After a shaky 0-2 start in the Centennial State, the Cards returned home to win four straight before dropping a match to the #1 team in the country. The losses to now-#11 Denver and #1 Boston College aren't too concerning. The Cards fell in overtime to a now-#23 Colorado, but had ample chances to win the game.
Louisville cruised by Marquette, Central Michigan, and Butler. They also earned their second ever ACC win with a 14-11 victory over Virginia Tech. All of the wins have been impressive and promising.
At 4-3 on the year and 1-1 in conference play, Louisville looks good to pretty decent to start the year.
#2 North Carolina and #7 Duke are both looming nearby in the schedule with a subpar Cincinnati trip this week beforehand. Assuming Louisville has no issues rolling past Cincinnati, we hope to see Louisville get a conference win against one of the two Top 10 ACC teams.
Hannah Morris and Nicole Perroni have been the go-to scorers on this team with year, scoring 24 and 20 goals, respectively. 14 other Cardinals have recorded between 1-14 goals on the year, showing that this team has plenty of offensive depth.
Coach Teeter has emphasized the importance of defense in recent years and has mentioned that it would be a primary focus this year. UofL has held three teams below the double-digit goal mark this year and Virginia Tech managed only 11 goals against the Cards.
Sophomore Sara Addeche and freshman J Pleck have split time in the goalkeeper role this year. They have a combined 12.34 goals against average and 53 saves. The lack of experience hasn't stopped the duo from stepping up to the plate. As they see more in-game action, I expect them to continue to get better.
Although an ACC title and NCAA Championship seem unlikely, Louisville has a great chance to climb into the Top 25 by the end of the season and should be dancing when May rolls around. 29 teams are selected for the D1 NCAA Lacrosse Championships, 16 conference champions get automatic bids.
After a five-game stint at Ulmer Stadium last weekend, we finally got a chance to see Louisville softball in action. The name of the game for the Cards this season is development.
All six freshmen on the roster have had an immediate impact. Two sophomores have also been involved fairly heavily too. Coach Aprile and Co. will continue to develop these younger players so they can adjust to the collegiate level of play. Two of those younger players have recorded a home run and another was inches shy of a home run over the weekend, showing pure strength.
On the other side of the roster, we see four graduate students and two seniors being involved in the game. Of those six, three have transferred in or come off serious injury in the past year.
UofL had a great start to the season, going 4-1 in Florida. A 3-2 weekend the next weekend kept the Cards above .500 at 7-3. They then upset Arkansas in one game of their three-game series before suffering a disappointing loss at Miami (OH). Dropping both games on Friday dropped Louisville to an 8-8 record before winning three straight moved them to 11-8.
Louisville is 1-4 against ranked opponents this season. Unfortunately, they have also suffered a couple losses that should've been easy wins against Miami and Hofstra.
With a young team and plenty of new faces for the Cardinal Nine, it's expected that it will take some time to mesh and for players to find a groove.
Taylor Roby has been the leader of a four-person pitching rotation including Chardonnay Harris, Gabby Holloway, and Sam Booe. Their combined ERA of 4.12 isn't great, but has improved over the last few games.
Offensively, the .280 team batting average is substantially higher than that of last season. Roby and Kendall Smith each have six home runs and Carmyn Greenwood has five to lead a team of six players with a "Touch-Em-All" this year. Eight Cards are in double-figures in hits, led by Greenwood's 25. Five Cards are batting above .300 on the year, which is a promising sign.
As of right now, Louisville has some work to do to make the NCAA Tournament, but it's entirely possible. They'll need some help and may need to get some upset wins over ranked teams like Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Kentucky.
Softball returns to action on Thursday when they face Valparaiso at Ulmer Stadium.
(SOFTBALL AND LACROSSE PHOTOS FROM JARED ANDERSON)
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!