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Friday, September 23, 2016

WSOC battles #7 Duke to a scoreless tie...Volleyball, Field Hockey on road tonight -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( Written while battling a balky laptop that does not want to save or allow me to preview posts. I think I better call...GHOSTBUSTERS! ) 


Sammy Hagar claimed he couldn't drive 55. John Fogarty and Creedence Clearwater Revival insisted 99 1/2 wouldn't do. Nigel Tufnel, of Spinal Tap, felt the need to go to 11 and Chicago wasn't sure if it was 25 or 26 to 4. Three Dog Night insisted 1 is the loneliest number that you'll ever know.  Alice Cooper was 18...and didn't know what he wanted. 

OK...enough of the musical number and artist ennui...

Last night Louisville women's soccer traveled to Durham, NC to face #7 Duke and after 110 minutes of play, the squads were right where they started on the scoreboard. 0-0, nothing to and zilch. 

That isn't the whole story of the two-overtime thriller...both squads had near misses with shots on goal...especially Duke...and Cardinal goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin earned her scholarship monies with two "did-you-see-that?" saves (two of her season-high seven). 

Louisville (6-2-2, 1-0-1) came out defensive-mined. It wasn't quite the "build-a-wall in-front-of-the-goal" strategy that Ball State used on the Cards two weeks ago...but the majority of the first-half action took place on the Cardinals part of the field...Duke had five of their seven shots on goal in that first 45 minutes (compared to zero, zip, zilch for the Cards) but none of them entered the net.

Here's a fun stat (avert your eyes, Justine Sowry)...these two squads have now played a total of 440 minutes and neither team has scored a goal. 

It is a good, if rather boring, philosophy to employ when you are on the road against a quality opponent. Led by Inger Katherine Bjerke...who the Duke announcer on ACC Network Extra referred to as "Beercheck" a couple of times...the Cards routinely had 7,8 or 9 players back in the defensive role of making sure that nothing got past the posts. 

It looked like the Blue Devils would break the scoreless match in the 71st. minute. Taylor Racioppi (whose name the announcers got right) slipped the Cardinal defense and found herself right in front of Bucklin with the ball. A shot was fired, Bucklin managed to get a knee in front of it and the ball bounced to the left side of net...inches short of going in. I almost had to go do a beer-check after that one. Bjerke was there also...but I'm not sure if she realized what was going on. 


The Blue Devils out-shot Louisville 31-9...but after the five first half shots on goal...they only managed two more the rest of the way. Louisville did get their offense a little more employed as the contest went on and attempted five shots on goal. The Cards were firing away with about the same frequency as the Blue Devils in the last seven minutes of regulation but the scoreboard (and the Duke defense) refused to move. 

Our columnist Case Hoskins has lamented about the whole two overtime process. And, it was clear that both of these teams were gassed in the second overtime...each team only getting one shot-on-goal opportunity in the 10 minutes. I'd like to see a strategy shift in college soccer to eliminate ties. Sure, go ahead and play your first ten minute overtime if you wish...but go to a one-on-one shootout against the goalie after that if it is still tied. First one to score wins the game. Or go to "first-one-to-3". Have the coaches meet at mid-field and play rock, paper, scissors. Anything. Just get rid of these extra 10 minutes.

Ties on the road against top ten foes are better than losing. They're not as rewarding as wins. Someone once said "a tie is like kissing your sister". I don't have a sister, so I can't fully understand or have any actual experience the concept...although I've kissed a few "sisters" in my days. If you've been kissing your sister...I probably don't want to hear about it. 

Louisville comes home to face Boston College Sunday afternoon at the Lynn. Game time is 1 p.m. Dress is casual, wear something Cardinal and...

No ties, please...

My buddy Doug Bruno...he, of DePaul WBB, likes ties. Especially the Jerry Garcia style. I used to have to wear them years ago in the work-a-day world. These days, it's usually a funeral, wedding or Easter Sunday that gets one around my neck. Most useless piece of clothing ever invented...

I wonder if Doug could use a few dozen ties that span five decades? Boxed up and ready to ship...



7 p.m. is the start time for both Louisville Field Hockey and Volleyball tonight...with both teams on the road. 

Anne Kordes' Wide-Netters are taking on Notre Dame. The Irish are an impressive 9-3 as their rebuilding process appears to be moving swimmingly along. This is the first of two challenges for the 5-5 Cards...they head to Florida State (7-2) Sunday. WatchESPN will carry the match.

Freshman Melanie McHenry leads the Cards with 126 kills this season. No other Cardinal has reached the 100 mark yet.  

Louisville Field Hockey takes a swing thru Carolina this weekend...stopping first in Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest. This is a top 15 matchup...the Cards #7 and WFU #14. Louisville is also #11 in the RPI. UofL (7-1) heads to Boone, NC for a matchup with App. State Sunday. The Cards are first in ACC home Field Hockey attendance. Having seen how the total attendance is determined...the numbers are a bit suspect...but hopefully the Cards will draw well for the WFU match. Watching Louisville v Duke WSOC last night...the bleachers maybe had 15 people in them total. The TV view shows only one side of the field, of course...but it wasn't exactly a packed Lynn Stadium. 

ACC play. Coming at ya at full speed this days. Love it! 



  1. Good write up Paulie but now I can't get Sammy Hagar out of my head.

    Blue Lou

    1. Thanks BL. I live with it each day. Especially on the Gene Snyder during rush hour.


  2. Paulie, that was an incredible save on the link. I think Bjerke knew exactly what she was doing on the play by putting herself between the ball and goal. I don't have a huge knowledge of soccer but two defenders are usually better than one. Are you headed to Marshall?

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. Maybe so, Joe. I'm not an expert on defensive strategies in soccer either. No, not headed to Marshall. Just not as fired up about doing Football away games as I have been in the past.



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