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!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Las Vegas Aces headed to WNBA Finals -- Mercedes Pastor named ACC FH Offensive POW -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



The Las Vegas Aces overcame a 13 point first quarter deficit last night to win Game Five in the WNBA Semifinals and they did it by employing two basic fundamentals of basketball: 

1) Keep the opponent from scoring. 2) Hitting your free throws. 

A 13-0 run in the third quarter gave Las Vegas the lead in a stretch where Cardinal Forever Angel McCoughtry and A'ja Wilson carried the offense and erased a 10-point deficit to regain the lead. 

Consider that Connecticut only scored 33 points in the final three quarters after putting up 30 in the first ten minutes. Beside Alyssa Thomas, the Sun couldn't do what almost basketball coach would put at the top of their keys to winning games -- putting the ball in the basket and preventing the other team from scoring. Give Thomas credit for battling to keep the Sun in the game, though, and she was doing it with a bad shoulder.  She never left the court in the 40 minutes and had 22 points for the Sun

But...give huge credit to A'ja Wilson. The Aces got her the ball in the final quarter, after McCoughtry carried the team for the first 30 minutes. Wilson did what she does best, go to the basket and create offense. Connecticut couldn't stop her, so they fouled her...and Wilson made nine out of ten free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. Wilson finished with 23 points and played all 40 minutes of the game.

"Playoff Angel" logged 32 minutes and sparked the offense in the comeback attempt in the first half with 15 of her 20 game points. She also hit two of her three three-point attempts. She also made six of her seven free throws. 

So, we are down to two teams. The top two seeds going into the playoffs and the best two teams in the WNBA will meet Friday for the finals. In a year of unpredictability and change, the WNBA ran true to form. The top two teams all season long will battle it out for the crown. 

Angel and A'ja vs. Sue and Stewie. This should be fun...


You can call her Mercedes the Magician. Call her "Mechi" if you want. But, you can also call her the ACC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week. 

The University of Louisville's Mercedes Pastor has been named the ACC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the league office today.
Pastor, a forward/midfielder from Buenos Aires, Argentina, helped the Cardinals to a 2-0 record with wins over visiting Duke in their opening weekend. The 2020 preseason All-ACC selection tallied a pair of goals in Saturday's conference game that keyed a 3-0 victory and dished out an assist to give Louisville a 1-0 lead in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Blue Devils. For the weekend, Pastor led the team's attack with eight shots, five of which landed on goal.
UofL (2-0, 1-0 ACC) returns to action this weekend with a pair of ACC contests. The Cardinals will play host to two-time defending national champion North Carolina Friday at 4:30 p.m. followed by a matchup with 2019 NCAA semifinalist Boston College Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Both games will be televised on the ACC Network

 Have a wise Wednesday!



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Soccer Schedule Change -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Women's Soccer Schedule Change

We have not gotten to the first home match of the year for Louisville women's soccer and we already have a schedule change.  Louisville women's soccer has moved their kickoff against Syracuse this Thursday to 4:00 p.m.

Although the reason for the time change is unknown there are plenty of guesses.  Most likely, the match has been moved up to accommodate TV.  The Cards and Orange are set to be on ACC Network.  There is always the chance it has something to do with travel arrangements for Syracuse or the forecast- a low of 44 degrees Thursday. The curfew has been lifted for Louisville, so it probably isn't that.  Still, TV accommodation makes the most sense. The match is on the ACC Network. 

From a viewing and photography stand-point, Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium can get dark during night games.  Lights can only do so much, but whether you are watching on TV, online, or looking at pictures, the image is noticeably clearer when there is plenty of sunlight, which there should be in this case.

The Orange opened their season with a 2-0 loss at Pitt.  The Panthers, who are already 3-0-0 on the year, had 12 shots on goal that match. The Cards come into the match 1-1, back from their Sunshine State soiree where they defeated Miami and lost to FSU. 

Paulie and I will be in attendance to cover this match.

Sun at Aces Game Five

The Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces are set for game five of the WNBA Semifinals tonight.  The top-seeded Aces have been in a surprisingly tight series with the #7-seed Sun, who had a losing record.

Angel McCoughtry was the difference in Game Four, scoring 29 points and helping the Aces force a final game.

Keep an eye on what the former Cardinal and 2009 #1 WNBA pick does as she hopes to make her first WNBA Finals appearance since 2013. ESPN 2 will have the contest. It's also available on Watch ESPN

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, September 28, 2020

Cards FH defeat Duke again 3-1 -- Angel, Aces force game five -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville Field Hockey used a strong second half to power past Duke Sunday at Trager Stadium, getting a 3-1 win over the Blue Devils. 

The first half turned out to be a strong defensive battle between both squads, the Cards not getting on the board until just 38 seconds remained in first half action. Erica Cooper connected on an attempt from the top right of the circle after gathering in a missed Mercedes Pastor shot to put the Cards on the board. The lead was short-lived, though, as Duke got a score just 19 seconds later when Noor van de Laar drove home a tying shot from mid-circle. 

The half ended with that 1-1 tied. Duke held a 5-4 advantage on shots and had held Cardinal student-athlete Mercedes Pastor scoreless in the first 30 minutes, after a two-goal performance on Saturday. 

The Cards refocused to start the second half and started to take the offensive to the Blue Devils more aggressively. That increased offensive effort paid off just 2:26 into second half action when Louisville received a penalty corner attempt and Katie Schneider fired a shot on goal that was deflected by Duke goalkeeper Piper Hampsch. Schneider was there to collect the rebound though, and fire on goal again, this time finding the back of the net to put the Cards up 2-1. 

Four minutes later, the Cards drew another penalty corner and, this time, the other Schneider sister (Meghan) took the inbounds pass and fed Emilia Kaczmarczyk , who fired a reverse stick shot to the right side of the cage past the Duke defenders for the Cards third score. 

Louisville looked significantly better on both defense and offense in the second half, holding the Blue Devils scoreless and compiling a 12-5 shot advantage. Hollyn Barr had three saves in goalkeep and the Cards has a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners for the match.

Coach Sowry's post-game comments below:


Here is the Microsoft Teams audio and video of Coach and my post-game presser: 

Audio and Video of Coach Sowry's comments following 3-1 win over Duke

Of note...

-  All three Louisville scores came from substitutes, displaying the depth of the Louisville squad. 

- Cardinal midfield/forward Mattie Tabor suffered a knee injury in the first half and was escorted off the field. She left on crutches after the game and her knee was wrapping in ice. 

- The Cards bring in #1 UNC Friday, October 2nd for a scheduled 4:30 p.m. match. The Tar Heels won their opening match of the season 3-1 over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem back on Sept. 20th. 

(Thanks to Jared Anderson for the excellent Field Hockey photos from Saturday and Sunday!) 

ACES 84- SUN 75

Angel McCoughtry and her Las Vegas teammates are not ready to leave the wubble in Bradenton just yet.

Behind 29 points from the former Louisville women's basketball G.O.A.T, the Aces used a huge third quarter to build a lead on the Connecticut Sun and force a game five in the WNBA semifinals. 

McCoughtry magic was on display in the second half...she had 16 points in the pivotal third period and Las Vegas outscored Connecticut 28-16. That gave Las Vegas a 65-54 lead after three and they never relinquished it. 

To borrow a term from Cardinal Couple writer Case Hoskins...Playoff Angel was in the house. She saw 33 minutes and added six assists and five rebounds to her team-high 29 points. 

Angel went 13-22 from the floor to force a Tuesday 7:30 p.m. semifinal game. A'ja Wilson and Danielle Robinson both had 18 points for the Aces, who 48% from the hardwood. The winner of the upcoming game five will face Seattle, who eliminated Minnesota 92-71

Have a meaningful Monday!



Sunday, September 27, 2020

No Volleyball but big Field Hockey win -- Cardinal Couple Sunday


And now the recap on volleyball yesterday...

oh wait.

Alas, as we covered yesterday, the volleyball match originally schedule for yesterday was postponed due to "Covid protocol".  We here at Cardinal Couple speculated, and it was acknowledged as speculation and inferences, that the problem stemmed from the Notre Dame side of the equation.

With new information, it appears that this is a result of a positive test in Louisville's personnel.  Of course, the best wishes of the Cardinal Couple staff are with them, and let's hope that the testing regimen and protocols have caught it quickly enough to isolate it and prevent further spread.

Field Hockey

Field Hockey did happen yesterday, UofL's and Duke's season opener with a good win for the Cards, 3-0.  This is a very slight upset from pre-season rankings with Duke having been voted 4th with 26 points, with UofL immediately behind in 5th with 25 points.

Mercedes Pastor was the main difference maker in this one, tallying two of the three goals. 
Freshman Charlie van Oirschot (who joins countless others of UofL players who have challenged the Cardinal Couple staff on getting name spellings correct) picked up the other goal on an assist from Minna Tremonti.  Pastor's two were fed from Mattie Tabor and Madison Walsh.

The first goal, by Pastor was in the closing seconds of the 2nd quarter with the cross just in front of the goal from Mattie Tabor.  This was the only shot by the Cards in the 2nd quarter, which itself was the only quarter where Duke got off more attempts than UofL did (2-1).

van Oirschot picked up her goal about 10 minutes into the 3rd quarter with Tremonti's cross from the right side to the front of the cage.

Finally, Pastor would finish up the scoring for the game just a couple of minutes later.  Pastor's shot (though listed as a save in the play-by-play) bounced off the post, was recovered by Madison Walsh who sent the ball back to Pastor for the followup that found the back of the cage.

As was mentioned, this is a very slight upset with Duke only one spot, and one point, ahead in the pre-season voting.  This speaks volumes for the progress that UofL has made over the years.  To put a goose-egg on a perennially good Duke field hockey team and be able to compete at the ACC level is impressive and suggests that the development of this UofL program under the tutelage, originally, of current Duke head coach Pam Bustin, and for the past decade, Justine Sowry.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The CCRH yesterday was...technologically challenged.  No, don't pin this one on Paulie at all, while we joke about his challenges dealing with technology, he had no hand in this one.  The stream has (and apparently had live) no audio through about half of the show.  I do have a complete recording and will be uploading it to Youtube to replace the stream that is there, but it is a large file and will take some time.  I will come back and include it here when that is done.

Case also had some challenges around getting a recording for his work to publish to the podcast feed, but hopefully he can get that sorted out as well.

We ask your indulgence as none of us are broadcast or recording engineers...this is a learning work in progress.  We're trying out various technologies to try to improve the quality of our recordings and streams, but any change adds an opportunity for mistakes to creep in.


Well, that certainly took longer than I thought it would.  Check out yesterday's CCRH below.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Volleyball Loses Season Opener — SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Swept By Irish

Louisville volleyball put a swift end to any hopes of an 8-0 season yesterday afternoon when they lost their opening match of the season in straight sets to Notre Dame. While we weren’t quite right about a five set match, we did correctly predict a close match with extra volleyball. The final score in this one was 27-25, 25-22, 26-24. Attendance for this one was extremely limited, with Louisville listing just 150 and even our resident volleyball aficionado being unable to join the fray. Whether that lack of a rambunctious crowd made a difference, we’ll likely never know, but playing a tough match against the Irish could only be expected. We’ll have to hope that the sweep was a matter of the Cards coming up on the unlucky side of the close sets.

In this match, the problem for Louisville was unforced errors. The Cards actually out-killed the Irish 44-41 but also out-erred them 22-17. Louisville got consistent play from their primary front line players, with Aiko Jones finishing with 13 kills, Anna Stevenson with 12, and Claire Chaussee with 10. Unfortunately, none of the other hitters on the team hit better than .100. Another killer for the Cards was the serving game. Louisville had 6 service errors, compared to 7 for Notre Dame, but only 2 aces compared to 7 for the Irish. In a game so tightly contested on the floor, winning serves can make all of the difference. Louisville actually out-hit Notre Dame .119 to .098 in the third set, but the difference were three points on serves for the Irish.

It was a forgettable match for the Cards, and they'll need a short memory to move on with this quick season. However, the loss is made better (?) by the fact that Pittsburgh also fell at Syracuse yesterday evening. That the Cards are not already behind the Panthers in the standings is good, but that may mean that Syracuse poses a bigger threat than previously expected. Also working against the Cards is that it looks like they may not be playing 8 matches at all this season. 

Today's match against the Irish has been postponed due to Covid-19 protocol. There is not additional information about this available, but we can maybe use some outside information to infer possibilities. Notre Dame played USF in football last weekend. This weekend, both teams have postponed their games due to Covid-19 protocols. While it's not clear which campus this came from, it seems easy to assume that this represents the first case of one team spreading the virus to another. Similarly, it would make sense that athletes on the same campus would spread it to one another (a certain party at UofL comes to mind). While this may not be true, and UofL may be the source, there's no real way to know without someone coming out and saying it. My concern is that this appears to be a bit reckless. Notre Dame announced their football postponement much earlier this week. That should have piqued concerns about the virus on campus and in the athletic program. As such, it would seem prudent to ensure the wellness of all team members for other sports before putting them up against another school. This is not intended to throw blame. As I said, much of this is based on assumptions. There also could have been a round of negative tests with a late onset positivity. Either way, today's match is postponed and I'm not sure if there is a plan to make it up. Louisville's next scheduled match will come against Boston College on 10/2.

Field Hockey Opens Season Against Duke

The final fall sport at UofL will get underway today as the field hockey team welcomes the Duke Blue Devils to Trager Stadium. As of the time of post, there has been no news about this one being affected by the volleyball postponement, so the two teams are set to get underway at 1PM. 

Duke leads the all-time series between the two teams 11-5, but Louisville won exactly 11 months ago in Durham. Duke was scheduled to have already begun their season last weekend at Syracuse, but postponements in those games means that today will be the season opener for both teams. As a reminder, this will be a double-header weekend, but only the first of the two games will count toward the conference standings. If the Cards can only win one of the two, they'd much prefer that win to come today. Today's match will be available on ACC Network Extra, with tomorrow's getting the true ACC Network treatment.

Louisville Athletes Lead March Against Injustice

Following the announcement of grand jury decisions in the Breonna Taylor investigation, protests have been rekindled (though they smoldered all summer) in the Louisville area. Thursday afternoon, the Louisville men's basketball team announced that they would be hosting a protest march around campus and invited anyone to join them. Yesterday afternoon, a group gathered at Cardinal Stadium, marched, and returned to the stadium for brief remarks. From instagram and other accounts, we can confirm that members of the Louisville women's basketball team, Louisville track and field, women's soccer, and softball joined the march. Volleyball and men's soccer were playing or preparing for a match at the time, and I can't find any confirmation for the field hockey team. 

Louisville native David Johnson was near the front of the pack for much of the march. During the remarks, the team put action to their protest as well, announcing a voter registration event to be hosted by the team. The event will be held at the Shawnee Park basketball courts on Saturday, October 3rd, from 11AM-1PM.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

TIME CHANGE! Due to the field hockey match timing, the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will get underway an hour earlier than normal. The live show will appear on the Cardinal Couple YouTube page at 10AM rather than 11, with the recorded version appearing immediately after. The podcast will be available, as will be the goal going forward, shortly after the show is final. We'll have plenty to talk about, with game results in two sports and a preview in another, plus everything else that has gone on.

Until next time, Go Cards!


Friday, September 25, 2020



The University of Louisville Volleyball squad begins their 2020 play this afternoon against Notre Dame in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on campus. The event was moved to 2 p.m. so it would not conflict with the current curfew order in place for the city of television schedule revisions. 

Admission for the event is being limited to parents and guests of players coaches and visiting teams. The match will be shown on the ACC Network. 

The Cards come into the match ranked second in the the preseason ACC Volleyball poll, receiving two first place votes. Pittsburgh was selected as the top team in the ACC by the coaches and today's opponent (Notre Dame) fourth. 

Aiko Jones, Anna Stevenson and Tori Dilfer were named to the All-ACC Preseason squad. The Cards have an 18-player roster that has four seniors (Dilfer, Stevenson, Piper Roe and Alexis Hamilton), three juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen.

2019 was a magical year for Louisville Volleyball. They went to the NCAA Elite Eight in the tournament after wins over WKU and Texas. The Cards were also 12-3 in "the Arena" last year and defeated Notre Dame there in three sets. 

With the time change, restrictions and work schedules, I'm not exactly sure what kind of coverage we'll actually have in the arena, but you can expect a full reports on the match in tomorrow's Cardinal Couple column. 


A very tough end-of-game for Angel McCoughtry and the Las Vegas Aces last night in the WNBA semifinals. Las Vegas had grabbed a seven-point lead with 4-1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter against the Sun but saw the foe go on a 20-4 run to end the game and beat Las Vegas.

McCoughtry had 14 points and seven rebounds for Las Vegas in 21 minutes. Two early (and questionable) fouls on the former Louisville great in the first two minutes of action put her on the bench for most of the first half. A'ja Wilson led Las Vegas with 20 points. 

Las Vegas now trails two games to one in the semifinal. The two will meet again Sunday, Sept. 27th at 1 p.m. for game four. 

Seattle had a big night from Jewell Loyd (20 points) to take a 2-0 lead in the other WNBA semifinal with a 89-79 win over Minnesota. The Storm now lead that best-of-five series 2-0. Seattle led 46-33 at the half and led 62-41 in the third before a Minnesota Lynx run got them back to a 68-62 deficit after three quarters. 

These two will complete the Sunday double-header at 3 p.m.

paulie                                                                                                              xxxxx

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Attendance Policies -- Schedule Changes? -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Attendance Policies

Louisville recently released their attendance policies for some of the fall sports.  Sports included were field hockey, women's soccer, and men's soccer.  Nothing has been officially announced regarding volleyball. Field hockey was probably one of the trickier ones to figure out, being the only fall sport allowing free admission.  Although outdoors, fans for field hockey are limited to just one side of the field. This is normal, since there are only stands for the fans on the east side of Trager Stadium. 

Attendance will be limited to 20% capacity.  Tickets will not be available for purchase, and will provided to guests of the student-athletes and coaches, visiting team, and current UofL students. All home games will either be televised or streamed online for fans to watch. Media will not be allowed on the field, except in the case of one "pool" photographer.

All postgame interviews will be conducted online through Microsoft Teams. The head coach and select Cardinal student-athletes will be available as soon as possible following home games. Links for the video conference, or phone numbers to dial into the conference, will be provided to approved media who request access from the sport SID. 

The Louisville Field Hockey squad is scheduled to play Duke on Saturday at 1 p.m. and on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Both women's and men's soccer will follow the same guidelines seeing as they use the same facility at Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.  When including all four sides of the stadium, 5,300 fans can file in to see soccer play.  This time, fans will be limited to just the southern side of the stadium where the chair-back seats are located.

Like field hockey, soccer will be limited to guests of student-athletes and coaches, opposing teams, and current UofL students.  Their estimated capacity will be 20% of the chair-back seats.

All soccer home games with either be televised or steamed online for fans to watch. The Louisville women's soccer squad (1-1) is tentatively scheduled to play their first home match against Syracuse on Thursday, October 1st., at 7 p.m.

Volleyball has another issue to deal with being indoors.  Air does not circulate as well indoors, and as we have learned in the past, L&N Federal Credit Union Arena can often be hot and stuffy.

Worldwide was in attendance at the Red and Black scrimmage last week.  It was an invite only event that had maybe 200 fans.  Word on the street is that tickets will be available to guests of the student-athletes and coaches only, with no student tickets or public tickets available.

Paulie and I will be in attendance for field hockey and women's soccer while I will join Worldwide at volleyball so we can continue to bring live, in-depth coverage of all of the Louisville women's sports.

Possible Schedule Changes?

With the recent curfew implemented in the City of Louisville, we may see some issues with scheduling.  Residents have been advised to be at home from 9:00 p.m. - 6:30 a.m.  We are not entirely sure how that will affect scheduling. Volleyball originally had a 6:00 p.m. match on Saturday against Notre Dame that would have flirted with the curfew.  Friday's match has been moved up to 2:00 p.m., and Saturday's match will now be played at 4:00 p.m.

We are not here to discuss politics and the current issues going on in the city, but we do mention parts that directly affect anything Louisville women's sports.  The four of us here at Cardinal Couple have made our stances on current events known on our social media and you can follow any of that there.

These are the most recently updated statuses on the Cardinal sports we cover. As we've come to expect, there is always the possibility of change. We'll keep you updated on those changes, if they occur. 

If you do find yourself in attendance at one of these games, or you just happen to be out and about, please be extra cautious and stay safe.


Two semifinal games today in the WNBA, as the Seattle Storm (1-0) will face Minnesota Lynx (0-1) in the 7:30 p.m. opener and the Las Vegas Aces (1-1) take on the Connecticut Sun (1-1) at 9:30. Both contests are scheduled to be on ESPN 2


I cannot wish you a Happy Thursday because it is not too happy as things have been rough around here in recent hours and many UofL student-athletes have expressed their frustrations and disappointment, but I do wish everyone a safe and healthy Thursday.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Aces, Storm Win in WNBA Semis -- Same ol' Asia, brand new locale -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Getting a 29-point effort from A'ja Wilson, the Las Vegas Aces evened up their semifinal, best-of-five series with the Connecticut Sun  last night with a 83-75 win. 

This contest was a back and forth affair for three quarters. The Aces used a dominating fourth quarter to get the win, outscoring the Sun 24-12 in the final period, to take the lead late -- after trailing 39-38 at the half and 63-59 after three quarters. 

Louisville's Angel McCoughtry contributed 11 points in 29 minutes -- adding three rebounds and three assists in a game that was called more closely by the referees after McCoughtry indicated, after Las Vegas's opening series loss, that it was more like a football game than hoops and that the Aces would come out and employ the same style if that's how the officials were going to call it. 

Las Vegas did not hit a three in the contest, going 0-4 from beyond the arc last night, but the Aces have thrived all season on pounding the paint and scoring inside. Wilson went 13-19 from the floor and took the fight to the Sun, who lost starter Alyssa Thomas five minutes into the contest with a shoulder injury.

McCoughtry hit all five of her free throw attempts for Las Vegas. 

The two teams will play game three Thursday night. 



In the nightcap, Seattle held on against Minnesota to get a 88-86 win to take a 1-0 lead in the other WNBA semifinal. It was Alyshia Clark hitting a buzzer-beater layup for the Storm to get the win. The Storm cleared COVID testing after the originally schedule opener between the two was postponed because of inconclusive testing for several Storm players.

Minnesota was with out "Big Syl" -- Sylvia Fowles -- who sat out due to a calf injury. Without Fowles on the court, Seattle had a 36-29 rebounding edge. 


Cardinal Couple favorite and former UofL women's basketball great Asia Taylor is back on the hardwood. but she's not in Australia or in the WNBA wubble -- It's a new venue for A-Tayy. She's part of the Clarinos (Spain) roster in the EuroBasketball league. 

Clarinos had their first game of the schedule against Gran Canaria (on the Canary Islands) Monday night, and Taylor logged 22 minutes while scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in an overtime win -- 103-102. 

We wish Asia a ton of luck and big numbers in this new environment for her! 

paulie                                                                                                                                          xxxxx

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Volleyball Prepares for Notre Dame -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


( I am enjoying a rare day off by sleeping in- a small consolation for having to move onto my own health insurance beginning today.  Oh, the joy of getting old.)

We are in a short gap until the next women's sporting event, which happens when Volleyball opens their season against Notre Dame on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the L&N Federal Credit Union arena

Volleyball is the only fall sport that takes place indoors, which makes allowing fans in quite tough.  Worldwide mentioned that he was part of a select few invited to watch the Red vs Black scrimmage last Friday. I'm fortunate enough to be asked to take photos of the match. 

The players will be wearing masks during the game.  As far as we know, volleyball is the only sport currently playing that requires the student-athletes to wear masks.


Notre Dame went 19-10 last year.  They finished the conference tied for third at 12-6.  The other schools with a 12-6 record in 2019 were Louisville, Florida State, and North Carolina. They snuck into the NCAA Tournament, but fell in straight sets to the Bruins of UCLA in the opening round. Prior to the postseason, the Irish went on a streak of finishing .500 in the back quarter of the year, going 4-4 in the final eight matches.  One of those was a 3-0 sweep in favor of the Cards.  The prior five matches between the Cards and Irish before the late season sweep last year went into five sets with the Cards taking four of them.

As Worldwide mentioned on air last week, Notre Dame has continued to rebuild over the last few years after rebuilding from the ground up.  Their last losing season was in 2015.  Since then they have gone 22-10, 22-10, 16-12, and 19-10.  In 2019, the Irish had an attack percentage of .203.  They out-killed opponents 1493-1440.  They were plagued with 626 attack errors though. N.D. had mastered aces and blocking, finishing with 144 service aces and 251 blocks for an impressive 2.18 blocks per set.

The top three hitters last year return this season: Charley Niego (junior), Caroline Meuth (sophomore), Sydney Bent (junior).

Zoe Nunez, their setter from last year, is a rising junior and led the team with 1219 assists last year.  No other player recorded more than 100. Last year's libero is gone but the other big defensive players are back: Neigo (326 digs), Nunez (284), Meuth (231), and Bent (186). Notre Dame is a much more experienced squad after having a young team last year. Similar to the Cards, most of the starters and top players from 2019 have returned.

Both matches should be major showdowns this weekend and we hope to have our own Worldwide in attendance to give us some firsthand coverage on and off from his @cardcoupleradio twitter account.


Paulie here, adding to Jared's Tuesday column to wish him a Happy Birthday! We, here at Cardinal Couple, wish him a great one! Jared has been an integral part of our site for many years now. We appreciate the several articles he writes each week and the vast number of photographs he provides for us, and many others.

Jared has recently been named pool photographer for Louisville Field Hockey, Women's Soccer and Volleyball this fall. 

(No, it doesn't mean he'll be in the Ralph Wright Natatorium taking photos in his bathing trunks).

He'll be snapping and supplying photos of UofL women's sports squads in action against the competition. Three different assistant S.I.D's requested his services. A wonderful honor bestowed to him...I know he is honored and eager to be there.

Happy Birthday Jared!   I join in with our colleagues in looking  forward to many more years of working with you covering the joy and excitement of UofL Women's Athletics!


You can leave your birthday wishes in the comments section for "Mr. Anderson Jared"..

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, September 21, 2020



Louisville women's soccer goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos recorded nine saves against ACC powerhouse Florida State but the Cards fell 1-0 in Tallahassee Sunday afternoon. 

Louisville battled the Seminoles to a scoreless first half and Kouzelos was kept quite busy defensing the net -- with the home-standing squad taking eight shots (four on goal) but the scoreboard stayed at 0-0 due to the efforts of Kouzelos and the Cardinal's defense. The Cards nearly got a goal in the 35th minute of action in the first half. The Cards were awarded a free kick after Delaney Snyder was fouled. Emina Ekic placed the free kick near the left side of the net, Sarah Hernandez attempted a header toward the net but the ball was saved in the top left corner by FSU net-tender Cristina Roque. 

The 'Noles scored the lone goal of the match in the second half  about 15 minutes into the second half went Kouzelos went out of the net area to cover an FSU attempt, but the ball got loose after Kouzelos blocked the initial shot and FSU's Leilanni Nesbeth was there to drive it into the net. 


FSU outshot the Cards 26-2 in the match and had a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal.

With the loss, the Cards drop to 1-1 on the season. Louisville returns home to face Syracuse Thursday at Lynn Stadium. 

The offensive attack chances weren't there for the Cards most of the contest but it was still a strong effort by the Cards as a whole against a FSU squad that had downed Duke 5-0 to open the season. 

Hats off to Kouzelos, who recorded a career high with the nine stops. 



The Connecticut Sun were the #7 seed coming into the eight-team WNBA playoffs, but turned up the defense on Las Vegas yesterday afternoon and took a 87-62 win to open the best of five semi-finals. 

The Sun got a huge afternoon from Jasmine Thomas, former Duke star, who had 31 points in what could be called a rout. Connecticut took a 14-10 first quarter lead, built that to 36-25 halftime advantage and outscored the Aces 51-37 in the second half. 

Louisville's Angel McCoughtry played 16 minutes for Las Vegas and had six points and three rebounds. A'ja Wilson had 19 points and nine rebounds for Las Vegas. 

An amazing turnaround for the Sun, who lost their first five games of the season. They lead the series 1-0 now with game two scheduled for Tuesday night.


The second game of the scheduled semifinals double-header (Seattle vs. Minnesota) was postponed due to inconclusive COVID-19 testing. The Seattle squad was put into isolation shortly before the contest.

Players will be re-tested and the game will be rescheduled at a date to be announced. The Minnesota Lynx, who were not affected by the virus, were already in the Bradenton "wubble" warming up for the contest when the news reached them. 


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Previewing Women's Soccer vs. Florida State -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Cards Take on Seminoles at 1PM

Following a resounding win over Miami in the season opener, Karen Ferguson-Dayes' squad will get a much stiffer test in the second match of the season. The Cards traveled upstate from Miami over the last couple of days to prepare to face Florida State.

The Seminoles, as we've mentioned before on the site and the podcast, were one of three 1-seeds to come out of the ACC for the 2019 NCAA tournament. FSU didn't handle their bracket quite as easily as some might have thought, though, and exited in the Elite Eight with a whopping 4-0 loss to UCLA. UCLA, in turn, was thumped by eventual champion Stanford.

Despite the flashy scorelines, that's hardly a bad way to exit the tournament. You may recall Louisville lost 4-0 as well, being knocked out by BYU in the second round. 

That said, Florida State was a very good team. Unfortunately for Louisville, they still are. The Seminoles lost just two seniors from last year's team. 

While they were very key players--Deyna Castellanos and Caroline Jeffers were the leading points scorer and starting goalkeeper, respectively--that's still a heck of a lot of production to return. Jeffers backup, Brooke Bollinger, played in four games, starting three, and gave up no goals. Even with that nice record, Bollinger's succession was usurped by Cristina Roque, showing that the FSU doesn't lack talent between the sticks. And, while Castellanos led the team in points by a wide margin (16 more points than second place), the Seminoles return five double digit points scorers. 

The Cards had just two double digit earners last year, with Brooklynn Rivers scoring 10 points and graduating. 

Offensively, Louisville showed against Miami that they have the capability to score in different ways. They showed very good build-up play as well as high pressure. We didn't see too much countering from the Cards, but that is because Miami wasn't really able to put Louisville on the back foot. Florida State will not have trouble with that. Against Notre Dame, the Seminoles were relentless. They scored five goals on 18 shots, putting 10 of those shots on frame.

Notre Dame was able to notch only two shots, one on frame, for the entire game. Florida State's box score from Thursday's game doesn't include possession stats, but we can only assume they weren't great. Louisville will need to be able to protect the ball in the midfield and likely win it out of the back and counter to be able to move forward with any consistency. We know Delaney Snyder and Emina Ekic can finish, but they'll need a lot of help to get opportunities and to potentially keep up with FSU.

Defensively, it's hard to say what either team has. Without any non-conference games and with teams jumping straight into the conference schedule, there's no way to gauge conference opponents' performances. Is Miami as bad as they looked on Thursday against Louisville? Probably. Is Notre Dame? Who knows. All we know is that both Louisville and FSU were able to put the clamps on their opponents, but how impressive that was remains to be seen.

It's likely that FSU's defense is just that good. The Seminoles allowed just 27 goals last season, with four of those coming against UCLA, and forced opponents into 72 offsides calls. Did I mention already that they lost nothing in the defense or midfield outside of the goalkeeper? I feel like I might have mentioned that. It's probably relevant. Louisville, on the other hand, is working to replace three starters from what is effectively a back-six most of the time.

While UofL looked good enough on Thursday, we don't really know what Miami has offensively. They may score four goals all year for all we know. Based on experience alone, Florida State appears to have the edge here. Louisville will need to make the most of whatever opportunities they can get offensively and try to limit damage defensively.

In the series history, Louisville is 0-6-0 against Florida State. No wins, no draws, just losses. They came close the last time they played, falling just 2-1 in 2017, but this will definitely be a tough test. With Louisville already down a player that they considered to be a starter on the wing in Corinne Dente, this game and this season could be even tougher than they hoped. I don't think that this is the year Louisville gets a result against Florida State.

Having to play on the road, even without fans, is a challenge, and the fact that there has only been one game to tune up prior to this, with Louisville looking pretty flat in the second half, is not encouraging. I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong, as a result here, even if it's just one point, would go a long way to securing Louisville a spot in the eight-team tournament, but we'll see.

Cards and Seminoles kick off at 1PM on ACC Network. Tune in for what should be an exciting game regardless of the outcome.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Man what an exciting week for the show! I've managed to do what I hoped to for a long time and turn the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour podcast into an actual podcast. 

As an even bigger step, I managed to power through and get the edits complete and the show posted yesterday before anything we talked about was out of date. As always, you can catch the recorded version of the live show on YouTube, with yesterday's show here. 

Alternatively, you can listen to the show as a podcast on your favorite podcast player. The direct show link for yesterday's episode on Anchor is here and you can listen to the show in the anchor player on your browser. The show is also searchable on pretty much every player now as well, so you can subscribe to the show however you prefer to listen and have the episodes come right to your device when they post. Check out the show and let us know what you think, and be sure to share it with your friends!

Until next time, Go Cards!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Saturday Cardinal Couple

Cardinal Couple would like to acknowledge the passing, yesterday, of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  RBG was an inspiration and role model to many women and girls in being able to achieve and accomplish things beyond what might otherwise be expected.  Being a site about and supporting women and girls in athletics, we honor Ginsburg and cherish her representation and role in establishing women's participation in all places in our society.

Volleyball Scrimmage

The UofL Volleyball team held there traditional Red and Black Scrimmage yesterday.  As with most things in 2020, this one was a bit different from normal, but there was plenty of the traditional that was able to continue.

The biggest difference was in the crowd.  There really wasn't much of one as it was opened only to family and a very small number of others.  The result was that there was maybe 40 or 50 people in the seats, all appropriately spaced, and wearing masks.

The play on the court was pretty normal, with the only visible change being that the players were wearing masks while playing.

If they can wear masks while playing at full
game speed, so can you.

The teams were divided roughly into what I would expect to be starters vs reserves.  Consequently, the starters, which were designated the white team (based on the jerseys they were wearing) won all four sets played.

The reserves, wearing red jerseys, general stayed close to the starters including holding some leads during some of the play.  It can be very difficult to get a sense of the level of play of a team when they're effectively playing against themselves.  With no outside measure to judge against, are our reserves just that good?  Or are there weaknesses in those who were on the starters side of the net?  I tend to believe that it's the former.

Subjectively, there was a subtle but definite difference in the quality of play.  To pick an example, Tori Dilfer, setting for the starters had some spectacular sets and reached a number of passes that I wouldn't have expected her to.  On the other side, Rachel DeMarcus and Jamie Vasilou split time in the setter position, and to be clear, both played very well, but we didn't see the sort of jaw-dropper sets that we saw a couple of examples of from Dilfer.

On a side note, if you've never seen, or paid attention to, Jamie Vasilou in warm ups, or the limited time she gets on the court, you should just to acknowledge her amazing leaping ability.  I joked in the Cardinal Couple group text that we should make her a hitter.  She's only 5'5" but gets up above the net and gets swings on the ball as well as just about as well as any 6-footer outside hitter.

The team looked great and mostly in sync on the starter's side of the net.  That really shouldn't be surprising since the team is largely the same as it was for the 2nd half of last season.  Amber Stivrins is in Georgia these days, but she was effectively replaced by incoming freshman Anna DeBeer.

The starting lineup will continue to be heavy on "A" names, with two Anna's - DeBeer and Stevenson, Aiko Jones, Amaya Tillman, and Alexis Hamilton among the likely starters.  Add in setter Tori Dilfer and Claire Chaussee and you have your likely starting lineup.  Expect Mia Stander to come immediately off the bench for DS and serving duties.

On the reserves side of the net things were a bit more disjointed, as would be expected with the other four freshman, a new transfer in, and a new Volunteer Assistant Coach (Taylor Morgan, who was on the Minnesota team that eliminated the Cards in the Elite 8 of the 2019 tournament) joining in the play.

Speaking of the four freshmen, and no that's not the pop barbershop quartet, they all demonstrated that they have the skills and talent to play at this level of play.  There is definitely room for development in their play and understanding of the college level game, but this is a very good recruiting class that will definitely keep UofL Volleyball in ACC championship contention into the mid-2020s.

No word yet, with less than a week until the first scheduled match, on whether, or how many, fans will be able to be in attendance.  The Arena was set up, with signage and "green dots" on seats, to give guidance on social distancing.  There was a temperature check at the door (questionably effective though that may be, it is another check that might help prevent the spread of Covid-19), masks were required, and the one instance I saw of anyone pushing the limit on social distancing was pleasantly addressed by the ushers.  All in all, it appears that UofL has done a good job of making some attendance at volleyball possible and safe in the current Covid-19 environment.

With NCAA efforts underway to try to establish a season in the spring for volleyball to play a more complete schedule along with an NCAA tournament, hopes are high that we'll be able to see more volleyball than just the 8 matches scheduled over the next month or so.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Another week with our normal jokes on the CCRH.  Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself are all planning on joining in for another week of the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.  Soccer and Volleyball are sure to be up for discussion.  Check it out on Youtube Live at


Friday, September 18, 2020

Epic Ekic....Cards WSOC downs Canes 3-0 -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The Louisville women's soccer team started the 2020 season with a bang, blanking the Miami Hurricanes last night in Coral Gables 3-0. All the scoring occurred in the first 20 minutes of the contest and senior midfielder Emina Ekic was involved in all three goals -- scoring two of them and getting one assist. 

The win was somewhat tampered when sophomore forward Corinne Dente fell to the turf just 2-1/2 minutes into the match, clutching her left knee. Dente was assisted off the field and did not return. No word, as of yet, on the Stamford, CT star's extent of injury...but it looked like it might be an ACL

Louisville took a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the match when Ekic found junior Delaney Snyder with a pass into the box and Snyder sent it past Miami goalkeeper Tyler Speaks for a Cardinal goal. 

The Cards got another opportunity with 30 minutes left in the first half when Ekic moved into the box with the ball and fired a shot past Speaks to make it 2-0 Cards.

Louisville added a third goal at the 19-minute mark when Snyder returned the favor to Ekic by setting her up with a pass into the box and Ekic deftly maneuvered the ball past defenders and into the back of the net. 3-0 Cards.

The rest of the first half featured Louisville controlling possession and limiting the Canes to just two shots. 

Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson Dayes went pretty deep into the Louisville bench in the second half, inserting eight off-the-sidelines players into the match, including five freshman. Ferguson-Dayes also started a freshman to begin the game...forward Jessica Camken, a Florida native. 

The Cards outshot Miami 6-3 in the final half, four of those coming from Jessica DeFilippo. Louisville held a 12-5 advantage in shots for the match and the Cards had five shots on goal, compared to Miami's one.

Louisville goalkeep Gabby Kouzelos had a relatively quiet night at the net, but the senior recorded the 24th shutout of her career. She recorded one save, in the second half with about 11 minutes to play. 

Karen Ferguson-Dayes post-game remarks:

"It's always great to open the season with a win in this league. We put together some good moments but there are also plenty of areas that we need to improve on. Every day we will continue to work on getting better." 

Louisville travels to Tallahassee next, to face Florida State in a Sunday, 1 p.m. match. The 'Noles hosted Notre Dame last night, but Irish eyes weren't smiling...ND taking a 5-0 loss to FSU. 

All in all, despite the Dente injury, a very exciting game to watch and impressive showing for the Cards in their 2020 opener. Louisville got very fluid play from their midfielders and Ekic showed why she is an All-ACC selection and potential candidate for All-American.  

Have a fortunate Friday

paulie                                                                                                              xxxxx 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Soccer Visits Miami -- KFD Interview -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Interview with Karen Ferguson-Dayes

I was able to catch up with Louisville Women's Soccer head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes just a few minutes ago and get a few words from her about the game tonight, the team and what to expect. A good conversation with Coach! Click the link below to listen:

Karen Ferguson Dayes Interview


 Soccer Visits Miami

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived!  Women's sports events at UofL are back!

Kicking off the 2020-2021 school year is women's soccer, who hits the road to take on Miami.  The game is slated for 7:00 p.m., and will be aired on ACC Network Extra, so have those computers or smartphones ready to go.

Louisville, who went 13-5-2 last season, begins their eight-game regular season with a subpar Miami team.  The Hurricanes went 6-9-2 on the year and had a rough time in conference play with a 2-7-1 mark.  They did not qualify for the ACC Tournament or NCAA Tournament.

Miami started their season on Saturday, when they took on Clemson.  To accommodate travel, the teams agreed to meet and play in Jacksonville.  Clemson took the win 4-0 and out-shot the Hurricanes 20-2.

The Miami roster contains just four seniors this year.  Tia Dupont and Michelle Giamportone are midfielders while Morgan Asmussen and Lexi Castellano-Mugica are defenders.

Tyler Speaks is the starting goalkeeper for this year's squad and recorded five saves in the full 90 minutes in their first match.

                                                                     (Emina Ekic) 

For Louisville, six seniors are on the roster.  The ones we talk about most are midfielder Emina Ekic and goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos.  The other four include midfielders Nadege L'Esperance and Taylor Kerwin, forward Amari Hopkins and goalkeeper Lana Batson.

Ekic was the top scorer last year with eight goals and eight assists.  She has had seven goals the first two seasons each and will look to have another high mark this year.

Kouzelos had an 0.87 goals against average last year, giving her one of the best marks in the country.  In her first three years, Kouzelos has allowed 56 goals in 57 matches, to keep her under the 1.00 mark.

The Cards have dominated the series 4-1-1.  They are 3-0 at home and 1-1-1 on the road.  Last season, Louisville took a 1-0 win at Miami with Ekic's goal at the 5:33 mark of the first half.  The Cards outshot Miami 7-5 in a heavy defensive game.

Make sure to tune in to the game.  We will be grateful to have a game to recap on Saturday on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast --  with plenty of other news to talk about as well.

KFD Interview

Unfortunately, the scheduled interview between Paulie and Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes did not happen yesterday.  In communication with team sports information director Nick Evans, Paulie was asked if it could be re-scheduled for noon today, and Paulie agreed. 

So, Paulie and Coach KFD are scheduled for an interview around lunchtime today and I highly recommend checking back on the site before kickoff to take a listen.  He will post the link at the top of the article to make it easy to find.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!