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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fall Sports Underway in Earnest -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

After yesterday's competitions, all three major women's fall sports at UofL have officially gotten underway. Cross country, along with the major attention grabbing football, get their seasons started next Saturday. Women's golf hits the road for their first outing in the middle of September and rowing has yet to post their schedule. They'll likely get underway near the end of September if last season is any indication. Let's see how our Cardinals fared yesterday.

Field Hockey (like soccer) Takes Down Hoosiers

While the women's soccer team headed north to Bloomington to take on IU on Thursday night, they likely passed the bus of the IU field hockey team traveling south to face off against Louisville in a mid-afternoon affair yesterday. Like the women's soccer team, field hockey handled the border battle and started their season 1-0. The Cards were led by a new face in their first game. Freshman Marisa Martin Pellegrina earned a point on each of Louisville's four goals, scoring two of her own and assisting the other two. If yesterday is any indication, Martin Pellegrina is a name that you should get used to if you follow Louisville field hockey, because she is likely to continue making noise. Despite the lopsided final score of 4-1, Louisville didn't truly dominate yesterday's game statistically. The Cards finished ahead by only 3 in shots (13-10) and finished tied in shots on goal (7), penalty corners (6), and fouls (0, hooray for a clean game) although an IU player was given a green card in caution, so I'm not sure about the fouls number. It was Louisville's goalkeeping play that won them the game, with Hollyn Barr providing 6 stops to IU's 3. The Cards are still without Ayeisha McFerran, but it is promising that Barr has been able to provide solid play as the last defender. 

The game was never really in doubt for the Cards, as they scored their first goal on a penalty corner finish by Abby Grimes less than four minutes into the game. Martin Pellegrina scored her two goals within five minutes of one another near the middle of the first half. Taylor Stone finished the scoring for the Cards four minutes into the second half on yet another penalty corner goal (3 on the day for Louisville) and Louisville led 4-0. Indiana marred the clean sheet with a penalty corner goal of their own with 15 minutes remaining, but could do no further damage. Scoring on and defending set pieces with consistency is key, as I pointed out after the women's soccer opener, so if Louisville can continue to score on 50% of their penalty corners (unlikely) and defend at a 16% conversion rate (also unlikely) they will be in a good position this season. However unlikely those numbers may be to maintain, that the Cards came out fresh and ready for true gameplay is encouraging. Unfortunately for Jared, Minout Mink was held out in a limited role yesterday, entering from the bench. She was unable to score, which puts her well behind on her quest for 2 goals per game. She'll have some ground to make up if Jared is to be named Nostradamus. Louisville is back in action tomorrow at noon against Delaware. The Blue Hens are No. 3 in the country (Louisville is 9) and are the defending national champions. A win here could set the Cards up with a huge confidence boost and a hefty bump in the rankings.

PAULIE talks with Coach Sowry after the win   (featuring an impromptu walk-by from Minnie Mink).

PAULIE and Abby Grimes discuss the win over IU

Volleyball Falls in Hard Fought Match

The final scoreline, 3-0, wouldn't show it, but the volleyball team started their season with a tough match against a familiar foe to new head coach, Dani Busboom-Kelly, in No. 7 Wisconsin. Like most other Big Ten teams, the Badgers are tough. However, Louisville actually only lost these three sets 18-25, 19-25, and 24-26. The first set was the only one in which the Cards failed to tie or take the lead, and there were actually 11 ties and 5 lead changes throughout the second two sets. Despite a 3-0 loss, Louisville played an encouraging match last night, supported by the fact that they took the third set to extra points. This match is likely one in which last season's team would have been rolled over, especially after taking the painful loss in the first set with a very poor hitting percentage. I'm not one for moral victories, but I can find items about which to be positive in a loss against a superior team. Bouncing back to play hard in the next two sets with significantly better hitting percentages in those sets are some of those positive items. Jeff listened to every minute of this one on the radio last night and I'm sure he'll have quite a bit to add about his thoughts today. Louisville is back in action this evening at 5PM against Minnesota, another tough Big Ten team. DBK likely had a lot of teaching moments for her team after last night's loss, and it will be interesting to see (hear?) how they respond against a similar opponent. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

You can't keep me away for too long! I'm back in the studio with Paulie and Jeff (and maybe Jared? I'm actually not sure. You'll have to tune in to find out.) today and we'll have plenty to talk about with sports finally underway in real competition. There will be post game interviews, thoughts and observations, and plenty of statistical chatter from my end. Tune into 100.9 FM WCHQ in the Crescent Hill area or on the website or WCHQ app at 11AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, and be sure to comment below or on any article when you've got questions or topics you'd like to hear our thoughts on. We're always happy to send a reply, or fill some air time with a conversation. The replay is HERE

Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Impressive that Volleyball actually won a game against Minnesota. Looking forward to following how they do this year. Down here, the USF Bulls got the Charlie Strong era off to a good start with a big win in football over San Jose St. 42-22. Go Bulls!

    -- The Real Joe Hill --


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