Thursday, August 31, 2017
Setting the "Barr" and an away weekend for most UofL sports -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
HOLLYN "SETTING THE BARR" AT GOALKEEP FOR FIELD HOCKEY
Barr named Longstreth/NFHCA NAtional Defender of the Week
After waiting patiently for a season behind the 2016 UofL Field Hockey goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran...sophomore Hollyn Barr knows a thing or two about patience, learning and being prepared. With McFerran sidelined with an injury right now, Barr...who was the third string goalie last season... was the only goalkeeper left on the roster and was pressed into action for the 2017 season. No need to panic, though...she was ready to raise the "barr".
Hollyn was impressive in the preseason wins in exhibitions against the alums and Miami (OH). How would she hold up, though, against a better-than-average IU squad and the defending national champions in #3 Delaware?
The answer is just fine, thank you.
She allowed just one goal in the #9 Cards regular season opener against the Hoosiers last Friday in UofL's 4-1 win. The same scenario Sunday...one goal as the Cards down the Blue Hens 3-1. 140 minutes of tending the nets, an average of 1.0 goals allowed per contest and 13 saves on shot on goal. For comparison, McFerran had a 1.24 average for 2016 on goals allowed per game...which was in the top five in the nation and graduated back up goalkeeper Elina Pereira had an average of 1.96 goals per game in 35 minutes of play.
Good goalkeeping is promoted a lot by stellar defense and the Cards had a few gaps to fill in there as well. Senior Abby Grimes, normally a midfielder with excellent attacking abilities was transitioned into a defender. So was sophomore Carter Ayars. Junior Taylor Stone has seen her share of defensive work...plus freshmen Meghan Schneider, Alli Bitting and AnnMarie Habelow all getting starts on the back line.
Good goalkeeping is also benefited by an aggressive offensive attack against the opponents and the Cards have shown the propensity to advance the ball. Favorites Minnie Mink and Marigrace Ragsdale are back for the Cards on the attack and...combined with freshman Marisa Martin Pelligrina...have been responsible for four goals and six assists this season. Maybe we should call them "the M M and M girls" or "Triple M's".
Yes, it is still early in the season. Plenty of hockey to be played. The Cards head to Columbus, OH this weekend to face the Buckeyes in their home opener. The Ohio State University dispatched Lehigh 4-0 on the road last weekend. That's the start of a strenuous six game road swing that will have UofL Field Hockey in Columbus for the Buckeyes and Kent State, in College Park, MD for Maryland and American, visiting Durham for the ACC Conference opener against Duke and going to Evanston, IL for always-strong Northwestern.
I did inquire why Louisville was still ranked at their preseason ranking of #9 after knocking off the Blue Hens. I was told by George Lane...director of ACC Communications...that rankings aren't released until the end of the second week of competition.
You learn something new every day.
What opponents will learn is that they're playing a rock-solid Louisville team that features speed, multiple scorers and a fondness for controlling the action down around the foe's net...plus a denying defense.
They'll also discover if you hang around the "Barr" and her "barr"tenders...they'll make you pay.
Besides Field Hockey travelling this Labor Day weekend, we also find women's soccer on the road for tests at UK Friday and Southeastern Missouri State on Monday. Men's Soccer travels to Georgia State for a Friday match and...of course...the Louisville Football team will be in Indy Saturday for a showdown with Purdue.
Volleyball remains on campus. They host the Cardinal Classic that starts on Friday night with a match against Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. They'll face Kent State at 12:30 Saturday afternoon (which will have Worldwide doing his Dagwood Bumstead imitation of dashing out of the Crescent Hill Radio studios to get to Cardinal Arena) and the Wide Net gals will conclude the Classic Saturday night against, yet another Big 10 foe...this time the fighting Illini from Champaign.
Remember that games at Cardinal Arena (and elsewhere on campus) have now implemented the "clear bag" policy. You can read more about that at the link below:
CLEAR BAG POLICY FOR CARDINAL ARENA
I'll see you again on the radio Saturday morning for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR and here on these pages next Tuesday. Case and Worldwide will get you through the weekend here at the site. If i don't run into you, have a great Labor Day weekend. Be safe, responsible and stay dry tomorrow...the Louisville area could be pretty wet Friday.