CARDS WSOC PICK UP GOALKEEPER FROM OLE MISS
One of the things we like to watch closely in these months where there are no games or matches going on is player movement. Especially student-athletes that are joining the Cards. It can be very beneficial to a squad -- imagine WBB without Emily Engstler last season or Softball without Carmyn Greenwood....both transfers-in -- who not only made the Cards better but improved their games and got into the "pros" after their collegiate eligibility was done.
The Louisville women's soccer squad said "Goodbye" to five year starter Gabby Kouzelos at the end of the 2021 season and a lot of us wondered who would replace the 85-game starter in goal service. I remember thinking that it was going to be strange, .not hearing Gabby's chatter between the poles or not seeing #1 flying through the air to stop goal attempts and deflect shots.
Besides being a top notch goalie she was also a great and genuine person to have an after-game chat with or just congratulate on the effort. When I'd cover home soccer games, Jared would ask me who I'd want a picture of and I'd always say..."an action shot of Gabby." We've ran plenty of those here at the ol' Cardinal Couple over the past five years, for sure. Your goalkeeper is the defensive captain of a squad and, as it has been said many before..everyone plays defense on the soccer pitch.
We also wondered who would replace Gabby. Going in to 2022, there is Olivia Pratapas on the roster and we had heard about freshman Erron Floyd joining the roster in 2022. The news broke yesterday that a third goalkeeper would be joining the Cards WSOC team when it was announced Alyssa Zalac was transferring in from Ole Miss.
Zalac was listed as a freshman on the 2021 Ole Miss roster but did not see any time at goalkeeper. She is out of Montreal, Canada was named the best goalkeeper in Quebec in 2018. She has extensive experience in playing on Canadian National teams at the U15 and U17 levels, too, and she was also at Vanier College in Montreal but the squad did not compete in the 2020 season because of COVID.
Impressive words from Louisville head soccer coach Karen Ferguson Dayes about Zalac:
"We are thrilled to have a goalkeeper of Alyssa's caliber join our goalkeeping corps. She is a very good shot stopper and excellent with her feet. We are excited to have her at Louisville."
It's hard to say "goodbye" to someone like Gabby and it'll take me a little time to get used to not seeing #1 defending those pipes and shouting out to defenders Anouk Denton and Sarah Hernandez. But, we all look forward to see who emerges as the Cards new "gal between the pipes" for the 2022 season. The battle should be an intense one, just as it was five years ago when Gabby won the job.
And it's only 60 days until the season starts...