STRONG SECOND HALF SENDS CARDS PAST ORANGE 3-0
Maybe Louisville head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes summed it up the best when she described yesterday's 3-0 win over Syracuse as "a tale of two halves". The Cards and Orange battled through a first half where neither team scored, but, Louisville registered three goals in a ten-minute stretch early in the second half en route to their second victory of the 2020 season.
If anything, Syracuse showed more offense than the Cards in the first 45 minutes of the match. They attempted seven shots, four of them on goal against UofL goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos, but the red-shirt senior was brilliant in the net and turned away all four attempts. The Cards offense wasn't running on high-octane yet...with six shots and none on Syracuse goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx. The teams went to the half-time locker room searching for scoring success. Louisville had a 59% to 41% edge in ball possession stats in the first half.
Louisville took the need-to-score challenge to heart and did it quickly in the second half. With just three minutes played in the final 45 minutes, sophomore forward Jessica De Filppo, who did not play in the first half, found the ball on a Cards corner attempt and sent it past the Syracuse defense for the contest's first goal.
Louisville's defensive pressure was much improved in the second half and getting the ball back to the Cards and that was paying dividends. Just two minutes later, Delaney Snyder took the ball into the box and found Emina Ekic with a cross. Ekic, the Cards leading scored, dribbled the pass into scoring position and drove it past Proulx for Louisville's second score.
It was Ekic again for the Cards final goal, taking a Snyder pass and driving into the box for her second goal of the game...putting UofL ahead 3-0 with 31 minutes left in the half. The Cards were able to get plenty of shots off in the remainder second half, outshooting the Orange 19-4 over the final 45 minutes and maintained the offensive and defensive intensity the rest of the way.
We were able to catch up with Coach Ferguson-Dayes via phone (that's the way it is these days, no media on the field except for photographers and television camera guys) and discussed the win. You can hear her post-game comments at the link below:
The Cards are now 2-1, Syracuse 0-2 for 2020. Louisville brings in Boston College Sunday for a noon match.
In other ACC WSOC action:
-- In a battle of unbeaten squads, North Carolina remained undefeated at 4-0 with a 2-0 win over Clemson (2-1).
-- Florida State picked up a road win at Virginia Tech 4-0. The Seminoles are 3-0 now and Tech drops to 0-2
-- Home-standing Notre Dame (2-1) took a 2-0 win over Boston College (0-1).
-- Wake Forest got their first win of the season with a 1-0 win over visiting Miami (0-4).
-- Virginia gave Pitt their first loss of the season with a 2-1 win over the visiting Panthers in overtime.
LOUISVILLE FIELD HOCKEY HOSTS UNC TODAY
#1 in the nation comes to town today, when North Carolina Field Hockey faces Louisville at 4:30 this afternoon at Trager Stadium.
The Tar Heels (1-0) haven't played in 12 days, but began their 2020 campaign with a 3-1 win at Wake Forest. UNC has won their last 47 games (let that sink in) but faces a challenging weekend where they'll play Louisville today, bus back to Chapel Hill and take on Duke in Durham at noon Sunday.
Louisville (2-0) comes into the contest after two win over Duke last weekend at Trager. The Cards look to upset the powerhouse North Carolina squad...the Cards have scored six goals this season, while allowing just one.
This match will be on the ACC Network and we'll have full coverage of the match in the Saturday Cardinal Couple column. Follow Paulie's tweets from the match (@cardinalcouple) as Louisville looks to pull off the upset.
(Maybe the Cards Volleyball squad flying to Boston in the picture above?)
As far as we know, Louisville Volleyball is still scheduled to take on Boston College tonight in Chestnut Hill for a 7:30 p.m. match. ACCNX will have the contest on-line. If that changes, we'll update the status here on the site.
The Cards (0-1) had to cancel their second match against Notre Dame last week due to COVID-19 concerns, but-- hopefully -- are all well and ready to participate in their first road matches of the 2020 schedule. Tonight's match will be the first of the season for the Eagles.
(Special thanks to Jared Anderson for the photos from yesterday's women's soccer match!)