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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Louisville Field Hockey -- Sowry ready to tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


When Justine Sowry and the Louisville Field Hockey team defeated Delaware 3-1 on August 27th., the Cards were 2-0 and had just knocked off the defending champs and #3 team in the nation. 

Then, they put the travelling shoes on. A brutal six game road trip awaited Sowry and her charges that included four teams in the top 15 in the nation. It started with a narrow loss to Ohio State and ended with a narrow loss to Northwestern. Coming from the best conference in college Field Hockey and going 1-2 against the Big 10 isn't exactly the way to march to the national championship. But, the Cards have landed back at the Trager and, in the words of Denny Crum, have been playing the best to become the best. 

They're also taking a John L. Smith quote to heart as well. 

"Tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead." The past is the past and you can't change it. The "Flock" has 10 games left in the regular season and the next four at home. It's time to trust the process, follow the scheme and play some winning hockey. 

They come home with Ayeshia McFerran back in goalkeep. When they departed, it was  Hollyn Barr defending the pipes. They left averaging 4 goals a game. They come back the victim of three straight shutouts. The four road losses (Ohio State, Maryland, Duke and Northwestern) were fairly close games except for the Duke debacle...where Coach Sowry's old boss and former UofL head coach Pam Bustin's Devils fire-roasted the Cards 5-0. 

Coach Sowry and I didn't discuss the Durham game when I sat down with her in her offices Wednesday morning. The full interview is linked at the bottom of the page. It's on Soundcloud and will also be re-aired Saturday on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. 

Some of the things we did chat about were: 

-- How the squad looked much better in the 2-0 loss to Northwestern. The team did a better job of retaining possession of the ball and didn't try to force as much on the pitch.

-- The brutal road schedule may have been a bit much to handle but it was key in helping build character and resiliency. They are quite ready and happy to be home. 

-- Ayeshia McFerran's return is important in leading the young defense and helping them grow. Coach Sowry has been most impressed with her leadership skills the last couple of weeks. 

There isn't an immediate, urgent pressure to absolutely, positively, have to beat Wake Forest mentality yet....but consider that the ACC and NCAA Final Four are being played here in Louisville this year and the Cards desperately want to be a huge, winning  part of both. That's not gonna happen unless the wins start piling up and knocking off the Demon Deacons, currently #11 in the DI rankings and RPI, would be a great start for the #15 Cards. 

Coach Sowry can be very pragmatic and calm-headed about things at times. At least around the media. A 4-4 record for a preseason top 10 squad might have some coaches on speed dial with their support group or out on the ledge looking for answers. She sees it this way...though. 

Tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead. 

That new view starts Friday night at 6 p.m. Admission is free for regular season Field Hockey games. Concession stand, beer and other beverages and water cannons at a McDonald's next door.  What else could you want? 




Louisville head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson Dayes has been riding the youth movement this season when it comes to her Kickin' Cards and scoring. 

Freshman Emina Ekic leads the squad in scoring with four goals. Sophomore Allison Whitfield is second with three. All told, six of the nine players who have scored a goal for UofL this season are sophomores or freshmen. 

Goals nay be hard to come by tonight in Lynn Stadium. The unranked Cards (6-3) bring in the #24 Florida State Seminoles (5-2). Both teams are coming off ACC losses...Louisville's to Boston College 2-0 in Beantown and the 'Noles bested by North Carolina 1-0 in Talhassee. Before that. both squads were victorious in non-conference play...UofL blanking Gardner-Webb in Lynn 4-0 and FSU dispatching of Troy 4-1. 

Scorers aren't the problem for Louisville and they have amassed 17 net-finders in their eight games. The Cards have been mostly rock solid on defense...allowed just 10 goals. Keeper Gabby Kouzelos (a red-shirt freshman) has a GAA of 1.25...not bad at all until you look at FSU's net-protector Cassie Miller...who had a 0.86 GAA and two shutouts.  

But, we'll accept a 1-0 win. Certainly. Especially when you consider that FSU leads the series 5-0 and downed the Cards 1-0 last year down there. 

This one is slated to start at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on the RSN network. Women's Soccer is a ticketed event but prices are pretty inexpensive and concession stand pricing very you can get a cold, frosty beverage there as well.  Get out and support your 2017 Kickin' Cards tonight! 



  1. Off today's topic but Walz on radio this morning with Howie and Cortnee. You prepped him well with your interview Paulie. A lot of the same questions and answers. He's looking to Arica and Myisha for leadership but didn't mention Asia or Kylee once in the interview.

    Also interesting that he doesn't put a whole lot of importance to football weekend and recruits. He said he'd rather get them in the KFC YUM! Center as juniors to see the 10,000 on hand for WBB.

    Curtis "We draw more for WBB than Dayton does for Football" Franklin

    1. Interesting stuff, Curtis. The Cards WBB squad has a wealth of talent back in Hines-Allen, Durr, Shook, Jones, Fuehring, (a hopefully rehabbed Carter) plus some excellent freshmen that I think will see a lot of action.

      Field Hockey. A sport that is near and dear to me since my eldest daughter did it at Bucknell. It starts with following the game plan and trusting it. It sounds like Sowry, based on your fine interview Paulie, has struggled to get them to do that. Individuality only goes so far.

      Keep our buddy Joe Hill in your thoughts and well-wishes. Seems he came down with a nasty bout of giardia after he got back home to Naples. Never had it but it keeps you pretty much "on the bowl" for a few weeks. It comes from bad water as a rule.

      Your friend
      David Watson

    2. For sure on Joe. Talked with him last night for a few minutes. He's a mess right now. Sonja had a bout with it when she was in the Peace Corps right out of college over in Kenya. Had her laid up for almost a month.

      Sowry has a team that can beat anyone in the country and I think they'll respond to being home and sweep all four games. Central Mich. and James Madison definitely. More of a struggle agains WFU and Syracuse. Score, Minnie, score!


  2. Cards go 4 for 4 this weekend. Women's soccer, volleyball, field hockey and football.


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