Season Review: Soccer
We find ourselves back to reviewing UofL sports seasons. Today, we will take a look at women's soccer, another team that split their season between the fall and spring.
A solid start to the season quickly turned sour and the spring ended about as disappointing as possible with the final two matches of the season cancelled.
The fall season consisted of eight regular season matches against ACC opponents and then the ACC tournament. The spring season was set to be a non-conference schedule.
Louisville opened the season with a 3-0 win at Miami with Emina Ekic and Delaney Snyder doing all the scoring against the Hurricanes. The Cards remained in the Sunshine State where they fell to eventual National Runner-Up Florida State.
The Cards game home for a two-game homestand. UofL defeated Syracuse 3-0 as the Ekic-Snyder duo contributed to a majority of the scoring once again with Jessica De Filippo scoring the other goal. Boston College visited Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium next with the Cards taking the win 2-0. Ekic scored her fifth goal on the year and Taylor Kerwin recorded her first with the assist credited to both Ekic and Snyder.
Another road trip was next for Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad. It started with a 2-0 loss to Final Four contender Virginia, who did all their damage in the first half. They then went across the state to down Virginia Tech 1-0 with Morgan Bentley getting her first goal on the season.
Louisville came home to wrap up the regular season with a pair of matches. Notre Dame would take the first match 1-0. The regular season finale saw Louisville host Final Four contender North Carolina. It was Ekic who would put the Cards up early in the second half in the pouring down rain before the Tar Heels with three goals over the next 30 minutes to get the win.
At 4-4, Louisville earned the #6-seed in the ACC Tournament and saw a rematch with the Wahoos. Diana Ordonez would post a hat trick as Virginia would cruise to a 4-1 win. You can take a guess on who scored the Cards' goal- her seventh and final of the season.
We saw the spring season begin in early March with the Cards hosting Dayton and winning 1-0 on a Maisie Whitsett goal. Auburn came to town next and would go on to take a 1-0 in sudden death double overtime.
What would eventually be the final match of the season, Louisville traveled to Bowling Green. WKU relied on a goal 93 seconds into the match to get the win.
Matches scheduled against Tennessee and Wake Forest would get cancelled due to various reasons.
Louisville would end the year with a 5-7 record and a 4-4 mark in the ACC. One year after an impressive 13-5-2 mark, Louisville showed signs of struggling and a frustrating ending.
The Cards would end up getting outscored by just one, 13-12 on the year. Ekic led the way with seven goals and three assists. Snyder would be one of five Cards to score one goal this season but led the team with four assists.
Only three of the six scorers are set to return next season. Taylor Kerwin graduated after the spring semester. Jessica De Filippo transferred out after the fall season. Emina Ekic entered the NWSL Draft after the fall season and was drafted in the first round by Racing Louisville FC, where she has put on a show. Louisville is bleeding profusely on offense for next year. You cannot replace Ekic with any single player. Snyder looks to take the lead but needs a second and third scorer. Corinne Dente was a hopeful candidate but is still in recovery mode from a torn ACL. We may see Whitsett convert back to a forward or possibly Emma Hiscock steps up after a promising freshman outing.
Defensively, Sarah Hernandez is set to return as a centerback and power the back line. Gabby Kouzelos is expected to return for another season in goal. Kouzelos recorded 53 saves on 66 attempts for an incredible .803 save percentage. Louisville is set on defense for the fall 2021 season.
We quickly approach a holiday weekend with Memorial Day on Monday. Daryl returns back to her Friday column tomorrow and we should be back on our Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this Saturday.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!