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!!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

2019 Louisville women's basketball Media Day -- Women's Soccer tonight -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Media Days are primarily about a couple of things. Getting the chance to ask Coach Walz and his student-athletes and getting their responses. 

Louisville Women's Basketball staged their Media Day Wednesday at the KFC YUM! Center and and a good representation of media turned out to do just that. I recorded Walz's entire press conference below and you can hear it by clicking the link below. It was a relatively long presser, as one might expect, with so many media representatives present, going a bit over 30 minutes. I did not video it, in this case...the words were much more informative than pictures and our staff photographer/video guy Jared Anderson was working: 


The players' interview time was only about 15 minutes and began right after the 2019 team photo.

(Is it me, or do they cut the time with the players shorter and shorter each year)? 

There was no way I could get around to every one there, but I managed to get words from seven players. I tried to keep it light with them, they seemed to appreciate the frivolity after getting hit with a lot of serious questions and I based the player interviews around the fun option: 

"If you had one 'superpower', which would you choose? Being able to fly, being invisible or being able to read minds?"  All seven players responses that I got to are linked up below: 








A fun couple of hours with Coach and the players. We were allowed to watch practice after the player interviews. Not a whole lot to report on that, Coach putting the team through a player-rotating scrimmage against the men practice players and stopping the play occasionally to point out both good and bad decisions made. 

The Crunch Zone also got some player interviews and yo see see/hear those at the link below: 


The Louisville WBB Luncheon is Friday. A fan oriented event and one that promises to be highly entertaining and informative. Coach Walz will have to come out very strong to top last year's outfit. We'll see what kind of garb his wife picked out for him...


A crucial, regular season-ending match between Louisville women's soccer and NC State tonight at Lynn Stadium. A lot on the line, the Cards trying to solidify their #4 ACC standing and the right to host first-round ACC Tournament action against a Wolfpack squad that is trying to make it into the top five in ACC standings. 

Game time is 5 p.m. and will be shown on the Fox Sports Network. 

It's also Senior Night, as well as don't be surprised by any trick-or-treat outfits in the stadium. 

Hoping you have a fun, safe and dry Halloween wherever you are. The rain should be out of our area, but...temperatures will be dropping tonight so make sure and bundle up the kids as they hit the neighborhood to collect their bounty.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What to Expect with Women's Soccer -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

There's plenty to focus on right now.  Women's Basketball starts in a week.  Volleyball is fighting to stay near the top of the ACC.  Field Hockey is about ready to start the ACC Tournament.  Women's Soccer is also preparing for postseason with Thursday's Senior Day having major implications on seeding.

What to Expect with Women's Soccer

Nimah Nelson is out.  The red card she received will cause the senior to miss her final home game.  She will get to participate in the Senior Day ceremonies but will have to leave the premises right after that.

With the senior centerback out the question surrounding Thursday's match is how the defense will look.  Gabby Kouzelos remains at goal and will be assisted by her other centerbsck, Sarah Hernandez.  Wingbacks Arianna Ferraro and Ravin Alexander are both expected to play.

We saw both Maisie Whitsett and Allison Whitfield get action in the wingback position this season.  There is a chance we may see Alexander or Ferraro slide to the middle and one of the forwards make their way to the corner.  There's also the possibility either Whitsett or Whitfield will take the centerback position and have the normal wings as insurance in case of broken coverage up the middle.  The rest of the starting 11 should remain the same.

What's at Stake

Seeding for the ACC Tournament is the big thing.  UNC has secured the 1-seed.  FSU and Virginia
are tied with each other for the 2/3 seed.  The Cards sit at 4th currently with 17 points.  Duke is close behind with 15 points.

A Louisville win secures the 4-seed.  A Louisville draw and a Duke loss/draw also gives the Cards the 4-seed.  A Louisville loss and Duke win would knock Louisville down to the 5-seed and out of home field advantage for the ACC Quarterfinals.  If Louisville draws and Duke wins the two teams would be tied with points at 18.

If Louisville and Duke finish the season tied here's what happens...

The Cards have scored 28 goals on the year and surrendered 12 (+16).  Duke has scored 34 goals and allowed 11 (+23).  If you break it down in conference games only the Cards are +1 and the Blue Devils are +8.  Since the Cards and Blue Devils drew in their head-to-head match-up the tiebreaker falls to goal differential.

If Louisville earns the 4-seed then they will host an ACC Quarterfinal at Lynn Stadium this Sunday.  Most likely it would be against Duke but there is the possibility NC State could leapfrog Duke for the 5-seed.  Clemson could finish tied for points with Duke but the Blue Devils own the tiebreaker.

There is no game time announced for Sunday, nor will one be announced until all ACC regular season games have concluded.  It is not expected to be an evening game but has a good chance at being a mid-afternoon game.

Before any of that, though, an important Thursday. Let's hope the WSOC Cards get a few treats and don't get tricked by the Wolfpack.

Senior Day

Louisville has eight seniors.  Five carry numbered jerseys while the other three remain with the team
and had early endings to their careers.

Sarah Feola played up through junior year but battled an achilles injury.

Sanela Hodzic played for two seasons before multiple ACL and leg injuries forced her to retire.

Bailey Florek battled several injuries and was limited in her first two years.

Arianna Ferraro became a starter her sophomore season after moving from the midfield back to defense.

Niamh Nelson was a defensive starter from the get-go.  She missed a few games sophomore year due to injury.

Brooklynn Rivers has been a starter her entire career and has been top two in scoring each season.

Callie McKinney started a majority of matches at Louisville and has been a strong defensive midfielder, although she found the back of the net in nearly every season.

Allison Whitfield is a senior from Louisville (duPont Manual).  She's bounced back-and-forth between being a starter and being a first off the bench player.

Join Paulie, Case, and myself at Lynn Stadium this Thursday night at 5:00 p.m. to honor the seniors and cheer on the Cards.Throwing candy this Halloween night game at me is a pretty good way to ensure you'll get me to take a picture of you.

Also, make sure to catch Paulie's coverage of today's WBB Media Day in the Thursday Cardinal Couple. I'm pretty sure you'll get much more than the 30 seconds the local TV channels might show during their nightly news.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

UofL WBB at #7 in ESPNW pre-season rankings -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


You know women's college basketball season is right around the corner when the preseason rankings start to roll in.

ESPNW came out Monday with their top 25 and Jeff Walz's Louisville Cardinals are the #8 team in the nation, according to the four-letter network's prognosticators.

The AP poll is expected out Wednesday. 

The Cards are tops of the ACC squads, and the only ACC school in the top 10 with the ranking, which lists (5) of the conference's squads in the top 25. 

Florida State checked in at #11, Wes Moore's North Carolina State Wolfpack grabbed the #13 spot, Notre Dame at #16, despite losing all five starters from last year and Miami, who returns ACC pre-season player of the year Beatrice Mompremier, grabs #18. 

So...who does Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel...the brain-trust behind the ESPNW rankings put before the Cards?  Here's their top 10...

1) Oregon
2) Baylor
3) UConn
4) Stanford
5) Maryland
6) Oregon State 
8) South Carolina 
9) Texas A&M
10) Mississippi State

The Cards in-State rival Kentucky is ranked #14 and one of (6) SEC teams in the top 25, along with #8 South Carolina, #9 Mississippi State, #10 Texas A&M, #20 Arkansas and #25 Tennessee. Both the ACC and PAC 12 have (5) schools in the top 25. The Big 10 has four schools listed, the Big 12 two and there is one representative each from the AAC, Big East and MVC. 

Just a couple of observations here. First, we see the same stuff each year about how strong the SEC is. I see the conference as more of a dogfight this year. And, how many SEC teams were in the Final Four last year? Second, what is the fascination and love affair with West Coast basketball? Oregon at #1? I just don't see it, even if Sabrina Ionescu did decide to return instead of opting for the WNBA. Stanford continually disappoints each year and they're #4? 

The rest of the top 25: 

#11 Florida State
#12 UCLA
#13 North Carolina St. 
#14 Kentucky
#15 Texas
#16 Notre Dame
#17 Minnesota
#18 Miami
#19 Arizona
#20 Arkansas
#21 DePaul
#22 Drake
#23 Michigan
#24 Indiana
#25 Tennessee

What does it all mean? 

Jeff Walz would most likely tell you that he doesn't pay much attention to pre-season rankings...that where you finish is much more important. The PAC 12 is getting a lot of love from ESPNW, with three of the top six schools in the rankings. But, it's all speculation right now. Is Tennessee really #25, with a new coach and only two of their top six scorers from last year back?

I also think the women's college basketball nation as a whole is seeing Louisville in terms of losing three starters who were WNBA draft picks and not realizing that Walz has much more talent on this year's squad than "Liz and E" from Georgia Tech and Dana and Jaz from last year. 

I am also surprised that Syracuse didn't make the top 25 ESPNW list. "Q" has a strong squad returning and has been predicted to finish sixth in the ACC. I think the Orange could handle IU (#24), Michigan (#23) or the Vols any day of the week at any venue. 

The pre-season stuff is all very nice in terms of giving women's college basketball fans something to either point to with pride or scratch their heads and claim foul about.

Three of last year's Final Four squads...Baylor, Oregon, UConn...are in the top six in the 2019-20 ESPNW pre-season poll and the fourth participant (Notre Dame) maybe over-ranked at #16. 

Oregon State is another mystery to me. They lost in the Sweet 16 last year, but are #6 in the ESPNW poll. Once again, we're hearing how Scott Rueck has a wealth of talent. I'm going to wait to see it. Another horse that's getting bet way-too-heavily before the race starts.

I'll look with a small bit of interest on how the AP lists their pre-season top 25. How do you think it might compare with the ESPNW grouping? We'll wipe the cobwebs off our comment section and encourage you to share your thoughts. 

Jeff Walz and the Cards hold their annual Media Day tomorrow and we'll see if Coach dwells on either poll very much. I'm guessing he won't. And there is the UofL WBB Tipoff Luncheon Friday. Two more signs that women's college basketball is at the starting gate.  

The big question is whether Walz's wife Lauren can pick out an outfit for him that can top last year's? 

We'll have comments and such from both Wednesday and Friday's activities here for you at Cardinal Couple. 


Monday, October 28, 2019



A mixed result day for Louisville women's sports on Sunday.


Starting the Sunday action off was the women's soccer squad with a visit to Miami for a noon kick. Louisville took the battle to the Canes early and Emina Ekic put UofL on the board after six minutes of action with a unassisted drive into the box where she beat the Miami goalkeeper one-on-one with the game's lone goal. It was Ekic' s team-leading eighth goal of the year. 

A major blow to the Cardinal lineup with 27:33 left in the fist half when a Miami player got loose on a breakaway with UofL senor center back Niahm Nelson in pursuit. The Canes player appeared to lose her balance and fall down just outside of the box but the referee whistled Nelson for a foul, after a brief review,which drew her a red card and immediate ejection from the contest...since he decided she was in the box.  

I've watched the replay several times and, in this writer's opinion, the intent was not deliberate from Nelson -- it actually appeared the Miami player had started to lose her balance before Nelson lightly touched her on the back.

And, of course, she played it up to the hilt -- laying on the ground, writhing in "pain" like she'd just faced Mike Tyson in a one-round knockout bout. The referee bought the act and, suddenly, Louisville was down a player for the final 72 minutes of the contest.

I've seen a lot worse infractions draw just yellow, or sometimes no card at all and witnessed better actors in 3rd grade Thanksgiving plays.

The Cards adjusted, though, and preserved. Miami did not get a shot off the rest of the contest -- despite the one-player advantage -- and the end result culminated in Gabby Kouzelos' notching her eighth shutout of the season.

Louisville, now 12-2-2 on the regular season and 5-2-2 in the ACC, comes back to Lynn Stadium for the final match of the regular season to face NC State on Halloween (Thursday) evening. A 5 p.m. start that will be shown on Fox Sports.

After yesterday's ACC action across the league, Louisville remains in fourth place with 17 points and has a great chance to host a home game in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The top seven teams all won yesterday in conference. Duke is in fifth place with 15 points and would appear to have the best chance of facing the Cards on Nov. 3rd, unless they lose at Florida State on Thursday. In sixth place is NC State, with 13 points.

The scenario for Louisville hosting an ACC Tournament match is simple. Win and you are hosting.

A tie or loss against the Wolfpack, coupled with a win by Duke at FSU would vault the Blue Devils to fourth and they would host Louisville. A Cardinal tie, plus Duke win ties the two schools with 18 point. Since they tied during the regular season, Louisville and Duke would wait for the ACC to decide which school would host in the quarters. An NC State win over Louisville, coupled with a Duke loss would vault the Wolfpack into fifth place and a trip to Louisville for the quarter-finals. 

The top eight in the ACC after Sunday action: 

North Carolina   25 points
Florida State     21 points
Virginia             21 points
LOUISVILLE       17 points
Duke                15 points
NC State           13 points
Clemson           12 points
Virginia Tech    11 points


A showdown between the top two teams in ACC Volleyball took place in the L&N FCU Arena yesterday and it was the visitors from Three Rivers City getting the win in straight sets -- 25-21, 25-22, 25-20.

Close but no cigar for the Cards (15-5, 8-2) who stayed competitive in all three games but take their second ACC loss. 

#3 in the nation Pitt (21-1, 10-0) managed to win all three matches but none of them came easy. In the first set, the Panthers scored the final two points to win by four. In set two, the contest was tied at 21-21, but Pittsburgh out-scored the Cards 4-1 to finish  the game. In the third set, Pitt took control late, pushing a 21-19 lead to another 4-1 end-of- game run to win the game and complete the sweep of the match. 

The Cards hit .146 for the match but did have 13 blocks. Pitt finished with a .255 hitting average and their 47-32 kill advantage was the key factor in the Panthers win. 

Amber Stirvins led the Cards with 10 kills and Anna Stevenson came up with eight blocks to lead the Cards in those two categories. 

A full house yesterday for this one in the Floyd Street facility, highlighted by the Louisville men's swimming and diving squad doing a progressive "strip-tease" during the match -- eventually ending up in just their swim-suits. 

Dani Busboom Kelly's squad hits the highway for four straight next. They'll visit Boston College, Syracuse, Miami and Florida State over the next two weeks before returning to the LNFCU to face Syracuse again on November 15th. 

A Cardinal squad that is going through some adjustments without Melanie McHenry. Losers of two of their last three, the Cards need more consistency and a bit better hitting to close out the season and gain an NCAA bid. The good news is that the Cards won't face anyone as tough as Pitt until they actually face Pitt at Pitt to close out the regular season....although Boston College and Florida State have 7-3 conference records and could be tough matches for the travelling Cards.  

(Volleyball photos courtesy of Jared Anderson) 

Have a marvelous Monday ! 


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Big Match Sunday - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Biggest Match of the Year for Volleyball

Well, one of the two biggest, perhaps.

Pitt has only lost two matches this year, and that's only if you count pre-season scrimmages.  Before the season began, Dayton managed to beat Pitt, but it took all 5 sets and some extra points to do it.  It was a similar story with Penn State in late September.  After Pitt had dispatched the Nittany Lions in 3 in State College (a feat which no team has accomplished since 1986, I believe), the two teams traveled to Pittsburgh and Penn State was able to take the win in the Petersen Events Center, but took all 5 sets to do it.

Pitt has only lost 9 sets all season (putting aside the pre-season scrimmage against Dayton).  In conference, they have only lost 1 (against a quite good Florida State team).

All this is to say that Pitt is quite good, as if their #3 ranking in the country wasn't enough of an indication.  They have power and a bit of height at the net to cause problems with their blocking.  Their defense is a competent and keep them in system most of the time.

There are weaknesses in this Pitt team.  Their anticipated starting setter, Kylee Levers, went down with an ACL tear in her knee in pre-season practice, with the next player up in that position being Lexis Akeo.

The biggest offensive threats for Pitt are senior middle Layne van Buskirk (6'3"), and junior outside Kayla Lund (6'0").  Also keep an eye on junior middle/right side Chinaza Ndee (5'11") and senior outside Stephanie Williams (6'0").

A win today would be huge for Louisville.  A top 5 win, against an almost undefeated team with a
good strength of schedule would almost certainly return the Cards to the top 25 and go a long way toward cementing the Cards' place there.  It also, assuming no other crazy losses, would put the Cards in serious contention for hosting 1st and 2nd round NCAA tournament games....but let's not look too far ahead.

If you come to any volleyball match this year...come to this one.  L&N Arena can be a big competitive advantage when it's full of loud fans, let's make it that way today.

If you can't make it, this is one of the matches this season that is on the main ACC Network channel on linear TV.  Coverage begins at 3pm.

Soccer Goes South

Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad head south today, for a tilt with Miami in Coral Gables, FL.  The Hurricanes are sitting near the bottom of the conference standings with a 2-5-1 record.

The two wins in conference are over Syracuse and Clemson, though they did take 2 OTs to get the win over the Tigers.  The tie came at the hands of Pitt.  If you look at the conference standings in women's soccer, you'll notice that all three of these teams are in the bottom third of the standings.

Among their losses, a 4-0 drubbing against ACC basement dwelling Boston College certainly doesn't create an expectation of a strongly competitive game today.

Case did speak of some injuries that have UofL playing several players out of their normal positions and testing a little bit of their depth, so we'll see how they fair today.

This one is on ACC Network Extra, with a noon start for the streaming.

Field Hockey Wins a Big One

Volleyball has a big match for today, but Field Hockey came out victorious in a big one yesterday against Duke with former UofL coach Pam Bustin at the helm.

Junior Madison Walsh was able to get the lone goal in this one, but that was enough to lift the Cards
over 4th ranked Duke.  UofL, with their 5th place ranking, was expected to put up quite a contest against the Blue Devils, and sure enough it came to pass.

Duke is having an uncharacteristically tough year in conference with a current record of 1-4.  Assuming Louisville and Duke swap spots in the national rankings tomorrow, a 5th place ranking for an 11-5 team, with 4 of those losses in conference, does speak to the very high opinion NFHCA coaches have towards the ACC overall.

The Blue Devils got 2 shots on goal, with Hollyn Barr saving one, and the other credited to "TEAM".  On the other side, while UofL is credited in the stat sheet with 4 shots on goal (Madison Walsh, Mercedes Pastor, Bethany Russ, and Minna Tremonti), Duke is only stat'ed for 1 goal against, and 2 saves.  I'm not exactly sure how that happens, unless there is some sort of penalty called that eliminates the goal scored, even though it wasn't saved?

Walsh's score came on a shot that deflected off of a Duke defender's stick and into the goal in the 36th minute.  Soccer would call that an own goal, but Field Hockey has it's own way of doing things sometimes.  Duke would push the attack the rest of the game, looking for the equalizer, taking a 5-1 advantage in shots taken in the 4th quarter, but wouldn't get any past the Louisville defense.

The Cards will wrap up their regular season Saturday at Trager Stadium when 1-3, 10-5 Syracuse comes calling at 1 p.m.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

A solid trio were in studio yesterday for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  After missing the week before, Case, Paulie, and myself made the appearance.  We spent a good amount of time discussing the volleyball events of the past week, picking apart the major happenings in that sport with Mel McHenry going down with an ACL, and a, frankly embarrassing, loss at Virginia Tech, and finally the redeeming win over Virginia Friday.  We previewed a bit of this Pitt match today.

We also covered Soccer, Field Hockey, and started to get excited for the upcoming Women's Basketball season, as well as impending Media Day and Luncheon.

You can check out the fun with the Facebook Live replay at:


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Volleyball Gets Back on Track -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Downs Virginia in Straight Games

Following a disappointing loss on the road against a Virginia Tech that previously had no ACC wins, Louisville was desperate need of a shot in the arm before one of the biggest matches of their season. The Cards will host Pittsburgh tomorrow, but needed to get past Virginia first. Led by Claire Chausee and Anna Stevenson, Louisville thumped the Cavaliers in a sweep, holding Virginia to just 43 points in the match. 

Though the Cards' hitting percentage grew progressively worse throughout the match, it was one of those matches where the opponent did the same thing. Louisville opened with a .364 in game one and ended with a .148 in game three, but were still ahead of the Cavs who finished with a -.040 on the night. Checking out the box score only continues to showcase Louisville's domination as they beat Virginia in every listed category.

Louisville was led offensively by a pair of players who finished hitting .333 on the night. Claire Chausee paced the Cards with 10 kills on 18 attempts and added in 3 block assists as she continues to try to fill the void left by Melanie McHenry's absence. Anna Stevenson continued to show that she will be a force throughout her career. Stevenson added 7 kills to her 3 solo blocks and 5 block assists, leading the way on Louisville's 12 total blocks for the night. On the other side, Aiko Jones is still looking to find her way without McHenry on the opposite side, putting down just 5 of her 20 attempts. I think Jones will still grow to be an unstoppable force by the time she is done at UofL, but she is definitely missing her offensive partner at this point. 

Outside of the good individual performances, there isn't a lot to talk about from last night's match. Louisville used a couple of decent runs in the first to pull away late to take it 25-18. In the second, Louisville used an 11-0 run in the middle of the game to put it away. Finally, in the third, Louisville was able to consistently score 2-3 points for every point scored by Virginia, in a game that would have taken ages were rally point scoring not a thing. 

The Cards certainly needed their confidence boost as the Panthers come to town tomorrow. Pittsburgh is still atop the ACC at 9-0 and have lost only one match on the season. That loss came against top 5 ranked Penn State in 5 sets, who the Panthers also beat 3-0 two days prior. Tomorrow's match is at 3PM in L&N Federal Credit Union Arena, so be sure to come out and support the Cards in a huge match.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

We're without a couple of talking heads today, but Worldwide, Paulie, and I will be in studio to bring you a recap and preview of a couple of big weeks for the Louisville women's athletics teams. Tune in for plenty of chatter about soccer, volleybally, and field hockey, as well as a bit of preview on the upcoming basketball media day. Tune in at 11AM to WCHQ FM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. WCHQ is available at 100.9FM,, the WCHQ App, and on Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Field Hockey, WSOC Teams Fall -- Weekend Scheduling -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Two Louisville Teams Fall

Field Hockey Goes Down in Double OT

#5 Louisville suffered their first non-conference loss of the season on a trip to historic Williamsburg, Virginia.  William and Mary pulled off a 2-1 upset thanks to a goal in double overtime.

Carter Ayars, who was one of the stars against Iowa, scored her fifth goal of the season when the Cards were awarded a penalty stroke in the first quarter.  Louisville's offense continue to attack the Griffin's goal, but were turned away every time.  Louisville went into halftime with the 1-0 lead.

Fast forward to the closing minutes of the match and William and Mary put up the equalizer.  The Tribe took advantage of the baseline and passed inward towards the cage where Cara Menges tapped the ball in.

The two teams dropped down to 7 vs 7 for overtime.  Louisville dominated the first overtime but were turned away each attempt.

Overtime number two was not as fortunate for the Cards.  With fewer players on the pitch it's easier to find lanes to drive through.  Haley Hopkins received the pass and dribbled her way through traffic to best Hollyn Barr at the goal line.

Coach Justine Sowry called the performance disappointing and was displeased on how her team handled the match.

Louisville went 0-for-6 on penalty corners- their goal happened on a penalty stroke.  They also had minimal success on their 18 shots, with much credit given to the William and Mary goalkeeper who had 10 saves.

The Cards drop to 13-3 on the year and will face a #4 Duke team on Saturday in Durham.

Tess Ellis, WMU head coach, breaks it down in the interview below:


Women's Soccer Silenced at Virginia

A little bit north from where field hockey was playing was women's soccer, who was going up against #1 Virginia.  Unfortunately, this match didn't go to well as the Hoos took the win 3-0.

Meghan McCool was the hero for Virginia, scoring the game winner in the first half on a two-goal performance by the senior.  Her first goal came in the 23rd minute of the first half.

McCool tacked on her second goal at the 58 minute mark, or 13 minutes into the second half.

Louisville was dominated the entire match.  Both of their shots came in the first half and the offense was shut down entirely in the second half.  Louisville managed just two corner kicks on the night/

Goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos had a busy night as she faced eight shots on goal.  Despite being on the losing side of three of them Kouzelos did rack up five saves.

The Hoos tacked on a meaningless goal with a few seconds left in the contest. I guess you play to 00:00 on the clock but that third score seemed a bit like rubbing it in.

The Cards fall to 11-2-2 on the year with a 4-2-2 (14 points) conference record.  They head to a struggling Miami team on Sunday.

Weekend Scheduling


Volleyball hosts Virginia at 7:00.  This will be the first time back at L&N Federal Credit Union for quite some time after the Cards were on the road for a while.  Sadly, they will be without Melanie McHenry.

The Cards have a plethora of outside hitters, the key is to find one or two that can step in and fill the gap that Mel's season-ending injury left.


Field Hockey squares off against Duke at 1:30 in Durham.

Football hosts Virginia at 3:30 in what appears to be a rainy game.  Remember last year's monsoon?


Women's Soccer plays at Miami at noon.  In order to match or improve on last year's 18 points they'll have to at least draw.  In their battle for a top four spot in the conference the Cards would benefit off a win.  The top four seeds host the first round of the ACC Tournament on Nov. 3.

Volleyball hosts Pitt at 3:00.  The Cards are tied with Notre Dame at 7-1 and currently hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Irish (rematch Nov. 24).  If Louisville beats Pitt on Sunday -- pending everyone wins before that -- then the Cards would be in first place by head-to-head record.  Either way, this is a match that needs a sold out crowd.

Happy Friday and Go Cards!


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Whitney Wade Young and Cindy Lacrosse Interview -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A trip to the UofL campus (well...slightly north of it on Floyd Street) to interview Louisville women's golf head coach Whitney Wade Young brought a bit of a surprise with it yesterday when I discovered that 2019 Cardinal Hall of Fame inductee Cindy Lacrosse was at the new golf offices and facilities as well. 

The original intent was to review the 2019 fall season for the Cardinal golfers, who won their last tournament of the autumn season at the UofL Golf Club in the Cardinal Cup. That portion of the interview was done admirably well by Coach Young. As a bonus and In addition, I got remarks from Lacrosse as well. 

Lacrosse played at Louisville from 2005-2009, was All-Big East all four years and was UofL's first All-American golfer. She's been on the LPGA Tour for ten years.

Joining Cindy at the Hall of Fame dinner and induction Friday night are Lacy Wood, UofL Softball's first All-American, Francisco Garcia...Louisville basketball great, Angel McCoughtry, WNBA star and the leading all-time scorer for Louisville women's basketball, Cardinal and NFL football center Eric Wood and long-distance runner extraordinaire Wesley Korir.

(An audio link of the interview below): 



The Field Hockey Cards step out of conference today with a match at Williamsburg, VA against William and Mary. That one is at 6 p.m. and we're looking for any possible TV or internet coverage. We'll update the article if we find such.  

Starting at 7 p.m. a huge test for Louisville women's soccer at Charlottesville, VA against #1 Virginia. The ACC Network Extra will show that contest.

Best of luck to both squads tonight! 

Have a terrific Thursday! 


Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Midweek News and Notes

We have seen plenty of news lately ranging from new rankings to weekly honors to contract extensions.  Between that, the recent conclusion of the WNBA season, the start of the NBA season, the start of the World Series, and regular seasons for several fall sports winding down there's always the chance some news may have gotten buried.

New Rankings

Louisville Field Hockey stayed the same at #5.  The top five teams all won and stayed the same.  North Carolina is still the top ACC team at #1 in the country, Duke is ranked 4th, and Virginia sits right behind the Cards at #6.  Iowa fell to 8th after their loss to the Cards.

Louisville Women's Soccer climbed to 12th in the Coaches Poll and 9th in Top Drawer Soccer.  The ACC dominates the Coaches Poll.  Virginia is 1st, North Carolina is 3rd, Florida State is 5th, and Duke stayed at 9th after their draw with Louisville last week.  Clemson at 15th and Virginia Tech at 25th round out the rest of the ACC representation in the rankings.

Louisville Volleyball sits just outside the Top 25.  Their first conference loss and the loss of Melanie McHenry did not help the Cards.  They're in the receiving votes category and would be considered 27th.  They're joined by Florida State and Notre Dame in that category while Pitt remains the only team in the conference in the Top 25 at 3rd.

Louisville Women's Swimming and Diving is 21st in the latest rankings as of last week.  Their season is still early and rankings don't matter much until nationals roll around.  Still, they're one of six ACC teams ranked with another receiving votes.

Hollyn Barr Weekly Honors

Field Hockey's Hollyn Barr was named ACC Field Hockey Co-Defensive Player of the Week.  Barr
recorded a shutout against ranked Stanford last week.  On Sunday, Barr recorded a career-high nine saves as the Cards took down Iowa in overtime.  Barr has clearly won the starter job over Sam Minrath after the two split minutes in the early season.

Barr has paid her dues over the years, patiently waiting in a backup role behind goalkeeper Ayeshia McFerran for a couple of seasons before getting her chance this year to guard the net. It's good to see that patience and perseverance pay off for the Lancaster, PA redshirt junior !

Arthur Albiero Contract

Louisville Swimming and Diving head coach Arthur Albiero recently received a new contract.  The Athletic Association Board of Directors approved the terms last week.

Albiero receives a $50,000 raise in his base salary.  He also receives incentive bonuses when his program finishes Top 5/10/25 at the NCAA Championships and based on their finish at the ACC Championships.  His base salary should now sit at roughly $250,000 per year.

Louisville is the first program in ACC history to have both the men's and women's teams finish in the Top 5 in the ACC Championships in the same year.  He's also had national championship winners in Joao de Lucca, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, and Mallory Comerford.

Vince Tyra is hoping the contract shows Albiero that UofL wants the future Hall of Fame head coach for the rest of his career.  As if the money is not enough, Albiero's son, Nick, is a junior on the team and his daughter, Gabi, has committed to join the Cards in the fall of 2020.

Minus the injury news it's not too shabby for most of the UofL women's sports right now.  Oh yeah, we're also THIRTEEN days away from the UofL WBB season opener against WKU.

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Post season scenarios -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It is a bit hard to fathom, but the regular seasons for both ACC Women's Soccer and Field Hockey are winding down. Both Louisville squads have three regular season games remaining before the conference tournaments get underway. 

Let's look at each squad and access their chances at going "into the second season" --  the playoffs: 


As of early Tuesday morning, Karen Ferguson Dayes' soccer squad in fourth in the ACC with 14 points. With a record of 11-1-2 overall and 4-1-2 in conference, the #14 ranked Cards have UNC (19 points, 6-0-1 in ACC), Florida State (18 points, 6-1 in ACC) and Virginia (15 points, 4-0-3 in ACC) in front of them. 

Just behind the Cards are Duke (11 points), Notre Dame (10 points), Clemson (9 points), Va. Tech and Pitt (8 points each) and NC State (7 points).  The top eight teams advance to the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals on Nov. 3rd., which will be played on campus sites. 

So, it's important for the Cards to hang on to that fourth place and get the chance to host a quarter-final match. Can they? Let's look at who is left on the schedule for UofL women's soccer. 

Louisville travels to #1 in the nation Virginia Thursday night to begin their final three game stretch. Obviously, no easy task to go into Charlottesville and knock off #1. After that, the Cards travel to Miami for a Sunday match against the 4-7-2 Canes, who have (4) points in the ACC standings. The regular season ends when NC State comes to visit Lynn Stadium on Sunday afternoon (Halloween) on Oct 31st. 

I'd like to think that, if the Cards can get six points out of the final three games, they'd be able to maintain a top four finish in the ACC.

Duke, their closest competitor for a hosting bid with 11 points, has Notre Dame and Syracuse at home, then ends the season at Florida State. It's tough to see the Blue Devils getting seven points out of this stretch to pass the Cards. Notre Dame, with 10 points...goes to Duke and NC State before hosting Wake Forest to end their regular season. It is entirely possible the Irish could gather nine points to vault past the Cards and Blue Devils to gain a hosting bid. 

Nevertheless, unless the Cards fall into a total collapse and drop all three matches, I think they're in the ACC Tournament. The question is, once again, will they host first round action? I'll say "Yes" (as a #4 seed) and do battle with the Irish at Lynn in the quarters. 

I also believe UofL will receive one of the 64 bids to the NCAA Tournament. Let's hope my prognostications are correct. We'll track the progress as the season winds down. 


Field Hockey goes into their final three games with visits to William and Mary and Duke before ending the regular season at Trager against Syracuse. 

Louisville is fourth out of the seven ACC schools who play Field Hockey with a 13-2 overall record and 2-2 in conference. The #5 in the nation Cards are assumed of making the ACC Tournament (all seven squads do), the question is where they'll be ranked. All games will be held at Boston College from Nov 7th through 10th. 

No ties in Field Hockey. No point system either. 

As far as ACC Tournament structure lines up, the #1 seed gets a bye. They face the winner of the #4 vs #5 seeds in the semifinals. #1 is UNC and they look pretty unbeatable right now, so I'd like to see Louisville climb to the #3 seed and get the #6 seed in their first round action....instead of having to face UNC if they beat a #5 seed.

I'll say it right now. The #4 or #5 seed is poison right now and you're dead after one game. UNC is that good. 

Can the Cards get to a #3 seed? 

Quite frankly, UofL can't afford any more conference losses and with a trip to Duke on Saturday. Oct 26th...that's a formidable task. Although the Blue Devils are just 1-3 in conference, Pam Bustin teams are always hard to defeat in Durham and at 11-4, they are a very dangerous opponent. One would think the Cards can take their final home game, against the Cards vs. Blue Devils match up in Durham is huge. 

UofL also has to hope someone can send Virginia or Boston College tumbling to defeat. B.C. is 3-1 in conference but has UNC and Duke yet to face in ACC play. They could easily lose both. Virginia is 3-2 in the ACC has has just one conference game remaining -- against cellar dweller Wake Forest. 

I see UofL finishing fourth in the ACC regular season standings and facing Duke in the ACC Tournament. I'm really hoping for a third place conference standing at the end of ACC play in my heart, though. 

I think the Cards Field Hockey squad's body of work so far has them in the NCAA Tournament, which still accepts that strange number of only 18 teams. 10 teams get in because they have won their conference championships and eight receive at-large bids. 

Last year, the Cards were excluded from the tournament despite a #12 RPI. That's just stupid. 

C'mon NCAA. Open this thing up to 24 teams.

Give eight teams an automatic advance to the round of 16 and let the remaining 16 invitees battle it out to see who faces them. Use the RPI to assign the spots. With 18, you are penalizing the stronger conferences (like the ACC) who have powerhouse teams that may finish fourth or fifth in their conference, are superior to the winner of a lesser conference but get left out in the cold because of this quirky number of 18. 

An interesting time of year, as Louisville fall squads jockey for positioning and RPI, plus national rankings.

You know the old adage from Raiders coach/executive Al Davis from years ago. 

"Just win, baby!" It's a guidepost for both squads to live by as they roll into post-regular season hopes, dreams and expectations. 

Have a tremendous Tuesday!