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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Field Hockey Escapes Upset in Opening Scrimmage -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Take Down Miami (OH) in Shootout

Miami (OH) has become a regular opponent for Louisville in many sports, particularly in field hockey. Such familiarity can make a team more of a challenge than you might expect on paper, as was the case in yesterday's opening scrimmage for Justine Sowry's squad in Oxford, Ohio. The Cards needed not just overtime and not just a shootout, but the extended sudden victory portion of a shootout to close the door on the RedHawks.

Louisville gave up the opening goal of the game as the clock wound down in the first quarter. A clock stoppage for a penalty corner with 12 seconds remaining gave Miami time to set up their offense and execute the set piece. The RedHawks converted the penalty corner to take a 1-0 lead. They would only hold the lead for seven minutes or so, as the Cards responded in the middle of the second quarter. This goal came from open play, with Mattie Tabor finding Caroline Pusey for the goal. 

The two teams wouldn't score in the second half, setting up the overtime sequence. Playing a full overtime sequence isn't the most common occurrence in a scrimmage, especially when you are on the road and have another scrimmage 48 hours later. I have to imagine Coach Sowry agreed to the format not expecting to have to see it out. At any rate, the two squads sent out their six field players for the condensed 7v7 overtime. Neither was able to find the back of the cage, so they headed to the shootout. After both teams went 2/5 in the opening round of the shootout, they moved to golden goal. Tabor played the hero, connecting on her attempt--the second Louisville attempt of the sudden victory segment--with Miami failing to convert twice. 

Though it's not the type of win you necessarily want to see in a scrimmage against a non-P5 team that isn't typically considered a field hockey power, it is the type of win you'll take when you are working to see what your team and offense will look like with a lot of changes to adapt to this season. We talked on the podcast last week about some of the offense that has departed the team, and a 1-1 regulation score at Miami (OH) seems to justify some of our concerns. The Cards outshot the RedHawks 19-7 in regulation and scored only one goal. They outshot Miami 4-1 in OT and couldn't find a goal. That's not going to cut it. Louisville will have to be more efficient with their opportunities, especially with the new look back line and goalie. 

Though they are new, the defense and goalkeeping was good. They held Miami to just the one goal and gave up just five corners overall. They did allow a goal on one of those corners, but a 20% success rate for the offense isn't great. Sasha Elliott, the graduate transfer from VCU, got the start and played the entirety of yesterday's game. She finished with five saves and gave up the one goal. I'll be interested to see if Logan Jancerak gets any time in tomorrow's scrimmage or if Elliott has already staked a claim on the position.

There is one major stat that paints an ugly picture for the Cards. They went 0/11 on penalty corner conversions. That's... really bad. While I can't find a tracked stat from last season of penalty corner conversion, I can assure you that even 1/12 would be quite poor. For comparison's sake, Louisville averaged 5.25 corners per game last season. Even if you considered that they scored on a pace of one in every eleven corners, they would convert fewer than one per game on average. The leading corner taking team in the NCAA was St. Joseph's with 8.62 per game. Even they would not be guaranteed to score with that conversion rate. We've discussed the corner problem at length over the last few seasons, and it is a problem Louisville will need to solve in order to compete at the top this year.

The Cards are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 1PM at Trager Stadium. They'll host Bellarmine in their final preseason game before they head to University Park to take on Bucknell and Penn State next weekend. There's no grace period to open the season for Louisville, so they'll try to sort out some issues tomorrow. Admission to the scrimmage is free, so head out if you get the chance. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We'll have four this week as the Bats are on a homestand. We've got multiple games to talk about and a Red/Black Scrimmage to lightly preview before Jeff splits right after the show to get down to campus. We hope you'll join us for an exciting show. 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!

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Until next time, Go Cards!


1 comment:

  1. A win is a win, and Bellarmine should be a much easier foe, but scorers need to step it up!

    Nick O


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