Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Spring Sports -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
The Good, The Bad, the Ugly
Jared Anderson brings us today his initial look at three UofL women's spring sports. Softball, Lacrosse and women's Tennis. The original The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was a 1967 movie directed by "Spaghetti Western" king Sergio Leone. It starred Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach. The plot revoloved around three gunslingers looking for buried fortune in New Mexico during the American Civil War. A whistling theme song with a jangling guitar and chanting voices accompanying was performed with different variations throughout the movie. If you've never seen it, it is a must.
LINK TO THEME SONG: THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY THEME SONG
With women's basketball having some time off to relax (focus on school, practice, film study, and recover) I decided to turn everyone's attention to some of the other women's sports going on right now. Spring sports have started and the GoCards calendar is back to being full again.
As of this point the bullpen has surrendered no home runs, two triples, no doubles, and 18 singles for a total of 20 hits. Half of those came in the game against Utah State.
Offensively, the Cards have scored 26 runs. However, those runs came in three games, meaning UofL came up empty-handed in both of their losses.
Louisville has recorded 37 hits on the season, which isn't a bad mark. Neither is the 14 walks. The problem is that many runners get stranded on base. Take away the walks and any fielding errors by opposing defenses and the scoring is nearly cut in half on the year.
In the first game of the season an error in the seventh inning lead to a pair of runs for Idaho State, putting them up three. The game plan changes a lot in the last inning on a one-run game as opposed to a three-run game. An error in the final inning of the game against Northwestern helped the Wildcats take a 1-0 lead.
Better teams will capitalize on errors, which Louisville has tallied eight so far. Fielding errors have been an issue in years past and were difference makers in plenty of games.
The 55-game regular season has barely begun and you cannot judge a season based off opening weekend. With Holly Aprile being new Louisville is still adjusting to her style of play and there will be kinks in the system here and there
Louisville lost both of its games so far- 21-11 at Northwestern and 15-12 at Marquette. Scott Teeter is in Year Two as head coach after nearly starting from scratch with the players and support staff. Overall, we have seen a positive attitude and a better work ethic from the program. The team has shown fight no matter the score.
The schedule is tough. Seven of the 17 opponents were ranked in the preseason Top 20 and two others were in the receiving votes category. Once conference play rolls around things get tougher seeing as the ACC is one of the best lacrosse conferences around.
Like the Northwestern game score many games are going to be blowouts. There are well-established, dominant programs out there that will look to have a field day against a program currently in its rebuilding period. The trick is not giving up on the team as they try and fight their way uphill, trekking through several feet of mud, or snow, or whatever obstacle stands in their way.
For a program that seemingly had to start from scratch in certain aspects it's exciting to see this team appear competitive at times. Morale appears to be high as players and parents alike believe in this coaching staff, even though we are still a couple years out from reestablishing Louisville Lacrosse as a force not to be reckoned with.
Up to this point this season Louisville has not faced an NCAA Tournament worthy team. Furman snuck into the tournament last year but was blasted by 3-seed Duke in the first round. The upcoming schedule features 11 games against opponents that made the draw last year (Cards face Duke twice) including most of the ACC. Only the top-16 are officially seeded an a good portion of those were ACC teams.
Conference play has been a sore spot since joining the ACC. It is the point of the season where things crash and burn. Louisville has survived the first round of the ACC Tournament once, where they then got swept in the second round. This conference has been unforgiving to a program that is trying to find its feet and become something.
I'm not saying that the season is all downhill from here, but I do want to advise that the perfect record through mid-February can be misleading. Mark Beckham has had his team look better each year so they could get a few wins they aren't supposed to, but they will have a tough time making the 'Big Dance' in May.
The calendar is dry for the next couple days before the weekend picks up for most sports, including a 3:00 game against Miami for Jeff Wal'z squad Sunday. The Hurricanes are coming off a big upset last weekend and have hopes of doing it a second time.
Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!