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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

All Focus on Spring Sports -- Random News and Notes -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

With the conclusion of the women's basketball season- congratulations to South Carolina on their second national championship- all of our focus moves onto spring sports. Well, with volleyball, women's soccer, and field hockey all playing spring friendlies in the last week, you could turn your attention to fall sports too, but my attention span can't handle that much.

Women's Golf

Mairead Martin with the "hat trick" 

Louisville women's golf just wrapped up their regular season over the weekend. The Cards finished fourth at the Wolfpack Match Play at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

Instead of the normal style invitational, this event placed two teams against each other each round. Louisville faced Virginia Tech in the opening round and #3 South Carolina in the second round before closing out the invitational against NC State in the final round.

The Cards took a 3-2 (each player counts as one point) victory over ACC foe Virginia Tech with Gabbi Bentancourt, Mairead Martin, and Kendall Griffin won their match-ups, all three wins were tight.

Highly-ranked South Carolina (is this South Carolina hate week?) cruised to a 4-1 win over the Cards in the second round. Martin won her second match-up in as many rounds.

In the final day of the Wolfpack Match Play, Louisville was matched up against host NC State. The Wolfpack snuck by with a 3-2 win. Martin went a perfect 3-0 on the weekend while Lauren Thibodeau earned the other point.

South Carolina won the entire event, sweeping through the ACC with wins over Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Louisville.

The ACC Championship is next on the calendar and will be held at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley's Island, S.C. from April 14-17.

Lacrosse Hosts Vanderbilt

Louisville Lacrosse closes out their home stand today with a noon start against Vanderbilt at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. This one will be on ACC Network Extra (online only).

The Cards are fresh off a 2OT heartbreaker to Ohio State at Cardinal Stadium last week. The Buckeyes scored the game winner with less than half a second remaining in the second overtime period.

Vandy is 7-4 on the year and started conference play with a running clock loss to Temple. Since the SEC does not carry women's lacrosse, Vanderbilt competes in the AAC. Kentucky's men's soccer team competes in Conference USA for the same reason.

The Commodores average 12.6 goals per game with half of those coming on unassisted plays.

Bri Gross has been the go-to player for Vandy this year. The senior leads the team with 21 goals and 49 draw controls. Grad student Gabby Fornia ranked second in the country with 34 assists.

For Louisville, the major keys to the game will be winning the draw control battle and forcing Vanderbilt to go deep into the 90-second shot clock for a bad shot or turnover.

Softball Hosts Kentucky

We will get more into this tomorrow, but Louisville softball hosts rival #8 Kentucky on Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium at 7:00 p.m. The forecast for most of the day appears to be wet, but should hopefully improve by first pitch.

The Cards are 19-15 on the year after a 2-1 series loss at NC State last weekend and are looking for their second ranked win on the year.

Random News and Notes

-- After taking the NCAA Pick Em title this year, I'll be hosting an autograph session at Hailey Van Lith's Player of the Year ceremony next season. In all seriousness, between quite a bit of lucky guesses  and a little bit of knowledge about NCAA women's basketball, it eased my path to the win. I was hopeful to see the Cards ruin my bracket in the final couple rounds to win the championship, but my bracket champion got the win in the Final Four before taking down UConn in the championship.

Also, shout out to Kenny S on also getting 47 wins! He has won or tied for first in the last three NCAA Pick Em's, so I'll be consulting him in the future on what picks to make.

-- Louisville Cheer (All-Girl, Small Co-Ed, and Large Co-Ed) and the Louisville Ladybirds are headed to Daytona for the NCA and NDA Championships this week and weekend. Louisville Cheer can bring back up to three titles while the Ladybirds hope to bring back two titles. Even though they are not a recognized sport at Louisville, we still hope to cover exciting news for these Louisville women's athletes.

Rivalry Week is a bit bigger than just softball as baseball visits Kentucky tonight at 6:30 p.m. We love a good rivalry win so let's hope the Cards return home as Battle of the Bluegrass Part 1 champions. The Cards host UK in a couple weeks at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

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