We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Women's Soccer Ties Indiana -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Earns Second Consecutive Scoreless Draw

Indiana entered last night's match just 1-0-3 on the season, but all three draws had been scoreless. Add on a 3-0 win in their last outing, and the Hoosiers had a season-long clean sheet running. Louisville was coming off of the highs of a thrilling back and forth win over a ranked team and a thoroughly meh 0-0 draw against JMU. 

The Cards hosted Alumni Night and had a good turnout for the regional rivalry match, including a pair of members of the Racing Louisville squad in Emina Ekic and Allison Whitfield. Despite pretty good efforts, Louisville was unable to be the first team to score on Indiana this season, and the whistle blew on the Cards' second straight 0-0 draw and the fourth in five matches for IU.

Despite the final scoreline, the game was not without excitement. The two teams combined for 17 shots and put eight of them on frame. Louisville led the way with 11 shots, but had only one more shot on goal: 5-4. For IU's Jamie Gerstenberg, a four-save performance contributed to her fifth clean sheet of the season and 15th of her career. As just a sophomore goalkeeper, that's quite the performance. Gerstenberg's impressive mark was nearly ruined early, though, as Louisville earned a corner just 14 seconds into the match. The ball fell to Karsyn Cherry, who has been known to score a time or two from that position. Unfortunately, this one was high. The corner to open the match was hardly the prime opportunity for the Cards, however.

The big chance came in the fourteenth minute, when Gerstenberg was subjected to a questionable back pass. The pass and subsequent touch took her to no-man's land towards the side of the box and the ball fell to Savina Zamborini's feet. With nothing but an open net in front of her, Zamborini lined up a methodical shot and placed it right on goal. Unfortunately for Louisville, the shot had all of the pace of an empty jar of salsa, and an IU defender was able to clear it away. So it came to pass that Gerstenberg would finish with four saves and a clean sheet on a night that Louisville had five shots on goal.

The Cards would get a couple of more chances to break the draw as the game went on, but not before IU took their turn. Despite being scoreless in their first three matches, the Hoosiers were able to string together some concerning offense. It took them a bit to get into the flow of the game, but for a stretch of 10-12 minutes, Indiana became the aggressor. The run saw Indiana with three shots, two on frame, with Louisville earning a couple of counter-attacking shots that were off the mark. 

Louisville finally regained composure and worked their offense forward, but not before losing Maisie Whitsett to an ankle injury. Whitsett, admirably defending from the front, slid through a ball near midfield, when her heel dug into the turf. She wasn't the first or last player to gain unwanted purchase in the ground while sliding, but hers did appear to be the most significant. Whether it was a rolled ankle or a significant kick to the ankle bone on the follow through that got her, Whitsett's night was done after just 21 minutes. She was able to walk without a noticeable limp on the sideline in the second half, but she didn't see any more game action.

As the half wound down, Louisville got into the offensive third again, shortly after Indiana forced a save from Floyd. This time, Patricia Ward found herself relatively alone in the box and tried a shot. The effort had some speed and necessitated a reach, but it was pretty much straight at Gerstenberg, who didn't have to jump to palm it over the goal. On the ensuing corner, Louisville was unable to get another attempt. After that, the teams played a harmless six minutes before heading into the locker room.

The second half started more tepidly than the first, with a foul going against each team as the only recordable stat for almost ten minutes. Anouk Denton broke the monotony for Louisville, picking out a shot in the 55th minute. Unfortunately for Denton and the Cards, it wasn't really intended to be a shot, and Gerstenberg had little difficulty in grabbing it for a save. 

The next substitution sequence saw a bit of a rarity: a mid-half unforced goalkeeper substitution. With 33 minutes remaining in a tense 0-0 match against a team that had not yet given up a goal, I was a bit baffled at the decision to disrupt the defensive structure so abruptly. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Oliva Pratapas to get a chance to earn the starting position, but the moment seemed all wrong. Those concerns were exacerbated immediately by a poor decision to call for a back pass followed by a disastrous clearance that resulted in a long throw opportunity for Indiana. The Hoosiers had shown their throw-in set pieces to be nearly as dangerous as corners already, and this one was no exception. Louisville managed to work out of the jam without a shot, despite the ball spending a considerable amount of time in the box, and Pratapas settled into the game after a few minutes.

Louisville's last best chance of the game came just before the 70th minute mark. Addie Chester, who hadn't drawn the start, lined up a shot from just inside the box and straight on. Chester's attempt was a good one, and Gerstenberg wasn't able to get a full hand on it. Unfortunately, the deflection was enough to send the ball up into the crossbar, from which it ricocheted back down into the box. Louisville was unable to corral possession and attempt another shot, and IU cleared it away. The Cards managed four more shots in the game, but the only one that was on frame was another ball that was intended to be a threatening pass more than a shot. 

The Cardinals' defense held strong for much of the second half, despite needing to recover aggressively from a couple of well-placed and well-timed through balls by Indiana. Louisville overran a few attacks and had a couple of lazy passes turn into breakaways, but their speed on the back line saved them from disaster. 

The 88th minute saw Pratapas tally her first save of the season on a dangerous last chance from IU. The Hoosiers had another one of their breakaways, this one set up by a goal kick, and had two players into the Louisville penalty area. Louisville's defense had tracked back fairly well, but a well placed centering pass could have spelled late doom for the Cards. Fortunately, Abbey Iler attempted a shot instead, and Pratapas was able to cover and hold it, preventing a disastrous rebound. Louisville put on heavy pressure for the last two minutes, but Addie Chester took just too heavy of a touch while beating a defender in the box and the ball rolled across the end line for a goal kick. With twenty seconds left, IU substitutions iced the game. 

The draw moved Louisville to 3-1-2 on the season puts them on a four-game unbeaten streak to end non-conference play. While I wouldn't have said "no" to seeing another win among the six games, I'm quite happy to not see more than just the one loss. Paulie and Jared caught up with Coach KFD after the game to talk about the result, which you can see at the link below. Louisville gets more than a week off as they prepare for conference play, with Miami coming to town on Saturday, September 17th. 

Postgame with Karen Ferguson Dayes:


Friday Action

Field hockey opens their home season at Trager today when they host JMU at 5PM. The Cards are breaking in new turf for the first time in regular season play, as the new field installed over the summer has seen only exhibitions so far. The Dukes come to Louisville 2-2 on the season, with an even goal differential the hard way. JMU opened the season with a 3-1 win over Richmond and followed it up with a 6-2 win over Bucknell. You may remember that Bucknell opened their season with just a 2-1 loss to Louisville. Anyway, after their strong opening weekend at home, things went a bit sideways for the Dukes on the road. Last Friday saw them roundly thumped by Old Dominion, as they lost 6-1. While their Sunday match was much more impressive, they fell to 12th ranked Virginia 3-2 in overtime. This evening's match is available on ACC Network Extra.

Volleyball is also back in action tonight, and they'll look to recover from a frustrating weekend. After opening the season with four straight sweeps, the Cards dropped their first set in a 3-1 win over San Diego. The Toreros went on to sweep Ohio State on Saturday, which boosted them from 15th to 12th after the weekend. Ohio State, on the other hand, dropped to 0-3 and had won just one set in their three matches. To be fair, their first two losses were to the second ranked team in the land in Texas, and their third was on a neutral court to a top-15 team. That said, Louisville would have expected to send the Buckeyes back to Columbus with their fourth loss. Instead, the Cards added their second, third, and fourth set losses of the season to drop the match 3-1. The AVCA voters have looked kindly on both teams, keeping Ohio State at 8th and dropping Louisville just one spot to 4th, but the Cards will need to bounce back in a big way. 

Louisville hosts 11th ranked Purdue tonight, and they'll look to beat them for the third time in sixteen tries. The Cards swept the Boilermakers last season, but Purdue returns a strong team. They've opened the season 6-0 after a fourth round tourney exit last season, but they've played a fairly tame schedule. Tame or not, Purdue returns a senior libero who was last week named B1G Defensive Player Of The Week and a sophomore middle blocker who joined the U21 US National Team over the summer. Raven Colvin has 30 blocks already this season, and she's joined on the front line by freshman Ava Hudson. Hudson has 96 kills with a .315 hitting percentage and has twice (in two weeks) been named the B1G Freshman of the Week. The two teams will get it started at 7PM on ACC Network Extra.

Go Cards Beat Purdue. (If you don't know the story behind these four words, I'll let Paulie add it in the comments section)

Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Early December, 1985...
    Louisville basketball was playing their second home game of the 85-86 season. The opponent was Iona. The Cards had opened up the home slate with a win over Purdue. Back in the day, the cheerleaders would lead a chant..."GO CARDS BEAT (OPPONENT)". And, in a close game, the cheerleaders trotted onto the court to lead the cheer. Except someone forgot to change the opponents sign that the cheerleader held up. Imagine the surprise when the Iona squad hears "Go Cards Beat Purdue." Purdue? Hilarious. It continued the rest of the year. Against St. Louis? Go Cards Beat Purdue. Marquette in town? Doesn't matter, Go Cards Beat Purdue. The cheerleaders were holding up the correct opponents name. but the fans in the south end zone were insistent. We were beating Purdue. They eventually retired the cheer until sometime in the 21st century. But, those who remembered shouted PURDUE.

    Tradition. It's everything.



Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...