We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Juneau BIG EAST Golfer of the year, Bria Smith news, Rowing ready for BIG EAST.


Anna-Karin Ljungstorm joined Juneau
and Laura Anderson on the All-
BIG EAST first team.
-Sara-Maude named BIG EAST Golfer of the Year

-Bria Smith gets a visit from Sherry Coale

-Louisville rowing ready for BIG EAST Championships

Louisville senior Sara-Maude Juneau earned her second straight BIG EAST Player of the Year honor, announced by the conference office on Friday. Fellow senior Laura Anderson and sophomore Anna-Karin Ljungstrom joined her on the All-BIG EAST team.

Juneau led the BIG EAST with a 73.15 scoring average and was ranked #19 in the country. She participated in nine tournament this year...winning the Irish Invitational and gathering five top five finishes.

Anderson made the All-BIG EAST team for the fourth straight year.
She was third on the team in stroke average. She had three top twenty finishes this season and one in the top ten.

Anna-Karin Ljungstrom gathers her second straight BIG EAST honor. She had two top five finishes on the links and came in second in the BIG EAST Championships...losing in a sudden death playoff.

The Cards will participate in the NCAA Championships, ranked #13 in the East Regional. They tee it up beginning Friday, May 5th.


Sherry Coale, head coach at Oklahoma, made a surprise visit to Bria Smith's Christ the King high school on Thursday. Coale got a talk in with head coach Bob Mackey and Smith and then left. Smith's reaction to the visit?

"It means they want you." A lot of people do. Mackey referred to the fact he had talked to over 100 coaches since Smith de-committed from Virginia following Debbie Ryan's retirement. Smith has made two Tennessee and Louisville and says she could visit two more schools before she makes her decision. That decision could come at the NY Daily News basketball awards dinner at B.B. King Blues Club on May 10th. Who's the leaders for her services?

Sherri Coale is the head coach at Oklahoma. She
paid an unannounced visit to Bria Smith and her coach.
"I'm not really sure. I made two trips this spring break, I think that's enough for spring break. I just have to think about what I'm going to do next." Smith has said she loved her trips to Louisville and Tennessee and that Oklahoma is in the picture now, as well. Smith's mother said that Bria has also expressed an interest in Georgia.

"I just have to make the process of finding a new school fun," she commented. "Hopefully, by next year, I'll be at a new school with a championship under my feet."

(Portions of this report came from Mitch Abramson's article in the New York Daily News, Friday April 29th, 2011.)


Cardinal women's rowing enters the BIG EAST Championships at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ with the #1 seed in the varsity eight and varsity four races. They'll practice today and hold the races Sunday. Louisville head rowing coach Laura Aubrey commented on the team and the preparation.
Louisville rowing opened a brand new facility
earlier this month by the Ohio River. It's nice!
"This team is very prepared for the BIG EAST Championships and despite the horrific Ohio River conditions, the morale, focus and determination of the team has not faltered for one second. They remain hungry, enthusiastic and prepared to perform at their absolute best this upcoming weekend. I am very proud of this team right now. We stress all year about taking care of the little things, building trust amongst each other, making good and selfless decisions and staying accountable for all of your actions. Right now, we are definitely feeling the benefits of the commitment we made to those principals.....I know this team is ready for their BIG EAST Championship and nothing is going to get in their way or stop them from reaching their goal."

(Good thing that the BIG EAST Championships aren't in Louisville this weekend. The Ohio River is way over flood stage and the rowers would have to contend with swift currents, trees and other debris floating down the muddy Ohio. Good luck girls, bring home the title and trophy.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lady Cards Nikki Burton to transfer, The 2011 All-USA girls basketball team


Burton is the third transfer
this year at Louisville
-Burton transferring

-Smith a second team All-USA selection

-Calvin Borel named to ride Twice The Appeal
Nikki Burton, a sophomore guard from Charlotte, NC is leaving the University of Louisville. She is transferring due to a hip injury that prevents her
from being able to practice with the Lady Cards on a regular basis. She was injured midway thru her freshman year and sat out last year as a redshirt. Jeff Walz commented on the move:

"Nikki is a very talented student-athlete but unfortunately her hip injury
precludes her from the daily rigors of preparation required for BIG EAST play. In order for her to continue her career, she will transfer to a university that can accommodate her physical limitations for practice and playing. "
(Courtesy of UofL Sports Information)

Burton last saw playing time on Jan 19th. 2010 at Freedom Hall against Notre Dame...getting three points in 14 minutes. She played in 18 games as a freshman, staring in 11. She averaged 5.9 points a game and her high was 13 points...with five a 87-48 win over Providence.

Hate to see her go...she had tons of potential and was considered maybe the best of that class that included Asia Taylor and Rachel Story. We're not real sure which schools out there need players who can't practice on a regular basis...our best guess is that she might drop down to a DII or NAIA school...but that is purely speculation on our part.

No word on where she's headed. One might logically assume that the freed up scholarship might enhance the chances for Walz to sign another to the 2011 incoming class. We hope it is Bria Smith. We wish Nikki the best of luck wherever she goes...and that she's able to return to full strength and skills before her college basketball career is over.


Sara Hammond and Rockcastle County
teammates won the state title in 2011.
USA TODAY has named their 2011 All-USA girls basketball team and their selections are interesting. They named Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (signed with Connecticut) as the player of the year. WE disagree...siding with Elizabeth Williams (signed with Duke). Williams made the first team...along with Cierra Burdick (Tennessee), Malina Howard...a junior from Twinsburg, Oh. who hasn't announced a college yet and Ariel Massengale (Tennessee).

Bria Smith headlines the second team. Joining her are:

Antoinette Banniser, Junior (undecided)
Diamond DeShields, Junior  (undecided)
Krystal Forthan, Senior (LSU)
Amber Henson, Senior (Duke)

Third team selections:

Jordan Adams, Junior (undecided)
Briyona Canty, Senior (Rutgers)
Morgan Tuck, Junior (undecided)
Cassie Peoples, Senior (Texas)

Can't say we're fully in agreement with these selections. We feel Smith is better than Burdick and should have got first team honors. Briyona Canty, in our opinion, should have landed on the second team. Sara Hammond, too. Too many juniors on this 3 team squad selection list. Then,'s USA TODAY. What do they know?

Two Lady Vol signees on the first team. Hmmmm. No excuses this year, Pat Summit. And, Ms.  looks like the Tennessee cupboard is well stocked. Come to Louisville. We love 2nd team selections that should have been first team picks....

Pssst. Hey, c'mere! Want a longshot for the Kentucky Derby?  The legendary Calvin Borel has been named the jockey on Sunland Derby winner TWICE THE APPEAL. This is huge. Borel knows Churchill Downs better that John Calipari knows how to escape implications in recruiting violations. So, how has Mr. Borel done in recent Derby races? Glad you asked...

Calvin Borel is sometimes called
Calvin "Bo-rail" because of his
fondness of guiding horses to
the rail during races. It seems to work...
2010   on SUPER SAVER.  Won the race
2009   on MINE THE BIRD. Won the race
2008   on DENIS OF CORK.  Finished third
2007   on STREET SENSE.  Won the race

Mine That Bird finished 4th in the Sunland Derby in 2009 and won in Kentucky at huge odds. Love this quote from 2010 trainer of Super Saver Todd Pletcher...

"I said it last year before the Derby and I said it after the Derby. Calvin Borel is a great rider everywhere and he's that much better here at Churchill." 

Getting interesting, gang. Nine days to go...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Off the Rez


The Learning Channel (TLC) will premiere the documnetary Off the Rez on Saturday, May 14th. at 9/8c. The film, from director Jonathan Hock and executive producers Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, made it's world debut April 26th. at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows current Louisville freshman Shoni Schimmel, a Umatilla Indian, and her family as she pursues her dream of being the first from her tribe to get a college basketball scholarship. Shoni, her mom Ceci Moses-who was also her high school coach-battle together to redeem generations of struggle for their family and their people, but her hoop dreams take an interesting turn when the family leaves the Umatilla Indian Reservation to move to Portland, Oregon...where Ceci has accepted a head girls basketball coaching job at Franklin High School.

We have a nine minute clip from the movie above for your viewing pleasure. Since the film was made, Shoni has gone to the University of Louisville to play basketball...where she was the second leading scorer for the Lady Cards...who advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen this season. Her sister Jude, a talented point guard has signed a letter of intent and will join her at Louisville this fall.


UofL Sports Banquet, D'Ana McCarty and Cardinal Caravan dates

Monique Reid was named junior class
athlete of the year along with Carlos Almedia 
Welcome to Wet Wednesday @ CARDINAL COUPLE:

-UofL Sports Banquet

-We look at D'Ana McCarty

-CARDINAL CARAVAN dates announced

The soggy Louisville weather couldn't dampen the spirits last night at the All-Sport Banquet held in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center last night. Keynote speakers were seniors Bergan Foley (lacrosse), Simone Attles (field hockey) and Doug Beaumont (football). Nineteen awards were presented to student/athletes by Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich. The recipients:

-D'Ana McCarty (Track and Field)
-Matt Hughes (Track and Cross County)

-CARDSCARE AWARDS (Commitment to community service)
-Michael Eaton (Track and Cross County)
Shoni Schimmel received Freshman of the Year honors
-Sarah Fiske (Rowing)
-The Rowing team

-Shoni Schimmel (Basketball)
-Hakeem Smith (Football)

-Hannah Gadd (Diving)
-Peyton Siva (Basketball)

-Monique Reid (Basketball)
-Carlos Almeida (Swimming)

-Austen Chiles (Tennis)
Amanda Simmons was selected for the
Central Cardinal Club leadership award 
-Therese Bergstrom (Swimming)
-Bergan Foley (Lacrosse)

-Amanda Simmons (Volleyball)

-THE CUNNINGHAM FAMILY AWARD (Male athlete leadership)
-Drew Haynes (Baseball)
-Michael Eaton (Track/Cross Country)

-D'Ana McCarty (Track and Field)
-Colin Rolfe (soccer)

-Bilal Powell (Football)

A sincere CARDINAL COUPLE congratulations to these...and all...the student/athletes at UofL!


D'Ana McCarty is the best women's
college weight thrower in the nation 
D'Ana McCarty has had an impact on Louisville field events since she arrived on campus back in the fall of 2007. The daughter of Indianapolis Pike High School track and field coach Terry McCarty, she was one of the first Cardinal athletes to advance to the IAAF Junior World Championships. Her freshman year at UofL, D'Ana qualified for the BIG EAST League Championships in the hammer, shot put and weight throws. The Cardinal women's throwers are recognized as one of the best groups in college track and field and D'Ana helped build that reputation her sophomore year with winning the BIG EAST and NCAA Indoor Championships Weight throw titles. She finished second in the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships in the hammer and discus. No one defeated her all season in the weight throw.

D'Ana continued her spectacular performances as a junior, winning the NCAA Championships again in the weight throw and winning 7 of 8 of her regular season competitions in the event. She also competed in the discus, shot put and hammer throws...winning at each event at least once during the season. As a senior this year, she's the odds on favorite to take the NCAA Championships weight throw title again and has won the event several times this year in meet competition. The Big East and NCAA Outdoor Championships await this talented group over the next several weeks. WE feel confident they'll put a few more trophies in the showcase.

When looking at D'Ana McCarty's accomplishments, one's first thought is that such dominance in a event is rare. Especially for four years. Along with teammates Khadija Abdullah and Patrice Gates...D'Ana and the Cards weight, discus, shot put and hammer teams are the best combined unit in the BIG EAST and perhaps the nation. Our hats are off to these high-achieving women "outstanding in their field" .


CARDINAL CARAVAN dates have been announced. The annual "reach out" to UofL fans from the coaches, staff and players from the University of Louisville has been scheduled for Elizabethtown, KY., Shelbyville, KY., and Jeffersonville, IN.

Wednesday, May 19th. @ Three Putt Willie's at Pine Valley. 850 Pine Valley Drive, Elizabethtown.
Thursday, June 9th, @ Shelby County Fairgrounds Pavilion. 1513 Midland Trail, Shelbyville
Thursday, June 16th, @ Parking lot between Rocky's Sub Pub and Buckhead Mountain Grill, 711 West Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville, IN.

Apperances by the 2011 national champion LadyBirds and Louie the Cardinal Bird will occur at each location and prizes to the first 100 fans at each site will be distributed as well. Having attended the event for quite a few years now, with the exception of last year...when the BIG EAST Softball Tournament was taking place at Ulmer Stadium...I can tell you that's it's a great chance to interact and get photo opportunities with Cardinal coaches, players and meet Cardinal fans.

It was at this event several years ago that Angel McCoughtry assured me that the Lady Cards basketball squad would be a Final Four team and might win the national title. They made it through a couple of rounds in the NCAA Tournament that year and finished as national runner-ups to UConn the year after that. I also talked to a very pleasant and friendly young lady one year who hoped to get the chance to show Lady Card basketball fans her skills on the court. Chauntise Wright got that opportunity and thrilled the Cardinal faithful for several years on Denny Crum court. 

"This annual tour is a terrific opportunity for our coaches and staff to interact with our loyal fan base." Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich comments about the event. Shelbyville resident and long time Cardinal fan Sam Johnson looks forward to the annual caravan stop in his hometown and comments:

"I like the accessability of the players and coaches at this event. We've got a strong UofL fan base here in Shelbyville and one of our highlights each year is the caravan event."

No Louisville date has been listed yet. The event has taken place at Captain's Quarters off River Road in eastern Jefferson County in previous years. How about those loyal fans in Louisville, Tom? A little interaction with them too, perhaps? If not at Captain's Quarters...maybe at the brand new Louisville rowing facility near downtown?



All this wet Louisville weather recently has made it the wettest April on record. The old adage..."April showers bring May flowers" should produce a bumper crop of floral delights this year. Ran across this insprirtional quote..."When it rains on your parade..look up instead of down. Remember that after the rain there's always the promise of a rainbow."

How much has it rained? I saw a duck in a Sporting Goods store being fitted for a raincoat and water resistant boots..

Legendary baseball coach Casey Stengel hits the nail on the head with this one:
"There are three things that can happen in a baseball game. Someone's going to win, someone's going to lose or it gets rained out."

Cardinal Sports Report dignitary Howie Lindsey quips : "They're thinking of renaming Fern Creek to Fern River. "

Local meterologists are getting more airtime lately than Viagra commercials. That might be a good thing.

Finally, this from an unknown source....
"When the rains subsided, we decided to drain part of the swamp. We went about this very methodically and scientifically. We had a plan and had thought it out carefully. Sometimes,'s tough to remember what your original intention was when you're up to your ass in alligators."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More hardware for Angel McCoughtry, Golf makes NCAA Tourney, Tennis in BIG EAST


-See Angel McCoughtry's video on Turkish Euro basketball

-Angel will have three camps this summer

-Women's Golf makes NCAA Tournament

-Women's Tennis seeded fourth in BIG EAST Tournament


We all remember the amazing Ms. McCoughtry from her days at Louisville and her successes with the WNBA Atlanta Dream. The video above is a look at another aspect of her life and career...playing in the Euro basketball league for Turkey's top team. (And we thought UofL Lady Cards fans got rowdy in the KFC YUM Center...)


Angel will hold three skills camps this summer for youth who are looking to improve their skills and you have the opportunity to attend free! If you are passionate about the game of basketball, want to learn from Angel and live in Atlanta, Baltimore or Louisville...send an e-mail to
Tell why you want to attend and specify why you love basketball...and Angel!  Two e-mails for each location will be selected and the winners will get to go sponsored by the web site.
Angel's camp won't be taking them this young...

Camp dates are:

Atlanta Camp - July 17-18 for Girls ages 8-18
Baltimore Camp - July 21-22 for Boys and Girls ages 10-19
Louisville Camp - August 1st - 5th for Girls 6-17

More information can be found at this great Angel fan site


Louisville women's golf has received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Cards got in as an at-large team in the East region and are seeded 13th. They'll begin their tournament play in Daytona Beach, FL. at the LPGA International Golf Course on May 5th.

Louisville finished second in the BIG EAST Tournament. The bid to the NCAA is Louisville's fifth straight appearance in a row. The Cards are led by senior Sara-Maude Juneau...who carries a 73.1 average and is ranked 18th in the nation by Golfstat and Anna-Karin Ljungstrom...a sophomore that averages 75.5. She lost in a five hole playoff for the BIG EAST Championship title in Innisbrook, FL. last week.

Great job in securing the bid for Coach K's squad and hit 'em straight and long in Daytona!


Louisville women's tennis will be seeded fourth in the upcoming BIG EAST Women's Championships. The events will take place April 28th. - May 1st. and be held at the Courtney Tennis Center on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend.

With the fourth seed, the Cards get a first round bye and will face the winner of the #5 Marquette - #12 Connecticut match. Notre Dame, USF and DePaul are the top three seeds in the BIG EAST Tournament.

Julie Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine have been the big cannons for the Cards so far this season and the task ahead for them and their teammates is a tough one. Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship five out of the last six years and has been part of the title game for the last fifteen years in a row.

We're not real sure just how the Cards will fare in this tournament. Teams from Oklahoma and Texas seemed to whip up pretty well on Louisville. The Cards finished 11-11 on the year but did go 5-0 against BIG EAST teams in dual matches. Louisville lost their last five dual matches of the year, though....all non-conference.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Lacrosse loses in Connecticut, Softball rained out, Volleyball wins


-Lacrosse rally not enough in Storrs

Foley's five goals not enough to get a Cards victory
-Volleyball wins against Illinois

-Softball rained out vs. Providence

Happy Day after Easter to all! HE is risen and HE sits at the right hand of HIS FATHER...Hallelujah !!! To all of you who gave up something for Lent...congratulations, you made it! Remember, all things in moderation, though...except hugs. You can never give or receive enough hugs....


Louisville fell behind early to Connecticut Saturday in Lacrosse action and a furious late rally fell just short in a 14-12 loss at the George J, Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, CT. Bergan Foley scored five goals for Louisville in the losing effort.

The Cards couldn't find the net early against the Huskies and trailed 5-0 before Foley's first score. UConn remained hot, though...and took an 8-1 advantage before Foley and Sammy Allen scored back to back attempts...the Cards were still down 9-4 at the half.

Foley and Allen tried to rally the Cards back after UConn extended the lead to 10-4 and 13-8 before Louisville went on a 4-0 late game rally to cut the lead to 13-12.. The Huskies tacked on an insurance goal with 1:34 left in contest.

Louisville returns home for their final regular season game on Friday, April 29th against Notre Dame. The Cards (10-6, 3-4).will honor the seniors. It looks like Louisville will miss the BIG EAST Tournament...since only the top 4 teams qualify and Louisville is in 5th place in the BIG EAST standings...two games behind the Irish. Louisville had their chances in the last two to make a push for fourth...but lost narrowly in each.


Volleyball got in a spring match Saturday against Illinois and a capacity crowd packed Cardinal Arena to watch the Cards battle the Illini. Down early 2-0, the Cards rallied to take a 3-2 series. It was the debut of
new volleyball coach Anne Kordes and she commented on the match:

Senior Anastasia Artemeva had
22 kills against Illinois.
"In a spring match you are more worried about the progression of your team rather than the outcome. We came out timidly and then got a lot of energy from our sold out crowd. We relaxed and started playing well. I don't think I have seen a team work as hard in the spring as this one and it showed in game five. We were not tired and it ended our spring on a great note."

The Cards took the final set 15-10. The rest of the match went 20-25, 12-25, 25-18, 25-20. Sophomore Emily Juhl added 13 kills for the Cards and nine digs.

Kordes gets a very experienced, deep and talented team for her first year at Louisville. A nice situation for a rookie coach to be in. Louisville should contend for another BIG EAST title...Cincinnati is always a strong force to be dealt with...and the Irish of South Bend are usually a top three
finisher also. The fall season begins in late August.


Softball's final two games against Providence fell victim to Mother steady rains on Saturday forced a cancellation of the doubleheader. No word of a makeup and it may not happen this late in the season. CARDINAL COUPLE had plans to cover the action but when the 11:00 a.m. start kept getting pushed back....WE figured it would be a good day to just stay inside....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jesus Easter Video


A happy Easter to all our readers, friends and contributors! Remember that HE is risen and HE will be with us always. 

When things do wrong, as they sometimes will.
When the road you are travelling seems all up hill
When the funds are low and the debt is high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest if you must, but don't you quit
Life can be strange with its twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns
And many a failure turns about
When you might have won had you stuck it out
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you  are
It may well be near when it seems so far
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit.
It's when things seem the worst that...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Soggy Saturday sets softball back to a 1:30 p.m.start


Almost 3 inches of rain in the
last 16 hours in Louisville and
more expected today will
delay the Cards on the diamond

-Softball threatened by rain

-We review the Derby Classic

-Sonja's first look at the Derby contenders

Today's softball games have been moved back to a 1:30 p.m. start and they'll try to get both in against Providence today. (This updated from Lori Korte, assistant S.I.D. at Louisville. )

Buckets of rain, thunder and lightning and more forecast for Saturday here in's been a soggy spring and even though they cover the field at Ulmer...lightning in the area not a great combination with aluminum bats...
Providence is scheduled to fly back home early Sunday morning, so they'll try to eventually get both contests in at Ulmer today. Where's that retractable dome when you need it?


Louisville fan excited about getting Cardinal post player
Gorgui Dieng's autograph. Dieng (in grey t-shirt) signs for a mass of
appreciative fans during the Derby Classic
About 10,000 fans attended the Derby Classic Basketball shootout at KFC YUM Center Friday Night...most of them seeming to arrive right at tip off. They were treated to a high scoring, slam dunking and
three point fiesta from the high school stars. The Gold Team came back from a double digit deficit to win 126-122 over the UofL stacked White team.

Teams get ready to tip it up in the Derby Classic
Gotta like all three future Cardinals that prowled the paint in the KFC YUM center. 6'8" small forward Angel Nunez had a great game for the White team and showed his abilities to run the court, go inside and create and take the long range bomber. Cardinal fans are going to love his intensity and hustle. Chane Behanan, a 6'7" powerhouse showed his inside skills and will be a solid addition to the guys who prowl the paint on Rick Pitino's squad. Give him a little conditioning and technique work and he'll be a monster. Zach Price6'11" tall and lanky lean mixed it up all night against Cody Zeller and the other Gold team front line guys. He'll get valuable back up minutes as an understudy to Terrance Jennings and Gorgui Dieng next season and he won't back down to either of them.

Cardinal Sports Report favorite Howie Lindsey took care the pre-game introductions and half-time three point and slam dunk public address duties. He did a very good job, we never knew he had that talent. Sean Moth has nothing to worry about in job security...but 'the Howitzer' handled the microphone with confidence and the proper amount of home-town deference to the future Cardinals. WE miss the old "lights flashing, spotlight showing" introductions of years arena, new traditions...we're guessing. They didn't utilize the player point total boards that are in the corners of the KFC YUM either...and that's something they definitely need to work into next year's game. Along with a girls' game. Get cracking KDF!!


It's time to start doing some handicapping for the upcoming Run for the Roses. I'll admit that I've haven't been following things too closely this spring with work and all. My time here on CARDINAL COUPLE has been almost non-existent as well. I'm still here, though. 

I am looking pretty closely at four horses right now and I'll share them with you. 

1UNCLE MO. I'm going to draw a line through his last race in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct because he wasn't feeling good that day. Intestinal tract difficulties definitely affect a horse's running performance. He's perked up considerably since returning to Churchill Downs and has proven in every other race in his career that he's a capable winner. 

2) PANTS ON FIRE. Beside me loving the name, the horse won the Louisiana Derby over a nice and talented field. Rosie Napravnik knows how to get the best out of the front runner and if she can get a uncontested lead when the horses hit the Churchill stretch, she and PANTS ON FIRE may be tough to catch.

3) NEHRO. If there is a horse that can haul in the front runners, it is definitely NEHRO. His all-out charge in the Arkansas Derby is quite impressive and he almost caught the tiring ARCHARCHARCH.
The extra distance will be in his favor. So is the training of Steve Asmussen. Given a clear trip down the Churchill long and demanding stretch, I expect this one to be gobbling up all of them in front of him.

Stay Thirsty romped the field in New York.
Didn't care so much for Florida. Seems to
be enjoying Churchill Downs.
4) STAY THIRSTY. Another one that I'll give an excuse for in his last effort. He never seemed comfortable on the Gulfstream track and I'm remembering how he slaughtered the field in the Gotham Stakes in New York before that. Todd Pletcher knows how to get them ready and STAY THIRSTY seems very happy to be on the Churchill Downs premises. A key might be on who Pletcher gets to ride STAY THIRSTY. Calvin Borel hasn't been announced on a horse yet and Calvin knows Churchill better than any of them.

OK, there they are!  Please keep in mind that many things can happen between now and the first Saturday in May and these preliminary top four might change. I'll watch the Coolmore Stakes at Keeneland today and see if anything comes out of that Derby prep race that warrants attention.
I'll also watch the horses as they work out at Churchill these next two weeks and see if  any of them look like the incredible, shining,  full of himself Alysheba in the days that led up to the 1987 Derby. That winner looked so powerful, so strong in the final days leading up to the race that I felt he would destroy the competition. He did.

(SONJA'S SELECTIONS are for entertainment purposes only and if you wager on horse racing, please do so responsibly...)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bria Smith sighting, Softball Cards blank the Friars, Lacrosse falls at Syracuse, Night of Future Stars.

Collins pitched her first start and
complete game since March 23rd.

-Softball shuts out Providence 4-0

-Lacrosse falls to Syracuse 11-10

-Night of the Future Stars review.

-Bria Smith sighting...

Tori Collins is back. Providence wishes she wasn't. The hard-throwing lefty had her way with the Friars last night...scattering four hits and striking out seven en route to the 4-0 Cardinal win.

"Tori Collins pitched well for us tonight and we were able to take advantage of some timely hits." Louisville head softball coach Sandy Pearsall remarked after the contest. "We also has some very nice defensive plays."

The Cards staged a pitcher's duel with the Friars for the first four innings. Although both teams had runners in scoring position, it wasn't until the bottom of the fourth before the scoreboard operator got to flip the 'run scored' toggle switch. Alicja Wolny singled to begin the inning and Maggie Ruckenbrod booming a towering double off the center field fence. Taner Fowler took first when she was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That set the stage for Hannah Kiyohara's run producing single and the Cards added another on a Katie Keller sacrifice fly.

Louisville added two more runs in the sixth...a Keller single scored pinch runner Chelsea Jordan and Chelsea Bemis's deep double brought home Keller for the 4-0 lead.

Collins improves to 11-4 with the win. The teams take today off and will play a doubleheader Saturday at Ulmer...with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Let's hope the weather co-operates...


Liz Lovejoy has 13 goals over the last three
games for Louisville
Tough loss on the road for Louisville lacrosse yesterday at Syracuse...falling to the Orange 11-10. The Cards had a 10-7 advantage in the second half before allowing the 'Cuse the final four scores of the match. Louisville was no doubt hurt by the loss of leading scorer Bergan Foley, who received a second yellow card in the second half and had to watch the final 25 minutes from the sidelines.

Liz Lovejoy tried to pick up the slack for the Cards...scoring Louisville's final four goals and giving the Cards the 10-7 advantage...but the Cardinal defense couldn't contain the Syracuse attack at the end.

Louisville enjoyed an early 3-1 lead in the first half...Emily Dashiell providing two scores and led 5-2 after Lovejoy and Colleen O'Malley tossed successfully into the net...but a late 'Cuse first half rally knotted it up 5-5 at the halftime break.

The Cards (10-5, 3-3) head to Connecticut next for a Saturday match up...their final road game of the year.


The Kentucky Derby Festival 'Night of the Future Stars' took place last night in Knights Gym on the Bellarmine University campus and a near capacity crowd watched some of the nation's best boys' high school seniors compete in two on two competition, three point shooting and slam dunks. WE were impressed with the athleticism of several of the UofL recruits...Chane Behanan will be a very productive post player for UofL. Size, strong body and a powerful inside game. WE like Angel Nunez's hustle, drive ability to the hoop and enthusiasm. The sleeper of the class could be tall Zach Price. He engaged in a several rugged battles during the two on two contests with Behanan and IU signee Cody Zeller and came out as the clear winner..

One of the most comical moments occurred when Baylor prospect Deuce Bello attempted to use Nunez as a prop during the slam dunk contest. He attempted to flush one down the nets while leaping over the 6'7" Nunez. He got clearance over Nunez but missed the slam. Nunez and Bello didn't get a second chance to perform the stunt...a event official guided Angel off the court and out of harm's way. Charlie Springer has the video of the attempt over at

The two on two competition last night was the most
spirited we've seen in the last couple of years.
Other players that impressed in the drills and contests were local star Aaron Cosby, who is headed to Seton Hall and sharp shooting, diminutive guard Austin Etherington.

We have confirmed sightings of Lady Cards Tia Gibbs and Cierra Warren being on hand watching the action and have heard there was a large contingent of players from the UofL  women's basketball team there. Former Cardinal great Candyce Bingham was one of the judges in the slam dunk contest. There is also a report that Louisville target Bria Smith was at the contest, enjoying the activities with the Lady Cards . We also spotted current Cardinal men's hoopsters Peyton Siva and Mike Marra in attendance, former Cards greats Eric Johnson and La Bradford Smith and national championship head coach Scotty Davenport from hosting school Bellarmine.

The Derby Festival Basketball Classic takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the KFC YUM Center. Hopefully, the P.A. crew does a better job of announcing the activities than they did last couldn't understand half of what they were saying.

A Bria Smith sighting at the Night of
Future Stars (right) She was
in attendance...
WE still hope that the Kentucky Derby Festival folks consider including the girls in the Classic down the road. Last night's crowd at Bellarmine was mostly guys...we feel that there is plenty of local, regional and national talent in girls' high school basketball that would make this event more of a co-ed friendly affair and sell a lot more seats. Other classic type events are including the girls and they've passed the local event here in Louisville in national star player popularity and choice. None of Kentucky head coach John Calipari's recruits are participating in the Derby Classic...opting instead for the more popular McDonald's All-American game in Chicago and the Jordan Brand shootout in Charlotte. Time was, back in the day...the Derby Classic was one of the top two high school All-Star games. Not anymore.


Ms.Smith enjoys the Night of The Future Stars with Tia,
Cierra and Shawnta. Aren't they lovely young ladies?
(Photo courtesy of Charlie Springer-UofL  Card Game) 
Word is that Bria Smith, UofL women's target for the class of 2011 was still in Louisville watching the Night of the Future Stars Thursday evening. We 've heard she's good friends with Cardinal men's recruit Angel Nunez and we're encouraged that she stayed around to watch her buddy play in the skills section of the Classic. We hope she sticks around for the game tonight in the KFC YUM Center. The Lady Cards are a tight knit, fun and friendly bunch and having her bond with them can only be considered a plus for Walz in his recruiting efforts concerning her. Already ranked with a top ten class coming in for 2011...Smith's addition would push UofL's ranking easily into the top five. The University, of course, cannot comment on such matters in regards to respective recruits. We can, though...and will say that we also have it on very good authority that Smith's game would fit in very well with "Walz Ball"...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Softball loses to UK, Field Hockey announces signees

Cards pound eleven hits but still lose.

-UK downs UofL Softball 14-8

-Field Hockey Announces Fall signing class

-McCarty named BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week

Louisville jumped out to an early 7-0 lead against the Wildcats in Lexington last night but, in a slugfest, could not outscore the Wildcats and fall by six. The teams combined for 23 hits but the Cards could produce but one run against UK reliever Rachel Riley in 5.2 innings.

Louisville started out big, with a six run first inning. Colby Wherry drove in a run with a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Maggie Ruckenbrod's single scored Jennifer Esteban. A three RBI double by Taner Fowler pushed it to 5-0 and Hannah Kiyohara singled Fowler home to give the Cards a 6-0 advantage.

Louisville added a run in the top of the second when Katie Keller scored on a Wherry single. It looked like the Cards were well on their way to a romp in Lexington...but the Wildcats had other plans.

UK put eight runs up in the bottom of the third...capitalizing on two hits, three walks and two Cardinal fielding errors. A three run triple by Kara Dill was the largest blow to starter Caralisa Connell. UK used a home run in the fourth and another run in the fifth to pad the lead to 10-7. That lead went to 14-7 in the sixth as the Cats pummelled reliever Katie Petrino. Louisville did manage to push a run across in the visitor half of the seventh when Chelsea Bemis singled and scored on a Wherry single and fielding error.

Louisville returns to action today with a game at Ulmer against Providence at 5 p.m. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free tulip poplar tree in celebration of Earth Day, which is Friday. Be advised, they grow into masive trees and make fall leaf chores quite a duty...Happy planting!


Justine Sowry has announced her first class of recruits for Louisville Field  Hockey. The seven recruits from six different states include defense specialist Hannah Boyle from Louisville Assumption High School. Here's the rest of the freshman class:

Hannah Boyle was on the 2009
State Champion Assumption
field hockey team
Sydney King, Newport CA. (Newport Harbor H.S.) Goalkeeper
Becca Maddock, Barrington, R.I. (Barrington H.S.) Defense
Mallory Mason, Simsbury, CT. (Westminister H.S.) Midfielder
Paige Monsen, Marathon, NY (Whitney Point H.S.) Defense
Kaityn Soucy, Palmyra, PA (Palmyra H.S.) Forward
Alyssa Voelmie, Hershey, PA (Hershey H.S.) Midfielder

Boyle was a regional All-American selection at Assumption and was a first team Kentucky Select selection her junior and senior years. She is also a three time Kentucky All-Tournament selection.
Sowry is pleased with the class. She commented:

"With this class comes high expectations. Their athleticism and competitiveness will allow each of them to contend for positions in their first year at Louisville."

WE like the positive nature and leadership aspect of Sowry, in her debut season as Cardinal Field Hockey skipper.We plan an interview with her, hopefully...before the fall season begins. Thanks to Lori Korte, Louisville Assistant S.I.D., for the updates and news.


McCarty is the 2010 NCAA weight
throw champion.
D'Ana McCarty was selected BIG EAST Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. McCarty had top three finishes in the discus, shot put and hammer throws at the recent Sea Ray Meet. McCarty will be one of several Cardinal throwers competing this weekend on the UofL campus in the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational. Lenny Lyles was a outstanding football and track star in the sixties at UofL and coached by Clark Wood...who ran the track program at UofL for 25 years.

McCarty's throws in the hammer and discus are tops in the Big East this year. Cardinal tosser Khadija Abdullah has the BIG EAST top shot put toss. WE feel the Cards have the best throwing contingent in college women's track and field and will garner some major awards when the BIG EAST tournament and NCAA events roll around.


In response to the e-mails we have received, we have no word on how the Bria Smith visit to Louisville went yet. She is scheduled to visit Tennessee Monday. WE'RE working on getting details on how the trip went.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Golf finishes 2nd in BIG EAST, Soccer and Lacrosse Awards, Cats v. Cards

Anna-Karin Ljungstrom forced
a playoff for the individual title.

(Here's hoping everyone made it through the storms
last night that hit Louisville. Paul slept through them.)

-Women's Golf 2nd in BIG EAST TOURNEY

-Softball Heads to Lexington

-Negron receives lacrosse award

-Kuric gets women's soccer honor

-Smith on the way to Louisville

The University of Louisville's women's golf team finished second in the BIG EAST Tournament with a third round effort of 305..for a 915 three day total. Sophomore Anna-Karin Ljungstrom  closed well for the Cards, firing a final day 73 to tie for lowest round and the tournament lead. She faced St John's Harin Lee in a sudden death playoff for the title...but lost on the 4th hole of the match. Still, a big effort from the Cardinal.
Notre Dame captured first place...12 strokes lower than Louisville.

Sara-Maude Juneau had a 77 on the final day, along with Laura Anderson. Maria Castellanos finished at 78 for the final eighteen and Tara Lyons took 83 strokes to finish the third day.

The Cards now await their NCAA Tournament be announced Monday April 25th. A great season of chip and putt for the ladies and good job, 'Coach K' with a team that had no home meets and just might have travelled further to compete throughout the season than any other sports squad at UofL. Unpack those bags and rest awhile, ladies!


The Softball Cards travel to Lexington to face the Wildcats for a single game today. The #16 ranked UK squad dropped a previous meeting this season to Sandy Pearsall's squad 6-0 in Ulmer Stadium. A quick turnaround for the Louisville Sluggers...they begin a three game series at Ulmer on Thursday against Providence that will conclude the home part of the regular schedule for the Cards.
Freshman Hannah Kiyohara is
batting .387 for the Cards. 

Although the Cards are unranked in the polls, they are having a great season at 32-13 and 10-4 in the BIG EAST. They are in 4th. place in the BIG EAST standings, behind DePaul (10-1) South Florida (9-1) and Notre Dame (7-1). With the return of Tori Collins to the pitching rotation, they have two pitchers that are headaches for opposing teams to face. Caralisa Connell (18-6) had a twelve game win streak earlier in the season and has a 2.38 ERA.

Louisville also has tons of firepower when at the plate. Hannah Kiyohara leads the Cards with a .387 batting average and has 18 RBI's on the year. Colby Wherry is at .370 with five home runs and third baseman Chelsea Bemis has smashed eight base cleaners, driven in 37 RBI's and sits at .368.
Freshmen Maggie Ruckenbrod, Katie Keller and Taner Fowler have contributed heavily to the Cards offensive attack and Alicja Wolny is a threat to reach base anytime she steps into the box.


Louisville lacrosse in 10-4 this year and 3-2 in
BIG EAST play.
Monica Negron has been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the week in lacrosse for her excellent work against Rutgers and Villanova in the Cards last two wins. She held Rutgers leading scorer Marlena Welsh to just one goal in Louisville's 10-8 win over the Scarlet Knights. Against the Wildcats leading scorer, Justine Donodeo, Negron limited her to no goals and just four shots.

The lacrosse Cards face a decisive road trip beginning Thursday...visiting 13th. ranked Syracuse (5-7, 3-1) and then Connecticut on Saturday. Here's hoping the Cards high-powered offensive attack of Bergan Foley, Liz Lovejoy and Katie Oliverio can find the net successfully and frequently against the Orange and Huskies....


Katie Kuric was a BIG EAST
All-Academic selection.

Louisville women's soccer player Katie Kuric was named Senior of the Year Monday night at the Student Awards banquet. Kuric complied a 3.945 GPA during her four years at Louisville (OK, whose the kill-joy who gave her a "B"?) and was a four year competitor in women's soccer. She was a Dean's Scholar, a Black and Red Scholar and made the Dean's list and A.D. Honor roll. Kuric chronicled her journey overseas with brother Kyle last year on a trip to Egypt during summer break at . Seeing the pyramids is on the "Bucket List" for us at CARDINAL COUPLE. Not that we're going anywhere soon, mind you.  

Kyle is an outstanding hoopster for Rick Pitino's Louisville basketball team and his out of this world, "are you kidding me" dunk against Notre Dame this past season was the Papa John's Dunk of the Year in college basketball. The one-handed throw-down in South Bend against Scott Martin near the end of the first half was simply amazing. Kyle will be a senior wing for the Cards this fall.

Katie has her degree in Management and is a great example of combining academic excellent and athletic dedication on the collegiate level. Louisville Soccer will miss her...but WE have the feeling that you'll hear plenty more about Ms.Kuric after her college days are done...


Bria Smith visits Louisville today. Where
would you take her?

Bria Smith lands in Louisville this morning for an official visit to the Cardinal campus. She's still uncommitted to a college and is ranked the eighth best player in the class of 2011...and second at her guard position. We have no doubt the the Lady Cards basketball staff, coaches and players have a full and exciting day planned for her. We were speculating on the top five things that you'd want a perspective recruit to see while in Louisville. By no means is this how her day will go...but the list of things to see below would make for a fun visit to "the Ville". 

1) The KFC YUM Center. A must stop for any potential hoopster contemplating UofL. The showcase by the Ohio River draws over 10,000 for women's hoops.
2) Cardinal Park. The multi-use athletic facility offers a great walking and jogging track to stay in shape during the off-season and also has three state of the art stadiums for track, field hockey and softball.
3) Churchill Downs. The legendary Twin Spires and a jaunt thru the Kentucky Derby Museum never fails to fascinate even the horse racing novice.
4) Cardinal Arena. Lady Cards spend a lot of time there...practicing, training and the locker rooms, player access areas and coaching offices are state of the art.
5) Ali Center. A magnificent tribute to "the Greatest"...Interactive displays and a testament to the will and desire of the greatest boxer of all-time.
Enjoy your stay, Ms. Smith and here's hoping your flight this morning wasn't too bumpy. Take it all in and have fun...because if you choose UofL...four years in the greatest college sports town in America await...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kentucky Girls All-Star team Named...Smith to visit Wednesday

Natalie Greenwell is one of twelve to make
the KY. All-Star team. She's headed to
Morehead State to attend college

-Ky. Girls All-Star team named

-Bria Smith to visit Louisville on Weds.

-Women's Golf in 2nd place in BIG EAST

-Rowing facility dedication Weds.

-Watson discusses recruits and coaches
The 12 players performing for coach Chris Stalling as the 2011 Kentucky All-Star Girls Team have been announced. Heading the list are Miss Kentucky Basketball Sara Hammond and Elizabethtown senior Natalie Greenwell. They'll play June 10th. in Bellarmine's Knights' Gym and then at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 11th. The team roster:

#1 Sara Hammond (Rockcastle County)
#2 Carla Booth (Sheldon Clark)
#3 Averee Fields (Calloway County)
#4 Danay Fothergill (Southwestern)
#5 Chastity Gooch (Franklin Simpson)
#6 Natalie Greenwell (Elizabethtown)
#7 Mechael Guess (Manual)
#8 Juliann Miller (Mercy)
#9 Maddie Peabody (Sacred Heart)
#10 Caprisha Rogers (Clark County)
#11 Kristin Stanback (Scott County)
#12 Lauren Tibbs (Scott County)


Unsigned high school guard Bria Smith will visit the University of Louisville Wednesday as she narrows down the selection process of where she will attend college. She also has a trip scheduled to Tennessee later in the week. Smith is the highest ranked guard by most recruiting services that is still unsigned.

Smith is one of the best
one-on-one guards entering
the freshman class
Enjoy your stay here in Louisville, Bria. Cardinal country is a fun place to be and you'll be playing in front of the most rapidly growing fan base in women's college basketball when you choose Louisville.

The Lady Cards are building a BIG EAST powerhouse squad. You need to be a part of the magic and excitement that is unmatched in women's college basketball when the Louisville women take the court at the KFC YUM.

Louisville women's golf moved up to second place in the BIG EAST Tournament with a 302 yesterday in second round action at Innisbrook, Florida. They trail front runner Notre Dame by 18 strokes with one round to go. Sophomore Anna-Karin Llungstrom fired a 72 to lead the Cards. She's tied for third place with a two day total of 148. Senior Sara-Maude Juneau carded a 76 on Day Two. Laura Anderson finished with a 76 along with Tara Lyons. Maria Castellanos toured the 18 in 79 strokes.

The Cards are 21 strokes ahead of Georgetown, so at least second looks wrapped up for Louisville...but they'll need their best efforts of the tournament to catch the Irish . They play the final round today.


The new rowing facility is located directly
on the Ohio to Waterfront Park.
The University of Louisville G.Garvin Brown Rowing facility will be unveiled Wednesday at 4 p.m. with grand opening speeches and ceremonies. Located off River Road and just 3 miles from the Belknap gives the Cards one of the top facilities in the nation to train, practice and hold meets on the Ohio River. The Cards will compete in the BIG EAST Championships on April 30th in West Windsor, NJ.

Louisville's coming off three wins over Syracuse in the Charles River Challenge last time out.

(David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. The opinions expressed by David do not necessarily mirror those of CARDINAL COUPLE. He likes those mixed fruit jelly packages on toast, for example. WE hate the mixed fruit ones...) 

It looks like Jeff Walz has gone out hunting and brought back a whole knapsack full of game. And, he's got his sights set on more recruits. Sara Hammond, Jude Schimmel and Monney Esther Niamke have certified and DI level skills. They constitute a heck of a class for 2011. Adding Bria Smith would definitely make this a top five class. Walz has more talent lined up on campus for next hoops season than there are construction workers standing around on I-70 watching road improvement heavy machinery equipment.

Recruiting. It's 24/7, 365 days a year and continual. I have the pleasure of knowing a former DII coach who prowled the hardwood at a college not too far from my hometown. Even at that level, the recruiting process is fierce, competitive and can cause a coach to reach for the Pepto-Bismol as frequently as the cell phone. College coaches spend their summers attending the AAU Tournaments, watching highlight reels and zeroing in on their job security intangibles. You gotta win. You need players that will accomplish that for you. You go out and try to get them.

My buddy was 62-20 in three years in coaching locally before accepting another coaching  job out of state for more pay, more competition and more headaches. Did well there with 52 wins in two years at that next job and it led to a position further up the food chain. Unfortunately, that final job was four years of sub .500 records and an eventual resignation as the head coach. My buddy remains on campus as a assistant professor in sports related academia...but coaching isn't out of his blood. My buddy spoke about it:

Coaching isn't always celebrations,
championships and champagne.

"I could tell you about so many close misses on recruiting players that could have turned any or all of those seasons around for me. I could tell you about games decided by several points, a missed shot here, a crucial turnover there. The hours of visiting, researching, practices...but, in the final's all about the win to loss ratio. I replay some of those games in my mind. I guess I'll always be a coach...but right now, I'm a commander without a battalion."

I would venture a wager that someday my buddy will pace the sidelines again. For now, though...the headaches, stress, knots in the stomach and hours of recruiting and training are on the shelf. Heck of a life, if you ask me...when your future and paycheck are dependent on the skills and abilities of teenagers and young women...

(David Watson stresses each and every week over the successes and failures of the bowling team he captains on Wednesday nights. His "buddy's name" was withheld by request.)