2020 UofL Recap
Perhaps the craziest year on record and one that will be remembered for ages in the world of sports, 2020 has finally come to a close. Of course, it ends with another schedule change with women’s basketball.
Virginia has had some issues with COVID-19 so the game on Jan. 3 has now been postponed. The Jan. 1 game that Walz had hoped for does not appear to be happening. The Louisville vs North Carolina game has now been set for Jan. 5 at 2:30 p.m. I think most of us are a bit confused about a midweek midday game, but if the Cards get to play we can settle for it.
So let’s look back at 2020 for many of our sports including some of the highs and lows:
Womens Basketball- they had some nice highs including reaching #2 in the AP Poll. They also had a strong spring portion to last season, including hosting the USA National Team, and winning six straight at the end of the regular season that included a win at then-#4 NC State.
The lows are pretty obvious- COVID-19. There was no NCAA Tournament last season so we sadly sent off last year’s squad with an early ACC Tournament exit. The basketball team also had a stretch in February where they lost three straight games (one to the USWNT), but they did end up finding their feet.
Lacrosse- Lacrosse had a promising season going that started with a dominating performance at Cincinnati that Pauline and I enjoyed a road trip up to. Rachel Flores was on pace to set some Louisville and possibly NCAA records in goal with her 95 saves.
The downsides are far and few for lax. They still are not up to the competitive level of play that Scott Teeter wants. They took ugly losses to Denver and North Carolina.
Softball- A team that was on a hot streak when things abruptly ended was softball. They had won three straight and four of five. Celene Funke looked like she had not missed a beat, already recording three triples before conference play began.
However, softball had an ugly rough patch that put them at 10-13. Many of their losses came when they scored two or fewer runs, something we did not expect to see in this offense.
Volleyball- The VolleyCards had a solid 5-2 outing in their fall portion of the season. They were impressive with their defending that saw them high in the rankings in blocks, led by Amaya Tillman.
Both losses came in sweep fashion. Even if the sets were close it has become a rare sight to see the Cards get swept against teams we’ve seen them beat in recent years.
Field Hockey- This is a team that has plenty to praise in the “good” category. They started the year 8-0 including surprising victories against UNC, Duke, and BC. We can only assume they would have been ranked #1 at some point. They tied their highest finish in the conference at runner-up.
The lows would mostly be falling at the end of the regular season to Syracuse before falling 4-2 in the ACC Championship after not surrendering more than two goals in any prior match.
Soccer- Soccer had a solid season, even if the record showed 4-5. Emina Ekic scored seven goals in nine matches, putting her on pace to have a career high in goals in a season had it been a regular year. She’s now preparing to play pro ball hopefully in the NWSL. Gabby Kouzelos had a career season in goal, including nine saves against Florida State.
The five losses were a little rough for what we wanted. Three of those were expected against FSU, UNC, and Virginia. The Cards had the UNC game won before falling apart late in the second half, so it is enough to put as a downside.
We certainly hope 2021 is a much better year overall, but we hope many of our teams can continue their respective successes from 2020.
Do you have any favorite 2020 moments? Please share with us as we love hearing YOUR input and experiences. We also will miss and forget things here and there, especially with reviewing an entire year, so who knows what you might have remembered that we forgot.
Don’t forget that YOU are Cardinal Couple and we would not exist without you. We appreciate everyone who follows, interacts, and contributes. 2020 was an incredible challenge for us seeing as we went months without any true UofL women’s sports, and we hope we were able to give you a good 2020 run at Cardinal Couple.
As always, we are excited for the new year and what great things the Louisville Cardinals will bring us.
Happy Thursday and Happy (early) New Year! Go Cards!