Whew, we have ourselves a busy Thursday. Or more accurately, I have A LOT to write about. Thankfully, everything I get to write about is good or great news.
Emina Ekic Drafted by Racing Louisville FC
First, let's revisit last night. The 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft took place. Louisville grad and superstar Emina Ekic was a projected late first round or early second round pick and Racing Louisville FC had three of the top 11 picks.
UNC's Emily Fox was arguably the best player in the entire draft and Racing Louisville needed some help on the defensive side. It was no surprise Racing Louisville went with Fox for the first overall pick.
Then we came to the fifth overall pick. The NWSL allows a five minute timeout period for teams if they need more time making decisions or toying with the idea of making trades. By taking their timeout, Racing Louisville had us on the edge of our seats. They did not disappoint.
The announcement of Emina Ekic being selected by Racing Louisville FC with the fifth overall pick led to plenty of celebration and our Cardinal Couple group chat was ready to pop some champagne.
From duPont Manual High School, to the University of Louisville, to Racing Louisville FC, Ekic has had a rare luxury of being able to remain in her hometown while continuing to follow her passion.
Ekic is the first player to attend UofL to be drafted into the NWSL.
Although Racing Louisville is not UofL, I have pitched the idea of covering some RLFC matches for the purpose of covering Ekic to Paulie. That is still in the works and we have plenty on our plate as is, but maybe we will see that in the future? We don't want to take away from or distract our ideals of the Joy and Excitement of UofL Women's Sports, but we do like to keep up with our Cards in the pros and one of them is just right down the road.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say "Congratulations, Emina!"
Dana Evans Ranked #2 Collegiate Women's Basketball Player
A small group of folks over at ESPN pieced together their Top 25 players in women's college basketball and released that yesterday.
It goes without saying Dana Evans should be in their top five. In fact, Evans found herself ranked #2. The Louisville senior sat only behind Kentucky's Rhyne Howard.
We have seen Dana grow enormously during her career at Louisville. She was ACC Sixth Player of the Year her sophomore year. Then she was named ACC Player of the Year her junior year. Now she is competing to be named the National Player of the Year.
Her 2020-2021 stats have been a mark tough to beat around the country. Evans is averaging 19.7 points per game to go along with 4.2 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game. Don't forget, as the Cards have had several blowout wins, Evans hasn't played a heavy load of minutes in many games so her stats could be higher.
Louisville to Host Boston College
Ah, we finally get to something happening today. We stay on the topic of women's basketball as Louisville prepares to host Boston College.
The Eagles enter the game at 5-5 with a 1-5 record in conference play. Boston College started the year 5-0 before concluding their nonconference schedule. ACC play has been rough for them with their sole win coming at home against Notre Dame. On Sunday, the Eagles lost at Wake Forest 68-48.
Surprisingly, Boston College leads the ACC in forced turnovers per game at 20.3 and the Eagles have 99 steals on the season. Offensively, things have been nearly nonexistent. They are shooting 38.2% from the field and averaging 69.2 points per game.
Taylor Soule has been the leader for the Eagles. The junior has averaged 16.0 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.
On paper, if you take away the forced turnovers, Louisville *should* dominate this game. We are in conference play and still dealing with the craziest season we may ever see so you never know what will happen.
UofL is 8-1 all-time against Boston College. Since joining the ACC, the Cards have been perfect at 7-0. Last year, Louisville won at home 68-48 on Feb. 27. Kylee Shook posted a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Dana Evans was not available for the game.
This late 8:00 p.m. tip-off is set to be aired on ACC Network. We all love a true televised game instead of fighting to find a working live stream. You can also still enjoy the love play-by-play and color commentating on air by Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson. They broadcast on 790 AM Cards Radio WKRD.
Stop me if you've heard this before- a women's basketball schedule change. NC State is now on COVID-19 protocol so the Wolfpack will not be in town Sunday.
Instead, Louisville has scheduled Florida State on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. The Cards and Noles were postponed on Jan. 10 and then scheduled for Feb. 23 before now being scheduled for this Sunday.
(Now, this game is still a few days away so things could change again so I recommend putting this in pencil for now.)
One thing you can always count on is our weekly Cardinal Couple Podcast, which is back on Saturday. We have plenty on our plate this week, which is a good thing. It airs at 11 a.m. and is available on Anchor FM, and many outlets. Catch the Saturday article from Case Hoskies for the various ways to catch it, and -- if you miss the live feed -- we post the rebroadcast here on the site for you Sunday morning.
I also should not be balancing my weeks of Cardinal Couple Podcast and Saturday morning work duties anymore- good news coming from that later on!
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!