FIELD HOCKEY, WOMEN'S SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL ALL FALL ON ROAD
It's rare that we see all three of the major UofL fall sports playing on a Sunday and rarer still that all three are out of town. Add in losses for all and you have an afternoon that makes it hard for us to live up to our mission statement "the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports".
The Shirelles released a song back in 1961 called "Mama Said (There'd Be Days Like This)" and it rang true for UofL women's athletes...some 61 years later.
Louisville Field Hockey got the Sunday action started at the rather irregular, non-tournament time of 11 a.m. in Ithaca, NY. You take your chances on ESPN + broadcasts and this one had a decent video feed but the audio clarity of two kids on discounted walkie-talkies. I mean, seriously, you're an Ivy League school and I bet there's a nickel or two floating around there. Get a sound broadcast system that works.
A quick score from "Big Red" in the fifth minute when Cornell was awarded a penalty corner and connected. It would be, ultimately, the only goal the Ivy League school would need in this one. They did add an insurance goal with 3:22 left in the contest.
It was a contest where the Cards had the edge in most of the offensive stats. Louisville had a 11 to 6 advantage in shots and a 8 to 5 shots on goal edge. Cornell goalkeeper Aerin Park had seven saves for Cornell and the Cards had a pretty sizable edge in offensive time of possession. None of that really matters much, though, when you lose the most important offensive stat -- goals scored.
Louisville drops to 12-5 on the season and it's hard to see them remaining in the top ten after a disastrous weekend in New York.
The loss is the first of the season to a non-conference for for the Cards. The Cards end the regular season on Friday when #21 Boston College comes to Trager for a 1 p.m. start. The Cards are sixth in the ACC standings and a win could lift them to a tie for fifth with Boston College and a ACC Tournament first round match vs Virginia in the ACC Tournament.
Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad was in action next, with a 1 p.m. match in Durham, NC vs. #10 Duke.
Louisville kept the Blue Devils out of the scoring column for the first 41 minutes of the first half, but looking at the stats totals, it was an 11-1 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes for the home squad.
The old sports adage off "you can't score if you don't get shots off" was quite accurate Sunday afternoon. Louisville attempted just three shots in 90 minutes and none of then were on goal.
A scary few moments to start the contest when Cards Sarah Hernandez took a hard shot to the head from a kicked ball during the first three minutes of the match and was down...motionless... on the turf for quite some time before she was escorted to the sidelines.
Duke would add three more goals in the second half. Freshman Cardinals goalkeeper Erryn Floyd did have a season-high eight saves, but the Cards fall to 6-7-2 on the season and 3-6-0 in the ACC.
The loss knocks the Cards out of the post-season, six-team ACC Tournament and, in all probability the NCAA Tournament. . UofL will close the season out hosting #2 UNC Thursday night at 6 p.m. in Lynn. Stadium. It'll be senior recognition night for Cards Sarah Hernandez, Patricia Ward, Ravin Alexander, Autumn Weeks, Corinne Dente and Maisie Whitsett.
The Cards wide-net crew spent Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh for a #2 vs #8 ACC match for first place in the conference.
The way this one started out, you had to wonder just who was impersonating Cardinals Volleyballers. It's the worst the Cards have looked this season in the first half of a match and the 25-15, 25-13 spanking by the Panthers was tough to watch. The less said about that, the better.
Eventually, good teams will sometimes rally after something as horrid as this and show a little pride and determination. .And the Cards came out in the third set and battled bravely against the Pitt squad. after falling behind 15-10. Louisville went on a 10-5 run that tied the contest at 20-20 and the capacity crowd in Pitt's Fitzgerald Fieldhouse got quiet. The Cards took a 23-22 lead and won the set 27-25. Nena Mbonu had a quality set for the Cards to keep them playing and avoiding a sweep.
The Cardinals jumped out to a four-point lead early in the fourth set but Pitt rallied to tie it at 10-all. Louisville held 18-16 lead before breaking the end of the set wide open with a 7-3 run, finished by a PK Kong block and Chaussee kill...for a 25-19 set win. The Cards were the squad with momentum now.
Pitt pounded the Cards early in the deciding set, with the first four points and a 7-3 lead. Louisville battled right back, though and held a 10-9 edge after a Mbonu kill. Pitt gained the momentum after that, though, and eked out a 13-11 lead. Two kills from Pitt's Courtney Buzzerio shut down Louisville and Pitt took the deciding set 15-12.
An interesting day for the Cards squads on the road on Sunday. No doubt they'll be happy to return to Floyd Street and get back to winning ways. Not every contest can be a UofL win, we all realize that, and -- maybe, just maybe -- the defeats will spur them on to strong finishes to their seasons and long runs in the NCAA Field Hockey and Volleyball Championships.