Field Hockey Defeats IU 2-0
Louisville brought in the Hoosiers of Indiana University yesterday for the Battle of the Border and came out victorious in the affair for the 9th straight time. The Cards and Hoosiers have played 24 times total, with Louisville holding a 17-7 advantage, and this was the 11th annual matchup. For anyone keeping track at home, that means that Indiana started the series with two straight wins to pull the all-time record to 8-7 before Louisville broke it wide open.
Friday's match wasn't quite as lopsided as the overall series, as neither team was able to score in the first half. The opening of the first quarter was very even, with neither team making an impression until Louisville earned a penalty corner with about six minutes to play in the quarter. The first shot attempt by Julie Kouijzer was saved by the IU goalie but went for another penalty corner. This one resulted in a Katie Schneider shot that had to be saved by a defender. IU escaped pressure for a few minutes before Louisville's offense worked back into position. Kelsey McCrudden forced a save and Mattie Tabor was there for the rebound, but her shot went wide. Louisville's best chance of the quarter came with under a minute and a half to go when they were awarded a penalty stroke. It was a golden opportunity to take a lead into the first break, but Aimee Plumb's shot was saved. 0-0 after one.
Louisville's 1/8 effort on corners looks a little better next to IU's 0/6, but goodness it's still rough. The Cards have struggled with corner conversion for years, but it is at least encouraging that they have been forcing saves rather than missing or not getting shot attempts. Of the eight corners in yesterday's match, only one resulted in no shot and only one shot was off frame. Though you'd like to score on more than one of the other six attempts, rebounds can often come down to a bit of chance, so giving yourself opportunities by taking good shots is nice.
Jared was able to to get Coach Justine Sowry and the player of the match Jane Ramsay to brave the rain after the match to give their thoughts. Louisville is back in action next Friday against Virginia as they open a four game road stretch.
Cards Sweep Canes in Coral Gables
So it's just the first match of conference play, but still: Louisville is atop the ACC standings. We hope to be saying that for the rest of this season, but you can't do that without winning the first match. Louisville didn't expect to have much trouble with Miami, as the Canes were just 7-4 entering the match, and Anna DeBeer was resting in this one after tweaking her leg last week. There were rumors that she would be able to play through the pain if necessary, but she sat nevertheless.
Miami brought out a capacity crowd in the James L. Knight Sports Complex, and the Canes weren't looking to disappoint them. Despite Louisville's thumping first set, Miami came out ready in the second. The teams traded points for the first 20 points, reaching a 10-10 tie without either team gaining more than a two point advantage. Surprisingly, Louisville was the first to blink. After tying it at ten, Louisville gave up four straight points on a kill, a lift, and two attacking errors. They got two of those points back before Aiko Jones hit her second service error of the set and Miami responded with an ace to make the score 16-12. Coach Dani Busboom Kelly wanted to talk about it. Louisville came out of the timeout winning the next two points and then began trading serves with Miami once more. This time, though, Miami was holding onto a three point advantage. Louisville needed to close the gap or they'd lose the race to 25.
If you expected Louisville to have taken Miami's best shot and survived, you wouldn't be quite right. The two teams came out after halftime and picked up right back where they left off. I'm sure the Cards would have loved for Miami to just roll over down 2-0 but that didn't happen. They opened with an off sequence kill and an ace, seeming to have everything going their way, but Miami shut it down after just two points won. Miami had the upper hand in the next few exchanges, trading two points for one twice in a row before an error gave Louisville a 6-5 lead. Unrattled, the Canes became the first team of the set to win three straight points to retake the lead and stretch it to 8-6. The entire set was back and forth, with Louisville winning three points in a row to take a 13-12 lead but neither team scoring three in a row for nearly the remainder of the set. As they traded punches, Louisville slowly extended their lead, finally seeing a Miami error give them a 23-20 lead. They got a bit ahead of themselves, though, as a Miami kill and two Louisville errors brought the set back to even. Louisville finally buckled down, and Claire Chausee's 14th kill of the match gave Louisville match point. Fittingly, Miami erred to give Louisville the win.
After a blazing start, Louisville's hitting cooled to a 0.329 for the match. That's still pretty good, as 14 total errors in the second and third sets still didn't see Louisville hit below 0.258 in either one. Miami recovered a bit from their negative first set, but they finished with just an 0.078 hitting percentage. Louisville was able to block decently, but they only finished with nine on the night. They did have a four point advantage on blocks, though, and they held a 5-2 advantage in the third set. Louisville was outblocked in the second set 3-1, which was the one Miami came closest to winning. Gee, I wonder if that says anything.
Louisville will continue their Florida road trip on Sunday when they take on the Seminoles of Florida State. FSU is 6-0 at home and 9-3 overall. This match will be part of a volleyball double-header on ESPN, so be sure to tune in. The folks over at the House of Mouse must have liked what they saw from ratings last week when the Cards took on Kentucky, but let's hope that they aren't discouraged by a potential reduction in viewing when they are counterprogramming NFL Sunday. Louisville and FSU are set to get underway at 3PM.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
I'm finally back in the booth this week, and we'll have three on the call to cover the week that was. Daryl is rocking out with fellow Loudmouths over at the fairgrounds and Jared will be a few streets over at Cardinal Stadium for a noon kickoff. Paulie, Jeff, and I should have plenty to discuss, though, so be sure to tune in for a great 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!
Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
Until next time, Go Cards!