We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Friday, August 31, 2018

First 2018-19 Battle of the Bluegrass Tonight -- Volleyball in Florida -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


There will be 16 events between Louisville and Kentucky in the 2018-19 schedule for Louisville Athletics. 14 sports go head-to-head, with Softball and Baseball meeting twice. 8 on the men's side, 8 on the women's side. 

The first "Battle of the Bluegrass" takes place tonight in Louisville's Lynn Stadium...when the Cards and Cats take to the pitch at 5:30 p.m. 

Tonight's contest is part of a soccer double-header at Lynn, with Louisville Men's Soccer facing St. Louis after the women's game. The match has been designated a "Red Out", so make sure you're sporting your red Cardinal gear if you go. (Unless you're a Cat Fan, of course). 

Karen Ferguson Dayes and her Cards come in unblemished after four matches this year. Louisville has earned wins over Wright State, Xavier, at Dayton and at Michigan so far in August. Brooklynn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett lead UofL in scoring with three goals each. 

- Rivers' scoring came in one game, when she pulled off the hat-trick against Michigan. The Cards have scored 14 goals in their four wins, while allowing just three to be scored against them. 

UK enters Lynn with a 3-1 record. They recently fell against Wisconsin in Lexington and have gained victories over Morehead, SIUE and Arkansas-Little Rock. Kentucky was pushed to overtime in the Morehead and Arkansas-Little Rock wins. The Cats are led in scoring by Yuuka Kurosaki and Hollie Olding...who have three goals each on the season. 

Last year, Louisville visited Lexington and came home with a 3-1 win in rainy Bell Soccer Complex. It broke a six-game UK winning streak over Louisville women's soccer. 

Keys to a Cardinal win tonight? We'll look at three things in Paulie's Pre-Game Primer.  

1) Shutting the door.  Louisville's defensive middle of "Gabby squared"...keeper Gabby Kouzelos and Gabrielle Vincent have proven to be a tough task for offenses to overcome so far this season. They'll need to stay strong on the stops to ensure the Cards outscore the Cats. Freshman Sarah Hernandez and Arianna Ferraro have also helped build that impenetrable wall by the net and continued success from those two will be needed if the Cards are to push the win streak to two against Big Blue. 

2) Flying Freshmen.  The Cards have received a pleasant burst of efficiency and scoring from their freshmen this season. In addition to Whitsett's three scores, Delaney Snyder has found net success twice. UofL has also gotten valuable contributing minutes from first-year student-athletes Anna Henderson, Amari Hopkins and Morgan Jackson . Anything the freshman can contribute tonight will only boost UofL's win chances. 

3) Ekic Energy.  The scintillating sophomore Emina Ekic has two goals on the season and had two goals against Kentucky last year. She's a marvel and joy to watch on the pitch and seemingly fully recovered from the ACL that ended her season in 2017. A midfielder from Louisville Manual High School, Ekic knows one speed -- full throttle. We would like to see her duplicate her scoring total from last year against UK. Know this -- a good Ekic performance tonight is essential for a Louisville victory.

This one will be available on the ACC Network Extra and ESPN + at 5:30 if you can't get out for it. There is a 40% chance of rain and temperature is expected to top out at 90.
Good ol' muggy Louisville weather, right?  


Moving on to a different type of net and different player personnel, Dani Busboom Kelly  takes her Louisville Volleyball squad to Gainesville, FL for action in the Bubly Tournament...hosted by the University of Florida. No pre-game tailgating for the Louisville/Alabama football game for these set and serve stars...they'll be involved in three games in three days and start it off against an Orlando squad and former conference foe in Central Florida. 

Jared Anderson gave you a great preview of all three matches in the Thursday CARDINAL COUPLE and I encourage you to check out his article. He's down in Orlando, doing whatever Jared and Katy do, but it's rumored he'll be tweeting and taking phone pics. Follow him at @MrAndersonJared. 

The Cards found net success in their season opening Cardinal Classic tournament with convincing wins over Tennessee Martin, Southern Illinois and IUPUI...sweeping the three game round robin. 

Louisville's offense, so far, has been led by Amanda Green and Melanie McHenry. They lead the Cards in kills with 28 and 26 respectively. Senior Molly Sauer stands out for the defense with 40 digs. She was also the Cardinal Classic MVP and joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Jasmine Bennett and Wilma Rivera

The competition goes up a few notches this weekend, starting with UCF. They began their season with two wins and a loss in the Sunshine State Challenge....downing Florida Gulf Coast and Florida Atlantic but falling to ACC opponent Miami. 


We'll have more on the other two opponents (Florida on Saturday and Southern California on Sunday) as those matches draw closer. Viewing for UCF today is allegedly available at the link below:

The listing at the link, though, shows the match will take place Sunday at 1 p.m., which is incorrect, according to what we've heard. The Golden Knights and Cards are scheduled for a either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. start (once again, two sources, two different game times listed). 

You can also supposedly follow action at the stats link below...I tested it, however, this morning and I got a "not valid URL" message :

We'll have a recap of the opener in Florida for you regardless of time and stat availability, though, here in the Saturday Cardinal Couple column and we'll also recap it on Saturday morning's broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and Facebook Live. No mystery or intrigue there, as far as we know. 

We'll have Ky. Women Talk Sports co-host Daryl Foust joining Worldwide Jeff McAdams and I for the broadcast along with River City Cards managing editor Mike Gilpatrick. It should be a legendary show...don't miss it! 


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jurich/Tyra Emails -- Volleyball Heads to Gainesville -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Mark Jurich Sends Unwarranted Email to Vince Tyra


In school we all grew up being taught to stop and think before you act.  It appears that life lesson did not carry into adulthood for Mark Jurich, son of former athletic director Tom Jurich.  On August 22, Mark Jurich sent an email to current athletic director Vince Tyra claiming that Tyra has been attacking his family, not physically, of course.

One of the reasons for the email?  The season tickets for the Jurich family to men's basketball and football have been moved from where they have been located since back when Tom Jurich was athletic director.  Although exact location was not noted we do know that the seats have been moved closer towards the baselines at Cardinal Stadium and the KFC Yum! Center.  All eight seats that the Jurich family receives are still free of charge, per the settlement between the University of Louisville.  WDRB's Eric Crawford brought to the attention of the public that Vince Tyra pays full price for his seats, which are not as nice as where the Jurich family's seats were located, for men's basketball and football games. The area where the Jurich's sat are also generally considered to be where the current athletic director and family are placed.

Mark Jurich's email is too long to copy and paste here, although the first paragraph is provided below:

"In writing this email, I hope to be clear.  It has been my goal to move on - yet you continue to attack my family which gives me no other option than to respond.  This email is not about tickets.  It is about you and the University dishonoring my father and your blatant disrespect for my family," writes Mark Jurich.

Tyra did not immediately respond, but rather took some time to think about the email and discuss it with his colleagues.  His response consisted of one sentence.

"I received your email and it is clear that we disagree on all fronts," said Tyra.

Before I respond to the situation I would like to disclose that my views may not reflect the views by the rest of the Cardinal Couple staff and are my own.

This is the point where I would bring in Cris Carter and the ESPN staff to give us a "C'mon Man" to Mark Jurich.  Vince Tyra nor the University of Louisville are trying to humiliate the Jurich family or defame what is left of their reputation.

Tom Jurich did some remarkable things as athletic director of UofL, including a never-born-seen growth and expansion of an athletics program.  He brought it top notch facilities for all sports and heavily emphasized the importance of Title IX.

Not all that glitters is gold.  And that is the case of what happened here.  There is still a small portion of the Louisville fan base unhappy with how Tom Jurich handled the transition between Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.  The black mark around the university involving Rick Pitino also included blood on the hands of Tom Jurich, figuratively.

Tyra has praised Tom Jurich for everything he has done for this university on several occasions.  Even Jeff Walz made sure to take a moment to thank Tom when the women's basketball team reached the Final Four this year.  It appears the only attack made was Mark Jurich's aggression towards Tyra in the email.

Tyra, the athletics department, and the university handled it well.  Instead of stooping down to the level of pettiness Mark Jurich showed they brushed it off and let it go.  If anything, it shows maturity among the current administration and also shows that they still have respect for Tom Jurich.

Here is a link that has the entire e-mail sent on Aug. 22nd from Mark to Vince:

Volleyball Visits Gainesville for Bubly Tournament

On another note, we move away from an unhappy email and enter the realm of the 'VolleyCards'.  Louisville's first road trip of the season is to Gator Country in good ole Gainesville, Fla.  The University of Florida is hosting the Bubly Tournament featuring Louisville, USC, UCF, and Florida.

Louisville will face all three opponents over the weekend in Exactech Arena at the Stephen O'Connell Center, where Florida's men and women's basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball teams all compete.  Originally, the Cards were to take on the Knights in Orlando, but perhaps UCF's 2018 Championship trophy for football is currently MIA.

-UCF Knights (Friday at 4:00 p.m.)

Sitting at 2-1 on the year, Central Florida appears to be the easiest foe for the Cards.  Their two wins came against Florida Atlantic and Florida Gulf Coast while their sole loss was a sweep (25-22, 25-20, 25-20) in favor of the Miami Hurricanes.  Miami will visit Cardinal Arena in early November.

-Florida (Saturday at 5:00 p.m.)

Ranked 4th in the country heading into the weekend Florida is coming off a 2017 National Runner-Up appearance.  They fell in four sets to Nebraska in the National Championship.  The Gators (1-1) got revenge against the #2 Cornhuskers in their season opener this year, winning in a four-set thriller.  Florida then fell to #3 Texas in a five-set nail-biter to get to where they currently are.  Playing at home, Florida will be a force to be reckoned with.

-USC (Sunday at 1:00 p.m.)

UofL's weekend doesn't get easier as they'll face the #7 Trojans.  Southern California holds a 3-0 record, like Louisville.  They downed Kentucky, who the Cards will face on Sept. 14, in a tight four-set match.  Neither team won a set by more than three points.  They then swept Northern Iowa before holding off Creighton in five sets.  The Trojans fell to Florida in the quarterfinals (Elite Eight) last year.

This weekend will be the toughest 48 hours of volleyball Coach Dani Busboom Kelly will have had to face with UofL.  The weekend could easily end poorly, resulting in the Cards dropping to 3-3.  We could also be surprised and watch Louisville come out of it 6-0.  My prediction is that UofL will defeat UCF before falling to Florida and USC.

What if the Cards get beat by Florida and USC?  Oh well.  The season is young and there is a lot of volleyball to be played.  Besides, this is just Coach Kelly's second season at the reins so we are still looking at a program in a rebuilding phase.

The only link currently provided by UofL is the one for Louisville vs UCF.  With the high quality opponents in Florida and USC I would be surprised if there isn't a live stream somewhere.  We will keep an eye out for that information and pass it along once we find out.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

It may still be two days away, but half of the "A Team" will be out of office this Saturday morning.  Case will not make it in the studio and I am currently on the way to Walt Disney World for a few days with my parents and will meet up with my precious Katy.  We will then head to the football game vs Alabama to watch my brother perform in his first game with the Cardinal Marching Band (CMB).

In our stead, Mike Gilpatrick (River City Cards) and Daryl Foust (The Crunch Zone/ Kentucky Women Talk Sports) will accompany Paulie and Worldwide.  Cardinal Couple covers women's sports at UofL and that will be the main focus on Saturday's show.  There are four women's teams playing this weekend.  There will be a little bit of football coverage and I will try to call in and report the sights and sounds of Orlando.
Mike and Daryl are no strangers to The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour and we always gladly welcome either or both when they join in to interact with whatever "knuckleheads" we have on-air.

If any of our loyal readers are headed to the football game look for me and don't be shy, say "hi"!  It brings me joy meeting the real backbone of Cardinal Couple.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Softball Releases Fall Schedule -- Mollie Rouse Returns to Campus -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Softball Releases Fall Schedule

Other than playing inter-squad scrimmages it has been a few years since we have seen Louisville softball face true opponents in a fall schedule.  It appears Holly Aprile wants to change that.  Their fall schedule was released yesterday.

On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Cards will  travel to Richmond to face Eastern Kentucky in a double-header.  Then they will head up to Bloomington to take on Indiana in a double-header on Sunday, Sept. 30.

The Cards will also host a few games at Ulmer so fans can get a sneak peek at what's to come.  Morehead State will come to town on Sunday, Oct. 7 for a double-header.  They'll take on Kentucky and Western Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Playing other Division 1 opponents will give Coach Aprile a chance to see what her team can do before the true season starts in February.

The only roster changes we currently know of include Sydney Warriner transferring and Catie Barber deciding that her softball career has come to a close.

Mollie Rouse Back at UofL

After earning a bronze medal with the English National Team at the FIFA U20 World Cup, Mollie Rouse is back in the states.  Sadly, her bronze medal was not on display, but I'm sure we will see it at some point this season.

It is currently unknown if Rouse will play Friday against Kentucky and if she does, how much time she will see.  Rouse has not had the off-season and early season to practice with UofL and has not had a chance to familiarize herself with the game-plan (it's more than just 'win').  Fortunately, having played all summer and against some of the best players her age internationally, she shouldn't miss a step when she's ready for action.

Other News and Notes

-This is a reminder that the women's soccer match on Friday is early- 5:30 p.m.  They will face Kentucky and is a part the women and men's teams double-header.  The men will face St. Louis following the conclusion of the women's match.  Tickets are a 2-for-1 deal.

-Men's Soccer defeated Georgia State last night 1-0 to improve to 2-0 on the year.  They join women's soccer (4-0) and volleyball (3-0) in the undefeated column.  Field hockey is currently 1-1, winning on the road and losing at home.

-Men's Tennis release their fall schedule.  You can catch Coach Rex Ecarma and the men's team at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center from Oct. 19-21 when they host the Louisville Invitational.

What Day Is It

Although you are more than welcome to help another on any given day today is Willing-To-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday.  You can't go wrong helping others!

According to Englishman Edmond Hoyle it is According to Hoyle Day.  For you food lovers, it is More Herbs Less Salt Day, Lemon Juice Day, Chop Suey Day, and Swiss Wine Growers Day.  I wouldn't mix the four of them though, that sounds gross.

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Who's Next for Louisville basketball -- Goodbye John Asher -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


So, on one of those rare days here in late August where there are no UofL women's athletics events to attend, watch or cover...let's turn to one of the sports on campus that brings a goodly share of readers to Cardinal Couple and peaks Cardinal fans interest. Women's basketball. 

First off, yes, the 2018-19 team is on campus, going through practice a few times a week under NCAA guidelines, of course, with Jeff Walz, his associates and assistants and the Cardinal training staff. The 2018 freshmen are on campus and working to gel with the returning players from 2017-18. 

As it is, though, with some programs, the Louisville fan base is akin to a toddler who has weathered a Christmas morning and later wants to know: What's next? 

That "next" would be the 2019 recruiting class. Some of the answers are already in place. The Cards WBB program will be bringing in several good players. Nyah Green, a 6'0" guard (or wing...we feel she can play either) is in the Cardinal camp. So is Ramani Parker, a 6'4" post. 

So, how many more does UofL WBB want to bring in? That would be the question of the day. Although we're pretty sure here at CARDINAL COUPLE that Coach Walz and the staff probably have a "number" in never really know until the final determining factor of them making the commit and then showing up on campus. 

Like some of you, we've hear some names and have  done a bit of speculation. We have no "inside pipeline" to the thoughts and strategies of we'll throw a few names out there and see what happens down the road. Mind you, again, this is just speculation on our part.

Today, I'll toss out five names that have shown interest in the Cards for 2019. I'm definitely "flying on instruments" here but, here goes. I know I'm leaving a few out. 

AIJAH BLACKWELL, who played for Walz and USA Basketball in Mexico City, has narrowed her potential places to further her student-athlete status to six schools. As it is with many of these, they are in no particular order. Louisville, Ohio St., Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi St. and St. Louis are who she's considering. This 6'0" guard has it all and would be a welcome addition to the Cardinal roster. 

MAORI DAVENPORT. She's another player who went with USA Basketball to Mexico City and she was named to the All-Tournament team. She's named Louisville, Mississippi St., Georgia, Florida and Rutgers. Depending on what you read and who said it, there are conflicting reports on if any of these are in the lead for her enrollment. At 6'4" she'd be a great "add" to any of the schools listed above. 

JORDAN HORSTON. A 6'1" guard out of Columbus, OH who is ranked in the top three at her position...she recently agreed to visit Tennessee for a weekend. Still on her list, at last glance, were Louisville, Tennessee, UConn, North Carolina, Ohio St., South Carolina and UCLA. Any time you have a shot at one of the top three at a position, that's a good thing, right?  She's also had official visits to UCLA. UConn, South Carolina and North Carolina. She's had one unofficial visit to Louisville and plans another. She likes Jeff Walz and the staff. We'll see...

JADA BOYD. She was the Virginia Player of the Year and a force on the court at 6'2". She has her list down to four schools. Louisville, Maryland, NC St., and West Virginia. She says: " I really like coach Walz a lot and my mother is fond of him and his coaching style." Jada plans official visits to all four schools. She's developed into a top target for the Cards in 2019 and played well here in the NIKE EYBL tournament here in Louisville this summer. 
As a junior, she average 35 points a game and 13 rebounds, with eight blocks per game. 

RICKEA JACKSON. A 6'2" wing that recently visited Tennessee along with Horston and Zia Cooke (who has also shown UofL interest). Jackson made an unofficial visit to Louisville back in December and is another in the top three according to ESPN at her position. Last we heard, there are still seven or eight schools on her list. She's a wing that runs the court extremely well, makes opponents pay with a variety of scoring options and can definitely clear the glass. 

As mentioned above, we have NO idea how accurate or relevant this list is, or how it will be in the next few months...but these are a few players that caught ol' Paulie's eye. Any or all would be a great addition to the Louisville roster. The Cards graduate four after the 2018-19 season, so there will be ample opportunities and roster sports open. 

Time will tell. 


John Asher and I were the same age. He went to college at WKU with CARDINAL COUPLE Co-Founder and my wife Sonja. I saw John a lot over the past 20-something years. He faithfully addressed The Sportsmen's Supper Club each March or April with an annual Derby preview and I was usually responsible for lining him up for the engagement. He always said "Yes" and always told me how much he enjoyed addressing our group. 

He actually gave us the winner this year as well, in Justify, when he delivered his picks. 

I will miss him. John was a huge part of Churchill to me, along with the Twin Spires, Scotty Harris and that long stretch

I'll share a couple of Asher stories in his memory.

-- Last Saturday, I went to Churchill after THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR broadcast. A combination of be with some people who knew recently-departed Scott Harris as well as I did...and to watch an important stakes race at Saratoga (The Travers). John used to tease about his inability to pick a Derby winner, but he nailed his 2018 pick.  

As I pulled into the lot, I saw John in the row in front of me walking to his car. I went over to talk to him. He was leaving after taking care of a few details at the track (he was the vice-president of racing communications at Churchill Downs) and going home to prepare for a vacation in Florida with his family. He said he was ready for some fun and rest with them. We talked about the Travers, he didn't give me a pick, but smiled and nodded when I mentioned CATHOLIC BOY, who won the race at 7-1 odds. John was a "Catholic boy" himself, attending Holy Spirit parish here in Louisville.

I also teased him about former WKU WBB Coach Michelle Clark-Heard leaving the 'Toppers' to go to Cincinnati. John was a huge WKU fan but also knew a lot about UofL WBB. John had a photographic memory. He recalled Clark's playing days at WKU, her time at Louisville and then also reminded me that Greg Collins, the new coach at WKU, was another former UofL assistant and John thought he'd be a great head coach for the Toppers. He pointed out that Collins basically held the UofL program together after Martin Clapp left and before Tom Collen accepted the job.  

I could tell he was in a hurry, so I wished him a "happy vacation" and walked away. With the sun shining down on him, that "always-big-glad-to-see-you-grin" on his face...two regular guys just exchanging a few pleasantries...that's the way I'll remember my last encounter with John. Doing what he loved and loved what he was doing. 

Another John-related story: 

-- It was Thursday of Kentucky Derby week this year.  "Thurby", as it's called...if you will, and I awoke that morning and discovered I was missing my cell phone. I thought back to Wednesday. I had been at the track. I remembered using one of the charging plugs in the Gold Room at Churchill Downs to re-charge it. I checked the car, it wasn't there, so I told Sonja I must have left it plugged-in at Churchill and I was going to go see if it was still there. Fortunately, David Watson had agreed to do the Thursday Cardinal Couple column for me.

Getting into Churchill on Derby Week Thursday...without tickets, proper passes or before they open...beginning with parking in the Longfield Lot, is akin to climbing Mt. Everest in a "speedo". My gift-of-gab, out-dated WCHQ media pass and tale of woe got me by parking lot guarders, gate attendants and security folks and I went into an almost deserted Gold Room  quite early on that Thursday morning. 

The phone was no longer plugged in where I had left it. One of the hosts of the room, no other than Scotty Harris, who was already on-duty,  suggested I try lost-and-found over in the administration off I went. As I walked over, back-tracking to get around locked gates, I turned a corner and there was John Asher, getting in a little morning cardio-walk.

We smiled at each other and started to talk. I explained my plight. He wished me the best of luck in the search and told me to keep positive thoughts. He told me that they had a good group of people there at Churchill and it would most likely turn up somewhere. I told him that it was good to see him that morning. I went down the steps in front of me, he continued up. 

After I had a lengthy wait, lost-and-found opened but no one had turned in my phone. Dismayed, I left. The attendant said she'd call my home phone if it showed up. I asked her to call the Gold Room, since I planned on being there.

 I went back to the Gold Room to see if I could get a coffee. As I entered, my bartender from the day before was coming on shift and she asked me if "I was missing anything?". The bartenders have a cabinet behind the bar where they store lost or forgotten items...which I didn't know about. My phone, with charger, waited for me on one of the shelves in the cabinet. 

Goodbye, John. Churchill won't be the same without you. I hope you and Scotty Harris get together up at that big race track in the sky and get some successful handicapping done. 


Monday, August 27, 2018



As is our custom here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we try to bring you the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics. So, we'll start the Monday column with that..another win for Karen Ferguson Dayes' soccer program. UofL went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and came away with a 3-1 win. It was Louisville's fourth straight "W" to start the season. 

Maybe we should say Brooklynn 3 - Michigan 1.

Brooklynn (#13) gives it up for #14 Gabrielle Vincent
Brooklynn Rivers, a junior midfielder for the Cards scored all three goals against the Wolverines in Sunday afternoon action and went about it three different ways. 

She opened the Cards' scoring 6:49 into the match when she gained control of the ball from a Michigan player and  placed a shot into the bottom, right area of the goal past UM keeper Izzy Nino from about 15 yards out.  The UM squad was quick to respond, though, scoring just 15 seconds after UofL's tally to tie it at 1-1. 

Rivers wasn't done, though. Not by a long shot. Louisville earned a penalty corner shot at the 21:04 mark of the contest and Rivers stepped up and drilled one into the left lower corner of the goal to give the Cards back. And, that's the way the squads entered the half. Louisville holding the 2-1 edge after 45 minutes of action. 

It continued to be the Brooklynn show to start the final half. The Fort Thomas, KY native got loose after a Arianna Ferraro feed in the third minute of the second session and beat Nino again with found pay-dirt for the third time. Goal, Cards! 

Take off the hats and send them onto the turf.

The hat trick by Rivers is the first of the year for the Cards.  Why do they call it a hat trick? The term came about in the sport of cricket back in 1858 when an English player delivered three consecutive attempts that succeeded in taking wickets. The fans in attendance took up a collection and bought the player a new hat with the money. 

Coincidentally, the WSOC squad's last hat trick was on 8/26/18 when Gabrielle Vincent scored the triplicate against UAB. 

The Cardinal defense was stellar in the final 45 minutes, allowing just one shot on Cards keeper Gabby Kouzelos. 

Louisville returns home with a 4-0  record to prepare for the annual "Battle of the Bluegrass" against Kentucky at Lynn Stadium on Friday, August 31st. These two will meet at 5:30 p.m....the first of two that night on Floyd Street. Louisville men's soccer faces St. Louis (no, not the Cardinals...the Billikens) at roughly 7:30 p.m.  It's a "two-fer" Come on out! 

The Cards defeated UK in Lexington last year 3-1 on Sept. 1st. Emina Ekic scored twice against UK in that one and provided the assist to Alison Price for her goal. 

Our remaining question, I suppose, is just how many rivers flow through Brooklyn? If you know, let us know in the comments section.  

(Thanks to Jared Anderson for forwarding two of the pics above from Mark Vincent) 


It was a tale of two halves yesterday in Trager Stadium. 

The Cards controlled action and possession in the first 35 minutes and built a 2-0 led on the visiting Buckeyes. Goals from Mercedes Pastor and Erica Cooper gave Louisville that edge and it looked like the Cards were on their way to another win over a BIG 10 foe. 

Then, came the second half. 

The Buckeyes basically outworked the Cards and got an early second half score and one with less than three minutes left in regulation to tie the match. Going into the 10 minute, seven-on-seven extra session, the Columbus, Ohio school shocked Louisville with the game ending score just 89 seconds into the overtime. 3-2, The Ohio State University over UofL. 

Coach Justine Sowry's description of the afternoon will get no argument from me. Jared Anderson, one of three CARDINAL COUPLE representatives at the contest (along with me and Worldwide Jeff McAdams) caught the post-game recap and you can see the un-cut version at the link below: 


A true disappointment, no doubt, with the #24 ranked Buckeyes coming into Trager and knocking off the #8 Cards. Maybe a wake-up call, of sorts, early into the season for Louisville to not under-estimate any foe and play hard to the final horn. 

Coach Sowry was quite understandably disappointed and dismayed by the Cards second half performance and we were as well. This is a much better team than they presented in the final 37 minutes of action yesterday when they play as a unit. Louisville has the best goalkeeper in the world in Ayeshia McFerran and a defensive breakdown leading to three scores against her was shocking. 

Confidence remains high, though, that the Cards will work out the dilemma and be quite prepared and motivated for their next foe. 

(A special "Thank You!"! to our Jared Anderson for providing the FH pictures! ) 


At least the afternoon ended on a quite positive note when the Cardinal team and coaches gathered to celebrate Sherrill Brakmeier's 96th. birthday. Ms. "B", as she's affectionately called, played Field Hockey at UofL from 1941-44 and was the head coach of the squad for three decades. She was inducted to the Cardinal Hall of Fame in 1990.

The team presented her several gifts and a chocolate cake to honor her and she had a ear-to-ear smile with each presentation. As is custom, she has a seat of honor in the Louisville press box when she attends matches, and we did a bit of respectful and tribute scrambling to re-locate from those seats and make room for her and her daughter Sherill Zimmerman when they arrived shortly after the contest began.

Ms. B. embodies the spirit and long tradition of Louisville Field Hockey. I remember a short interview I did with her a few years back and her great memory of her coaching days. The money was tight back then...the administration would give her $50 for a road trip, that involved two carloads full of players and her and ask her to not spend it all on just one trip. 

The girls dined on hamburgers and soft drinks after away games and Ms. B would slice up oranges and put them in bags as a treat for the girls. 

Louisville Field Hockey hits the road for their next match, travelling to Richmond, VA for a test against U Mass Lowell on Saturday, Sept 1st. The Cards return home after playing at Delaware on Sept. 3rd. for four straight home games against North Carolina, California, Boston College and Northwestern.

You can catch the Cards for free anytime they play at Trager Stadium. Seven home contests remain. And, CARDINAL COUPLE will be a source for reporting action on Louisville Field Hockey home or away.  


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Volleyball Sweeps the Weekend

Straight Sets over IUPUI

UofL Volleyball finished off the weekend 9-0 in sets, not dropping a single set on the season, yet.  That doesn't mean that the match went without any adversity, though.

The first set made it look like match would be all Cardinals, jumping out to the lead immediately and never relinquishing it for a 25-14 win.  Early in the second set, there was a hint that IUPUI could provide a challenge if the Cardinals didn't stay on top of their game.  UofL was down by 3 points early in the match, but then righted the ship and cruised out to a 25-12 win.

The third set is where the drama occurred.  IUPUI largely controlled the set early, stretching out to an 18-11 lead.  Sometimes in volleyball circles, you'll hear "first to 18 wins", meaning that if a team has a significant lead (and 18-11 qualifies) when they reach a score of 18, it's very rare for the opponent to come back and win.  The Cards pulled it off, though, finishing out the third set 25-23, to take the match and finish the first weekend of volleyball without a set loss.

On the stats front, Megan Sloan and Amanda Green led in kills with 10 and 11, respectively, Green also contributed 6 digs, a solo and 4 shared blocks.  Melanie McHenry, the ever consistent contributor for the Cards, registered 7 kills and 8 digs.  Molly Sauer, unsurprisingly, topped the dig list with 19, but two other Cards also chipped in 8 digs, Wilma Rivera, and Kelly O'Neil.

In more subjective analysis, Megan Sloan really demonstrated the power in her swing, and Jasmine Bennett continues to shine when the team is in need.  Also in the middle, we're seeing Piper Roe and freshman Emily Scott split some of the playing time, why this is, isn't exactly clear, but both are contributing well and are excellent options on the other side of the rotation from Bennett.

Akela Yuhl, who goes on my list of one of the most improved players on the team, is getting some real time out on the court.  She has shown herself to be composed, aware, and really have a great vision for court placement and coverate as she's been playing.

This weekend didn't provide a great deal of high level competition for the Cards, 3rd set scare against IUPUI aside, but next week, things get serious.  UofL will be heading for Gainesville, Florida, with the first matchup of the weekend being 4pm against UCF.  UCF is not ranked, but can't be overlooked as a solid opponent.  Even bigger challenges await, however, with Saturday at 5pm seeing a matchup against currently 7th ranked Florida, and then on Sunday at 1pm with currently 10th ranked Southern California.

To put a little bit of context around UF and USC, Florida upset number 2 Nebraska in a matchup Friday evening, while USC upset number 5 Kentucky later that night.  Those matchups were part of a topsy-turvy first day of the Volleyball season with another significant upset being number 13 Creighton also defeating Kentucky (meaning UK was a 5 ranked 0-2 team after the first day of play).

Obviously, the weekend in Gainesville will provide a strong early test for this team, with 2 top 25 ranked teams and another providing solid competition.

A quick injury report.  As reported previously Alexis Hamilton is out for the season with an ACL tear.  Also, Marijke van Dyke went down in the evening match Friday with an ankle injury.  We have no word on the extent or how long she is expected to be out, but she was in a boot and seemed to show signs of a limp, though how much of that can be contributed to just the awkward gait required in a boot is unclear.

Today's Action

Field Hockey hosts Ohio State at Trager Stadium on Floyd Street with a start time of 1 p.m, and
Women's Soccer will get underway against Michigan in Ann Arbor at 2pm.  If you can't make it out to Trager, you can catch Field Hockey on the ACC Network Extra, and for those of us not in Ann Arbor...well, the UofL Women's Soccer twitter account usually does a pretty good job of keeping up to date on major points of action during the game.  You can catch those updates in the Twitter updates down in the right side of the site.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

We took to the airwaves at the magnificent, majestic media mansion on Mellwood known as WCHQ 100.9 FM (and Facebook Live) yesterday morning to provide our weekly update on the joy and excitement of Uof L women's athletics/ Three knuckleheads present (Case, Jeff and Paulie) and one absent ...turning quarters into nickles and dimes (Jared).

A great show that encompassed soccer, volleyball and field hockey. You can see the replay below:

In Memorandum

One of Paulie's good friends and excellent horse-racing handicapper Scott "Scotty" Harris passed away Saturday morning.

Scott was a regular on WCHQ 100.9 FM's  Handicapping Heroes...a show that Paulie hosts

Scott came up with the Handicapping Heroes idea, format and was last with Paulie and Archie three weeks ago on the show with his analysis and picks for thoroughbred racing here in Kentucky and around the nation.

He loved his friends, family, horse-racing, playing pool, WCHQ and life.

He will be greatly missed. He will always be remembered.   -paulie-


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Field Hockey, Volleyball Take Openers -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Earns Sweeps in First Two Matches of Season

Louisville Volleyball opened their season yesterday in the Cardinal Classic, hosting three teams in Cardinal Arena. Louisville played their first game against UT Martin and showed the fans on hand that last season's performances were no fluke by putting together a dominant performance against the outmatched Skyhawks. The Cards finished the match hitting .478 as a team and had a whopping 10 aces. UT Martin was outscored 75-36 over the duration of the match, with the closest game of the three coming at 25-17. 

Despite Melanie McHenry and Amanda Green both finishing with 9 kills, it was really Piper Roe who paced the office, converting 8/11 attempts with no errors to finish the night with 8 kills and a .727 hitting percentage. Roe also added 5 block assists and a dig to round out a very solid match. My player of the match would have to be Wilma Rivera, though. Rivera picked up right where she left off and finished the first match of the day with 2 kills (on 2 attempts), 23 assists, 4 aces, 2 blocks, and 7 digs. Rivera was the Setter of the Year last year and it is good to see her come out of the gate strong. 

Unfortunately..we found out before the first game, Louisville lost a key contributor on defense in Alexis Hamilton. It was confirmed by her family at the later game that Hamilton tore her ACL and will likely miss the remainder of the season. Look for Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly to apply a medical redshirt to Hamilton this year to give the sophomore an additional year of playing time.

In their second match last night, Louisville took on the Salukis of SIU. The team from Illinois put up a bit more of a fight, scoring a total of 42 points, and pushing one game to 25-19, but in the end, Louisville walked away with a second sweep. The Cards again hit well as a team with a .443 performance, and finished the second match with 7 aces. Unfortunately, the aces were outnumbered by service errors, and you know that I like to look for the bad in the good to find things the team can improve.

Despite her effectiveness in the first match, Piper Roe did not start the second match. Roe came away ok with her limited opportunities, though, earning a kill on 4 of 6 attempts, but erring on the other two. It was Emily Scott that started in place of Roe and Jasmine Bennett that played a similar game to Piper. Bennett finished the match with 10 kills on 15 attempts with just one error for a .600 hitting percentage. McHenry and Green were again strong, with 10 and 8 kills respectively, and Rivera again put together a solid match with 38 assists. The new transfer, Marijke Van Dyke, finished the second match completing 4/5 attempts with no errors and may find herself moving up the depth chart if such success continues.

Louisville will wrap the Cardinal Classic today against IUPUI at 5PM and will look for another strong outing. Winning 9 straight sets would be a good way to start the season. I will be looking for the Cards to perform better in the second set, as that was where the best games came from both opponents yesterday. Jeff will have plenty more to say about this opening weekend in his writeup tomorrow so be sure to check back in then!

Field Hockey Defeats Indiana in Opener 2-1

The Cards opened and closed the scoring yesterday with both goals coming on converted penalty corners. Shout out to the box score play-by-play for calling them "penalty kicks". Maybe they let Paulie at the controls for a moment. Louisville's first goal came after 23 minutes from Bethany Russ. Russ was active on the ball yesterday, taking a total of 6 shots and putting 2 of them on frame. 

The Louisville lead would last only 4 minutes, as Indiana scored a goal in the run of play after a bad pass from the defense led to an open breakaway. To the potential surprise of many, Ayeisha McFerran heard her number called yesterday to start the game in goal. She gave up the one goal (but it is hard to blame a goalkeeper for getting scored on in a one-on-one situation) but finished the game with 4 saves, including 3 during a tied second half. 

After Indiana's goal, the two teams went on the be frustrated for about 43 minutes before Louisville's Erica Cooper prevented overtime with a goal with no time on the clock. Louisville was awarded a penalty corner as time expired, and field hockey rules state that the penalty awarded team must be allowed an untimed play to complete their offensive attack. Indiana was unable to clear the ball, and a second attempt from Cooper saw her loft a shot over the IU keeper for a buzzer beating goal. It was the first goal of the freshman Cooper's career at UofL, and it came at a pretty good time for the Cards.

The goal gave Louisville a 40% completion rate on penalty corners for the day while the Cards successfully defended all 5 attempts from the Hoosiers. The defense for this team will be a strong point for Louisville, but the passing and possession out of the back will need to be cleaned up to prevent more open attempts like came in the first half of yesterday's game. It was good to see McFerran back in the goal so quickly and playing well when it was expected that she would miss a few games.

Louisville field hockey is back in action tomorrow at 1PM against Ohio State at Trager Stadium. The game is available on ACC Network Extra.

Rouse and England Place Third

Like Ayeisha McFerran, Mollie Rouse will be returning from international duty with some hardware in tow. The Young Lionnesses were bumped from the finals in a defeat by Japan earlier this week, but took on the host team France in the third place game yesterday morning. Japan went on to defeat Spain 3-1 in the championship. It took penalties for England against France after the teams were tied at 1 with both goals coming in the second half. England converted 4 of their 5 penalties in the shootout and held France to just 2 of 4 (the last kick by the hosts being moot). Rouse will likely not return to the squad before tomorrow's match against Michigan, but may be back with the team by Friday's match against Kentucky. Match fitness shouldn't be an issue after starting nearly every game for England, but her team cohesion, as mentioned before, may be. However, with the surprising speed of McFerran's return to the field hockey starting lineup, I'll be keeping an eye on Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes onboarding of Rouse. The Cards take on Michigan tomorrow at 2PM. No video is listed for the game.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

We're without Jared today, but should have plenty to fill our Cardinal Couple Radio Hour as more fall sports have gotten underway. We'll talk women's soccer, volleyball, and field hockey as all three have been active and will do our best to generally present the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports. As always, join us on WCHQ at 11AM via 100.9 FM,, the WCHQ app, or on Facebook Live. 
Until next time, Go Cards!