Jared and I will leave our chairs empty this morning. Tune into WCHQ 100.9 FM or the WCHQ app or Crescent Hill Radio website to listen in. The CCRH starts at 11AM and will give you all you need to know over an hour of conversation about the joy and excitement of Louisville Women's Sports. It's great to be back in the midst of the athletic season.



Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, August 18, 2017

Volleyball Preview -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Preview


I've held off doing a volleyball team preview in hopes of getting down on campus to check out a practice and be able to take some notes.  That hasn't happened yet, but I wanted to give a bit of a run-down of what I expect from the team before the Red and Black Scrimmage tomorrow.

The Returnees


First let's dig into the returning folks, and there aren't too many surprises here, but a few changes that we want to go through.

In defense, we still have the stellar Molly Sauer that will likely be the starting Libero in the backcourt.  Molly has been the rock for this team for the past two years.  She is even-keeled, non-emotional (at least externally), and provides a secure base for this team to build on, exactly what you want in a Libero position.  This year, she'll be called on to display a little bit more outward leadership, and maybe be a bit more vocal in her communication with the rest of the team, but she will need to remain true to herself to lead effectively.

Also in the backcourt will be Gabbie Wiley.  One of the southpaws of the team, Gabbie will also be, again, of the weapons at the serving stripe for the Cardinals.  Look to Gabbie to sub in for one of the attackers for the path across the back-row and bolster the digging and passing prowess of the team.

Kali Eaken will be returning in the setter position.  From what I understand, this position has been a bit up in the air.  Kali has the experience from being the starting setter last year, but a transferring newcomer is making a run at this spot.

Piper Roe is a sophomore middle hitter/blocker this year.  She still has, probably, a year of coming off the bench, but she is building her strength, power, and expertise.

Maggie DeJong and Jasmine Bennett will be the stalwarts for the team this year in the middle.  Maggie got moved out to be an opposite hitter last year and did a fine job, but she'll be back "home" in the middle this year.  Jasmine Bennett has had another year to build her strength and power.  He length and reach will continue to be a major asset, but if she can bring some more power, that will help even more.  Health has also been a bit of a factor for Bennett in the past year, and reports are she is dealing with some niggling issues so far this year.  If she goes unavailable for a period, it will be a chance for Piper to step up and show her progress.

Left side hitting will be anchored by sophomore Melanie McHenry, and former middle Tess Clark.  While Tess is still listed as a middle blocker on the gocards website, all reports have her going to the left side and hitting outside this year.  Her power will be a huge benefit, and her expertise dealing with blocking will only need limited adaptation to adjust to blocking the line.  McHenry returns with a year under her belt, and ready for the speed and power of the game this year.  While she was a major asset to the team last year and came in fresh to the college game and made a great mark, she did have a tendency to get a little bit overwhelmed last year.  Expect her to be more consistent and solid in her play this year.  I also look to see her show a little more discernment in her hitting.  She has power, but wisdom in placement goes a long way to making that power effective.

Coline Coessens will also be returning as an outside hitter.  She got some playing time last year, but I expect to see her in regular rotation on the front-line.

Megan Sloan is the only player listed on the roster as an opposite hitter this year, so I expect to see her get some playing time on the right side.  Megan has height and power, but she struggled last year in applying it effectively.  Similar to Melanie McHenry, another year of experience and learning, and I expect Sloaner to be much more effective in her play.

Two returnees that won't actually be on the court are Brooke Betts and Dani Busboom Kelly.  Brooke will be a Graduate Assistant on the coaching staff.  She first played college ball at UofL before transferring to Xavier to finish out her playing career.  Dani, of course, is the new head coach of The Cards.  She spent a year as an assistant coach under Anne Kordes before getting one of the dream assistant coaching positions back home in Nebraska.  Dani is Nebraska born and raised, as well as playing her collegiate volleyball there.  We welcome Brooke and Dani back to The 'Ville

The Newbies


There are six new faces on the team this year.  Because I haven't had a chance to get down to campus to watch any practice, I have far less that I can say about these folks.

Alexis Hamilton is following the familiar Assumption and KIVA path to UofL Volleyball, and like so many that follow that path, she will be spending her time in the backcourt as an aspiring Libero.  You'll likely see her play the other half of the rotation from Gabbie Wiley in the DS position, as I think it unlikely that she dislodges Molly Sauer from the differently colored jersey.

We discussed above that Kali Eaken will have competition for the setter position, Wilma Rivera is the reason.  Out of Puerto Rico, and coming to us by way of Penn State, reports are the Rivera is making a real play for the setter position.  Rivera didn't see much playing time with the Nittany Lions, but there's a good chance she will here in Louisville.  A second-string setter at Penn State is likely to be a starter just about anywhere else in the country, and it's a credit to Kali that this isn't a lock of a position.

Amanda Green joined the Cards in the spring semester, transferring in as a redshirt freshman from Marquette.  She made an immediate impact in spring play, and I expect to see her get a significant amount of time in the outside hitting position for the Cards.

Alexia Byrnes is a freshman setter.  I haven't heard a great deal about her play, but I don't have any serious expectations of seeing much of her on the court this year with Wilma Rivera and Kali Eaken being far more likely to get that time.  Alexia and Alexis, both freshmen...that's certain to be confusing.

Lastly, we have two freshmen defensive specialists that will be looking to take a shot in the backcourt rotations, but not likely to see a great deal of time this year behind Gabbie and Alexis.  Akela Yuhl...not "Juhl" as in Emily Juhl from a few years back...I've already seen that confusion happen once or twice, and Natalie Palastro.  Every time I see Palastro, I think Palestra, the classic basketball venue in Philadelphia.  Natalie is from Pennsylvania, but from the far side of the state in Pittsburgh.  Akela comes to us from Manhattan Beach, CA, a place where people tend to know a thing or two about volleyball.

The rest of the coaching staff are newcomers.  Dan Meske also served as an assistant coach with Dani at Nebraska.  He then spent two years as head coach at DII Augustana College in Sioux Falls South Dakota.  Kolby O'Donnell comes to us after four seasons as an assistant coach at UC-Santa Barbara (The Gauchos).

The Facelift


Another character in the volleyball play is Cardinal Arena.  Of course, we have spoken of the renovation that has been going on in the arena.  Balconies have been added at the endzones with about 3 rows of seating in them increasing the overall capacity of the arena.

The side seating has been completely replaced, a sorely needed upgrade, and the hallway wall next to the concession stand has been removed and replaced with glass and some doors to allow more light into the hallway, increase overall visibility and give a more overall open feel.  The arena should contribute to the team by providing a loud and raucous venue where the fans will be right on top of the action.  I'm excited to see the facelift tomorrow night.


Today


Field Hockey is in action this afternoon at 1:30 as Paulie previewed for us all yesterday, vs Miami of Ohio for an exhibition match.  And Women's Soccer will officially kick off the fall sports season tonight with a 7:30 match, available on The ACC Network Extra against Boston University (The Terriers) at Lynn Stadium.  I believe Paulie is planning on attending both events, and I suspect Case will be there for the Soccer match.

-- JMcA

Thursday, August 17, 2017

We, The Future...Field Hockey Gets Underway -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



WE, THE FUTURE


The University of Louisville has a new branding, marketing and motivational logo and it is WE, THE FUTURE. You'll see the phrase a lot in various venues on campus in the future. In the newly renovated Cardinal Arena Saturday night. At Lynn Stadium and Trager Stadium tomorrow. On T-Shirts, billboards and stationary. Tom Jurich is quick to point out, though, it isn't just about athletics. It sweeps the broad spectrum of life at Louisville. Academics, job placement, fan involvement and philosophy of thought for the University. 

Tom Jurich poses a question to his coaches, staff, administrators...just about anyone associated with the school.  It is: 

"When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself what you can do to get better today"?

It is a question we could all ask ourselves. it is a thought process that can only help the campus, school and community go forward and ahead after what has been a rough and sometimes troubling past two years at UofL. We won't go into that here today, we all know what has gone wrong. We'll put on the company hat, fall in line and promote the brand. 

I look at the phrase "We, The Future" and apply it to CARDINAL COUPLE as well. We've reached new heights here at the site and radio show. We've added new, young and talented writers to our site and to our show. We have a stable of eager and willing associates that are happy to join in whenever we desire their input, ideas and commentary on sports at UofL. For me, it is a beautiful thing. When we established the idea of Cardinal Couple back in 2009...it was to give another voice to the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports. We've had our rough patches as well in the past. 

There were times when I wondered and asked myself if it was worth it. Fortunately there were always people who provided encouragement and positive inspiration for us to carry on. Today, I can't help but look at the now...and the future...like a proud parent does at a growing child. I can confidently say that I am positive about the future and know that we will be here long after my days of filling these pages have past. That's something special and good to know. 


We, The Future. A look at what is to be. Not that the past was all the bad, mind you. The names Lamar Jackson, Teddy Bridgewater, Mallory Comerford, Brendan McKay, Kelsi Worrell, Edwin Kibichy, Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen, Ayeshia McFerran and Maryssa Becker are just a few of the many that have thrilled us with their athletic exploits in the past and will continue either on the field of play or in their post-graduate pursuits. 

We, The Future. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Let's all be a part of that future and make it the best possible. You keep producing Cards...and we'll continue to talk about it.


*********************************************************************************************************


FIELD HOCKEY READY FOR SUCCESS

We'll get our first look at UofL Field Hockey tomorrow when they start their exhibition season against Miami (OH) at 1:30 p.m. in Trager Stadium. Justine Sowry is excited for the future and she has every reason to be. 13 key players return for her...in addition to a very talented freshmen class. The Cards were 15-6 last year and made their third consecutive NCAA appearance. 

Carter Ayers, Hollyn Barr, Maria Gomez, Abby Grimes, Isabella Leeker, Ayeshia McFerran, Minout Mink, Whena Munn, Marigrace Ragsdale, Bethany Russ, Taylor Stone, Katie Walsh and Nicole Woods all saw action last year. Several of them saw action over the summer on various USA and International teams and competitions. They are a solid group to build on.  

When you add the talents of 10 impressive freshmen...Elizabeth Allgeier (Louisville Assumption), Alli Bitting, Ann Marie Habelow, Annie Mulford, Mercedes Pastor, Marisa Martin Pelegrina, Sarah Sabaloski, Meghan Schneider, Jillian Shive and Madison Walsh (no relation to Katie)...you have the nucleus of a team that can be on hand as a participant when the NCAA Championships are held here in November. 

Miami (OH) is the first victim. Here are a few things I'll look for in the exhibition: 


Minnie in the middle. No heels on
the pitch, please! 
-- Run Minnie Run. Minout Mink is one of the fastest and prolific scorers I've seen for UofL Field Hockey. I'll be watching her and seeing if she gets a few breakaway opportunities. Does she avoid the sophomore slump and start her quest to average two goals a game that our Jared Anderson boldly predicted a few weeks ago? She, the future? We think she just might be. 

-- Ailing Ayeshia? There has been some chatter that All-American goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran may not be active this weekend due to a nagging injury. That will thrust Hollyn Barr into action for The Flock. Coach Sowry, Marigrace Ragsdale, Abby Grimes and Taylor Stone all assured Worldwide and I at the Fall Sports Media Day that Hollyn was well up to the task and she had been one of the standouts in early practices. 

-- We got a Mercedes -- Mercedes Pastor comes to campus from Buenos Aires, Argentina with a lot of hype and history.  She was a starter and leading scorer for the Argentinian U 21 team that won the 2016 Patagonian Cup. She says she picked UofL for the engineering education opportunities at The Speed School. That ought to bring a grin to Case and Worldwide's faces here at CARDINAL COUPLE and let's hope the high scoring mid-fielder/forward can engineer a few goals on the Belknap Campus. 

Fall Sports. Coming at ya in waves this weekend. Worldwide will be tracking the Attack Yorkies. I'll be plotting questions for three different coaches. Case will be avidly tracking the Kickin' Cards and Jared...well, Jared will be all over all of it. It's time. Are you ready? 



paulie
xxxxx




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

School and sports are here -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


As parents around our county rejoice today as JCPS and Carholic school start back today, we also get closer to the start of official contests down on the UofL campus. 


As Paulie mentioned yesterday, the USA U23 women's basketball team completed their overseas education and blew out Japan to end their three game round-robin in the Land of the Rising Sun. Paulie quoted Jeff Walz yesterday and how proud he was of this group. Asia Durr did what she does best and put on a show for the folks in Tokyo. I know Cards fans will join me in being excited about what she can do this year. 

Field Hockey starts things off this weekend with a scrimmage against Miami (OH) at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Trager Field. If you go, remember the folks at McDonald's don't want you parking in their lot...but there is a parking garage right down the street on campus. They follow that one up with a scrimmage against the alumni on Saturday at 2 p.m. In the interview we played on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR this past Saturday you heard head coach Justine Sowry talk about how this was the toughest schedule that they would face since she has been head coach at Louisville. With an increased quality of non-conference foes and the always tough ACC, the "stick girls" will have their challenges. 

Women's soccer gets the honor of having the first actual regular season contest in women's sports when they tangle with Boston University Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Lynn Stadium. Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes (or Coach K, as Paulie likes to call her) has a talented group and they did take exhibition action last Saturday against DePaul 2-0 and held the visitors to just two shots. The Cards will miss Shelby Cohen out for the season with a knee injured and a not quite 100% Niamh Nelson...but our soccer expert Case Hoskins will have more on that later this week. Be sure to catch his takes on "the women of the pitch." The "kickin Cards" will also host Miami (OH) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Volleyball, too, gets things started this weekend with the annual Red/Black scrimmage and newly renovated Cardinal Arena. It's new head coach Dani Busboom Kelly's debut for Louisville and the first showing of the new home of Cardinal Volleyball. Worldwide Jeff McAdams has all the knowledge in the world on Volleyball but I thought I'd share who I think will get the start for the "Boom" girls eventually.     

Molly Sauer - a no brainer
Tess Clark - another no brainer. She's an outside hitter now and should be a good one
Melanie McHenry - staying with the obvious trend. Another outside hitter with power.
Kali Eakin - setter. With Morgan Miller transferred, she the one with experience and the only one that has experience with the current team. 
Gabby Wiley - defender. A senior and leader, she has the experience will will have plenty of competition for the role. 
Jasmine Bennett. She has steadily improved since she arrived here and has some power behind her hits. 

I hope to see you at Volleyball matches this year. Please join the Cardinal Couple crew and come out and cheer on "The Wide Net girls" in Boom Arena! 


Jared Anderson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

USA U23 Women's basketball completes the sweep -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Durr's 16 leads USA over Japan 


While most of you were asleep this morning, the USA U23 team "hosted" Japan in their final game of the round-robin event in Tokyo. (While my colleagues have tried to explain to me how USA could host in Japan...I remain unconvinced). A resounding win for USA...103-71 over Japan.

Asia Durr led the Americans in scoring. She tallied 11 first-half points to help USA lead at the break 52-33. She finished with 16 in the contest...the second time in the three game round-robin event she has led the squad in scoring. A look at the stat line shows she was 5-6 on two-point attempts and sank two of her four 3 point attempts in 20:24 minutes of court action. The Japanese squad reportedly did a little media woofing before this one and were a bit chippy...but USA quickly turned that noise off and did work. 

A nice shooting effort from USA...they went 50% from 3 point range (9 for 18) and 53.6% from two-point range (30-56). They wouldn't have been awarded a letter in our regular-season FRED scenario for free throws...going 16-23 from the stripe for 69.6%. The stat line also shows one other interesting stat on the sheet....they list Jeff Walz under the players and he was credited for 3 defensive rebounds. Good hustle, Coach!

Defensively, USA did the job....holding Japan to 25% beyond the arc and 33.6% on two point efforts. 19 turnovers and 49 rebounds for USA -- only 8 turnovers for Japan but just 
35 rebounds. 

Lost in translation? Also in double figures for USA were Kelsey Mitchell (listed as Michelle on the sheet) with 13 points, Jamie Nared (listed as Nard) with 11 points and Kalani Brown (listed as Karani) with 11. 

So...a nice effort for Walz's team over the three-game event. Would you like to see this event enlarged next year? Maybe bring in eight teams instead of four. The Russians would probably jump in...as well as a few of the European nations and China if asked. Should WNBA players under the age of 23 be included? Just a few hypothesis I ran across from others while doing my research for today's write. Personally, I'd love to see the event enlarged but would vote against using WNBA or even college graduates in Euroball play.


I do lament the fact that none of these contest were shown on-line or on cable. I would have settled for even a Japanese broadcast (maybe with subtitles) but it was not to be. You would figure with today's technology....something could have transpired. Thanks to USAB for providing Twitter feeds and the photos here today...they helped me to construct parts of this article...but being a basketball junkie, I probably would have gotten up early than I normally do to watch.

I also wouldn't mind seeing this event come to the United States next year...or down the road. I suppose, if it did, they might choose the USAB training facility in Colorado Springs to host it...but I'll venture that if you brought it to the KFC YUM! Center, Rupp Arena, Knoxville, South Carolina or any of the other hotbeds for women's college basketball...they would be a sizable attendance. I'd go if it was within a reasonable driving time...how about you? 

A special congratulations to Asia Durr for her efforts. Our buddy Howie Lindsey actually got a live interview via phone yesterday in Tokyo with her on his morning show Louisville First. You can hear that HERE It would be my guess that...if they do All-Tournament teams and Most Outstanding Player awards for this round-robin...she would be a prime candidate for each category. I'll continue to monitor social media and see if this develops. 

Asia has stamped her mark as the natural floor leader for Louisville women's basketball this season. Remember the questions, concerns and doubts we had about her as a freshman? Let's not forget, she was injured then...but she's turned into the player we all expected we would get out of high school and as one of the top five in the nation on the women's college basketball scene. 

We now turn our focus on Louisville women's basketball to the season ahead. I had an interesting chat with a huge Louisville WBB fan the other evening and was presented with her possible starting and game ending lineup. I think it's probably way too early for such speculations...but her list is definitely doable. She has Asia and Arica Carter at the guards, Myisha Hines-Allen at the "3" and Sam Fuehring and Bionca Dunham in the paint. 

Time will tell...

Coach Walz sent out a couple of tweets after the contest:


Always fun coaching Been an awesome 2 weeks with  


What a great experience these past two weeks have been! Thank you to these 12 wonderful young women and

QUOTES:
USA head coach Jeff Walz (Louisville)
On the game:I thought that was the best we have played in our three games. The kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do. We knew that Japan was very disciplined on defense, and we tried to attack early, which we did. We shared the ball extremely well and made open shots. It was the best we have shot the ball as well, but a big part of that was because of how well we shared it.
What has this experience been like overall?It’s been awesome, having the opportunity to work with the best of the best in our college game. I told the team after the game, as impressive as they were on the floor playing, was half as impressive as they were off the court. They are great young women. They are great ambassadors for our game, and I’m excited to watch not just my team play this coming season, but these young ladies’ teams, because college basketball is in good hands with this group.
Asia Durr (Louisville/Douglasville, Georgia)
On the game:We started off fast. We pushed the ball, and we played as a team, which was key. We knew that they were aggressive, and they played hard and they played fast. We figured if we could jump on them soon, then we could take them down quick.


So, a brief lapse in basketball action for us. We'll still be watching to see how Asia Taylor and the Mystics are faring in the WNBA and we'll be resuming the "Catching Up" series with former UofL women's basketball players in a couple of weeks...but, for now, we'll plunge headlong into fall women's sports....as Case lined out in his article Monday. We'd added a full listing of the women's Soccer, Field Hockey and Volleyball schedules on "The Right Side of The Site"...so you can keep up with the where, when, what and who. 

paulie
xxxxx


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Week Ahead -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Regular Season on the Horizon


We have almost made it. The days of fabricated stories and filler commentary will soon come fewer and farther between. Regular season sports at the University of Louisville begin in four short days. We've had other events to cover here and there over the summer, but the return of regular sporting events at UofL is welcomed wholeheartedly. Whether you are a fan of soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross country, football, or you're just pining for basketball to return, the beginning of fall sports season means it's all here. With other sports underway, time will fly to basketball season. We'll relish in all of these seasons as much as we can, knowing that next summer is right around the corner. So let's see what this week brings us.

First up comes a treat for our basketball lovers at the site. Team USA has already beaten Australia and Canada in the U-23 Three Nations Tournament in Japan and Louisville's Asia Durr has had a solid hand in both victories. Coach Jeff Walz will lead his team against the host nation of Japan at 3:30 AM eastern time tomorrow morning. I've still found nothing on streaming opportunities, but the USA Basketball twitter has done a great job with live tweeting. If you're jonesing for a basketball fix so badly, I encourage you to stay up and constantly refresh your computer, tablet, or smartphone for the information.

Back on campus, we can look ahead to the beginning of women's regular season competition this week. We teased about it on the show, but field hockey will beat women's soccer to the regular season opener by a mere six hours on Friday. The stick gals will host Miami (OH) at Trager Stadium just 47.5 hours before the soccer team does so at Lynn Stadium. Field hockey took on Miami (OH) in their second game last season, coming away with a 2-0 road victory. Coach Justine Sowry will surely be pleased with a similar result from this matchup to get their season underway. The Cards' quick turnaround to the alumnae game on Saturday may give the alumnae an edge against tired legs, but I wouldn't count on it too much.

Later in the evening, Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes' Kickin' Cards will spring into action against Boston University in their regular season opener. Louisville split a pair of exhibition games last week and will have a few days of practice ahead of this year's true debut. The Cards looked pretty good Saturday against a DePaul team that finished second in the Big East last year and should finish near the top of the league this year. There are a few areas to sharpen up, for sure, but a coach should always be able to find a place to improve. A 2-0 victory in an exhibition is nice, but it will take a lot better performances across the board to turn in a really solid season this year. The team has promise, and how they can perform against lesser competition like BU will be a good indicator of how much they've matured.

Finally, volleyball gets their season started this week with their traditional Red vs Black scrimmage. Given their new permanent home in Cardinal Arena, I can't imagine there being much confusion about where this one will take place. I already know Jeff and many other Cardinal Couple readers are looking forward to seeing the new volleyball team under Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly's leadership. There are new players to learn about and old players in new positions to watch. It should be a fun day as always for the team to get their legs beneath them before next week's matches against coach's familiar Big 10 foes in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Congratulations to Justin Thomas


Picture from USA Today
Justin Thomas is neither a female athlete nor a Louisville Cardinal. However, Thomas is a product of the metro area, hailing from Goshen, Kentucky (like our good friend David Levitch) and graduating from Saint Xavier in 2011 (he's only about 8 months older than me). Thomas, an Alabama graduate, won his first major tournament yesterday coming from behind at the start of the day to win the PGA Championship. It is his fourth PGA win this year and his fifth overall. Thomas is just the next in a line of successful golfers to come from Kentucky, joining fan favorite, Kenny Perry, and Ryder Cup alumnus (and my cousin), J.B. Holmes. I wish congratulations to Justin and look forward to seeing him continue representing the state of Kentucky on the big stage of golf. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lynn Wins and More -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We have a lot to celebrate today as Louisville sports fans today, and I'll get to that, but I feel like I need to take a moment and address larger events from this weekend.  I suspect, but will not presume, that I speak for all of the writers here at Cardinal Couple, so I will speak for myself and let others chime in as they see fit.

The University of Virginia is a fellow member of the ACC in Charlottesville, VA.  Friday night the UVA campus was the scene of a disgusting display of bigotry and hatred.  The events of Friday night, however, turned out to only be a warm-up act for Saturday, including the death of a young woman speaking up for justice and compassion for one another.  A death at the hands, and bumper, of a hateful bigot.

Denial of the value of a fellow human, whether that be expressed through the idea of skin color and ethnicity, or through gender, or whatever other classification one can come up with, is vile, and it is incumbent on all of us to speak up, even when our categorization is not the one being attacked.

I joined Cardinal Couple in large part because I feel like women get short shrift in many areas of life, sports included, and I wanted to take some part in trying to balance those scales.  Misogyny and bigotry are different limbs of the same root tree, the tree of supposed superiority and denial of value of "other".  The thoughts and attitudes on display by white nationalists in Charlottesville must be countered and opposed by people of conscience.

Thank you.

EDITOR'S NOTE: 

We must change situations like this. A Confederate monument, a Robert. E. Lee statue are symbols of the past...a past that was regrettable and reprehensible in many areas. The white nationalists promoting violence at what was supposed to be a "peaceful protest" are to blame here and I sincerely hope that Charlottesville, the commonwealth of Virginia and our President immediately go to work to make sure that nothing of this sad and regrettable nature ever happen again. The Ku Klux Klan sucks. Any other hate-mongering or supremacy group does too...

- Paulie


Lynn Wins


In positive news, the University of Louisville Men's and Women's Soccer teams were both in action
at Lynn Stadium last night.  My esteemed Cardinal Couple colleague Case Hoskins was in attendance and forwarded a few notes from the game.

This was an offensive show for the Cardinals, with the 2-0 final tally, and an impressive 20-3 advantage in shots.  OSU's coach on Wednesday described the Cards as a physical team, and that is born out by the 8-3 foul total.

Kennadi Carbin got an early breakway in the first minute that pulled the keeper out to defend, but Carbin lost control and was unable to finish the score.  Later in the first period, Brooklyn Rivers, mentioned at media day as a likely contributor and scorer, found the back of the net with a Kaela Dickerman assist.  Rivers found the corner from about 15 yards out on an angle shot in the 23rd minute.

The second half saw more of the same, with Carbin atoning for her earlier miss.  She fired one home to the bottom right corner of the goal from out at the top of the box.

The Cards finish their pre-season with a win and a loss.  The loss coming at the hands of a quite good OSU team, and the win over a quality DePaul team.  They open play Friday evening at 7:30 vs Boston U at Lynn Stadium.


The men followed for the nightcap in an exhibition match against Lipscomb University out of Nashville.  The only score in the game came from UofL's Cherif Dieye in the 12th minute.  That would prove to be enough in an otherwise defensive battle for the men.

The men continue their pre-season engagements in Westfield, IN (outside Indianapolis) on Thursday at 7:30 vs a very good, and pre-season 7th ranked Indiana Hoosiers.



Slugger Sell-out


Elsewhere in the city, and while we're talking about soccer, the Louisville FC USL team was in action at Slugger Field against rival FC Cincinnati.  This one was a sell-out with almost 14,000 walking through the gates at Slugger field.  That crowd did include Women's Basketball Assistant Coach Sam Purcell and his family, according to his tweets.

In front of the record and raucous crowd, Lou City went to town.  Spreading the scoring love around the team, the hometown heroes marked down scores by Niall McCabe, Luke Spencer, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Richard Ballard, and Sean Reynolds.  Yes, that's 5 scores for the Louisvillians, while shutting out the rivals from up-river.

Basketball Blowout


Early this morning, Asia Durr scored 8 on 4 of 9 shooting with 2 rebounds in a balanced attack by Team USA over the Canucks to our north in a 107-61 victory.  With 18 turnovers for the Americans, and 35 for the Canadians, the American defense really had an impact on the game.

Team USA will wrap up their competition, and hopefully the championship, in a game against Japan at 5:30am EDT August 15th.  (Aren't timezones such a wonderful thing?)



Radio Rambling


Case, Paulie and I were back on the radio against yesterday.  I'm still gobsmacked that they continue to let us do it, but thankfully we had lots of audio for people to listen to from the Fall Sports Media Day.  We also talked about the US Team in Japan with Coach Walz and Asia Durr romping on the rest of the world.  And we had another quiz, where I managed to barely hang onto (thanks to a few lucky guesses) my undefeated streak.  You should be able to check out the recording of the broadcast when it becomes available here.

-- JMcA

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lynn Stadium Sees Action -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Soccer Opens Home Play


Though it is only exhibition play, Louisville soccer's Lynn Stadium will see its first action of the Fall 2017 season for both men's and women's soccer tonight. The women will get things started at 5:00 PM against DePaul, with the men following directly after with an exhibition game of their own against Lipscomb. Paulie lamented the struggles of covering exhibition games on the road, with many of those problems likely not coming to play at home tonight. True, there was no scoreboard, clock, or announcer for the spring exhibition games, but I believe that with the publicity around both of tonight's games and the double header format, we are likely to see a full production for this game. If not, at least we'll be there to keep track of things with our own eyes.

The women's soccer and field hockey teams will start Louisville's 4th season in the ACC officially next week. For now, the spotlight is on the women's soccer team as the first home game of the year, even in an exhibition fashion. Louisville will take on DePaul in an exhibition game for the second time in two years. Last season, the Cards took on the Blue Demons on the road. While I don't have access to real stats, as it was an away exhibition, if memory serves, that game was a loss. Louisville will look to repay DePaul at home. The Cards last faced DePaul in an official capacity in 2012 when both teams were in the Big East. Louisville took home a win that day and a lot has changed for both schools in the five years since. Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes will look to use tonight's scrimmage as a springboard for the upcoming season. Louisville has slumped in recent years but have the team for a strong season this year. Getting a victory against an old foe is a great way to hit the ground running. Admission today is free for both games, so come out to Floyd Street and enjoy the nice summer evening. Sports are back in Louisville.

Asia Durr in Japan


(Information per usab.com and Twitter) After scoring 11 against Australia in U-23 team's August 9th scrimmage, Asia Durr outdid herself in the team's first real game early this morning. Team USA downed Australia again, this time with a final score of 78-60. Durr led Team USA with 14 points in the victory. I apologize for the small update, but the recap of the game has not yet been posted at time of writing since the game just ended. Be sure to return to Cardinal Couple in the coming days for additional information as this tournament goes on.

An Update on the Statistical Recap


Unfortunately, due to increased stress at work and trying to balance my life outside of work in general, I was unable to complete the statistical recap prior to fall action getting underway. However, this is something that I am still interested in so I will still be pursuing it, just with a slight change in format. I will be performing some statistical analysis of our covered sports throughout their respective seasons and will do statistical recaps for each sport at the end of play. I will compare this season's success to my goals and to last season. That way it is a bit more engaging and fresh in everyone's minds. At the end of the last season next spring/summer, I'll see what I can put together for overall comparisons of every sports. I'm sorry to anyone that was looking forward to this (I'm a bit disappointed in myself), but I hope the final product is worth the wait!

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


It's another Saturday Cardinal Couple which means it's time for another reminder about the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Every week we bring you an hour of conversation about things covered here at Cardinal Couple. We have a unique group of hosts and often bring exclusive interviews you can't find anywhere else. If you're ever unable to tune in, you can find archived broadcasts via the Crescent Hill Radio website at this link where you can also listen to the show live. You can also listen on 100.9 FM in the Crescent Hill extended area or anywhere by downloading the WCHQ app. This week we'll discuss the upcoming fall sports seasons which are right on top of us, as well as the fall sports media day yesterday. We'll have audio from yesterday and tons of fun in studio. Tune in at 11:00AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour!

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, August 11, 2017

Late Edition - Fall Sports Media Day -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Paulie and I have just finished up approximately an hour and a half of interviews and remarks from various members of UofL fall sports programs.  An event now three years strong that always makes for a pleasant day and a chance to catch up with Volleyball, Field Hockey, Women's Soccer, and an addition this year, Cross Country.

The remarks got started with the four coaches making opening remarks.  Dale Cowper lead the pack with remarks about the chance to host the NCAA Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.  He mentioned that they have re-arranged the course at the park this year, and expects the event to be better than ever.  In perhaps a little bit of one-upmanship, Justine Sowry went next and spoke about how strong the ACC is as a Field Hockey conference (a refrain repeated numerous times, with reason, here on Cardinal Couple), and mentioned that they get to host both the ACC Championships, as well as the NCAA championships.  Karen Ferguson-Dayes came next, talking up the experience of the senior class, as showing some excitement in the attackers, who were mostly freshmen last year, coming back with another year of experience under their belts.  Dani Busboom Kelly spoke about the move of all of the Volleyball facilities to Cardinal Arena, and how it is now a dedicated facility.  She also spoke of how much of a difference the renovation of Cardinal Arena has made and how great it is to be on-campus where they hope to get more student support, and to have a "Volleyball Compound" where they don't have to share court time and access to other facilities with other programs.

In questions from the media, we heard of the challenges that both Sowry and Ferguson-Dayes have with some number of their players not yet returning from International play over the summer.  Busboom Kelly was asked about being picked "sixth or seventh" in the conference (actually eighth) and what that meant to the team, responding that they expected to finish better than anyone expects in conference, showing some confidence that it would be better than sixth as the question alluded to.  Asked about her favorite part of the newly renovated Cardinal Arena, she said that it was the balcony seating in the end-zones, as that should be expected to up the energy level of the crowd.  She did mention that it limits their ability, due to the closeness of all of the seating to the Volleyball court, of chasing down shanked balls, so it ups the importance of digging and passing cleanly, and overall ball control.

Asked about stand-outs that maybe aren't so well known so far in practice, Busboom Kelly mentioned Wilma Rivera, a transfer setter from Penn State who will be competing for playing time with last year's main setter, Kali Eaken.  Also, freshman DS/Libero Alexis Hamilton got a shout-out for her outstanding play so far.  Karen Ferguson-Dayes mentioned some names we already know, in Inger Katrine-Bjerke, and Gabbie Vincent, both Cardinal Couple favorites from interviews in past years, she named a couple of other names, that I didn't catch (listen to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour tomorrow to hopefully hear more of them), as well as Brooklynn Rivers.  Sowry mentioned Meg Schneider and Mercedes Pastor, both freshmen, as having contributed well so far in practice.  She also mentioned Hollyn Barr, the backup goalkeeper, as having been playing extremely well, and that she would likely be starting in the cage for the first few games due to unavailability of Ayeisha McFerran.  She also spoke of the depth of the roster, and mentioned the likelihood of going 17 deep, which is unsurprising given her penchant for rapid-fire substitutions.

After the session with the coaches broke up, the media moved into the next room to speak with representatives of the various teams.  We first got the opportunity to speak with Tess Clark and Molly Sauer, of the volleyball team.  They re-iterated coach Busboom Kelly's thoughts of Wilma Rivera and Alexis Hamilton being the stand-out newcomers to the team.  Tess confirmed that she will be playing as a left side hitter, and does have some passing and digging duties.  She mentioned that Sauer helped her out a lot by taking a lot of the passes from her.

Moving on, we spoke with Inger Katrine-Bjerke and Gabbie Vincent from the Soccer team.  Paulie asked about KB's trip to China, then her further globetrotting back home to visit with family in Norway before returning to Louisville.  They talked about the importance for the backs in the game of Soccer, how they were most responsible for communication on the pitch, and how they had the best vantage point to see the whole field of play and thus were in the best position to communicate what needed to be done.

Finally, visiting with Marigrace Ragsdale, Abby Grimes, and Taylor Stone on the Field Hockey team, we heard about their excitement for hosting both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments at Trager.  We also learned that Marigrace and Abby, both being from St. Louis, have played field hockey together since they were twelve.  We learned how the recruiting process worked to get both of them to Louisville (Abby committed first, Marigrace later asked if it was ok if she also came to play with her at Louisville, an exuberant affirmative being the answer to that.)

Paulie will have much of the audio from these interviews tomorrow on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, so be sure to tune in at 11am on Crescent Hill Radio, 100.9 on the FM dial in the central area of Louisville, to hear the recorded audio.  On the plus side, you won't have to listen to us knuckleheads nearly as much as most weeks.

-- JMcA

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Women's Soccer scrimmages Ohio State...THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


LOOK ON THE SCOREBOARD AND SEE...NEVERMIND.


Activity actually got underway for fall sports at UofL last night...the women's soccer team traveled to Columbus, OH to face the Buckeyes in an exhibition match. We're trying to piece information together about how it went in Ohio...not a lot out there. Exhibition games are just that...many times the stat crews and assistant SID's aren't keeping any official numbers or statistics. The scoreboard isn't on at times. Sometimes they are without public address announcers as well. The games don't go in the records. 

Ohio State had their scrimmage against Louisville on the Internet last night but I couldn't figure out how to download the platform from a viewing device named Stanza that they use. It seemed more interested in trying to get me to set up a calendar on-line and gather personal information than showing soccer...so I gave up on it after awhile and kept searching Twitter for updates. I'm pretty sure it would have cost me something to watch it...but I never got that far in the process. Allegedly, a lot of BIG10 schools use Stanza. I'm glad Louisville is in the ACC. 

There were only a couple of mentions on the Ohio State women's soccer Twitter account. They announced the game would be starting soon. They show the Ohio State players doing the O-H-I-O for the fans after the game. No scores, no highlights...no "so-and-so looked good or "so-and so didn't do this" quotes. 

There was also a quote from the OSU coach Lori Walker Hock after the game. 

"It was great to get out and play. We were able to see where our returners were and we had a lot of young players out on the field. It was a productive scrimmage and it was a benefit for us to get experience against a physical team." 

That as vanilla as it gets in post-event comments. What do we gather from that? That Louisville is physical...which is probably a good thing for the Cards...and coach knows where her returners are. I've seen similar quotes from coaches who've been drubbed by 30 points and from coaches who were up by 5 going into the second half.  

They posted a few pictures. Those are posted here.

I also checked the Louisville women's soccer Twitter feed to see if any mention was made on the scrimmage. 

Blank.

Articles about Saturday's double header, reasons why players chose Louisville and a motivational Monday hashtag but no recap, no score. In fairness, UofL may not have had a sports information person on hand for the contest. Those folks are really busy on campus right now. 

Searching by coach name, I checked the Karen Ferguson-Dayes twitter feed. Nothing there since late September 2016. I get it. It's an exhibition, Paulie. The team has been practicing less than a week (ridiculous...when you consider football and basketball get months and months of preparation for the season). How much can you read into the first scrimmage of the year? 

As you have probably deduced by now...I didn't make the trip to Columbus to watch the action. I have gone to WSOC away games in the past...but this one just wasn't in the wheel-well for me yesterday. And, once again, it was just a scrimmage after only a couple of days of practice. I expected maybe just a brief mention of a score, maybe who scored...but I tend to set my expectations way too high at times, I suppose. To paraphrase Allen Iverson...

"Scrimmage. Scrimmage? We talkin' 'bout scrimmage?"  



(From last year's Fall Sports Media Day) 
We'll find out more about women's soccer and other sports at the Women's Fall Sports media day Friday at Lynn Stadium. WSOC, Field Hockey and Volleyball coaches and players will be on hand for interviews. This is a fun event. After they feed the media, they're gathered into a room and the coaches talk about the programs and then the media given access to another room and allowed to talk to specifically picked players from each sport. We've gotten some great interviews out of this event since they started holding it a couple years ago. We've found out what shampoo Worldwide uses (one of the best questions ever by a player -- Molly Sauer -- directed to a media member... The answer was Pert Plus...). We found out where Maya McClendon prefers to eat (her parents house).  Based on last year...the Field Hockey girls are usually pretty serious, the WSOC girls open and humorous (thank Inger Katrine Bjerke for that...) and who knows what we'll get out of Volleyball this year? New coach and all...

We'll have those interviews on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday morning at 11 a.m. They'll consist of our "Catching Up" sequence...normally we'd bring you a former UofL WBB player but we'll catch up with the fall sports instead. 

So...let's recap. We know that one UofL women's fall sports team (WSOC) has faced someone else. Louisville is an aggressive team. We also know that Jeff Walz has safely arrived in Tokyo with Asia Durr and the rest of the USA U23 squad and they went to practice shortly after the plane landed. We know that Field Hockey had their first practice yesterday and so did Volleyball. We even know the UofL women's golf schedule for the season. 

Things are happening. The doldrums of summer have passed. Fall sports have begun. We'll be here to tell you about what we see (or don't see). 

paulie
xxxxx