CARDS FINISH PRESEASON EXHIBITION SEASON WITH WIN OVER KNIGHTS 2-1
In a rain-shortened Sunday exhibition against Bellarmine, Louisville came from behind to knock off the Knights 2-1 at Trager Stadium. The Cards went deep into the roster in this final exhibition, playing all but four players (holding them out presumably because of injuries?) on an afternoon where weather eventually defeated both squads and the contest was called midway through the final quarter.
UofL requested that I not use names of any of the student-athletes in the exhibition, which, I understand...due to "peeping eyes". It makes a write up a bit more difficult, but we can't go divulging any Cardinals student-athlete superlative performances to the likes of Bucknell or Penn State or ACC foes, can we now? (Not that there were a trunkful of those on a day where stats would be a bit misleading to someone if they were reading them with no idea of the final score.) So, I only used the names that were used in the Go Cards write up.
A weather delay (because of lightning in the area) pushed the start time back to 2:05 (from a scheduled 1 p.m. beginning) -- the fans were asked to leave the stadium but started lining up to get back in once the skies cleared. It looked to be about an equal amount of fans for Bellarmine and Louisville in the east-side bleachers at Trager..
Bellarmine does have nine players on their roster from the Louisville area or Oldham County.
The Cards had 19 shots in the contest, 12 on goal -- while Bellarmine had just six shots (four in the first quarter) and only two were on goal. But, Bellarmine found success with just five minutes gone in the contest when Anna Crump converted on a penalty corner attempt. Louisville dominated in the penalty corner department, too -- 14 to 2 -- and the Cards did get the tying goal on a penalty corner conversion with 9:45 gone in the contest...freshman Izzy Bianco doing the scoring
The Cards defense stiffened up considerably after the first quarter and a lot of the second quarter action took place with Louisville on attack in Bellarmine territory. The tie score held firm, though, and the squads went to the half knotted at 1-1
After the half. the Cards took eight shots in the third quarter, but none of them scored a goal. To use an old term that a Louisville coach used years ago, we all love shooters but we prefer makers. Bellarmine got just one shot in the entire second half, so one could surmise that the Cards were the dominant offensive threat in the final 30 minutes. Louisville went ahead when Katie Schneider fired, missed, got the rebound and successfully scored on her second attempt. The deciding goal came with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Lightning was spotted about a minute later and action was halted again. The fans were asked to go through the same exit drill, except this time they did not return. After waiting a while to see if things would clear, the officials and coaches made a determination that conditions didn't appear to be getting any better and the match was called.
Bellarmine led Louisville in one category and that was in saves. They recorded 10, while the Cards two goalies that saw action had just one.
We did not get a post-game interview with Coach Sowry or any of the Cardinals student-athletes after this one. The SID staff seemed anxious to get to another event with one of the other women's squads at the north end of the campus, and there wasn't anyone around to interview, anyway, if we had wanted an interview or two. So, off we went into the rain, which miraculously, began to lighten as we trudged toward the vehicle.
So, the Cards take off to begin the regular season in University Park, PA next week -- where they'll face Bucknell on Friday and home standing Penn State on Sunday.
Color me surprised that Louisville managed just two goals on the Knights. Either Bellarmine has gotten worlds better since they joined Division I and the MAC Conference...or this Louisville team isn't very good yet. It is early, though, and maybe the Cards need a bit more time to jell on their passing and shooting. The Cards roster list looks impressive. Let's hope they play better against someone who isn't in the MAC next week. Identical 2-1 wins in the preseason, one against league favorite and one against lower level predicted Bellarmine.
We'll see. The season hasn't officially begun and the Cards are young. Stay tuned.
(PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON)