Hints of Activity
|WBB moves in to the new Denny Crum Hall|
Hines-Allen Shoe Auction
|Myisha Hines-Allen's custom Nike Air Force 1s|
|WBB moves in to the new Denny Crum Hall|
|Myisha Hines-Allen's custom Nike Air Force 1s|
SPARKS RE-SIGN KIANNA SMITH TO ANOTHER SEVEN-DAY CONTRACT
The story of Kianna Smith getting another run with the still-playoff eligible LA Sparks would normally grab a bit more news than it has for the club, but Liz Cambage walking off the team has overshadowed Kianna's return
She'll be eligible for the Sparks visit to Phoenix Thursday night for a 10 p.m. contest. At 12-15, they're hoping for a few wins to grab third place in the WNBA Western Division. Phoenix needs a win as well, at 12-16/ The best eight teams (regardless of division) make the next round. LA is currently tied for eighth overall. and, adjusting to not having Cambage will ramp up the pressure on rookie Olivia Nelson Odoba.
Smith played in two games in her first seven day contract with L.A, She helped L.A. beat Phoenix on July 4th. in eight minutes of play and also saw action in the July 7th game against Seattle, where she scored her first WNBA points. The Storm destroyed L.A. by 37 points in that one.
She'll be the sixth guard on the Sparks roster (along with Lexie Brown, Jordin Canada, Chennedy Carter, Brittany Sykes -- no relation to me but she DOES have that famous Sykes humor-- and Kristi Tolliver. and she'll get in three games It looks like. At Phoenix, Minnesota and at New York (where she'll see AD). .
Whether it be with L.A. or someone else, Smith deserves a full-time gig with a WNBA squad. She's a proven scorer, decent three-point maker and team player. Let's hope Kianna makes the most of this "week with LA" and it leads to a full-time chance down the road.
GABRIELA LEON NOMINATED FOR NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE AWARD
Ten candidates from DI, DII and DIII get pared down three per division (nine overall) -- and from there, the top choice is made.
13 ACC nominees were reduced to two. Tori Dilfer was one of the 13 but did not make the final cut.
To learn more about the award, go to https://www.ncaa.org/sports/2013/12/9/ncaa-woman-of-the-year.aspx
Best of luck to Gabriela !
WSOC BEGINS SEASON WITH EXHIBITION VS. CINCINNATI
With Louisville women's soccer being the first of the women's sports squads going into game/match action for the Fall 2022 season (an exhibition at Lynn Stadium on Friday, Aug 12th at 7:30 p.m. against the Cincinnati Bearcats) let's take a look at what we can expect from Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad. UC will come into the contest with an exhibition under their belt -- at Butler in Indianapolis on Aug 7th. The Bearcats went 7-7-3 in 2021. They play in the AAC and were 2-4-2 in conference play. They did face one ACC foe in 2021 and won, beating visiting Virginia Tech
Here are some questions about the team and season.
-- WHO WILL PROTECT THE NET?
|WSOC will miss Gabby between the pipes.|
2021 goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos has graduated. The Cards list two goalkeepers on the 2022 roster -- redshirt freshman Olivia Pratapus and true freshman Erynn Flynn ---and neither has played in a collegiate match. It'll be interesting to see who wins this battle and also interesting to see how Ferguson-Dayes uses them. Splitting time on the pitch is a possibility (like we saw with Field Hockey in 2021). Pratapus has the advantage of watching Gabby for a season and practicing against college competition.
-- WHO WILL PROVIDE THE SCORING?
Out of the 12 goal scorers in 2021, seven return, and that includes Emma Hiscock, who tied for most goals in 2021 with four, With 18 freshmen and sophomores and two transfers on a 30 player roster, the Cards may look to returning forward Corrine Dente, who returns after sitting out most of 2020 and all of 2021 after suffering a knee injury in the 2020 season opener against Miami. Veterans Maisie Whitsett, Savina Zamborini and Ravin Alexander are all experienced front liners who also might have success finding the net.
-- WHO WILL JOIN ANOUK DENTON ON THE BACK LINE?
The sophomore English defender looks to be a great one after her successful 2021 debut for the Cards. Who will be see back there with her? I guess a lot of the answer there depends on what formation Coach Ferguson-Dayes goes with. Sarah Hernandez is an obvious choice, the graduate student has started every game since she arrived on campus in 2018. Madison (Maddy) Ellsworth, a red-shirt senior from Oregon State, was a starter there and that experience will pay dividends instantly. Hadley Snyder, a freshman from Assumption, was a first-team All-State selection last year.
The Cards finished 11th out of 14 ACC teams last season (Georgia Tech does not field a team). Can they better that in 2022? The league has belonged to Florida State and North Carolina the last 10 years, with Virginia breaking that trend in 2021. It would be quite the accomplishment for UofL to climb into the top six of the league this season, the three mentioned should be loaded again, and Duke, Wake Forest and Clemson are year in and year out over .500 in winning percentage squads.
The Cards were 7-7-2 (3-6-1) in the ACC in 2021 and lost four games by just one goal in 2021.. They did lose five of their last six and scored only four goals in those games. .
We'll see what Case's thoughts are when he returns to the pages in a few days.
IS THE CONFERENCE STRONG AS THE SHUFFLING GOES ON?
(Case is out sick today, so you get a Paulie article today, you lucky kids...)
Fall 2022 in "life in the ACC" should be some interesting times. As other conferences knock and "huff and puff" at the conference's door, wooing Clemson, Notre Dame and other ACC powers, where people wonder if the ACC should fire a pre-emptive strike and bring in a powerhouse school or two, and the Big12 reacts to being raided...how does the conference we joined in 2014 look?
First off, we are the newest member of the 15-team ACC conference, the "junior" in the family, but arguably the most successful athletic program in the ACC since we've joined. I can remember playing in the Missouri Valley Conference...where only Drake and Bradley remain as members when we were in there...and Cincinnati, Memphis and St, Louis were our big rivals.
Our "bouncing around" to the Metro, C-USA, Big East and AAC hasn't seemed to affect our excellence in athletics too much. The real question is: Has Louisville reached the pinnacle of conferences to be involved in? Is it an SEC world and we're all just living in it, or can a revamped Big12, Big 10, Pac 12, and ACC square off toe-to-toe with the SEC.
In women's sports, which is what we cover, but, sadly -- pretty much a non-factor in conference-realignment figuring -- I think the Louisville women's sports programs could hold their own and rise to the top in any conference out there. WBB, Field Hockey and Volleyball obviously leading the way -- with swimming right behind them and soccer, softball and lacrosse showing huge growth potential.
Sadly, it is not women's sports that determines a conference change-over or re-alignment. We all know the SEC didn't include Oklahoma because of women's soccer or Texas because of softball. The women's sports become "passengers, not drivers" in schools jumping to new conferences. Was Maryland Field pleased when the Terps joined the Big 10 in 2014? Probably not, in terms of quality of in-conference competition originally...but the Big 10 schools knew they had to get stronger in Field Hockey to compete with the Terps and they did. Six Big 10 schools were atop the DI Field Hockey RPI's in late November. 1-6 they were, with Liberty 7th and Louisville 8th.
The SEC would undoubtedly love to raid Clemson, Notre Dame and maybe even FSU to add strength to their football contingents. South Carolina and Florida would probably howl at this move (just like Kentucky would growl if the SEC courted Louisville) . When (and where) does iy end , though? Does it all eventually become five conferences, with subdivisions, for the 350 DI schools? And, would we join the SEC if asked? After all, they DON'T play Field Hockey or Lacrosse. OK, they're not huge money makers, but they have a strong and loyal fan base here....plus two quality and highly regarded coaches.
And, what kind of role will the NCAA play in future shuffling and changes? Could there be a "power of 64" schools that pull away from the NCAA, form their own jurisdiction and governing body and create their own schedules, opponents and conference alignments? Yes, dear reader, the almighty dollar xould be the main underlying factor here.
It makes sense, this super-alignment of powerful schools' athletic programs. Surely Louisville (and Kentucky) would be a part of it, maybe WKU as well.
But, I think the ACC is safe and solid (for now). I'd like to see an expansion to 16 teams (invite WVU and they'd come running) and create a solidarity where "invading conferences" would have to pay humongous amounts of money to raid the ACC and leaving schools pay a bunch, too, to leave.
STAY TUNED, though. This is a horse race where five contenders are all within a length of each other as they turn for the stretch. Throw in the big factor (money) and simmer slightly until you're ready to serve.
What are your thoughts on the ACC? Sound off in our comments section, if you've got a "take".
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR PODCAST
Looks like there will be three of us on the podcast today, with Case out sick and Daryl busy at work. And, Jared is still recovering from "the COVID" so we'll see how effective he is. I'm OK and I'm guessing Jeff is (as of 10:30 a.m.)
Join us at 11 a.m. today. Go to THIS LINK to listen.
Hello readers! No, you didnt get your days mixed up. It's only Thursday.. and it's Daryl here with you. Jared and I switched our days this week since today is my boyfriends birthday, so we have dinner plans this evening, he just doesn't know it yet.
As the guys have been getting us ready for the squads we get to watch on their particular fields or courts, I can help but catch myself often looking for the real things all around me. I've mentioned it before but it's one of my favorite hobbies to watch cardinal birds near me. I could be stopped at a red light with the windows down and hear the call of a Cardinal bird and trying to locate the red beauty while stuck in traffic on Third Street near Belknap campus. Which some could equate to the feeling of a long volley and score at L&N Arena or the pass inside the box and into the back of the net at Lynn Stadium.