We are certainly back in the full swing of a normal(ish) season with fall sports having games left and right with the addition of news from other sports who are not in season.
It makes our job much easier as we don't have to scrounge for content to provide to you. Two things fell into my lap about the time I was leaving work yesterday, adding onto today's content.
Women's Soccer Travels to Saint Louis
We'll start with the in-season sport before heading to some other individual news for current and former players for other sports.
After three straight home games to start the year, women's soccer will have their first road test of the season tonight when they visit Saint Louis. The Cards and Billikens are slated for an 8:00p.m., ET, kickoff and will be shown on ESPN+.
Louisville enters the match with a perfect 3-0 record and is recently off a 3-0 victory over in-state foe Northern Kentucky. The 13 goals in the first three matches of the season matches a program best dating all the way back to the program's inaugural season in 1985.
Offensively, the scoring has been spread out across eight players with Emma Hiscock leading the charge with three. Six of the eight goal scorers are freshmen or sophomores. Seven Cardinals have registered an assist with Brooke Dardano in front with four. Five of the seven players with assists are first-year members for Louisville's team, either as a freshman or by transfer.
The defensive side of things has been a bit shaky with the veteran defense allowing five goals. In their most recent game, the Cards registered a clean sheet while goalkeeper Gabby Kuzelos broke 200 career saves. Three allowed goals against James Madison turned a blowout into a close game. The two goals allowed against Western Michigan weren't as big of a deal due to the offense pouring on goals, but were not great nonetheless.
Saint Louis has struggled early in their 2021 season, losing three straight before breaking the goose egg in the wins column with a 2-0 victory over Illinois State. The A-10 preseason favorites opened the year ranked #21 in the United Soccer Coaches poll before plummeting out of the rankings altogether.
The Billikens had an excellent 2020 season, going 15-1-1 with a perfect 8-0 record in conference play. Their A-10 title earned them a bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Washington in penalty kicks in the opening round.
The Billikens have two goals on the season, both in their most recent match. Their defense has looked better, allowing four goals on the year, but are fresh off a shutout over the weekend. Three of the four goals allowed have come in the first half.
Abbie Miller, reigning A-10 Mid-fielder of the Year, and Emily Gaebe have been the two goal scorers for the Billikens. A-10 Offensive Player of the Year Hannah Friedrich and Anna Walsh each have an assist. Emily Puricelli has four goals allowed while also recording 18 saves.
The Cards are 3-9 all-time against Saint Louis, but have won three straight dating back to 2010. Prior to the start of the season, before we knew the status of the Louisville offense and looking at the Billikens' 2020 season, this game looked anything but promising. Now, a few games in, Louisville has a strong chance to return home with a win. The offense has been ruthless with their nonstop attack all game against opponents and has provided a cushion to allow a goal or two here and there.
If Louisville can come out attacking early and get on the board before halftime, the aggressive front line should be able to keep Saint Louis on its heels in the second half to relive some pressure from Kouzelos and the back line on defense.
Hailey Van Lith at FIBA 3x3
Louisville women's basketball players love to stay busy and Hailey Van Lith is no exception. The rising sophomore will represent Team USA in the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series in Montreal on Friday and Saturday.
Van Lith will be joined by Jordan Reynolds (Tennessee), Breanna Richardson (Mississippi State), and Camille Zimmerman (Columbia).
Team USA is part of Group A and has Friday action against Germany at 1:50p.m., ET, Austria at 3:00p.m., and Netherland at 5:50p.m. The top team from each group receives a bye and advances to the semifinals on Saturday. The second and third place teams will play in the quarterfinals with the winners advancing to the semifinals.
Jordan McNary Joins Morehead State Staff
Morehead State softball announced yesterday that they would be adding Louisville alumna Jordan McNary to their staff. If you've read us over the years, you're probably aware that she's a favorite of the Cardinal Couple staff and we've enjoyed our interaction with her over the yeaars.
McNary, who was with the Cards from 2013-2017, was a three-year starter in the outfield. Known for her speed, McNary carried a .318 career batting average while recording 140 hits and crossing home plate a whopping 93 times. We often saw "The Governor" beating out throws down the first base line or winding up on second before the catcher had a chance to throw the ball.
"I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity, so I would like to thank Coach Jones and everyone here at Morehead State," said McNary. "Once I got on campus, it was beautiful and I immediately felt at home. To coach at this level has been a goal of mine for a very long time. I'm looking forward to working with the MSU student-athletes and staff. This upcoming softball season will be exciting, and I am glad to be a part of the program."
Louisville has played Morehead State in the past, but the 2022 regular season schedule has not been announced, so we are not sure if we will see McNary in town with the Eagles yet.
We wish Jordan a congratulations and the best of luck in her collegiate coaching career!
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!