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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Baseball and Soccer

it's not often that we get to talk about a diamond sport and soccer in the same articles, seeing as we're a UofL focused site, and baseball and soccer at the college level are in opposite seasons.  Today, though, we have both UofL Baseball playing the College World Series and the US Women's National Team in action in the Women's World Cup.  OK, neither are perfectly on point for the Cardinal Couple mission, but we do stray off the side where interest and significance warrants, so let's do this.

Women's World Cup

2 matches today in the Women's World Cup.  both in Group F.  Sweden is starting off the day against Thailand.  At the time of this writing, the game is 23 minutes in and Sweden leads 2-0.  The US will match up against Chile at noon eastern time (EDT).

The US played Thailand on Tuesday, and won convincingly, 13-0.  Thailand qualified for the World Cup.  That means they are a good team in the overall context of the world stage, as only 24 teams qualify, but in the context of the World Cup competition...yeah, ok, they're not great.  After the game there was some punditry and commentary about whether the US should've let up on the gas, put in substitutes, or not celebrated goals after a certain point.

Hogwash (and I'm doing my best to resist using stronger language, here).

They're playing in the World Cup.  This is the most prestigious soccer competition around (yes, even surpassing the Olympics, in my estimation).  Any team that is playing in the World Cup, is a world class team, pretty much by definition.  Goals scored are things to be celebrated.  Goal differential is a thing that can, and frequently does, matter for advancing and seeding in the knock-out round.  Put in the subs?  Doesn't matter too much on this deep US team, and besides, you can only substitute 3 times in International soccer.  Goals are hard to achieve in soccer.  Celebrate away!

So, back to today's matchup.  Chile played Sweden on Tuesday and lost 2-0.  The US should come out on top of this one, but again, this is the World Cup, there are no bad teams, here.  The World Cup history is replete with plenty of big upsets over the years.  The US will need to come out and play the game that they know they're capable, don't listen to the sexist punditry saying they shouldn't play their hardest, and play their best through the last echo of the last whistle.

All Women's World Cup games are televised on Fox Sports.

College World Series

Now let's come back to UofL sports, though we'll need to switch over to the guys side of things.

Baseball starts their College World Series campaign today at 2 eastern (EDT), and will be matched up against a familiar, and always challenging, foe in Vanderbilt.

The CWS is structured as 2 parallel 4-team double-elimination tournaments, the winner from each of those double-elimination tournament then plays a best of 3 series to determine the final champion.  Softball has much the same structure, but they have a "crossover" where the loser of the 1-0 game in each bracket crosses over to the elimination side of the opposite bracket.  Baseball doesn't have that feature (and I do consider it a feature as it gives a little bit more mixing up of the teams than the baseball format that lacks the crossover), so for near future, UofL only has to worry about the other teams their 4 team bracket.

Interestingly, all 3 other teams in Louisville's half of the CWS bracket are SEC teams, with Auburn and Mississippi State joining Vanderbilt as the potential opponents.

From the other 4-team bracket, the potential championship series opponents are Texas Tech, Michigan, Arkansas, and Florida State.  Florida State has been playing very well of late, as a sort of grand farewell tour for their coach who is retiring after the season, so there's a very real chance of an all-ACC championship series.  The CWS did kick off, overall, yesterday with a Florida State win over Arkansas, and Michigan over Texas Tech.

Back to today, Louisville and Vanderbilt have a long history of entertaining and competitive games, including a number of games in NCAA Regionals, a Super Regional, and even at the College World Series (Vanderbilt won, on the way to winning the whole event).  The oak barrel, the trophy for the matchup between the two teams, currently resides in Nashville with Vanderbilt after they beat the Cards 6-2 earlier in the season.  The barrel is not on the line for post season games between the teams, so regardless of the outcome, it will remain in Nashville until next spring when the teams meet up in the regular season again.  The Barrel rivalry began in 2012, and the series is currently evenly split at 4 wins apiece.  In the full history of the teams, which goes back to 1971, Vanderbilt leads 24-10.

Today's game is available on ESPN.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The quiz slump is real!

Paulie, Case, Jared, and myself were in the studio yesterday and the usual hilarity ensued.  We talked
about Asia "Nite-nite" Durr's 20 point WNBA performance, the Women's World Cup, and plenty of other random topics.

Paulie brought a mixed bag of questions for the Cardinal Couple quiz, on the theme of coaches, where some were (at least in my opinion) easy, and some got a bit tricky.  Jared came away with the one-eared toothpick holding bear, with toothpicks, trophy.  See if you can beat him.

As usual, the stream is available on Facebook Live:

Happy Fathers Day ! 

From all of us at CARDINAL COUPLE to all of you Dads out there...HAPPY FATHERS DAY. This is your day, so we hope you have the chance to spend it in the way you choose.

If you're Dad is still living, be sure to do something special for him today. Even a phone call or visit for lunch and conversation.

Remember, it "took two to make you" -- so give a bit of acknowledgement to the guy who taught you how to put the chain back on your bicycle, stood patiently across from you while you tried to toss the ball in his glove, gave up that weekend morning of golf to make sure you got to (fill in the sport or activity) practice and offered advice when you were uncertain or listened when you had something you needed to discuss. The guy who played with you and your siblings in the yard and responded so sagely when Mom yelled "You're tearing up the lawn!" with the reply "No we're not. We're raising kids."


1 comment:

  1. Tough loss but still alive. Go Cards

    Curtis "Calls them as he sees them" Franklin


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