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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! 



  1. I agree with the three keys to tonight's game and will add this. The defensive midfield has to be better and Louisville cannot afford to give up set pieces in dangerous areas. These situations have led to opposing goals and they start with missed marks and desperation. Louisville's attacking style leaves them open to the counter, but they can still protect without fouling.

    My eyes are also on the freshman, particularly Snyder, Whitsett, and Sarah Hernandez. All three have been major contributors so far and this will be their first rivalry game. We haven't talked much about Hernandez this season, which is usually a good thing for a central defender. Tonight's match will be a huge test of fitness with the early start and suboptimal weather.

    A major factor contributing to a Louisville win will be all starters and subs staying fully prepared to enter the game and give full effort at all times. Coach KFD has been liberal with substitutes so far this season and that should be a benefit if she keeps it up tonight. I think there is a very strong chance that the Cards stay undefeated tonight (hopefully even get a win), but there is also ample room for a slip-up if they become unfocused.

    1. I've noticed the energy Kennadi Carbin brings to Louisville women's soccer. She's a great story. Started at Miss. St., had a baby here at Louisville and came back to play. Go Cards! Not a regular reader here (too many fires in the irons to spend a lot of time on-line) but I like this site and the job you do here! Call me:

      "Out For Kicks"

    2. Thanks for stopping by and giving us a try! Kennadi is special. Come back anytime!


  2. Good morning Cardinal Couple!

    I know you are primarily a womens' sports site but I wanted to stop by and wish you the best of luck against Bama Saturday.

    Surely, they are the most disliked team in College Football and we have little love for them here as Clemson fans.

    Hopefully, your Saturday columnist will touch a little on the game. After all, I'm guessing there are a lot of womens' sports fans at Louisville who also like football.

    Best Bama Cards!

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson fan
    Greer, SC

    1. Thanks for checking in Arthur! I would expect Case might discuss thefootball game in his Saturday article. Good luck against Furman tomorrow (I doubt Clemson will need much of it, though).


  3. Hey, ho! Dave O here!

    Land ho! We've hit Orlando and getting ready to check-in our hotel. Looking forward to a fun afternoon of tailgating and such with other Cardinal fans.

    There are a few Kentucky license plates in the hotel parking lot and I saw a guy in the lobby that I know I've seen somewhere before at UofL associated events but I couldn't remember his name and he was gone in the elevator before I could approach him.

    We'll hit the Fan Appreciation Party tonight and the Official tailgate tomorrow.

    There are A LOT of Alabama cars in the lot as well. They've also taken over a couple of the hospitality rooms here in the hotel and are already partying hardy. My wife got invited to join one when I was unloading the car.

    Our room is supposed to be ready at 1 p.m. Our desk clerks look quite frazzled already and had to deal with a "very illiterate and bossy" Bama couple who absolutely couldn't believe that their room wasn't ready yet and breakfast wasn't still being served. (At 11:55).

    Calling Joe Hill in a couple. They came up late yesterday and (I think) attended the meet and greet with UofL President Benaputi.

    More later.

    Dave O.

    1. Cool! I thought you guys were headed up yesterday? In any event, have fun and keep an eye out for any bogus Mickey Mouses (or is that Mice?)

      Glad Joe decided to go up early. I know he originally was planning on driving up game day.


    2. Uh, oh! Never leave a woman alone around Alabama fans, Dave O.

      Have fun and cheer loud. Good luck to ALL Cardinal sports this weekend.

      Curtis "Who is having me over for BBQ?" Franklin

    3. Paulie

      My wife and I are friends with a couple who moved last year from Bradenton to Deltona, which is north of Orlando and they've been on us to visit, so we went there yesterday, did dinner and drinks and spent the night with them. After a nice breakfast this morning, we continued the "Watson Across Florida" tour.

      Dave O

  4. I would like to comment that the above 16 events are the ONLY time it is acceptable to wear UK gear - hats, shirts, etc. - to a UofL sporting event. If you are a UK fan coming to a UofL event and you can't bring yourself to wear read - go neutral. I would never be rude enough to wear UofL gear to a UK game unless UofL was the opponent.


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