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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lacrosse wins, Baylor looms -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The Duquesne nickname is "the Dukes". One would think it would be fair play, then...if Duke adopted the "Duquesne's" as their moniker...but as we know, with Grayson Allen on board, fair play is hardly in the Duke vocabulary. Or, maybe this "Dukes" thing is a tribute to Bo, Luke, Cooter and the rest of the crew from the late 70's - early 80's television show THE DUKES OF HAZZARD.

Duquesne sent their duchess contingent to Louisville Tuesday and they got "duked" by the Louisville Lacrosse team 15-6 yesterday. A win that looks great on paper but wasn't that phenomenal...according to coach Kellie Young: 

"We could have won this game 8-2 and I would have been very happy if we had followed our game plan. We kind of get distressed, get frustrated and then get emotional and make bad decisions. We have to stay invested in the game for 60 minutes at a time. We have to understand the scout, play the scout and stay within the system. I know it's crazy to be frustrated...but we are trying to hold our team to a higher standard and we're trying to do great things this season." 

One thing that was pretty awesome, if not downright great, was the multiplicity of scorers yesterday for the Lax gals. Jillian Balog got the first net-finder, Meghan Siverson and McKayla Conti received feeds from Madison Hoover and it was 3-0 Cards early. Taylor Webster dove into the scoring pool next and this one looked like it might be a runaway blowout early. 

The Dukes, though...with no assist from Roscoe P. Coltraine or Daisy Mae...struck back with two consecutive scores and it was a 4-2 contest with six minutes until the half. Elise Koehl acheived net success, Conti poured in another and Balog blogged about her second score to close the half.

It was 7-2 Louisville at the break and Hannah Koloski hadn't scored yet. What separate reality and far-away universe had I been transported to? 

Hannah opened the second half with a tally, alleviating my fears that I wasn't at the "Ellis" was the first of five straight for the Birds...Ashley Lynch, Allison Ferrara, Koehl again, and Siverson's second score set the margin at 12-2. 

(People ask me why I call the Lacrosse stadium "the Ellis" . It's because the initials L.L.S. sound like "ellis" when you roll them off your tongue. Or maybe it's in tribute to long-time Cardinal sports orthopedic surgeon Rudy Ellis. I haven't quite decided yet...maybe I could be thinking of my basketball buddy Ellis Blanton?) Or all of the above...Plus, it's positioned right cross from soccer's "Palace"...Lynn Stadium. 

The Dukes fired up the General Lee one more time and ran off three straight scores from Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and JoAnne P. McCallie to make it 12-5. I missed most of those...engaged in a conversation with WDRB reporter Stephan Johnson about the tragic shooting at the Tim Faulkner Gallery over the weekend  and the connection to the Louisville lacrosse program. Savannah Walker, who was a Louisville student and played club ball for the Louisville Club Team program died in the incident. Yellow ribbons were distributed at the game and a moment of silence took place before the contest. Johnson was there to do a story on the connection.

I also spent time explaining the basics of Lacrosse to Johnson and we discussed
why there weren't any players from Louisville on the Cards roster. The Cards recruit the hotbeds of high school lacrosse...Maryland and New Jersey....14 of Louisville's 27 players are from those two states. 

Backup goalie Lexie Ball took the field for the final 9:37 of the game for UofL. She allowed just one score and the Cards got goals from Julia Schmucker (which allowed me to use the phrase "Schmucker stuck'er in the net!) and second scores from Webster and Koloski to end the game in Louisville's favor 15-6. Ball's going to be a good one, continuing the strong tradition that current starter Brittany Read has established. 

Louisville heads to Evanston, IL to face rival Northwestern on Sunday. If the past holds any pitch'll rain and it'll be a tight contest. 


Post game interviews below. We got an airplane involved, but no sirens nor trains. 

Thanks to THE CARDINAL Sports editor Dalton Ray for helping me formulate the questions for Young and McNamara. A man who's beard puts mine to shame. Standing together, we probably look like a couple of roadies from the Grateful Dead tour to the unsuspecting.





The Louisville women's basketball team is in the Sweet Sixteen and travels today to Oklahoma City to face #1 seed in the region...the Baylor Bears...Friday night...somewhere around 9:30 p.m. 

As a reader has commented...and I agree with...I am surprised there is no send-off pep rally for the Cards before they head to O.K.C.

Or maybe I'm not. The WBB Cards have one horrible marketing program. Coach Walz and the players deserve better than this. I've seen way better at significantly smaller schools. Combine that with their media relations fails and maybe it isn't any wonder that only 5800 showed up for the 1st and 2nd rounds. I've seen dog racing get more publicity and media assistance. But, their egos are definitely top-five ranked....OK, back to the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports. Excuse the diversion. 

As much as I wish I was going to be there, unfortunately financial situations and health are going to dictate that I watch this one in Louisville. We looked good financially at CARDINAL COUPLE going into January...but a few unforeseen expenses, road trips to Martin, Nashville, Murfreesboro and the ACC donations literally non-existent since January have put us on a tight-rope in order to get through the year with any bank account balance at all. As far as a personal financing by me for the bucks there either. 

Sadly, my knees are getting worse, hip still degenerating and the tendinitis in my IT bands have reached new levels of tightness and making it hard to do steps or any long walking distances. Driving 11 hours is out of the question currently as well. Anyone willing to drop $1000 in the coffers or transplant this brain into a new body, please step forward now. 

(Thanks for cheering us all up, Paulie...) 

I love the call on radio that Nick Curran and A.J. provide. There have been many a road game this season where I've abandoned the video feed and retreated to my porch to listen to the call and "beverage".  Good times...

Kim Mulkey also power-lifts players...isn't that special?
Jeff Walz and his WBB squad will face a tough bunch of Bears in Oklahoma. We'll get into a more descriptive breakdown and analysis in Friday's column...but we'll start with the 86-46 dismantling of another bunch of bears...the California Golden reach the Sweet Sixteen. 

Lindsay Gottlieb, Cal head coach, says this: 

"They have a darn good team. I know they have to go to Oklahoma City first...but I think they have a great chance to be playing in Dallas." 

A keen eye there, Coach G. Sequential order is of importance in any accurate dissertation this time of year...

Kalani Brown, Nina Davis, Natalie Chou, Kristy Wallace, Lauren Cox. The deadly Alexis factor...Alexis Prince and Alexis Jones. This magnificent seven, along with a little help from their friends...has complied a 32-3 record. UConn early, Texas late in the regular season pinned losses on Mulkey's bunch. Improbable West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament knocked them off. 

Poor Texas Southern drew the misfortune of drawing them in the NCAA opener. 119-30 was that outcome. A forty-point drubbing of a Cal team that many questioned deserving an NCAA bid. 

But, they run into the mad genius of Jeff Walz next. We all remember 2013 in Okla. City. The biggest upset in women's college basketball. Wanna see that one? Click the link below: 


Kim is also known for the screaming death stare
Difficult...but not impossible. Is this Baylor team as good as the one in 2013 that Louisville beat? Is this Louisville team as good as the 2013 version? Does it matter? 

Kim Mulkey. Such a shy and non-controversial soul...She's taken Baylor to nine straight Sweet Sixteen's. She has talent galore. She's played two less-than-impressive teams so will the Bears handle a Cardinal squad with...perhaps...just as good, if not better talent? 

The Cards handled a tall and impressive Vols squad with defense, successful shooting and a strong finish. Louisville has faced their share of tough competition in Notre Dame, South Carolina, Maryland and Florida State...who are all still dancing. Asia Durr is putting up fantastic numbers, Myisha Hines-Allen the force in the paint, Mariya Moore has been re-born and exuding confidence and this Cardinal team is playing like a team and not just a bunch of All-Americans. 

We'll cover more on this match-up later. The shootout at the OK Corral. It should be a good one...



  1. Wish I could fly you out there, Paulie. We're a bit tight on finances right now also. Cards will have their hands full, no doubt, but on any given occasion, anything can happen. If you believe, you can acheive, right?

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  2. You would think UofL would pay your way with all you do for the program but I guess there are NCAA rulws and regulations that prohibit that. Ah, for the days of $100 handshakes and Emery Air Freight envelopes, right? (JUST KIDDING!)

    You'd do a good job covering it, though, from wherever you might cover it. Crack a cold one, get into the easy chair and rest your bones for this one. I seriously doubt the Cards get by Baylor but hope they prove me wrong!

    Curtis "it's UConn and 63 teams named Joe" Franklin

  3. At the risk of sounding like an asshole this treatment of CC by several UofL women's sports, PR and departmental administrators over time is insane. Paulie and Sonia have never done anything but hold the banner of UL Women's sports as high as they possibly can and with the significant exception of Walz have received little in the form of appreciation or accommodation for their efforts.

    Years ago when I first got interested in ULWBB due to the Schimmels I remember CC getting stiffed out of comped tickets to some almost microscopic UL women's sports banquets when they were only trying to give them some exposure. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.

    We all grow old and wear out eventually, some more quickly than others, but our character always shines through our physical being. My Dad got polio when he was 16 so I always viewed sporting events from the "disabled seats" when I was a kid. It didn't stop four of Dad's six sons from going to college on athletic scholarships.

    The disregard and disrespect of these efforts over the years is a head scratcher. Never mistake your friends for your enemies.

    I think it's too late to get Paulie to this game but folks should step up if they can. I'm in for another $100 to support the ongoing effort and I'll step up for another $100 if you other readers can do $500 collectively in the next thirty days. That includes you Jeff Walz.

    Also...I like our chances with Baylor. We're way better matched with skills this year than we were back in '13. I say we're moving on.

    1. Burn, I'm humbled and thankful by your thoughtful words. I don't think Walz can donate to us, some sort of NCAA Rules or compliance regulation. We gladly accept all others, though.

      Not all of our dealing with UofL have been bad over the tears and there are some very great and helpful coaches, information sources and other staff and admins that do give us quite a bit of help. Over the years, I've just tried to stick with the ones that realize what it is we do and are grateful for it. We ignore the others. One of my horse-racing mentors told me years ago that you pick your spots and you can't win every race...this is also quite true in dealing with a sports program. There are definite "winners" associated with it and some "also-rans" that aren't worth the time, effort or worry. We are thankful and grateful for those over the past ten years who have made it a pleasure to report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and I'm pretty sure they know who they are, as well. We look forward to continuing those relationships.

      Baylor will be tough. If I was going, there is a possible chance it would be "one and done" trip. We'll have much more coverage on the game, the aspects, players and scenario over the next two days.

      Today, I'll watch the softball team (and we do love them so here at Cardinal Couple) on the ACC Network. After Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday live coverage of legs are yelling...'take a day off" and I'll enjoy watching and listening to two great folks in Don Russell and Daryl Foust cover the action from my laptop.

      If we get $500 in the next 30 days, I'd be quite pleased. I'll update ya.


    2. What Paulie isn't telling you, and I probably shouldn't but will anyway, is that one major corporate possible donor pledged an amount of money at the start of the year that would have made it possible for him to hire a Lear jet to fly to all the games and then backed out. I know this was a great blow to him. The reason I know is that I'm associated with this organization and our donation commitments were froze for 2017 by a ruthless owner and board of trustees, along with most of our advertising budget.

      Corporate America really sucks sometimes.

    3. It seems to me that once the women's college sports public got a chance to see where CC was coming from everyone was on board as long as it was convenient for them.

      There is always way more money out there chasing good ideas than there are good ideas to chase. As a guy that retired as a VP for a big ass international corp I can honestly tell you that important issues frequently turn on silly details...and corporate jets aren't as cool as everyone trys to tell you they are.

      I'm still surprised that other women's sports programs haven't adopted the model that CC implemented. From a business standpoint it should be replicable but from an enthusiasm standpoint they probably can't copy CC.

      If that is true it just makes CC more interesting as it's sitting right out there to copy. Kinda like UConn WBB.

  4. We will beat Baylor and move on these ladies are ready to kick some ass! MHA,Mariya and Durr are SERIOUSLY clicking now! Add BJ back into this talented bunch of girls and look out! They really have grown game by game and will surprise alot of people.Ya got to believe! Good luck ladies and everyone is behind you!


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