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!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Great Starts Nothing New For Louisville FH -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


When I first looked at what the Louisville Field Hockey squad might look like in the 2021 season, several questions came to mind. The questions probably closely mirror what Coach Sowry was musing as well -- a team that made it to the final four, returned a lot of pieces but also had some huge question marks.

I wondered how they would start out. I reviewed how the past five UofL Field Hockey teams had begun their campaigns and found that, in their first five matches, the Cards were a cumulative 22-3. Perfect 5-0 starts in 2020, 2019,and 2016. A 4-1 beginning in 2017 (falling to Ohio St.) and 3-2 in 2018 (with losses to Ohio St. and UNC). 

2021 has been a grand start . The Cards are 2-0, with wins over Ohio and New Hampshire, and (if you count the scrimmages against the alumnae and Bellarmine) have not allowed a single goal in 16 quarters of play -- while scoring 26.  . 

I also wondered who would pick up the scoring that left with All-American Mechi Pastor when she graduated. Would it be "scoring by committee" or would one or two players assume control of goal-scoring? We won't count the "scrimmage goals" here -- but in the nine regular season goals, six different student-athletes have found net success. Erica Cooper, Filippa Niebuhr and Katie Schneider have two goals each and Mattie Tabor, Mia Duchars and Alli Bitting one each. Bitting is a grad student, Cooper and Schneider seniors, Tabor a junior, Duchars a sophomore and Niebuhr a freshman. 

It's a long season -- 16 matches remain, and then an ACC Tournament and (hopefully) NCAA Tournament run. -- so I won't read too much of a trend into the scoring contingent of Louisville yet, Let's just say that there are many capable and keep in mind that these multiple goal-scorers from last season (Aimee Plumb, Charlie van Oirschot and Emilia Kaczmarczyk) haven't put one in the net yet. Plumb was the Cards second leading scorer in 2020 (with six) behind Pastor, who had 13 of the Cards 46 goals. 

I also wondered about the progression of goalkeeper in year three without Ayeshia McFerran. Hollyn Barr (who is not on the roster this year) and Sam Minrath were the previous two keepers of the net. I didn't know if Barr would return and if Minrath would continue to shine and stop shots. 

Imagine my surprise to find out it's been neither of the two, so far. Freshman Mila de Kuijer, from the Netherlands, has received all 120 minutes in goal. We've gotten no official word on Minrath, we assume it's an injury that is keeping her from dressing out, but you can't fault what de Kuijer has done so far. 

Strength of schedule so far hasn't been that strong, but that'll soon change.-- with conference foes around the bend and a potential tough trip coming up next for Louisville Field Hockey to Princeton to play Princeton and Penn. The Cards are ranked fifth in the nation and fifth in the ACC, but that should be changing pretty soon for the better.

One school that has been a bit of a surprise is UNC. the TarHeels are 0-2 after losses in Iowa City, IA to Iowa and Michigan. 

I've missed not attending the home slate so far for UofL FH. I'm hoping my health will allow me some chances this year to see live events at Trager. It's one-day-at-a-time right now though, and hope for the best. 

(photos by Jared Anderson today) 

Have a Terrific Tuesday  


Monday, August 30, 2021

Field Hockey Wins -- Women's Soccer Wins -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

It was a busy day on Floyd Street again with both field hockey and women's soccer in action. Also on Floyd Street, but not directly related to a UofL team was Bellarmine field hockey playing a match at Trager Stadium against Ball State. Bellarmine will be using Trager Stadium as their home location this season.

Paulie was out performing as a master chef at a birthday celebration most of the day and that, sadly, kept him and Sonya from campus. He also seemed to master his craft of grilling without catching anything on fire so hit him up for your burger and brats needs. With Paulie out for the day and myself practically living on Floyd Street for the next few weeks it was easier for me to go on and recap both games. He'll take my Tuesday article in exchange.

Field Hockey Shuts Out New Hampshire

There was a Wildcats team on campus yesterday but they weren't from down I-64 and they weren't from East High with their singing and dancing. It was the Wildcats of New Hampshire that visited Trager Stadium to take on Justine Sowry's squad.

The #5 ranked Cardinals cruised to a 3-0 victory to improve to 2-0 on the year. Each goal was scored by a different player in a different quarter.

Late in the second quarter, Alli Bitting inbounded the ball on a penalty corner. Aimee Plumb took a shot that was deflected the goalkeeper, but the ball bounced straight to eye level of Bitting who had an open goal to work with. Like in basketball, this is why you are taught to follow a shot.

After carrying a 1-0 lead into halftime, Louisville scored a second goal from a set piece. The inbounds pass went to Julie Kouijzer, whose shot was more of a pass to Katie Schneider standing at the foot of the goal. Schneider used her stick as a ramp to send the ball into the air and the back of the cage.

The final goal came late in the fourth quarter as an insurance goal more than anything. After a pressing Cardinals attack forward, the ball got knocked around and deflected until the freshman Filippa Niebuhr came face-to-face with the ball and cage for her first score of the year.

Louisville pulled off penalty corners like it was a rabbit in a magic hat, but the keeper for New Hampshire had herself one heck of a day and limited to the scores off the corners to just two. She tallied double-digit saves on the day and kept the Wildcats in the game for much longer than anticipated.

On the defensive end for the Cards, Louisville's Mila de Kuijer had little action in goal. She saw one shot on goal the entire day and easily saved it. Besides that, she was hanging out by the grill with Paulie.

We got a chance to speak with Coach Justine Sowry following the win. You can check out her interview here.

Following our interaction with Coach Sowry, we got a chance to speak with Alli Bitting and get her thoughts on the game. You can check that out here.

Louisville hits the road to Princeton next weekend to take on Penn and Princeton. They'll return home the weekend after.

Women's Soccer Improves to 3-0 with Win

After a short break at home to cool down for me, I went back to campus to Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. The weather cooperated a lot better this time than the last go-around.

Louisville was fresh off a somewhat surprising close match against James Madison on Friday and bounced back with a 3-0 victory over instate opponent Northern Kentucky.

Unlike Friday's match, the Cards found a way to maintain position a majority of the night and continued to press forward without ever pulling off the reins.

It was fairly early into the game when Abby Baldridge lined up to send a free kick into the box. The ball connected with the head of fellow freshman Hayley Howard, who knocked the shot in for her first career goal.

Roughly 12 minutes later, Delaney Snyder broke loose from a defender hot on her tail to send a shot across the box and into the left corner of the goal for her second score of the year.

Midway through the second half, Emma Hiscock worked her way around a couple defenders to get a shot past the NKU keeper into the upper part of the goal for her team-leading third of the season.

It was the offense the proved to be the best defense for the Cards as their 18 total shots and eight shots on goal kept the Norse on their heels much of the night. NKU did find a little wiggle room on a couple occasions for a pair of shots on goal, both which were handled cleanly by Gabby Kouzelos.

With her save in the first half, Kouzelos recorded 200 career saves. Another save in the second half put her at 201 and a spot in the top five all-time in program history. After a rough game on Friday, Kouzelos looked back to her normal self in goal and was noticeably more vocal as she corralled her team and back line of defenders into position all night.

Louisville still has some work to do as they were heavy on the fouls on the night and are still figuring out the kinks with working on scoring opportunities, but you run into those issues with a young team that played seven freshmen and five sophomores (18 players saw minutes).

I wasn't able to stick around for postgame on this one but Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes seemed much more pleased with her team following the match.

The Cards improve to 3-0 on the year and head to Saint Louis on Thursday before returning home Sunday night to take on Western Kentucky.

Happy Monday and Go Cards!


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Volleyball Wins the Weekend

 Volleyball Victorious Again

After Case wrote the great American novel recapping the four competitions from Friday, we only have a single volleyball match to cover today.

The Cards got the victory and head back home for the home opener next weekend with a 3-0 record after the 3-2 win over Arizona State 25-15, 24-26, 25-17, 24-26, 15-11.

Initially, I expected Arizona State to be the main competition for this weekend, but upon looking at the AVCA pre-season rankings, I reconsidered and thought Cal Poly, receiving votes, might be the tougher competition than Arizona State, who isn't receiving any.

I should've stuck to my intuition.  While Cal Poly certainly played competitively against the Cards, Arizona State proved to be the more challenging opponent.

As usual, the "A-Team", Anna Stevenson, Anna DeBeer, Amaya Tillman, and Aiko Jones; along with Claire Chaussee were a spread attack against the Sun Devils, with DeBeer stepping to the forefront in the match with 18 kills and only four miscues, with the rest contributing between 10 and 12 each.

ASU struggled in defense along with serve receive, shanking a number of shots, but they scrambled well, covering for a bit of weakness in defense.  Neither team served well, with a whopping 34 service errors in the overall match.  UofL went for more of the high risk and high reward service, totally 19 errors on nine aces, while ASU sent 15 off into never-never land and only letting "The Inferno", ASU's student cheering section, hold up their big ace of spades playing card five times.

The difference maker in the match, though, was the UofL blocking.  Anna Stevenson put up four big solo blocks in the middle, while Aiko Jones is credited with eight block assists.  Things get a little funny on the stat sheet with the block assists, though.  Along with Jones' eight, Amaya Tillman has five, and Anna Stevenson has four.  No one else on the team is credited with a block assist.  If you think about the combinations, that would mean that on at least one attack in the match, Aiko, Anna, and Amaya would all be up on the block, but as Anna and Amaya are both middle blockers, they were never on the front-row at the same time.  There's something fishy with the stats there.  Regardless of funky stats, the UofL blocking was excellent.

Both teams scrambled pretty well in this match, resulting in a number of long rallies, with multiple times where you would have reasonably thought the play to be over and be shocked that the teams kept the ball alive.  This included at least one nearly perfect bump set by Elena Scott in the libero jersey while she was seated on the floor.

The high risk, high reward strategy for serving has it's value, and that value isn't completely captured in the stat sheet, 19 errors on nine aces is a concerning mismatch in risk-reward.  The balance would require the aggressive serving to help win at least another 10 points in the match by putting ASU out of system from the serve receive to be a net positive.

The Cards didn't get the full sweep on the weekend, but do come home with an unblemished 3-0 record in advance of their home opener.  Volleyball starts at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday at 4:30 EDT when South Dakota matches up against Northern Kentucky.  UofL will get things under way against Missouri at 7pm EDT, assuming SD vs NKU doesn't run long.


Two events on campus to enjoy this Sunday -- Field Hockey hosts New Hampshire at 2 p.m. at Trager Field and WSOC brings in NKU for a 7:30 p.m. match at Lynn Stadium.

New Hampshire played Ohio U yesterday at Trager and got a 1-0 win over the Bobcats. 

NKU comes to Floyd Street with a 1-2 record so far. They hosted but fell to Cincinnati to begin their women's soccer season 2-1. They did get a 2-1 overtime win at home over EKU, and then went on the road to face Dayton, falling 2-1.  

The Norse don't have any local, Louisville high school players on their roster. They do have the Horizon League goalkeeper of the year, though, in Mimi Stines.

The Cards lead the all time series vs. NKU 1-0 -- getting a 1-0 win back on Oct. 15th, 2014. 

Due to a prior commitment, Paulie will miss the Floyd Street fun today, but Jared should be present for at least one of the eents and will recap the action for you tomorrow. 

These are events are free and a good chance to see two undefeated Louisville women's fall sports squads in action. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

It was four of a kind for the CCRHP yesterday.  Paulie, Case, Jared, and myself held down the fort and spent the hour recapping the madcap Friday of competition primarily.  With two volleyball matches, a rain delayed Field Hockey game, and a Soccer game, there was plenty of fodder for discussion.

You can check out the Youtube live stream recording below, however I think there may have been a data transmission hiccup at one point in it, so you may be better off snagging the podcast recording that Case puts together at your favorite source for artisanal podcasts, a number of while are listed below:
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Breaker: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Cards Victorious Across the Board on Very Busy Friday -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Brings Brooms to Tempe

Louisville volleyball officially got their season underway yesterday in Tempe, Arizona as they played the first and last matches of the day for Louisville teams. The Cards got things started at 1PM Eastern to open up the Sun Devil Invitational against Cal Poly.

Out of the gate, the Mustangs showed that they were not going to roll over for Louisville in both teams' season opener as they won the first point and went on a 6-0 run shortly after to take an 8-4 lead in the first game. Cal Poly carried that lead all the way to 20-15 in the first game before Louisville fought back. The Cards went on an 8-1 run to take a 23-21 lead and flip the pressure onto the opposition. Cal Poly responded with a pair of kills by Jamie Stivers to tie the game, but a service error and an Aiko Jones kill put the first game away.

If you were hoping that Louisville just needed to get that first rusty set out of the way, you can continue hoping. It briefly looked like that might be the case when the Cards jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second game, but it was a game of runs. Cal Poly responded to draw things closer, pulling to within 20-17 before Louisville was able to nickel and dime their way to a 25-21 win. All is hunky dory now, right?

Well... not so much. Cal Poly came out of halftime no longer content to let huge swings in momentum dictate the pace of play. Unlike the first two games, there were no big runs for the majority of this one. Up until the end, the longest run by either team was three straight points and the largest lead in the game was just four points. Cal Poly's last run came from a 21-21 tie as they won three straight points to put themselves on triple game point. A service error screwed up the opportunity. This is where the "majority" modifier comes in from before. Louisville decided they were ready to go back to the hotel to get some rest before the next match. The service error started Louisville's five point run to come back from 21-24 to win 26-24.

It was a hard fought victory that statistically didn't seem like it should have been as close as it was. The Cards and Mustangs had the same number of service errors and Cal Poly completed just two more aces. Louisville outblocked Cal Poly 10-7 and outhit them by a full 10 percentage points. Unfortunately, Louisville's errors came at costly moments, breaking momentum or allowing Cal Poly runs to continue. As Jeff said in our text thread, the team was just happy to get back to the bus.

That led to their second match of the season. At 8PM Eastern, Louisville returned to the Desert Financial Arena to take on Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. The play-by-play isn't a part of the box score for this one, so I can't see exactly how the match went, but the stats tell a pretty decisive story about the 25-10, 25-17, 25-16 victory.

Once again, Louisville and their opponent each had nine service errors. This time, though, Louisville had seven aces and TAMU-CC had zero. The Cards outblocked the Islanders 11-5, but the big discrepancy came in hitting percentage. For the match, Louisville hit 0.433 while TAMU-CC hit just 0.039. The Islanders had a negative hitting percentage in the first and third games. Given that they only had 19 errors compared to Louiville's 10, it's clear that they were just unable to get any hitting opportunities.

Louisville was led offensively by the three you'd expect in this one. Anna DeBeer led the way with nine kills, followed closely by Jones's eight, and Amaya Tillman's seven. Tillman contributed three solo blocks and three assists as well. In the first game, DeBeer had nine kills as well, tied with Anna Stevenson for the team lead in that match. Jones and Tillman added eight and six, respectively. Claire Chaussee also pumped in seven kills in the first match, though she was much more muted in the second. The injury sustained in the Red and Black scrimmage did not appear to hinder Tori Dilfer at all as she did the lion's share of the setting with a combined 60 assists over the six sets.

Louisville is back in action tonight at 7PM against Arizona State. A live stream is available through the Pac-12 website and can be found through this link.

Field Hockey Romps Ohio After Delay

Louisville field hockey took a touch longer than expected to get the season started after thunderstorms rolled into Louisville causing lightning to steal the show in pregame. Just before the two teams were scheduled to begin their warmup period, lightning was spotted and a torrential downpour began. The game originally scheduled to begin at three had its entire feasibility immediately thrown into question. Night games, while possible, are uncommon at Trager Stadium and neither Louisville nor Ohio wanted to put themselves on the line for a double-header on Saturday or Sunday. With the radar looking very ominous, we began to question if Louisville's season opener would not come until Monday.

Fortunately (for soccer as well), the sky cleared up and the storms broke away from Louisville. The two teams took to the field to warm up at 4:30 and play began just before 5:00. Ohio might have preferred it didn't. According to the gocards writeup, Louisville 6-0 victory marked the most goals scored by Louisville in a game since October 29, 2017. That game was a 6-0 victory... over Ohio. The Bobcats might stop coming to see us.

As Louisville looked to answer questions about its offense without Meche Pastor, it seems as though they may be ok. Ohio might not be the best gauge of competition, since the Cards play in the toughest field hockey league in the country, but six goals is nothing to scoff at. Goals were scored by Erica Cooper (2), Katie Schneider, Mattie Tabor, Mia Duchars, and Filippa Niebuhr. In addition to her goal, Schneider tallied a career high three assists.

Coach Justine Sowry called the effort "great teamwork," as it shows how they intend to approach this season without the singe-point offensive firepower of Pastor. Defensively, freshman Mila de Kuijer made the most of her first collegiate start in goal with four saves and a shutout. Sam Minrath continues to not dress for reasons unknown to us here at Cardinal Couple.

The fifth-ranked Louisville team will continue their season against New Hampshire tomorrow at 2PM.

Soccer Survives JMU Comeback

Louisville looked in total control of the game last night for the first 44 minutes, and they hung on for dear life after that. Last night's game was a fresh restart from the postponed Thursday game, as they scrapped the seven minutes played the previous day. Ultimately, the Cards were able to hang on for a 4-3 win. In the first two games, it seems that we have answered some of the questions about the offensive game plan but have plenty more to ask about the defense.

Last night's game was very even, as JMU actually outshot Louisville 15-14, though both teams had eight shots on target. Louisville was lucky to escape two or three shots that should have been goals to draw the match late in the game, though there was some argument about whether or not they should have scored a fifth of their own.

The Cards opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a rare indirect free kick inside the box. JMU's goalkeeper placed the ball on the line for a goal kick, then gave it a light tap before taking her real kick. Unfortunately for the Dukes, that constitutes an illegal touch, as the ball must leave the 18 yard box on a goal kick before it can be touched again. Thus, Louisville was granted a free kick just outside the six yard box, setting up the fun visual of the entire defense lining the goal line. With a free kick that short, about the only defensive philosophy is to sprint full speed at the shot taker as soon as the ball is touched. Louisville was prepared for this, faking the start many times to keep JMU off balance before Brooke Dardano toe tapped the ball for Maisie Whitsett to fire it home.

Just eight minutes later Morgan Bentley doubled the Cards' advantage on a heck of a shot from a Nina Nicosia assist and immediately after forced JMU into an uncomfortable save. In the 38th minute, Emma Hiscock gave Dardano a second assist when she scored her second goal of the season and Louisville's third of the game. At 3-0, the Cards looked in complete control. Things... turned.

As the half wound down, and Louisville looked to get their orange slices in the locker room, Hannah Coulling got in behind the Louisville defense and made it a 3-1 game with just a minute remaining in the half. Louisville walked in a bit deflated by the goal but had plenty to be excited about with a two goal lead.

The second half started much like the first, with the two teams still working to figure out what the pace would look like in the half. Ten minutes into this one, JMU struck again. Again, it was an unassisted goal, this time by Ebony Wiseman. Louisville's outer defense struggled to keep an eye on through runs and outswinging passes throughout the game so there's plenty to see about whether or not the 4-3-3 is the answer this season. Five minutes later, Coulling scored once more to tie the game at three. Louisville did not have a three goal lead erased last season, so it was interesting to see how they would react. React they did, as Delaney Snyder made the most of her season debut with a headed goal off of a free kick from Mikayla Hampton in the 62nd minute.

With 28 minutes remaining, Louisville turned to trying to hold on. As mentioned, the Cards had a fifth goal called out, but the defense gave JMU a lot of opportunity to tie. The biggest threat came when the ball actually found the back of the net. Fortunately for the Cards, a JMU attacker was ruled to have interfered with Gabby Kouzelos while in an offsides position. No goal. Another effort saw Coulling step past Kouzelos in a one-on-one situation before she attempted an off balance shot that missed the goal. With time to spare, she could have easily walked it in. In a last gasp attempt, JMU got one more final attempt with four minutes remaining when a ball snuck past Kouzelos and just bounced off of the post at ground level. A few inches to the left would have saw that ball ricocheting in.

Louisville managed to escape this one and will take to the field again when they host NKU tomorrow at 7:30PM. Like the others, this one will be available on the ACC Network Extra.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

First, an apology. I didn't get last week's episode up on the podcast platforms. It was a long drive back on Sunday and a hectic week followed. The podcast will resume this week as normal. We should have a full house on board for what will be a very busy show. Join us in celebrating the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics as we look back on the winning week that was. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Breaker: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, August 27, 2021



A busy Friday early in the UofL Athletics fall sports season! 


Both squads observe a moment of silence before
the planned, but, postponed match. 

In case you were looking for the Louisville WSOC vs. JMU score from last night, that match didn't reach completion. A strong line of thunderstorms moved into the area just as the game started and seemed to settle right over Lynn Stadium and I-65. 

The teams did get in about eight minutes of scoreless action before the death knoll of almost all outdoor sporting events showed up -- lightning -- and the squads were sent to the locker rooms and fans were asked to leave Lynn. 

The protocol is to wait 30 minutes after a lightning strike before play can resume. That didn't happen last night, there were numerous lightning strikes and high winds around the stadium,  so the decision was made to postpose the match around 8:45 p.m.  The squads will give it a go tonight. at 7:30 p.m. at Lynn. 

We had fun in the press box waiting for the skies to clear and chatting about a variety of topics. Sadly, none of them were about the Cards win last night. Hopefully, that'll happen tonight. 

Coach KFD leads the Cards onto the pitch ! 

Read Jared's prep for the event in Thursday's Cardinal Couple to get you ready for it again

(Photos by Jared) 


Louisville Field Hockey gets their regular season started today with a 3:00 p.m. match against Ohio University at Trager Stadium. 

It's the opener for the Bobcats as well.  They put up a 5-9 record last year and return 18 letter-winners from that squad. The last time Ohio U. played Louisville was in Trager back in 2017, the Cards taking a 6-0 win. The two squads were common opponents back in the days when both were members of the MAC conference in Field Hockey, Louisville holding al all-time-series edge 27-12.

It's a Final Four Cardinal squad that goes into this one after two high-scoring exhibitions against the Alumnae and Bellarmine. There are questions about if last year's goalkeeper Sam Minrath will play or not and whether the net tending duties will fall on freshman Mila de Fuijer. 


Not to worry, there's a ton of talent still on Coach Justine Sowry's roster. Aimee Plumb, Katie Schneider, Alli Bitting, Julie Kouijzer, Charlie van Oirschot and Erica Cooper were all starters and/or essential performers on last year's squad....and the rest of the roster is deep in talent, as well.  .

We'll have Jared there snapping photos and then heading over to WSOC to join me after. I just don't do the double-headers anymore...these legs aren't 18 anymore and I gotta pick my spots for sports. 

This one will be available for viewing on the ACC Network Extra on-line platform and UofL has announced that Jody Demling and Suzanne Bush will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties again for the 2021 season. 


The #13 ranked Louisville Volleyball squad is out west and playing in the Arizona State Sun Devil Volleyball Classic in Tempe, AZ. 

The Cards begin the action with two today. They'll face Cal Poly at 1 p.m. ET and then go up against TAMCC at 8 p.m. tonight ET. Both matches should be challenging -- the Cal Poly Mustangs have made three straight NCAA appearances and were 21-9 in 2019, going 13-3 in the Big West Conference. 

The Mustangs took 2020 off, due to COVID protocol, so this will be their first match in 629 days.


TAMCC has also made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and won the Southland Tournament Conference Championship last season. They've got the conference setter of the year from2020 back (Faith Panhans) and the conference libero of the year as well in Carissa Barnes -- plus three more all-Southland performers from 2020. 

I haven't seen any listing for viewing these Cardinal matches yet -- on line or on TV -- but the ASU schedule at their website is showing some of today's action on ASU Live Stream. You can always click on there and take your chances. 


If it comes down to it, you can always follow the action on Statbroadcast.


Have a fun Friday !



Thursday, August 26, 2021

Women's Soccer Hosts James Madison -- Softball Addition -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Women's Soccer Hosts James Madison

Whether you're a fan of soccer, or UofL sports, or dogs, there's plenty of reason to head out to Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium tonight as Louisville women's soccer welcomes James Madison. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Louisville is doing a first for soccer by hosting their Paws on the Pitch promotion. Bring your doggies with you and hang out on the north berm, or come on out just to see plenty of pups. Despite the wording of the promotion, dogs will not be allowed on the playing field.

The Cards downed Western Michigan with ease last week, winning 6-2. It improved Louisville's season-opening record to 19-1-2 all time. Freshmen Julia Simon and Nina Nicosia each scored two goals while Brooke Dardano and Emma Hiscock each found the back of the net once.

Can you name these four soccer alums?

Defensively, Louisville was a bit of a surprise by allowing two goals. With plenty of veterans on the back line and in goal, we were hopeful for a shutout. On a normal night, giving up two goals may cost you the match. However, it was the season opener and there were nerves so I expect the defense to look more in sync tonight.

James Madison comes in with a 1-1 record. The Dukes fell in their season opener to VCU 1-0 before blowing out American 4-0. They were picked to finish fifth in the Colonial Athletic Conference.

All four goals on the year have come from different players. Lexi Vanderlinden is credited with two of the four assists. Overall, James Madison has taken 18 shots on goal, proving that their offense is aggressive and not afraid to attack the goal.

In goal, Alexanda Blom has gotten both starts and logged 171:27 minutes. She gave up the lone goal while also recording an impressive nine saves. This is the redshirt sophomore's first season as top keeper for the Dukes after playing a reserve role the past two years.

The Cards and Dukes have only played once before with James Madison taking a 1-0 victory back in 1990. Three of your regular writers on here weren't even born yet... sorry Paulie and Jeff.

Softball Adds Kendall Smith

Coach Holly Aprile seems to have found a trend that is quite popular in college basketball- chasing grad student transfers. For the second straight year, Louisville softball adds a fifth-year senior.

Kendall Smith joins the Cardinal squad from Western Kentucky. Smith, a native of Bowling Green, stayed local to play for the Hilltoppers. Smith helped WKU to a 2021 Conference USA title.

Smith will join the talented group of catchers in Cassady Greenwood and Rebecca Chung. Her bat has proven to be her strength. In her four year career, Smith accumulated 27 home runs, 113 RBIs, and 107 runs scored.

Louisville, who ran into some offensive issues at times last year by stranding base-runners, will rely on Smith's bat to help knock those runs in.

UofL does have plans of a fall schedule, which is normal, but it has not yet been released. These scrimmages are typically against teams in the area to allow the coaches to access the strengths and weaknesses of their team before the season.

Remember that picture of some UofL soccer alums earlier in the article? Here are the four former Cards from left to right: Allison Whitfield, Brooklyn Rivers, Kennadi Carbin, Emina Ekic. How'd you do?

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021



It's a 'Cardinal Couple' line-up shake up! Instead of Paulie's Wednesday column, it's Daryl checking in after several weeks out... from behind my own computer and not down at the ballparks.  My hours have doubled since the last time I was able to hop on here or watch any of the start of the fall sports seasons!  I'll be working Women's Soccer and Field Hockey over the next few days before the Bats come back in town for a couple home-stands. 

UofL Broadcast center is back to mask mandates and showing vaccination status.  But we are glad to be back in the studio, Cards fans!!! Happy times!! We are glad to have games.  Speaking of games, the future games for our beloved University have been in the news this week.  At the Cardinal Caravan last night, Tyra said he hadn't fully decided about full crowds, lack of vaccine proof and other things concerning fall Football. 

He also recently spoke of the "alliance". See the statement below from UofL Athletic Director, Vince Tyra. 

A topic of conversation that has definitely picked up some steam in recent weeks.. 'conference' and 'alliance'.  Get used to hearing about it and learning as we go, readers, because that's basically the message to take away from Tuesday's announcement. 

The (relatively new) commissioners of the three conferences in the conversation are ACC commissioner Jim Phillips (2021), Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren (2020) and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey (2015).  As CBS Sports reports:

The alliance agreement between the three conferences is being described as a "collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling."

The alliance asserts its purpose is to focus on NCAA governance, student-athlete welfare and ensuring the collegiate model continues. It will also include a "scheduling component for football and women's and men's basketball designed to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country."

What the heck does that even mean?! 

It should be noted that the three league commissioners say there is no signed document between the conferences and the entire alliance is operating on a handshake agreement of collaboration.... but we should also mention the fact that most athletic programs operate on the future.  Coaches recruit for future classes, administrative professionals are scheduling and planning match-ups for 3-4 years down the road for said recruiting classes to compete in.  

With Texas and Oklahoma heading to the SEC when their current Big12 contracts expire in 2025, the move that got this entire conference transition started, there is definitely reason to believe the major conference alliance will move forward in the coming months.  It has to, honestly.  The NCAA boat is filling with water at a more rapid pace every year and sports history shows that the landscape of college sports shifts about every decade or so based on trends.  Financial reasons usually have the biggest pull in these conversations. 

Think about it.. Texas - the second highest profiting CFB program in America, isn't performing in the post-season like their fans and higher officials/boosters expect -- so they move to the power conference of the SEC to get the wins and pathway to the championship leaving the smaller schools in the dust.   It also makes the name 'Southeastern Conference' pretty moot...  I'm no geography expert but I was already questioning the legitimacy of that title when A&M and Mizzou jumped ship, now it's just a laughable description. 

What the heck does this mean for Louisville?

I envision what this could mean for the Cards beyond the possibility of a regular UofL/IU rivalry in all sports and the football Cards getting schedule boosters like Ohio State and the Michigan programs.  Obviously this could also mean huge opportunities for the Olympics sports to get some broad selections of opponents.  

Overall I think the conference titles will diminish in the next five years.  I do believe we are seeing the demise of the NCAA, and for that, I am absolutely thrilled.  The NCAA should be very very worried about the conversations that will be going on in the next few months. An organization that used to be so beneficial for college athletes has proven it's greed, exploitation and overall worthlessness time and time again.  

I look forward to the future of college athletics - the change that is happening right now.  We will look back on these times years from now and I do hope it is for the better of the game and the athletes themselves.  After all, those two things are what has brought us all here to this webpage today and everyday for as long as we can remember our fan-hood beginning.  

I hope I got some of your wheels turning on the topic, readers.  I am sure it will be a hot topic of discussion for the rest of the gang on this weekend's podcast recording.  What are your thoughts on Tuesday's conference alliance announcement?  Let us know in the comment section below! 

Have a great Wednesday 
Go Cards!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


 All-ACC Field Hockey Honors


(Jared gets out of the office for a day) 

While I was out working the fair and enjoying all of the wonderful fair food (and Tums) yesterday, UofL field hockey had some positive news and some that was a little more questionable.

Alli Bitting and Charlie van Oirschot were named to the 2021 Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team. The Cards were picked to finish tied for fifth in the ACC.

Bitting is a fifth-year midfielder and defender who has been a crucial part of the Cardinal defense in recent years. She is also looking to earn a third straight NFHCA All-American honor. She had eight assists and two goals last year.

Van Oirschot is in her second season with the Cards after a strong rookie year. The midfielder posted four goals and two assists en route to an All-ACC selection and West Region Second Team honor.

North Carolina is the heavy favorite to finish first in the preseason coaches selection. The Tar Heels received six of the seven first place votes. Coaches can't vote for their own team for first so the one non-first place vote is pretty clear by default.

Boston College was picked to finish second in the conference as the Eagles have been building their program up in recent years. Virginia was picked to finish third but did receive the remaining first place vote. Wake Forest was voted to finish fourth.

Louisville lands fifth, a noticeable drop from last season's strong finish. The loss of Mechi Pastor, Meghan Schneider, Biz Allgeier, Madison Walsh, Hollyn Barr, and Margot Lawn from last fall's team certainly could be considered a "hit "for Louisville and could be a big factor on their low preseason prediction.

However, a pick to finish fifth or worse seems a little low for a program that has been great and just gotten better in recent years under the leadership of Justine Sowry. I can understand not being picked to finish first or even second with the loss of several key players, but fifth seems quite low for this program. But hey, just more room to proof the doubters wrong.

Louisville finished last season ranked #3 after advancing to the program's first ever Final Four. The preseason NFHCA rankings have not been released yet but the Cards should start the year ranked in the Top 10, and after their performance against Bellarmine yesterday, they should surprise a few teams this year.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!