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Saturday, August 18, 2018


More Fall Sports Teams Getting Underway

Thursday marked the true beginning of the fall season for Louisville athletics. As Jared wrote about yesterday, the women's soccer team opened the season with a bang. We'll talk a bit more about that later and plenty more about it on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today, so I'll leave that be. If you haven't read Jared's recap, I recommend doing so. It was a really fun game Thursday night. Though football won't start for another couple of weeks, almost every other sport will be in action this weekend.

Field hockey will be the first to join women's soccer with action on the field. (I know men's soccer had an exhibition where they knocked off highly ranked Indiana, but that was an away exhibition which hardly counts.) The Cards will take on former members of the team in the annual Alumnae Game today at 1PM. Louisville's current players will be led by former All-American and newly named Preseason All-ACC defender, Taylor Stone. Like Stone, Ayeisha McFerran was also awarded as a Preseason All-ACC player, but her status for today's exhibition is unknown as she recovers and reacquaints herself with the team after missing extended time this summer for the Field Hockey World Cup. The Cards will pack up their gear after today's exhibition and head to Columbus, Ohio for a neutral site scrimmage against Michigan tomorrow afternoon.

Men's soccer will open their home book tonight as they take on Evansville in their second exhibition matchup this evening at 5PM. The Cards have the aforementioned victory over Indiana, a 1-0 thriller on the road, so far this preseason. Louisville was picked to finish third in the Atlantic, with no votes for first place in the division. Strangely enough, the Cards did receive one vote to win the overall conference, which would be quite a feat. Ken Lolla's teams should never be discounted and we'll look forward to finding out what he has brought back to Lynn Stadium this season.

Volleyball is the third and final sport in action today as they will host their annual Red and Black Scrimmage in Cardinal Arena tonight at 6PM. We've talked about volleyball at length so far in the leadup to the season and for good reason. In her second season, head coach Dani Busboom-Kelly has lost a bit of talent but returns the bulk of last season's ACC co-championship team. The Cards aren't expected to duplicate their success from last season, which was a dream run, but they should still be quite the formidable squad. The Cards made quite a bit of noise last year and most people will be looking to chalk it up as a fluke. It is on Coach DBK's team to show that their legit. We'll see what the team is working with tonight when they take on themselves.

Mollie Rouse Update

Louisville women's soccer handled Wright State on Thursday. An 8-1 final is nothing to scoff at. However, there is still one unknown about the team as they head into their second match tomorrow against Xavier: What the heck do you do with Mollie Rouse? Rouse is currently with the English U20 Women's National Team in the U20 Women's World Cup in France (just in case you've been living under a rock as far as Cardinal Couple News goes). Yesterday, England defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in the quarterfinals to advance. Mollie did not participate, as she was suspended for one game due to yellow card accumulation. She will likely return to the starting lineup on Monday when the Young Lionesses take on Japan, as she started all three group games and was missed in the midfield yesterday.

With England advancing to the semifinals, they are now guaranteed to play a game next Friday, the 24th, whether it is the final or the third place match. For Louisville, that means Rouse will not return to the team until after that time. She will surely miss the 8/26 match against Michigan, and her status for the 8/31 match against Kentucky is uncertain. Looking at the match against Wright State, it doesn't appear that Rouse will be sorely missed. However, the tape would show differently. One of the areas in which Louisville struggled the most was in the defensive midfield. That just so happens to be where they have an international caliber player waiting to return to the squad. 

"So it's simple," you say, "plug her back into the lineup when she returns." There are some issues that go along with that as well, though. By the time Rouse returns to match fitness for UofL, the Cards will have played at least four, and as many as five, regular season matches on top of the two exhibitions. Rouse has also missed all of preseason training. She is an even better player than she was last year and could contribute greatly, but there is still a lot of team onboarding to be done. 

Additionally, Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes has to wonder if discipline might be an issue. Rouse was one of only two players to receive a pair of yellow cards in the three games of the group stage of the World Cup, but she still has two more games to play in the tournament. Louisville's lone goal against Wright State came on a completely unnecessary foul in the attacking third. The Cards were able to recover from the 1-0 deficit, but they can ill-afford to give up free kicks like that as the season goes on.

I've been impressed with Rouse's performances for England so far in this World Cup tournament, but only time will tell how she contributes to this iteration of the UofL women's soccer team. I'm sure Coach KFD has something in mind for the sophomore from Warwichshire, England, but I'm also sure that none of us will know what that something is for a couple of more weeks.

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The full "A-team" is back in the studio today and there is actually stuff to talk about. With women's soccer getting a head start on the rest of the fall sports, you'll be able to hear me talk in length about my favorite sport, but we'll also have plenty to say about these upcoming exhibition matches for the other fall sports.

Join us this morning at 11 a.m. for the broadcast at WCHQ 100.9 FM.

We'll do our best to keep everything on track, and we look forward to bringing you an hour's worth of the Joy and Excitement of UofL Women's Athletics. Join us on WCHQ FM via FM radio on 100.9, the internet at, your smartphone on the WCHQ App, or via Facebook Live!

Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. Looking forward to your guys broadcast today and the fall season! Go Cards! Beat Purdue! (and everybody else you play)!

    Curtis "Wright State, wrong time" Franklin

  2. UofL Wbb topic Yacine Diop starting or off the bench.


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