Cards Host North Carolina at Cardinal Stadium
It's a Top 20 showdown on Floyd Street. However, this time Louisville lacrosse won't be at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. Instead, the Cards will play their first ever match at in the 65,000-seat Cardinal Stadium. No, I don't think we'll see 65,000 fans but that would be darn cool.
Cardinal Stadium has a way better setup with lighting for night games and the setup for video cameras is quite nice too. Plus, as a photographer, it'll be cool to capture the Cards in a large stadium.
The competition fits the setting as #1 North Carolina is in town. The Tar Heels are 7-0 on the year with five of those victories coming against ranked opponents.
North Carolina has been a dominant force this year and is a heavy favorite to take the title at the end of the year. UNC is averaging 16.71 goals per match (fifth-best in the country) while allowing 5.57 goals per match (third-best in the country). Their closest margin of victory this year was by six goals against Florida. Most recently, UNC is fresh off a 22-1 win over Virginia Tech.
UNC's Taylor Moreno has been the primary goalkeeper, but due to several blowouts she has passed the torch to two of her colleagues for a total of 68:17 in four matches this year. Moreno has allowed 33 goals on 125 attempts for a .593 save percentage.
Jamie Ortega leads the team with 27 goals, which is also good enough for second-best in the country. She sits just one goal behind UC Davis' Sorana Larson. Many of Ortega's goals have come from Katie Hoeg, who has logged 21 assists on the year. Hoeg is also second in the country and also one away from leading the NCAA. Ortega does have 12 assists herself.
We do have to acknowledge Rachel Florek, who has 67 saves on the year, third-best in the country. The senior keeper is tied for 13th in save percentage at .532.
The Cards have had a balanced scoring attacked with Caroline Blalock, Ally Hall, and Hannah Morris having scored 14 goals. Seven other Cards have scored at least two goals.
Draw controls have also been by committee. Megan Mangines has recorded 15 draw controls. Caroline Blalock has 14 and Alex McNicholas has 13. Ashley Osbourne showed a lot of promise as well at the draw in the Marquette contest. .
Now... here's the catch- the weather. Normally lacrosse is able to play in light showers, but the forecast is showing thunderstorms. Personally, I wouldn't want to play with lightning going on if a had a metal pole with a net in my hands, so if we see the match postponed or even potentially moved inside the Trager Practice Facility I wouldn't blame them. Hopefully the weather folks prove to be wrong and we end up with some nice weather tonight.
The match is currently scheduled for 7:00 p.m., on ACC Network. If we hear of any schedule changes we will let you know.
The awards and recognition for Dana Evans continue to roll in. She was named a First Team All-American. Evans joins Angel McCoughtry and Asia Durr as the only Louisville players named to the first team.
Evans is joined by Paige Bueckers (UConn), Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), NaLyssa Smith (Baylor), and Aliyah Boston (South Carolina).
The Second Team All-American squad included Elissa Cunane (NC State), Naz Hillmon (Michigan), Aari McDonald (Arizona), Caitlin Clark (Iowa), and Charli Collier (Texas).
Another in the Cardinal trophy case for the Gary. IN superstar. We laud her performances as a Cardinal and go by the old adage: "Is the best yet to come?"
Cardinal Couple Pick Em
You still have a few more days to get your brackets in. I'm still researching mine so don't stress too much. I do know I have all the 1-seeds and 2-seeds winning their first two games but I haven't gotten much beyond that.
You can enter early to help in the event of a tiebreak or if you need to research more or want to wait to hear of any COVID-19 situations you can hold off for a little while longer.
So far we have four entries in the following order- David Watson, Kenny Schneider, Paulie, Joe Hill. If I missed yours please don't hesitate to reach out so I can get you added! Dave-O's and Joe's are in the comments section from recent days and Paulie posted his pics yesterday.
Kenny emailed his over and they are as follows for those keeping their own tab:
1st Rd: Stanford, Oklahoma State, Missouri State, Arkansas, Oregon, Georgia, Northwestern, Louisville; South Carolina, Oregon State, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Texas, UCLA, North Carolina, Maryland; UConn, Syracuse, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Baylor; NC State, Washington State, Gonzaga, Indiana, Rutgers, Arizona, Iowa State, Texas A&M
2nd Rd: Stanford, Arkansas, Oregon, Louisville; South Carolina, West Virginia, UCLA, Maryland; UConn, Iowa, Tennessee, Baylor; NC State, Indiana, Arizona, Texas A&M
3rd Rd: Stanford, Louisville, South Carolina, Maryland, UConn, Baylor, NC State, Arizona
4th Rd: Stanford, Maryland, UConn, NC State
Finals: Stanford, UConn
Feel free to share your picks in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
You have until Sunday at 11:59 a.m., ET. Good luck!
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!