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Friday, October 28, 2022

Soccer Falls -- Field Hockey and Volleyball Today -- WBB Media Day -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

A busy week on campus continues today with a pair of Louisville women's sports teams playing. Instead of the normal busy weekend for the women's sports, the Floyd Street festivities (and beyond) began Wednesday this week instead. Before we take a look at today's action, we'll take a moment to review last night.

Soccer Falls on Senior Night

Louisville women's soccer wrapped up their 2022 season with a match at home against #2 North Carolina. The match was Senior Night for the Cards, but it was the Tar Heels who would walk away with the 2-0 victory.

The Cards began the evening by recognizing six seniors for their time. Maisie Whitsett spent all five years with the Cards, seeing time as both a forward and defender. Sarah Hernandez also spent all five seasons with Louisville, but the defender was out for the match nursing an injury. Ravin Alexander spent five years on the roster, but the defender chose to redshirt her freshman year in 2018. Corinne Dente spent four years with the Cards, but missed the entirety of her middle two seasons due to injury. Riley Mullady graduated early after spending three years at Louisville. Mullady suffered an unfortunate injury during warmups last night, preventing her from being able to play. Patricia Ward spent her COVID-19 year of eligibility with the Cards.

With their season on the line, the Cards came out ready to play. Unintimidated by the #2 ranking that North Carolina carried, Louisville played aggressive and looked (for the moment) like the better team. The Cards' best chance at a score in the first half was a shot by Maisie Whitsett from outside of the box. Whitsett created enough space between her and the defender to launch a shot that hit the cross bar, bounced down, but then carried back into the field of play. After a short review, it was confirmed that the ball never broke the plane of the goal. The game of inches can be brutal.

Louisville and North Carolina went into the half scoreless, but that didn't deter the Cards from maintaining their pressure in the second. UNC's goalkeeper deflected a shot that found its way to Corinne Dente. With the keeper in poor position, Dente launched a shot through a tight window between defenders, but it rolled just wide right. Again, the game of inches was not kind.

The 66th minute proved fatal as North Carolina generated an opportunity in the box following a scramble and the ball hit the back of the net. Just two minutes later, a UNC corner kick resulted in another goal.

Down 2-0 late in the match, Louisville tried to muster up a rally and spent much of the remaining time trying to find a weakness in the Tar Heel defense. Ultimately, Louisville would fall in the end.

Louisville's 3-7 ACC record was not enough to earn them a spot in the six-team ACC Tournament. The overall record of 6-8-2 means that the Cards are ineligible to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, thus bringing the 2022 season to a close.

Friday's Floyd Street Happenings

Louisville Field Hockey closes out its regular season today at 1:00 at Trager Stadium. Regardless of the result and any postseason appearances, the match will be the final one at Trager Stadium this year. You can catch this one on ACC Network Extra.

Sitting at 12-5 and riding a two-game losing streak, the Cards hope to enter postseason season play with a win against #22 Boston College today. Louisville is currently 5-4 against ranked opponents this season.

Boston College is 7-9 on the year with a 2-3 conference mark. For the Eagles, this match has no impact on their bid for an NCAA Tournament, which can only be achieved by winning the ACC Tournament.

Boston College fell to Wake Forest on Friday last week before bouncing back with a 3-1 win against Boston University on Sunday. The Eagles' top performer has been Peyton Hale, who leads the team with seven goals and four assists for 18 total points.

Also happening on campus, but not until 7:00 is Louisville Volleyball. The Cards return to L&N FCU Arena to face Duke. Most recently, the Cards swept Notre Dame in front of a whopping 9058 fans at the KFC Yum! Center Wednesday night.

*Quick tangent*

Holy cow! Over 9000 fans for a midweek volleyball match! And against a sub-.500 at that. I've witnessed over 100 Louisville volleyball matches at this point in my life (band, fan, media) and there's not many matches that can compete with that. Last year's tournament run with the pit stop at Freedom Hall is the only crowd that I think could compete with Wednesday night. I have on good authority that several matches are being considered for the "second home court" next season because of the overwhelming turnout against Notre Dame. The budget still doesn't allow for a new arena to be built, but thanks to high success over recent years, the hope for a generous donor to step up is there.

*End tangent*

Louisville sits at 19-2 on the year and carry a #4 ranking in the AVCA Poll. The power rankings put the Cards at #3. Their 10-1 conference record puts them second in the ACC.

After a strong non-conference showing, Duke has struggled since ACC play started. The Blue Devils are 3-7 in conference play, but are 12-9 overall. They're 0-3 against ranked opponents (Pitt, Georgia Tech, BYU) this year. They only have one win against teams in the top half of the ACC.

Once aspect of the game Duke has been well above average is serving. The Blue Devils average nearly two aces per set. They allow 1.3 aces per set.

Duke made national headlines earlier this season following their match at BYU. Duke's Rachel Richardson led the voices of Duke players in which they accused one or more BYU fans of making racial slurs. BYU conducted an internal investigation but came back with results conflicting Duke's report. The NCAA, the ACC, nor the WCC investigated the incident.

Like every other match at L&N FCU Arena this year, this match is sold out. If you don't already have tickets, you'll want to tune into ACC Network Extra.

Louisville Women's Basketball Media Day

Louisville women's basketball hosted their annual media day yesterday, welcoming several media to the Kueber Center to talk with coaches and players. Paulie made the trip to campus to catch up with several members of the program.

From comments from Coach Walz, to interactions with players, Paulie will give you a audio rundown of how things went and provide audio clips for you to check out.

You've probably seen Coach Walz's slide in the Kueber Center that leads from his office to the court..contrary to popular belief, it's not to quicken his access to the floor. It was built to hasten the exit of Media when interviews aren't going the way he wants,

Imani Lester   WBB Media Day

Happy Friday and Go Cards!

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