Thursday, August 31, 2017
HOLLYN "SETTING THE BARR" AT GOALKEEP FOR FIELD HOCKEY
Barr named Longstreth/NFHCA NAtional Defender of the Week
After waiting patiently for a season behind the 2016 UofL Field Hockey goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran...sophomore Hollyn Barr knows a thing or two about patience, learning and being prepared. With McFerran sidelined with an injury right now, Barr...who was the third string goalie last season... was the only goalkeeper left on the roster and was pressed into action for the 2017 season. No need to panic, though...she was ready to raise the "barr".
Hollyn was impressive in the preseason wins in exhibitions against the alums and Miami (OH). How would she hold up, though, against a better-than-average IU squad and the defending national champions in #3 Delaware?
The answer is just fine, thank you.
She allowed just one goal in the #9 Cards regular season opener against the Hoosiers last Friday in UofL's 4-1 win. The same scenario Sunday...one goal as the Cards down the Blue Hens 3-1. 140 minutes of tending the nets, an average of 1.0 goals allowed per contest and 13 saves on shot on goal. For comparison, McFerran had a 1.24 average for 2016 on goals allowed per game...which was in the top five in the nation and graduated back up goalkeeper Elina Pereira had an average of 1.96 goals per game in 35 minutes of play.
Good goalkeeping is promoted a lot by stellar defense and the Cards had a few gaps to fill in there as well. Senior Abby Grimes, normally a midfielder with excellent attacking abilities was transitioned into a defender. So was sophomore Carter Ayars. Junior Taylor Stone has seen her share of defensive work...plus freshmen Meghan Schneider, Alli Bitting and AnnMarie Habelow all getting starts on the back line.
Good goalkeeping is also benefited by an aggressive offensive attack against the opponents and the Cards have shown the propensity to advance the ball. Favorites Minnie Mink and Marigrace Ragsdale are back for the Cards on the attack and...combined with freshman Marisa Martin Pelligrina...have been responsible for four goals and six assists this season. Maybe we should call them "the M M and M girls" or "Triple M's".
Yes, it is still early in the season. Plenty of hockey to be played. The Cards head to Columbus, OH this weekend to face the Buckeyes in their home opener. The Ohio State University dispatched Lehigh 4-0 on the road last weekend. That's the start of a strenuous six game road swing that will have UofL Field Hockey in Columbus for the Buckeyes and Kent State, in College Park, MD for Maryland and American, visiting Durham for the ACC Conference opener against Duke and going to Evanston, IL for always-strong Northwestern.
I did inquire why Louisville was still ranked at their preseason ranking of #9 after knocking off the Blue Hens. I was told by George Lane...director of ACC Communications...that rankings aren't released until the end of the second week of competition.
You learn something new every day.
What opponents will learn is that they're playing a rock-solid Louisville team that features speed, multiple scorers and a fondness for controlling the action down around the foe's net...plus a denying defense.
They'll also discover if you hang around the "Barr" and her "barr"tenders...they'll make you pay.
Besides Field Hockey travelling this Labor Day weekend, we also find women's soccer on the road for tests at UK Friday and Southeastern Missouri State on Monday. Men's Soccer travels to Georgia State for a Friday match and...of course...the Louisville Football team will be in Indy Saturday for a showdown with Purdue.
Volleyball remains on campus. They host the Cardinal Classic that starts on Friday night with a match against Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. They'll face Kent State at 12:30 Saturday afternoon (which will have Worldwide doing his Dagwood Bumstead imitation of dashing out of the Crescent Hill Radio studios to get to Cardinal Arena) and the Wide Net gals will conclude the Classic Saturday night against, yet another Big 10 foe...this time the fighting Illini from Champaign.
Remember that games at Cardinal Arena (and elsewhere on campus) have now implemented the "clear bag" policy. You can read more about that at the link below:
CLEAR BAG POLICY FOR CARDINAL ARENA
I'll see you again on the radio Saturday morning for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR and here on these pages next Tuesday. Case and Worldwide will get you through the weekend here at the site. If i don't run into you, have a great Labor Day weekend. Be safe, responsible and stay dry tomorrow...the Louisville area could be pretty wet Friday.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Yogi Berra once said that baseball "is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical". Beside the fact he either had some serious brain damage or was really bad at math, Mr. Berra makes a good point.
Baseball, like most sports, is mostly a mental game. As a player, you must constantly remind yourself to keep pushing and not quit. I have talked to Paulie about the mental aspect of his physical therapy training as he strengthens after his hip replacement and he'll tell you that "it's easy to say stuff like I don't feel like pushing myself 100% today or I'm going to take a shortcut here but unless you keep your head into your workout you're just cheating yourself."
As a player, you must constantly remind yourself to keep pushing and not quit. You are analyzing your opponent and what their next move is. In team sports, you are looking for ways to communicate with your teammates without giving away what you are doing to the opponents.
Beside the actual analytics of the game itself, the college athlete also has all the normal aspects of being a college student -- school, social, life, family and possibly financial responsibilities and obligations. Those can all take a toll on you if you spend too much time worrying or losing focus.
All of our UofL sports are facing a mental challenge right now.
For Volleyball, our ladies need to just focus on playing the game. Starting off 0-2 can add some weight. You may tell yourself that these were top 10 ranked opponents that you lost to but as a competitive athlete and as a entire team -- you hate losing. They gave both Minnesota and Wisconsin a good run for their money which is a very encouraging factor but ultimately they fell short in the end. Losing can be discouraging but with the fire and determination I've seen in this team so far, the wins are coming. The first opportunity for them presents itself at Cardinal Arena this weekend when they host the Cardinal Classic. WKU, Kent State and Illinois come in to test the VolleyCards on Friday and Saturday...the final match against the Illini on Saturday running at the same time (7:30 p.m.) as Louisville Football up in Indy against Purdue.
Watching how the Cards battled the David and Goliath situation in Madison, WI last weekend, both matches reminded me of the famous Grantland Rice quote:
"It's not about whether you win or lose, it's about how you play the game".
Women's Soccer was off to a hot start at 3-0 before the loss to Marquette. It was exciting to see the undefeated run, but I was rather disappointed with the loss in terms of how players handled situations during the game. The called "hand ball" that led to Marquette's PK and eventual first score of the game was a bad call in my opinion (it happened right in front of me) and others agree. A replay clearly shows it was off the defender's bicep and unintentional. Too many players let the call get to them and in their heads. Communication seemed to cease the remainder of the game and ball control was a lost cause after that. It appeared that by letting one call and one play affect their performance the Cards allowed a second goal to occur on a badly placed pass that allowed Marquette to out-kick the goalkeeper on a 40 yard "bloop" shot.
With Louisville's next game at Kentucky (and Marquette has defeated Kentucky earlier in the season, so they could be called the de-facto champs of the state so far, I guess) I hope the Cards bounce back on their feet, clear their minds. Sometimes, it's best to have a short memory. Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes stated she would have been happy to get out of the contest with a 0-0 tie and certainly could have had that happen, given the rest of the action and play. Marquette is a good team, make no mistake about that...but the Cards played hard for the majority of this one and deserved better.
I'll leave this with a quote by Wilma Rudolph for our ladies of the pitch to consider snd ponder:
"Winning is great, sure, but if you're really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes defeated all the time and if you can pick yourself up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday."
Field Hockey is feeling pretty invincible after a 3-1 win over #3 Delaware (ah, revenge is sweet!) Starting the season undefeated has to feel good -- but it can quickly get to your had, as sports fans and players have seen time after time over the years and even this season. My advice for Coach Sowry's highly ranked squad (we're still waiting to see where Field Hockey gets ranked this week after the Delaware and Indiana wins) is to focus on upcoming opponents one at a time, give them the respect they deserve and trust the process. Even a last place team (especially in the ACC) can turn the tables on a top-ranked team if you get too cocky. It was the legendary Babe Ruth who said "Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games".
The Stick Cards take an Ohio tour this weekend starting with OSU...the first of a lengthy six game road trip.
Being an athlete is a mental obstacle that can be difficult to overcome. Maybe much more than years ago when coaches told players to "just rub a little dirt on it and get back out there and get the win". Each of our sports has their own mental challenges to face, as we've discussed above, and now it's time to see how they handle them.
Have a great Wednesday!
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Marisa Martin Pelligrina, Hollyn Barr sweep ACC Awards...Asia Back to Australia -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
UOFL FIELD HOCKEY DUO TAKE ACC OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS
UofL head Field Hockey coach Justine Sowry will tell you that this a new Field Hockey team this year and two of the newcomers have made an big impact on the Cardinal squad and are gathering ACC attention as well.
Midfielder Marisa Martin Pelligrina has been named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts against IU and Delaware last week and goalkeeper Hollyn Barr received the ACC Defensive Player of the Week. The Cards defeated IU 4-1 last Friday and then continued to hold home turf by taking down #3 Delaware, who was last year's NCAA Champions, 3-1.
Pelligrina, a freshman from Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany, had two goals and two assists in the win over the Hoosiers. The goals were her only shots of the game. On Sunday, she set up Whena Munn for the first score of the contest. MMP ended the two-game series with two goals and three assists...worth seven points in Field Hockey's scoring system.
(Since Coach Sowry told us that the team hasn't come up with a nickname for her yet...I'm going with "MMP" for now. Trying saying Marisa Martin Pelligrina fast six times...)
For Louisville's opponents last week, hanging around the "Barr" proved to be costly...Hollyn Barr had six saves and allowed just one goal against the Hoosiers and seven saves and just one score allowed against the Blue Hens. The sophomore out of Lancaster, PA spent her freshman year watching Ayeshia McFerran defend the net last season but obviously picked up a few things and is filling in nicely for the currently-injured starter from 2016.
The Stick Girls (2-0) will spend the Labor Day weekend touring the Buckeye state...with a contest at The Ohio State University on Friday and then visiting Kent State Sunday. No Labor Day rest for these warriors and the first half of September has Louisville playing six straight road games. After the Ohio swing, Louisville travels to College Park, MD for matches against American on Friday Sept. 8th and Maryland on Sunday Sept.10th. After that, they start ACC Conference play at Duke on Friday Sept. 15th and then hit Evanston. IL for a Tuesday Sept. 19th date with Northwestern. They'll finally get to take the Trager turf again on Friday Sept 22nd. against Wake Forest...the start of a four-match home stand.
ASIA TAYLOR DECIDES TO "FLAME" AGAIN
Louisville's lone representative in the WNBA this season...Asia Taylor has been playing a valuable back up role on the Washington Mystics squad this season...mostly to Elena Della Donne...but when it comes to Aussie hoops...the Columbus, OH native takes a back seat to no one. The leading scorer for the Sydney Flames last season, Taylor has decided to return to "the land down under" and play for them again at the completion of the WNBA season.
Her current squad, the Mystics, have dropped to third in the East after a hot start to the season and are fifth overall in playoff positioning. Taylor has played 22 games this season...averaging about seven minutes a contest, 1.6 points per night and 1.9 rebounds.
Sydney is a different story. She led the Flames in scoring last season with 16.2 ppg a night and was a key component in taking Sydney to their first WNBL title in 16 years. She and the Flames other "import"...center Jennifer Hamson led the Flames in rebounds as well....Asia grabbing 7.6 a night. Both will be back in Flames uniform this year.
|A-Tayy with another "Catching Up" interviewee...Tia Gibbs|
When we spoke with her earlier this year for our "Catching Up" series here at Cardinal Couple...she had not decided whether she was going to return to the land of the roo, billabong and koala for another season...but it looks like things have been worked out
We wish one of our favorite Cards the best of luck in the remaining WNBA season and with the Flames. Asia returns to Australia and that spells trouble for the other seven teams in the league!
Monday, August 28, 2017
Field Hockey Notches Big Win
|PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON|
Much like their game against the Hoosiers, this game came down to penalty corners, with all 4 goals in the game coming by way of the set piece. Whena Munn got the scoring started for the Cards, scoring on a corner sixteen minutes in. This one was assisted by Marisa Martin Pellegrina, who once again proved how big of a contributor she can be for this team. Delaware drew level on a penalty corner of their own ten minutes later. The Cards were sharp on the attack today but Coach Sowry did point out in her post game comments that there were still a few glaring errors that they needed to work on and they would review the contest video to correct these.
This was a huge win for the Cards, and one that makes a statement this early in the season. Delaware returned a lot of their team from last season's championship squad. Even if it turns out that their win last year was a fluke, they were still good enough to be in a position to win and writers felt they were good enough for their top 5 ranking this season. Don't forget, also, that they mangled IU on Saturday, with a final score of 7-0. Louisville's opening weekend showed a lot of promise. There is still the buzzsaw of the ACC which they'll eventually have to face, and the inevitable rematches come tournament time, but this team is starting to prove that they'll be a force to be reckoned with. They return to play on Friday when they travel to Ohio State.
PAULIE DISCUSSES DELAWARE WIN WITH COACH SOWRY
PAULIE AND MINNIE MINK ON THE WIN OVER BLUE HENS
PAULIE DISCUSSES DELAWARE WIN WITH COACH SOWRY
PAULIE AND MINNIE MINK ON THE WIN OVER BLUE HENS
Soccer Drops Rough Game Against Marquette
The game was very physical and inconsistently called, much to the ire of the Cardinal faithful. At one point, while Louisville fans expressed their anger after a Cardinal was pulled down in the box during a free kick, a Marquette fan yelled "Welcome to the Big East, Ferguson!" While I understand the sentiment to mean they play physically in the Big East, that doesn't make me want Louisville to play in that league. (By the way, I'd like to extend a huge credit to the traveling contingent of Marquette fans. It sounded like they took a bus down for the game and they were very passionate about their team. They were mostly respectful toward Louisville and cheered loudly for their team rather than against their opponent.) Marquette didn't just play physically, they fouled. A lot. And they got away with it. A lot. That's not to say Louisville didn't as well, but I'll come right out and say that there's no reason Louisville should have finished yesterday's game having been whistled more often than Marquette.
After a physical first half in which there were chances on both sides, the teams headed to the locker room scoreless. Louisville had a few real opportunities, but only tested the keeper once that I remember, on a ball to the near post. In hindsight, and I'm sure this was noticed by the shooter as well, a shot at the back post would have been an easy goal, with the keeper already leaning, but it wasn't meant to be. Something that I noticed during the first half was that Marquette appeared to be the better team from my vantage point. They swarmed on defense, which I found strange, but it worked for them. Despite their fouling, some of which was called and some not, they made good tackles. They cut into passing lanes. On offense they were more technical with the ball at their feet and put Louisville on their heels with passes in the offensive third. Louisville still had a chance, don't get me wrong. They weren't completely outmatched, but the little things add up.
Louisville continued their aggressive pressure trying to level the game, and the over aggression led to the second goal. It is easy to imagine the scenario where a ball gets away from the offense and it leads to an easy counter attack. However, what happened yesterday was far more frustrating. Louisville was pushed up on the attack, with the back line probably 15 yards from the midfield stripe in their own half. A ball was sent through the defense which Kouzelos came to send away. I have been frustrated by some of her choices to come out for the ball before, and yesterday helped validate those frustrations. The defense could have probably retreated for this ball, but Kouzelos went herself to send the ball forward. Rather than give it a safe clearance, perhaps due to the aggressive nature of trying to equalize, she attempted to send the ball back up to the offense immediately. It was mishit, and fell straight to the feet of Marquette's Eli Beard. Beard sent the ball towards the net from about 40 yards out and it was a clear goal from the time it left her foot. Kouzelos, who had been about 10-15 yards outside of the box when she hit the ball, was retreating as quickly as she could, but the ball sailed over her head and into the net. Louisville tried valiantly to get one back as the game wore on but were unable to find the net.
While a frustrating loss, Louisville did show promise. They seemed a bit sluggish at times in the first half but were reinvigorated at half time and never gave up when they trailed. They will face stiff competition in the ACC but they showed resilience in this game that I believe will serve them well throughout the season. The Cards are back in action Friday night in the unfriendly confines in Lexington. The game is at 7:30PM and does not currently list any viewing options. There's a lot of season left, and there is plenty of time for Karen Ferguson-Dayes to clean up some of the issues the Cards have had so far.
PAULIE iNTERVIEWS COACH KFD AFTER MARQUETTE WITH A CAMEO TRAIN APPEARANCE
PAULIE iNTERVIEWS COACH KFD AFTER MARQUETTE WITH A CAMEO TRAIN APPEARANCE
Until next time, Go Cards!
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Two Losses, but Promise Still
Volleyball got their season underway as Case wrote about yesterday, and on the surface it looks like opening weekend was a disappointing one, with the season sitting at 0-2, now. I see cause for excitement in this team, though.
Last night, the Cards finished off their part of the ACC/B1G challenge, and went down to defeat at the hands of #4 ranked Minnesota. UofL did win a set in this one, and they showed signs of excellence in all four sets. Minnesota was coming off a complete beatdown of UNC yesterday, and found the going a bit tougher with UofL, 20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20.
Most of the usual suspects provided the Cardinals' offensive firepower, albeit aligned a little differently than we were used to seeing last year. Melanie McHenry and Tess Clark privided the biggest outside firepower, with 14 and 17 kills each (.122, and .233). Amanda Green also put down 9 from the outside, which would usually be cause for accolades as well, but with 9 errors to match, it's hard to be too enthusiastic about that.
Wilma Rivera, transferred in from Penn State did, as expected, take the setting duties for the full match, with 47 assists on 54 total kills for the team. The Most Efficient award goes, as usual, to Jasmine Bennet, hitting .294, with 7 kills on 17 attempts. Defense was by committee, with Molly Sauer clearly the chair of the committee. She had 21 digs in the Libero role, while DSes Gabbie Wiley and Alexis Hamilton had 11 and 9. Rivera showed her all around skills, and how much Minnesota was targeting her as setter, by getting 12 digs.
Subjectively, this team, to exceed expectations, needs to clean up the errors. 30 attacking errors is painful, and while some of these, as always, can be credited to the opposing team's blocking, but that's still high. Similarly, 12 serving errors to 5 aces hurts a lot as well, and with serving errors, the team owns it all.
It's hard to draw too many conclusion when I didn't get to see, or even hear commentary, on this one, but to take a set off of the #4 team in the country gives hope. Combine that with Friday's play against Wisconsin, despite it being a sweep, where UofL played competitively with them (well, after the first 10 minutes anyway), and they're the #7 team in the country, and there is reason to be excited about the potential of this team.
Last year was a year mostly defined by unforced errors, and we saw some of that this weekend, so let's hope they can get that cleaned up. Otherwise, I think the weapons are there for this team to have a good year. And yes, if they can clean up the errors, I think Jared's prediction of a top 25 appearance before the year is out is within reach.
I'm certainly excited for home opener vs WKU at 6:30 Friday night at Cardinal Arena.
Field Hockey Challenged Today
Sowry's stick squad faces a major challenge in this opening weekend with defending national champions Delaware, come to Trager for a noon start. The Cards will be celebrating the birthday of Sherrill BrakeMeier, the matriarch of UofL Field Hockey during the game. This is a real treat for those of us in the press box as she typically joins us in the chair closest to the door. I have had the opportunity to chat with Brakemeier a couple of times, well, mostly gleefully listened, as she recounted tales of the very early days of UofL Field Hockey, playing on the Crawford Gym Field. It's telling of the vintage of these stories that not even Crawford Gym exists anymore, let alone the field.
The Cards did start off their season Friday with a 4-1 win over IU which Case recounted in his article yesterday. Expect a more challenging match today when the Blue Hens come calling. We'll have the recap, and audio unless things really go haywire, for you in tomorrow's article. Get the scoop by coming out to Trager Stadium for the noon start, the weather looks lovely, though you may need some sunscreen on this cloudless day.
Soccer vs Marquette
Women's Soccer continues the weekend of soccer (between them, the men, and Louisville City FC), with a match against Marquette with a 1pm kick at Lynn Stadium. The team is undefeated so far, with a 3-0 start, which is helping Case feel confident in his 12-win season prediction. If Field Hockey isn't your thing, Lynn is just down the street, but Soccer doesn't have water cannons like Field Hockey does.
I believe Case said he would be in attendance for this one, so look for his recap tomorrow, his knowledge of the game of soccer is far better than mine, so he should be able to give us more than just a statistical recap like I would probably do.
The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
I'm still not sure why they let us do it, but The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour made it usual appearance yesterday on Crescent Hill Radio. You can catch the replay, where I admit to having gotten the volleyball ranking for Wisconsin wrong, at https://soundcloud.com/chradio/cardinal-couple-20170826. There's a little less joking around and general jocularity, but the tradeoff is we get to talk about actual official sports results and play audio from Coach Walz and Asia Durr talking about their trip to Japan.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
After yesterday's competitions, all three major women's fall sports at UofL have officially gotten underway. Cross country, along with the major attention grabbing football, get their seasons started next Saturday. Women's golf hits the road for their first outing in the middle of September and rowing has yet to post their schedule. They'll likely get underway near the end of September if last season is any indication. Let's see how our Cardinals fared yesterday.
Field Hockey (like soccer) Takes Down Hoosiers
While the women's soccer team headed north to Bloomington to take on IU on Thursday night, they likely passed the bus of the IU field hockey team traveling south to face off against Louisville in a mid-afternoon affair yesterday. Like the women's soccer team, field hockey handled the border battle and started their season 1-0. The Cards were led by a new face in their first game. Freshman Marisa Martin Pellegrina earned a point on each of Louisville's four goals, scoring two of her own and assisting the other two. If yesterday is any indication, Martin Pellegrina is a name that you should get used to if you follow Louisville field hockey, because she is likely to continue making noise. Despite the lopsided final score of 4-1, Louisville didn't truly dominate yesterday's game statistically. The Cards finished ahead by only 3 in shots (13-10) and finished tied in shots on goal (7), penalty corners (6), and fouls (0, hooray for a clean game) although an IU player was given a green card in caution, so I'm not sure about the fouls number. It was Louisville's goalkeeping play that won them the game, with Hollyn Barr providing 6 stops to IU's 3. The Cards are still without Ayeisha McFerran, but it is promising that Barr has been able to provide solid play as the last defender.
The game was never really in doubt for the Cards, as they scored their first goal on a penalty corner finish by Abby Grimes less than four minutes into the game. Martin Pellegrina scored her two goals within five minutes of one another near the middle of the first half. Taylor Stone finished the scoring for the Cards four minutes into the second half on yet another penalty corner goal (3 on the day for Louisville) and Louisville led 4-0. Indiana marred the clean sheet with a penalty corner goal of their own with 15 minutes remaining, but could do no further damage. Scoring on and defending set pieces with consistency is key, as I pointed out after the women's soccer opener, so if Louisville can continue to score on 50% of their penalty corners (unlikely) and defend at a 16% conversion rate (also unlikely) they will be in a good position this season. However unlikely those numbers may be to maintain, that the Cards came out fresh and ready for true gameplay is encouraging. Unfortunately for Jared, Minout Mink was held out in a limited role yesterday, entering from the bench. She was unable to score, which puts her well behind on her quest for 2 goals per game. She'll have some ground to make up if Jared is to be named Nostradamus. Louisville is back in action tomorrow at noon against Delaware. The Blue Hens are No. 3 in the country (Louisville is 9) and are the defending national champions. A win here could set the Cards up with a huge confidence boost and a hefty bump in the rankings.
PAULIE talks with Coach Sowry after the win (featuring an impromptu walk-by from Minnie Mink).
PAULIE and Abby Grimes discuss the win over IU
PAULIE talks with Coach Sowry after the win (featuring an impromptu walk-by from Minnie Mink).
PAULIE and Abby Grimes discuss the win over IU
Volleyball Falls in Hard Fought Match
The final scoreline, 3-0, wouldn't show it, but the volleyball team started their season with a tough match against a familiar foe to new head coach, Dani Busboom-Kelly, in No. 7 Wisconsin. Like most other Big Ten teams, the Badgers are tough. However, Louisville actually only lost these three sets 18-25, 19-25, and 24-26. The first set was the only one in which the Cards failed to tie or take the lead, and there were actually 11 ties and 5 lead changes throughout the second two sets. Despite a 3-0 loss, Louisville played an encouraging match last night, supported by the fact that they took the third set to extra points. This match is likely one in which last season's team would have been rolled over, especially after taking the painful loss in the first set with a very poor hitting percentage. I'm not one for moral victories, but I can find items about which to be positive in a loss against a superior team. Bouncing back to play hard in the next two sets with significantly better hitting percentages in those sets are some of those positive items. Jeff listened to every minute of this one on the radio last night and I'm sure he'll have quite a bit to add about his thoughts today. Louisville is back in action this evening at 5PM against Minnesota, another tough Big Ten team. DBK likely had a lot of teaching moments for her team after last night's loss, and it will be interesting to see (hear?) how they respond against a similar opponent.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
You can't keep me away for too long! I'm back in the studio with Paulie and Jeff (and maybe Jared? I'm actually not sure. You'll have to tune in to find out.) today and we'll have plenty to talk about with sports finally underway in real competition. There will be post game interviews, thoughts and observations, and plenty of statistical chatter from my end. Tune into 100.9 FM WCHQ in the Crescent Hill area or on the website or WCHQ app at 11AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, and be sure to comment below or on any article when you've got questions or topics you'd like to hear our thoughts on. We're always happy to send a reply, or fill some air time with a conversation. The replay is HERE
Until next time, Go Cards!
Friday, August 25, 2017
VOLLEYBALL FACES TOP NOTCH FOES IN ACC/BIG 10 CHALLENGE
Top flight competition comes at Dani Busboom Kelly's wide-net squad right off the bat to start the 2017 season as they participate in the annual conference challenge. They'll play host and #7 ranked Wisconsin tonight at 7:30 and then face #4 Minnesota at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Much has been made of the transfers outside hitter Amanda Green and setter Wilma Rivera for the Cards this year and from all reports...the two looked good, along with recently converted outside hitter Tess Clark in the Red/White/Black scrimmage in Cardinal Arena last weekend. Molly Sauer is also an integral and important cog in the Cardinal plans and the libero also got glowing reports in the scrimmage.
Facing two top teams to start the season is a bit daunting but the matches will give Kelly a frank and real look at where the team is, what is working and what needs work.
The Gocards website lists internet viewing for these...if it's like last night's Soccer match against IU though. it'll be pay-per-view...but here's the link to tonight's action.
Let's hope it turns out to be a freebie. There is also mention the games will be on IHeart Radio. If you have the app...that could be an option. I did find the stats page pretty useful last night while listening to a dreadful radio broadcast of women's soccer...here it as well:
Anyway...the opening match should give Worldwide and the boys plenty to chat about on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR tomorow at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on-line at www.crescenthillradio.com
Good luck, CARDS!
W. SOCCER WINS...FIELD HOCKEY HOSTS THE HOOSIERS
The season officially begins for Justine Sowry's Field Hockey flock today at 2 p.m. when IU comes to the Trager. This...after the UofL women's soccer was in Bloomington last night and did win 2-0 in a brilliant defensive effort...with goals from Emina Ekic and Kennadi Carbin. The Cards controlled the shots statistics and continue to keep goalie Gabrielle Kouzelos clean back between the pipes.
Field Hockey will face a Hoosier squad that comes in also getting the chance to play #3 Delaware at Trager. The Cards dominate the series against the Hoosier lifetime 11-5 and took down IU 5-1 last year in Bloomington.
The fans will be waiting to see if Minnie Mink can keep Case's bold prediction of a two goal per game average alive with a couple of scores and also how Louisville will do without All-American Ayeshia McFerran between the pipes. Holynn Barr will guard the nets for Louisville
IU features a few Louisville girls on the roster in Maddie Latino (Sacred Heart) and Claire Dickinson (Kentucky Country Day)
ACC Network Extra has the feed for this one, I'll be out there Tweeting and will have the description for you tomorrow here at the site and also on the radio.
Once again....GO CARDS!
Thursday, August 24, 2017
CARDS FACE SIX FOES WITH OVER 20 WINS LAST YEAR
We now know the non-conference slate of the University of Louisville women's basketball schedule. Highlighted by appearances against Ohio State and UConn plus a trip to Bloomington to face IU...the Cards will play in 15 non-conference contests. The UConn contest will fall in the middle of the ACC schedule on February 12th. in Storrs, CT and UofL travels to Lexington this year to match up against the Cats on Sunday, Dec 17th.
Things get underway officially in the WNIT preseason tournament with a matching against Southeast Missouri State on Friday Nov. 10th. at the KFC YUM! Center. Louisville could play as many as three more game in the Bucket in the tournament on the 14th, 16th and 19th of November...some of the participant in the WNIT this year are Michigan, Oregon and Texas A&M. The Cards started out well in the preseason tournament last year...winning their first three games before South Carolina dealt them their first loss of the season.
The first road trip for Walz and crew is a doozy...Louisville goes to Columbus, OH and faces Ohio State in the Countdown to Columbus tournament on Sunday Nov. 12th. That's where the Final Four will be staged to end the season and Walz and Durr will run into fellow teammates Kelsey Mitchell and Linnae Harper from the USA U23 squad in that battle. OSU also has former ACC nemesis's Stephanie Mavunga (UNC) and Sierra Calhoun (Duke) on their roster.
Walz ball returns home for a visit from Murray St. on Nov. 24th. before they take to the road again. They'll participate in the ACC/BIG10 Challenge against the Hoosiers on Nov. 30th. and then head out to that major metropolis Brookings, SD to chase the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State on Dec. 3rd.
The "Tennessee" part of the non-conference schedule ensues when the Cards come home to entertain UT Martin (12/5), Vandy (12/7), Middle Tennessee (12/9) and Tennessee State (12/12).
After the UK game on 12/17...Myisha and the gals go off into the wild blue yonder and visit Air Force on 12/20. It'll be conference time after that...with the UConn ball game the final non-conference contest a couple of months later.
Definitely six and as many as nine home game all before Christmas. A schedule that presents some big tests. Coach Walz was matter-of-fact in his discussion of the non-conference slate:
"Once again, we have a tough non-conference schedule, but that's what it is all about. We want to play the best because it helps us get better throughout the year and prepares us for conference play."
It is a schedule that will present some challenges. Ohio State looks very strong and the Cards have to tangle with them up there. IU had a 20 win season last year. Teri Moren has turned the Hoosiers around and will have home court advantage against the Cards. South Dakota State went 23-9 last season and advanced to the second round of the WNIT before losing to Colorado in overtime. Vandy and MTSU should be improved over last year and...of course...there's Matty Mitchell and the Cats....probably in Memorial Barnyard again.
We all know what UConn is capable of...
Would I rank it as difficult as last year's non-conference slate? Probably not...you're not facing the eventual National Champions South Carolina nor Maryland...the two squads that dealt the Cards losses in non-conference play. Also gone from last year are WKU (and I do hope they resurface next year) plus Belmont and Chattanooga...a couple more Tennessee schools that held their own with the Cards in 2016-17. With Cam Newbauer gone to Florida, Belmont will have challenges but they do return a strong team.
Also missing in action is South Florida...which is another game I hope will resurface next year. WE will miss not seeing our pal Jose Fernandez (pictured above).
One could argue that you're replacing MD and SC with Ohio St. and UConn...I don't go much for those types of comparisons. I will say that if the Cards do get the 15 non-conference games possible here...they have a good shot at going 13-2. I'll prognosticate that Ohio St. and UConn get wins over the Cards. And that Louisville beats IU and UK on their home hardwood.
I hope I'm wrong about the projected defeats.
All in all, though, it's a schedule that should be fun to watch as the Cards kick off the 2017-18 campaign. Since we haven't had any exhibitions added yet...I'll go with this:
78 days until Louisville women's basketball starts.
SPEAKING OF WOMEN...
|These are your women's coaches at UofL. Can you name them all?|
Here a link to it: https://voice-tribune.com/featured-posts/women-leaders-louisville-athletics/
There is a lot of discussion on Tom Jurich's role in Louisville women's athletics and also the athletic administrators for the women's programs. I think you will find the article quite an interesting read and we'll talk it over on our Saturday morning radio show THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
NEWS, NEWS AND MORE NEWS
This Wednesday it seems we have everything to talk about. Swimming, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Women's Soccer and Volleyball all have things going on. From more awards, to adding players and conference predictions -- today is packed. Let's get to it!
Andrea Cottrell joined Team USA and got a bronze medal in the 100 meter breaststroke in the World Games. Our swimmers continue to show their dominance worldwide. Local swimmer Brooke Forde (Sacred Heart) who will swim for Stanford as a freshman this fall qualified in the 200 meter individual medley in the World University Games. Forde was the Kentucky Female Athlete of the Year and a five-time individual state champion. One that got away from Arthur Albiero but we're proud of her nevertheless.
Cottrell is a world class swimmer that just continues to add credence to the fact that Louisville Swimming is a top ten program nationally and one of the best in the ACC.
Kellie Young has added a pair of graduate transfers to her roster from Furman. Molly Marshall and Hope Herline will have one season at UofL. They helped lead Furman to a 12-7 season last year and started each game
|Lacrosse receives Hope|
Brust, one of the top Lacrosse performers in Louisville history, seems to be gathering her posse and moving them to the Ville.
So far, the Cards scoring has been a balanced affair...with five players posting a goal each in the 2-0 win over Miami (OH) and 3-2 victory against Boston University. Let's hope the KFD troops return home 3-0. IU is 1-1...having defeated Cal Poly and losing to Clemson...both in Bloomington.
On another soccer related note, soccer drums and artificial noisemakers have been approved for Louisville Soccer home games this season. Be on the lookout for drums and the occasional bright red trombone in the supporters section at the east end of stands.
(EDITOR'S NOTE...We at CARDINAL COUPLE assume no responsibility for the quality of or the musical selections that these Louligans will offer...but we bet it'll be fun and look out for the tall guy in glasses!)
From my perspective on the Saturday night Red/Black scrimmage at Cardinal Arena, the Volleyball team looked good. I think it's obvious that they'll improve on last year's record and [Bold prediction alert] I believe that they could creep into the top 25.
They'll get a true test coming up in Wisconsin as part of the BIG10/ACC Challenge this week. Both opponents...Wisconsin and Minnesota are pre-season top 10 ranked and will give Dani a good idea of where her team is at.
The Stick Cards get the regular season underway Friday when IU comes to Louisville. The 2 p.m. game should be a good opening test for Justine Sowry's squad. With a lot of the starters also being returning players, they have the needed experience to take on the toughest conference in college Field Hockey. The ACC pre-season poll was released yesterday and the Cards are ranked fourth. Three Cards made the Conference Selections...Minnie Mink, Ayeshia McFerran and Nicole Woods. Louisville is ranked #9 nationally.
[ Another bold prediction alert] I still stand by my preseason prediction that Minnie Mink will average two goals per game and will buy Paulie, Case and Jeff dinner when she does.
Your move, Minnie.
Have a great Wednesday all and...Go Cards!
( EDITOR NOTE: I'd like to see this wager consisting of if she doesn't get there but free eats are free eats. Can we pick the dining spot? Also...the last time we had a Cardinal Couple dinner...the three writers we had there with Sonja and I eventually quit. Just sayin'...)
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Walz, Durr review Tokyo trip and USA U23 Experience
Who would have figured it wold take Jeff Walz three days to find sushi rolls in Tokyo? What did Asia Durr think of the total experience? What's a 12 hour flight (twice) like? What did coach think of the FIBA based rules for the event?
These were some of the many things Walz and Durr discussed with the media Monday afternoon at the "Little Yum" conference room on Floyd St....shortly before the eclipse.
For Durr, it was an incredible experience start to finish. To be able to compete against the best of the women's college basketball world, to make the squad and get the chance to travel to Japan and soak up the sights and culture...while playing an integral role in the USA's three game sweep during the round-robin affair will be memories she'll never forget. Jet lag? Yes, she is experiencing a bit of it, and....coupled with the first day of classes on the Belknap Campus...she's been going full tilt, non-stop for quite a few days. As she put it, though...she wouldn't have it any other way...it's what she signed up for and why she came to Louisville.
Walz relayed in great detail what he experienced on the trip. You can catch the interview (including the "fake" start) at the bottom of today's column. The three visiting squads shared the same hotel and a common dining facility that featured "Westernized" food...but at night, Coach, his wife and the staff hit the town to check out some of the local cuisine. He found it strange that the restaurants didn't feature sushi rolls...commenting that you can find them on just about any street corner in America but that he didn't find a place that offered them until the third night there. That particular restaurant had a three-hour wait to be seated...so they passed on it and went back the next day for lunch. As it turned out, sushi rolls weren't on the lunch menu.
Temples, shrines and scenic views were all a part of the trip...but the reason they were there was to compete and USA U23 rolled through their three game round-robin undefeated. Walz commented that he thought Asia looked her best in the final game...against Japan. He thought she looked more into the flow of the action -- she was the leading scorer in that win and also in the first game of the tournament.
No trophies or awards were handed out at the completion of play...but Japanese jackets (known as sukijans) were given to the participants. Unfortunately, Walz didn't bring his for us to see.
Coach is also a big fan of the FIBA based rules for games. A shorter shot clock, a timed clock after an offensive rebound and the fact that a coach or player can't stop action with a time-out. The request for one has to be made at the scorer's table and then it is granted at the next stoppage of play.
After it was all over, another 12 hour flight to return stateside. Asia related that there wasn't much to do expect watch movies and sleep but was grateful that the flight wasn't jammed full of people and the seats were spacious.
|Volleyball's Tess Clark is ISO and ready to go!|
Walz invited the media to the second floor balcony in the women's basketball offices to see the eclipse and tour the facilities...I passed on that... but women's hoops got a "heads up" on the men's program...having the southern exposure on their side of the building and a full view of the event. I wonder if Pitino and his staff sauntered over? Would the NCAA investigate this eclipse viewing as extra benefits?
For Cardinal women's basketball on a Monday afternoon, the future is so bright...Coach is wearin' shades.
ASIA AND COACH DISCUSS JAPAN, USA U23 HOOPS