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Saturday, August 5, 2023

Louisville WSOC Kicks Off Fall Calendar -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Head to Miami (OH) for Sunday Exhibition

Louisville women's soccer will get the fall season underway for Cardinal Athletics when they take on the Redhawks of Miami University tomorrow at 2PM. As we discussed last week, there isn't likely to be much in the way of coverage on this game, so we'll have to do our best to pick out what we can from various sources. We'll work to bring you as much on the action as we can.

Let's take a look at tomorrow's game from a historical perspective, though. Louisville, as we've discussed at length, is turning over a new roster (for the most part) as they look to improve upon a 6-8-2 mark from last season. The Cards were one of the teams that, a bit surprisingly, didn't see a major uptick in draws with the rule change. Louisville had a pair of 0-0 draws to close out the non-conference slate (at JMU and home against Indiana), but every game the Cards played in which a goal was scored saw a result, one way or the other. Louisville's 13 goals in the season were front loaded, with eight coming in their first four regular season games. It's tough to pull out draws if you can't score, and the Cards suffered only two of their eight losses by more than two goals. On the flip side, Louisville's three conference wins were all only 1-0 victories.

Enough about that. The Cards and Redhawks didn't play last season. In fact, they've not played since 2017. That 2017 game was part of an ok season that disappointed after a relatively hot start. Louisville went 6-2 in non-conference play, beating IU and UK on the road while losing to Purdue and Marquette at home. The real indicator should have been the 3-2 victory they escaped with in the opener against Boston University. The Cards' woes were compounded by another Boston school when they dropped the conference opener at Boston College. Louisville went just 3-5-2 in conference, missing the ACC tournament with a 2-1 loss at NC State after struggling for a point in a home draw against Wake Forest and stealing a point on the road at UNC in the two games prior. 

Before all of that (except the BU game) Louisville won the game against Miami (OH) 2-0 to take a series lead at 6-5. The Cards first played Miami in 1997, dropping the first game 1-0. The two teams are pretty evenly split, with both teams winning three road games and Louisville holding a 3-2 advantage in victories at home. Both the biggest win (3-0) and the smallest win (3-2) for Louisville have come in Oxford. That said, Louisville also has a 3-0 win (2005) and a 1-0 win (2009) at home. Emina Ekic and Gabby Kouzelos were both in their debut seasons for Louisville in 2017 after Kouzelos redshirted in 2016 and Ekic joined as a true freshman. Ekic had two shots on goal in 48 minutes in the Miami game. Gabi Vincent and Alison Price both played all 90 minutes and scored for Louisville. 

In 2022, Miami slumped a bit early after starting with a 0-0 draw against Austin Peay. They won on the road at Loyola Chicago 1-0 before dropping their next two against Wright State and Purdue. The Redhawks closed out their non-conference slate, though, with three straight wins. Two of those were on the road, with one coming in Louisville against Bellarmine. 

Miami ultimately finished the season 9-5-6, a fair shout better than Louisville. The competition was different, to be sure, but Miami was able to capitalize on the new overtime rule and finish more games tied than behind. Whether you agree with games ending in draws or not, I think we can agree that, since they exist, finishing tied is better than losing. Miami advanced to the MAC tournament after finishing the regular season 8-4-6, but they had to play their first two games on the road. After a 1-0 win against Ohio, they lost their rematch (0-0 tie in the regular season) against Buffalo 1-0. I wouldn't want to play in Buffalo, New York on November 3rd, so more power to them.

Miami Athletics: Makenna Morrison scored five
goals and added an assist as a sophomore in '22.
Despite the number of overall draws, Miami scored 21 goals last year, with 20 coming in the regular season. Only three of their six draws were scoreless, and five of their 20 goals came in games which did not see a winner. Miami also only gave up 14 goals, with 13 coming before the MAC tournament. Although the Redhawks are replacing all 1800 goalkeeper minutes from last season, they return their top five points earners and nine of their twelve points earners overall. The top five accounted for 75% of the team's 58 total points and 11 of their 21 goals. It is safe to say that Louisville's new look defense may have their hands full.

Regardless of tomorrow's outcome, it's exciting to be talking about games for Louisville women's athletics again. The summer, while it can seem so long in the midst of it, really flies by once you reflect on it at the end. We'll see what the women's soccer team can do with their spot at the front of the schedule before other teams get underway shortly after.

No Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

For various reasons (vacation, event travel, work), the majority of the crew is out this week. Let's look at it as the calm before the storm, as it should be our last week off from the show for quite some time as the seasons get underway. We'll be back in your feeds next week, barring something unforeseen.

Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Gotta believe SOMEONE is covering women's soccer tomorrow. You tube or somewhere.

    Nick O


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