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Monday, July 25, 2022

17 Days Until WSOC starts 2022 season -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



With Louisville women's soccer being the first of the women's sports squads going into game/match action for the Fall 2022 season (an exhibition at Lynn Stadium on Friday, Aug 12th at 7:30 p.m. against the Cincinnati Bearcats) let's take a look at what we can expect from Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad. UC will come into the contest with an exhibition under their belt -- at Butler in Indianapolis on Aug 7th. The Bearcats went 7-7-3 in 2021. They play in the AAC and were 2-4-2 in conference play. They did face one ACC foe in 2021 and won, beating visiting Virginia Tech

Here are some questions about the team and season. 


WSOC will miss Gabby between the pipes. 

2021 goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos has graduated. The Cards list two goalkeepers on the 2022 roster -- redshirt freshman Olivia Pratapus and true freshman Erynn Flynn ---and neither has played in a collegiate match. It'll be interesting to see who wins this battle and also interesting to see how Ferguson-Dayes uses them. Splitting time on the pitch is a possibility (like we saw with Field Hockey in 2021). Pratapus has the advantage of watching Gabby for a season and practicing against college competition.


Out of the 12 goal scorers in 2021, seven return, and that includes Emma Hiscock, who tied for most goals in 2021 with four,  With 18 freshmen and sophomores and two transfers on a 30 player roster,  the Cards may look to returning forward Corrine Dente, who returns after sitting out most of 2020 and all of 2021 after suffering a knee injury in the 2020 season opener against Miami. Veterans Maisie Whitsett, Savina Zamborini and Ravin Alexander are all experienced front liners who also might have success finding the net.  


The sophomore English defender looks to be a great one after her successful 2021 debut for the Cards. Who will be see back there with her? I guess a lot of the answer there depends on what formation Coach Ferguson-Dayes goes with.  Sarah Hernandez is an obvious choice, the graduate student has started every game since she arrived on campus in 2018. Madison  (Maddy) Ellsworth, a red-shirt senior from Oregon State, was a starter there and that experience will pay dividends instantly. Hadley Snyder, a freshman from Assumption, was a first-team All-State selection last year. 

The Cards finished 11th out of 14 ACC teams last season (Georgia Tech does not field a team). Can they better that in 2022? The league has belonged to Florida State and North Carolina the last 10 years, with Virginia breaking that trend in 2021. It would be quite the accomplishment for UofL to climb into the top six of the league this season, the three mentioned should be loaded again, and Duke, Wake Forest and Clemson are year in and year out over .500 in winning percentage squads. 

The Cards were 7-7-2 (3-6-1) in the ACC in 2021 and lost four games by just one goal in 2021.. They did lose five of their last six and scored only four goals in those games. . 

We'll see what Case's thoughts are when he returns to the pages in a few days. 


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