Soccer Prepares for a Trip to Duke
Cardinal Couple covers a vast range of women's sports and we use terms & scoring that can be confusing if you don't follow a particular sport closely. Points in soccer are added up as such:
3 points - win
1 point - tie/draw
0 points - loss
Louisville heads into the match-up at 11-3-0 and 5-2-0 for 15 points in the ACC. They are riding a
two-game win streak, both being shutouts, multi-goal performances, and conference victories.
Last season, the Cards dropped their match to the Blue Devils in double overtime, 3-2. Louisville held a 2-1 lead in the second half before Duke scored the equalizer with about 15 minutes remaining in regulation. Unfortunately, golden goal was not on Louisville's side that night as then-No. 4 Duke left Lynn Stadium with a victory. You can check out yesterday's article for the interview with Coach KFD following that match.
Duke is averaging exactly 2.00 goals per game while allowing 0.73 goals per game. They have dominated corner kicks 95-30. Duke is a perfect 2-for-2 on penalty kicks on the season. The Blue Devils have been primarily a second half team, scoring twice as many goals in the second half as the first.
Kayla McCoy has been a threat on offense with nine goals and five saves. Taylor Racioppi has added six goals and one assist. Ella Stevens has been pass-friendly and is up to eight assists along with a lone goal on the year. Nine Duke players have scored a goal this season. To compare, Louisville has 11 players who have scored thus far with Brookylnn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett leading the charge with eight apiece.
What Must Louisville Do To Make the NCAA Tournament?
With three conference matches to go for most teams, any team except Pitt or Syracuse can tie or pass the Cards if Louisville were to lose out. Earning three points would put the Cards in the top nine at worse. The top eight teams make the ACC Tournament.
Louisville needs to earn a minimum of four points to secure their finish in the top eight and get them to the ACC Tournament for the first time in history. A trip to the ACC Tournament would also keep Louisville high enough in the RPI that they should receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
Similar to basketball, conference victors are automatic qualifiers, leaving approximately half of the rest of the field as at-large bids. Unless a miracle occurs in the conference tournament Louisville will not be an automatic qualifier. North Carolina is the current favorite for that.
Ultimately, Louisville controls their own destiny. They can easily finish this season as the best in half a decade. The talent is there and they play like a team. The news of Mollie Rouse transferring has not affected game play, and although the news is unfortunate, it cannot be used as a distraction.
So, we hope the future holds good things for the Kickin' Cards as they roll into their last three of the regular season.
Cross your fingers and hope the current roster remains healthy and that they stay strong to finish out the season.
Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!
- Jared -