Lacrosse Earns Overtime Victory at Virginia Tech
After a second half in which Louisville struggled to keep up with Virginia Tech, Meghan Siverson scored in overtime to give the Cards a 13-12 win. It was the first time Louisville had led since 3-2 with fourteen and a half minutes remaining in the first half. After a 4-4 halftime score, Virginia Tech came out of the locker room hot. Tech scored in the first 30 seconds of the half and again two minutes later. In what may have been a defensive turnaround, Louisville was able to limit the damage. In the past, we've seen the Cards let teams go on big runs. During their 8 goal second half, Virginia Tech never scored more than two consecutive goals and never led by two. This defensive and offensive balance allowed Louisville to stay in the game. The Cards closed every gap the Hokies opened, even when they scored what looked like it could be the game winner with one and a half minutes left. Instead of getting in their heads about the pressure, the Cards calmly went through their game plan and scored the equalizer with 1:05 remaining.
It was a huge win for Louisville, as defeating a top 15 team on the road in any sport is. Virginia Tech was a tough challenge but the Cards were up to it. Hannah Koloski led the way with 4 goals, and Meghan Siverson added 3 more, including the game winner. The Cards had a 40.6% goal percentage, which you would like to see higher, but you can live with. The free position battle continues to be a struggle for the Cards as they went 4-9 on those opportunities and allowed the Hokies to capitalize on all 4 of their chances.
Louisville has three regular season games remaining starting with a game next Saturday against North Carolina. The Tar Heels play Notre Dame today and defeated Virginia Tech 14-6 in their last game. It will be a big game for the Cards, as are all games in conference and this late in the season. Hopefully the defensive renaissance continues!
Seventh Inning Runs Lift ND over UofL
After an up and down battle, Louisville was unable to close the door on Notre Dame yesterday at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards struck first with a leadoff home run by Caitlin Ferguson to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Notre Dame would respond by scoring two runs in the third inning to take a lead of their own. Louisville regained their lead in the fourth after a couple of ND errors allowed the Cards to sneak in two runs. They extended that lead to 4-2 with a Pufahl home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Clinging to a two run lead at home, Louisville looked poised to close the door. A single Irish run in the top of the sixth cut the lead to one, but the Cards limited the damage. After a groundout advanced ND runners to second and third with two out in the top of the seventh, a last chance single to center field scored both. Louisville got out of the inning with no more runs allowed but the damage had been done. ND led by one run and Louisville had three outs to do something about it. After an error put the tying run on first base with no outs, Louisville went 1-2-3 to end the game.
It was a frustrating loss, but so goes life on the diamond. Leaving runners on base and not being able to get outs in key situations will doom you every time. Such was the case for the Cards yesterday. Louisville still has the opportunity to take the series, but now needs wins today and tomorrow. Both of the games can be found on ESPNU or by heading out to Ulmer. Today's game begins at 2PM.
After the Women's Final Four games decided that two SEC teams would vie for the title tonight, the men took the floor in Phoenix to determine who would play tomorrow night. Both games were thrillers that picked up just where the women left off. Gonzaga was able to hold off a furious South Carolina rally and made one of the smartest plays in the tournament by fouling while up three on the final possession. Tactical gameplay can often seem like the cheapest style of play, but I cannot fault a team for doing what it takes, within the rules, to win. As much as I would have hated the situation if Louisville were in South Carolina's spot, I have to respect Gonzaga's awareness. They led by three, and they removed the opportunity for South Carolina to do anything about it.
Oregon, similarly, lost on fouls, but not in nearly the same fashion. The Ducks scored to go down by 1 with 6 seconds remaining. As any team would, they immediately fouled. Instead of going to the line and sinking two to give the Heels a three point lead, Kennedy Meeks promptly walked up and missed two free throws. Advantage, Oregon, right? Wrong. Theo Pinson snagged the offensive rebound and passed to Joel Berry, whom Oregon quickly fouled. Again, with a chance to go up by three, North Carolina missed two free throws. Again, they pulled down the offensive rebound, this time to ice the game. I truly feel for Oregon, as I cannot imagine having the basketball gods essentially hand you the game on 0-4 free throws in the final seconds only to have them rip it away from you in the form of offensive rebounds. An exciting weekend of basketball continues with championship games tonight and tomorrow.
The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour trudged on yesterday with Jared Anderson of River City Cards sitting in for Jeff. Worldwide joined us via the bluetooth phone capabilities of his fancy new car from OVVC where he watched spring volleyball. The show consisted of the regular banter, a Loretta Kakala interview, spring sports of all types, and a solemn announcement from Paulie that turned into an April Fools prank. WCHQ made sure to kick the gremlins out before the show began, and you can find this week's show at this link.
Until next time, Go Cards.