STRONG FIRST HALF SENDS WSOC CARDS BY UIC 3-0
A convincing, shutout win to start the 2022 Louisville women's soccer regular season.
Louisville women's soccer scored twice in the first eight minutes of play and added a third sore before the half ended to hold a comfortable lead over the UIC Flames Thursday night in Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium on the UofL campus. Coming out with an aggressive attack, the Cards got an unassisted goal from freshman Karsyn Cherry with just 6:20 played. Cherry corralled a deflected shot and sent the rebound into the net.
I barely had time to tweet out the score when the Cards struck again. It was grad student/athlete Maisie Whitsett performing the honors for the second score...a nice unassisted put-back into the Flames net at the 8:38 mark. It was 2-0 Cards and, strangely enough, it was those same two who did the scoring in the Cards 2-0 exhibition win last Friday night over Cincinnati.
Louisville would go on to pick up another goal in the first half, this time it was grad student-athlete Autumn Weeks (a transfer from IUPUI) with ten minutes remaining in the first half. Weeks goal was assisted by Whitsett.
The Cards took the 3-0 advantage into the halftime locker room, and had held the visitors to just one shot in the first half and no shots on goal. Erryn Floyd drew the start in goal for UofL and she and defenders Anouk Denton, Sarah Hernandez and Karsyn Cherry were keeping the Flames out of any significant offensive attack or pattern.
The Cards had 11 first half shots, four on goal.
We figured there would be a pretty large amount of Louisville substitutions in the final 45 minutes, but Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson Dayes only went six deep into the bench and did not alternate out goalkeeper Floyd at all.
The Cards defense looked just as sharp in the second half, allowing just one shot again and no shots on goal but the offensive attack failed to produce any Louisville scores in the second half. Louisville had their chances with seven shots and three of them on goal, but nothing found the net for Louisville.
The Flames did have three goalie saves in the second half, as goalkeeper Lauren Keiser replaced first half goalkeeper Sara Sanabria. (I did check,and Sara is not related to former Louisville softball infielder Tiarra Sanabria)
It's always good to win the season opener and to get a shutout in the process, but, you could tell the crowed was anticipating a little more offense and scoring from Louisville in the second half. One thing that definitely hurt the Cards was a total of eight off-sides calls from the referees, seven of them in the second half. We have bragged about Louisville's increased speed this season, and it just might have needed to be held in check in the second half.
Still, a win in front of an appreciative and loud crowd of about 400 is always a great way to start the season. Especially in the way Louisville did it -- establishing dominance early and keeping the opponents offense quiet and unproductive for the entirety of the match. The night's goal was to "win in Lynn" and Louisville did that, convincingly.
The Cards will face #24 Xavier next Thursday at Lynn -- a Musketeers squad that shut out visiting WKU Thursday night 1-0 and comes off a 16-3-1 season in 2021., losing to Milwaukee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
We caught up with Coach and Maisie after the win: We even got a train to come by and show appreciation for the win. The music? yeah, a distraction after the game, but it's early in the season, we'll work on eliminating that post-game deterrent for interviews.
(photos and post-game video recording by Jared Anderson)