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Monday, September 16, 2019

A Super Sunday -- WSOC, Field Hockey win thrillers -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Two fall UofL women's sports squads. Two unbeaten squads. Two tough non-conference foes awaited them Sunday. 

One away, one on Floyd Street. One opponent ranked in the top ten and one opponent knocking on the door for top ten status. Both nailbiters. 

Both wins for UofL ! 

Beginning with Field Hockey's trip to the capital city of Ohio, let's run through these two "W"s.


A quote from years past, from the late John Belushi in the movie Animal House, went: 

"It ain't over until we say it's over" 

and that was the prevailing theme yesterday against the Buckeyes. 

(Hear the dialogue below)

Two second half goals...the first one from senior Bethany Russ to tie the contest...and the clincher from junior Madison Walsh propelled Louisville to this hard-fought, come-from-behind road win. 

Field Hockey is now four quarters instead of two halves, and the first quarter at Buckeye Field was scoreless. three shots per team but no scoreboard movement. A highly questionable decision on a review by the officials led to a penalty shot for OSU halfway through the second quarter. Mackenzie Alleessie, a member of USA junior squads since 2016, lined up for the stroke against UofL goalkeeper, wait !!...coming in at goalkeeper for the Cards to defend was Sam Minrath...redshirt freshman from Louisville Christian Academy. 

Sowry made a change that was either going to make her look like a genius or leave her with the wrong coupon in checkout lane. 

Alleessie sailed the shot past Minrath and the BuckNuts were on the board. 1-0 Ohio State. I've learned over the years not to harp on coaching decisions...especially with, it was what it was. 

And, in the end, it didn't matter. 

Sowry talks to her squad a lot about playing "Louisville Field Hockey" and I'd guess that that was part of the halftime chat. Louisville looked a step slow at times in the first half and, although there are no "possession" stats made available for media there are in women's soccer...I'd wager the Big 10 school held the edge in that stat after 30 minutes. 

The Cards came out with a new purpose in the final 30. Sowry re-installed Hollyn Barr between the pipes. The attack was more intensified. As third quarter action drew to a close, Louisville was awarded a penalty corner. The sequence went from Alli Bitting to Megan Schneider to Bethany Russ and the Melbourne, Australia senior drove a shot into the cage for her team-leading seventh goal of the season. The score was 1-1 and the fourth quarter awaited. 

Success came early for UofL in the final session.

At the 13:05 mark, the Cards got another penalty corner provided to them. The previous sequence went to work again...but this time Schneider's 
pass went to Madison Walsh, on the right side of the cage. Walsh gave the orb a tap and GOOOOOOAAALLLLL Cards for the lead!  2-1. The Ville.  

That lead held for the rest of the contest.

Louisville ended up out-shooting OSU 10-6, had six corners to four over the Buckeyes and, most importantly, one more goal.

The action swings to Chapel Hill, North Carolina next for the "stick girls". They'll start ACC play Friday with a encounter against #1 in the land...UNC. 


Meanwhile, back on the Floyd Street ranchero...the kickin' Cards were ready to face #9 Vanderbilt. 

Delaney Snyder lends a helping hand for the cramps in leg
This one went scoreless for 99 minutes (regulation and just about all of the first overtime) until Emina Ekic got clobbered going for a shot and was awarded a penalty kick. 

26 seconds remained. 26 anxious teammates awaited the impending action. 

These penalty kicks, dear reader, differ from the penalty corners. On a penalty kick, it's a one-on-one situation between the goalkeeper and the kicker.

Ekic sized up Commodore goaltender Taiana Tolleson, stepped forward to adjust the ball ever-so-slightly and then stepped back and booted it by the diving goalkeeper for the lone goal of the contest.  She saw a brief "tell" that the goalie was leaning right, so she buried it in the left corner.

"It ain't over until she says it's over"...and Emina had just decided's over. 

The vuvuzela-wielding crowd went crazy, Ekic was mobbed by her joyous teammates and Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes made a small but emphatic fist punch before leaving the sidelines to congratulate the team and the junior from Manual High School in Louisville, KY.  Reserve goalkeeper Lana Batson basically threw Ekic over her shoulder and gleefully carried her off the field as the prolonged celebration wound down. It was fun pandemonium. A must-see moment. The joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports.

You wanna know why we run this website? That's why. For moments like that. 

The "golden goal" improved the Cards record to 7-0 and gave Vandy their first loss of the season. 

It was Ekic's fourth goal of the season. Maybe the biggest of her career.

Both teams had several scoring opportunities throughout regulation, but some brilliant goalkeeping work by both Vandy goalkeepers and UofL's Gabby Kouzelos kept the slate clean until the extra session

A contest that had only five shots in the first half. Louisville led those 3-2 and led the possession stats 59% - 41%. Those stats changed in the final 45 minutes to a smaller 51%- 49% Cardinal edge. Overall, the Cards led with 10 total shots and five on goal. Vandy's numbers were four total shots and two on goal. 

Without a doubt the biggest win of the season so far for Coach Karen's crew and a fitting way to end non-conference regular season play.  Louisville faces tough UNC next, on Saturday 21st, at Lynn. 

The TarHeels may come in a bit angry, suffering their first loss Sunday to Arkansas. A 2-10 blanking from Wooo-Pig-Suey. Previously, they were #1 in the nation. 

In a back-and-forth, cat-and-mouse chess game, the Cards got the break, the opportunity and the score. A fitting end to a Super Sunday.

(Soccer photos by Jared Anderson) 






  1. what a great Sunday! That women's soccer celebration was crazy! Loved the Animal House reference also Paulie. We lost Belishi too darn early in life.

    Curtis "This comment isn't over until I say it's over" Franklin

  2. Both squads face North Carolina next? What a challenging introduction to conference play for the season lies ahead.

    You know, this has been a beautiful last couple of days. Football wins in Nashville. The Kitties lose to Florida. And, then these two huge wins..

    If you have a Cardinal flag, I'd be flying it today, readers. Got mine out and my neighbors up here in Lessington are averting their eyes. CARDS.

    Blue Lou

  3. Paulie asked me to provide a bit of commentary that didn't include passive aggressive lineup corrections (lol), so here goes.

    Louisville looked really good last night. They were playing a very strong team, and ultimately created more chances against a team that (as Coach indicated) played a very challenging defensive formation. Vanderbilt really looked to clog up the defense and work on the counter attack. Louisville was susceptible to those counters a couple of times but good defensive recovery and keeper play kept Vandy out of the goal.

    As Emina said, the team needed to pay attention to every detail in this match. They'll need to do the same against UNC. The team will really need to get their rest this week, with basically 8 players going the distance last night. UNC lost 2-0 to Arkansas yesterday and I can't imagine they'll be looking to be shutout twice in a row. Cards will need to bring their scoring boots.

    Come out Saturday night for what should be a fantastic showing.

  4. It’s always a great feeling to witness a big win like last night! Let’s hope for the same against a tough ACC foe in UNC.

    If we can get Worldwide to show up we can have a full house! However, if he goes and we lose then we know who the bad luck charm is


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