Friday, August 31, 2018
First 2018-19 Battle of the Bluegrass Tonight -- Volleyball in Florida -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY FACE OFF IN WOMEN'S SOCCER
There will be 16 events between Louisville and Kentucky in the 2018-19 schedule for Louisville Athletics. 14 sports go head-to-head, with Softball and Baseball meeting twice. 8 on the men's side, 8 on the women's side.
The first "Battle of the Bluegrass" takes place tonight in Louisville's Lynn Stadium...when the Cards and Cats take to the pitch at 5:30 p.m.
Tonight's contest is part of a soccer double-header at Lynn, with Louisville Men's Soccer facing St. Louis after the women's game. The match has been designated a "Red Out", so make sure you're sporting your red Cardinal gear if you go. (Unless you're a Cat Fan, of course).
Karen Ferguson Dayes and her Cards come in unblemished after four matches this year. Louisville has earned wins over Wright State, Xavier, at Dayton and at Michigan so far in August. Brooklynn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett lead UofL in scoring with three goals each.
- Rivers' scoring came in one game, when she pulled off the hat-trick against Michigan. The Cards have scored 14 goals in their four wins, while allowing just three to be scored against them.
UK enters Lynn with a 3-1 record. They recently fell against Wisconsin in Lexington and have gained victories over Morehead, SIUE and Arkansas-Little Rock. Kentucky was pushed to overtime in the Morehead and Arkansas-Little Rock wins. The Cats are led in scoring by Yuuka Kurosaki and Hollie Olding...who have three goals each on the season.
Last year, Louisville visited Lexington and came home with a 3-1 win in rainy Bell Soccer Complex. It broke a six-game UK winning streak over Louisville women's soccer.
Keys to a Cardinal win tonight? We'll look at three things in Paulie's Pre-Game Primer.
1) Shutting the door. Louisville's defensive middle of "Gabby squared"...keeper Gabby Kouzelos and Gabrielle Vincent have proven to be a tough task for offenses to overcome so far this season. They'll need to stay strong on the stops to ensure the Cards outscore the Cats. Freshman Sarah Hernandez and Arianna Ferraro have also helped build that impenetrable wall by the net and continued success from those two will be needed if the Cards are to push the win streak to two against Big Blue.
2) Flying Freshmen. The Cards have received a pleasant burst of efficiency and scoring from their freshmen this season. In addition to Whitsett's three scores, Delaney Snyder has found net success twice. UofL has also gotten valuable contributing minutes from first-year student-athletes Anna Henderson, Amari Hopkins and Morgan Jackson . Anything the freshman can contribute tonight will only boost UofL's win chances.
3) Ekic Energy. The scintillating sophomore Emina Ekic has two goals on the season and had two goals against Kentucky last year. She's a marvel and joy to watch on the pitch and seemingly fully recovered from the ACL that ended her season in 2017. A midfielder from Louisville Manual High School, Ekic knows one speed -- full throttle. We would like to see her duplicate her scoring total from last year against UK. Know this -- a good Ekic performance tonight is essential for a Louisville victory.
This one will be available on the ACC Network Extra and ESPN + at 5:30 if you can't get out for it. There is a 40% chance of rain and temperature is expected to top out at 90.
Good ol' muggy Louisville weather, right?
VOLLEYBALL FACES UCF IN FRIDAY FLORIDA ACTION
Moving on to a different type of net and different player personnel, Dani Busboom Kelly takes her Louisville Volleyball squad to Gainesville, FL for action in the Bubly Tournament...hosted by the University of Florida. No pre-game tailgating for the Louisville/Alabama football game for these set and serve stars...they'll be involved in three games in three days and start it off against an Orlando squad and former conference foe in Central Florida.
Jared Anderson gave you a great preview of all three matches in the Thursday CARDINAL COUPLE and I encourage you to check out his article. He's down in Orlando, doing whatever Jared and Katy do, but it's rumored he'll be tweeting and taking phone pics. Follow him at @MrAndersonJared.
The Cards found net success in their season opening Cardinal Classic tournament with convincing wins over Tennessee Martin, Southern Illinois and IUPUI...sweeping the three game round robin.
Louisville's offense, so far, has been led by Amanda Green and Melanie McHenry. They lead the Cards in kills with 28 and 26 respectively. Senior Molly Sauer stands out for the defense with 40 digs. She was also the Cardinal Classic MVP and joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Jasmine Bennett and Wilma Rivera.
The competition goes up a few notches this weekend, starting with UCF. They began their season with two wins and a loss in the Sunshine State Challenge....downing Florida Gulf Coast and Florida Atlantic but falling to ACC opponent Miami.
MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE...PLUS THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.
We'll have more on the other two opponents (Florida on Saturday and Southern California on Sunday) as those matches draw closer. Viewing for UCF today is allegedly available at the link below:
The listing at the link, though, shows the match will take place Sunday at 1 p.m., which is incorrect, according to what we've heard. The Golden Knights and Cards are scheduled for a either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. start (once again, two sources, two different game times listed).
You can also supposedly follow action at the stats link below...I tested it, however, this morning and I got a "not valid URL" message :
We'll have a recap of the opener in Florida for you regardless of time and stat availability, though, here in the Saturday Cardinal Couple column and we'll also recap it on Saturday morning's broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and Facebook Live. No mystery or intrigue there, as far as we know.
We'll have Ky. Women Talk Sports co-host Daryl Foust joining Worldwide Jeff McAdams and I for the broadcast along with River City Cards managing editor Mike Gilpatrick. It should be a legendary show...don't miss it!