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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Field Hockey Wins; Volleyball Looks to Follow; Basketball Announces Schedule -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Field Hockey Scores Ranked Road Win

Louisville's offense applied significant pressure in the first half but scored both of their goals on just three shots in the second against #25 Miami (OH) yesterday afternoon. The Cards held possession and had plenty of chances, but you wouldn't want to use them as film in a scoring clinic. Ultimately, Louisville came away with a 2-0 victory in just their second shutout of the season. The Cards remain undefeated in non-conference play and pick up a critical win on the road. 

Despite 11 penalty corners and 10 shots in the first half, Louisville was left scratching their heads as they entered the locker room tied at 0. Perhaps it should have been counted as an omen when Louisville earned a penalty corner less than two minutes into the game and failed to attempt a shot. After the first one, penalty corners came in bunches. For the remainder of the half, Louisville never took just one penalty corner in a sequence. seeing a run of three near the end of each quarter split by two pairs. The Cards would end the game 0-12 on penalty corners, so there goes our progress toward a better conversion rate. 

Louisville was at least getting quality shots up in the first, they forced six saves from Isabelle Perese in the first half. Perese would get just one save in the second half, giving up Louisville's two goals on their other two shots in the half. Ironically, Perese's lone second half save came on Louisville's lone second half corner attempt. Fate can be cruel. Although they didn't use a corner to make it happen, Louisville struck quickly in the second half, taking the advantage on a Tyler Everslage goal 27 seconds into the quarter. It was the freshman's third goal of the season, making her alone in third in goals scored. Entering the game, Emilia Kaczmarczyk and Aimee Plumb were tied at four, with Kazzy helped by her brace last week. Plumb made sure they left the game with a gap between them, as she scored the insurance goal with just over 12 minutes to play in the game.

Plumb's fifth goal of the season came shortly after she had been frustrated by a save on a penalty corner. After the clearance from the goal, Louisville immediately stole possession and moved down the field where Lauren Masters sent the ball in for Plumb to knock it into the cage. After the insurance check was in the bank, Louisville's offense hung it up, adding no more stats for the remainder of the game. They ultimately wouldn't need any more offense, though, as Miami could only muster their first and only shot of the match shortly after their first and only corner . Merlijn van der Vegt was up to the task, stopping that one shot and staying awake for the remainder of the match.

The box score doesn't offer a ton as far as how the game looked, but it does paint a picture of dominance for Louisville in this one. They took 13 (8) shots compared to just the one for the Redhawks and had the aforementioned 12 penalty corners to Miami's 1. Granted, as I noted before, Louisville's offense was all for show in the first half. They were clean and efficient in the second with a sharp .667 shot conversion percentage. It was also a deep bench for both sides. Louisville played nine bench players while Miami spread the wealth by playing twelve starters.

Ultimately, the Cards come out with a win against a ranked opponent on the road. It's hard to top that. The Cards will get a couple of days off as their next match isn't until Friday when they host Virginia. Virginia is currently ranked seventh after a rough week saw them need overtime to win one game in their stretch of three in one week.  The Cards and Hoos will get back in action on Friday at 3PM on ACCNX.

Volleyball Takes on Notre Dame

The Louisville volleyball team looks to continue their good vibes after the romp of Syracuse and the moderately less comfortable win over BC when the lights come up for ACCN tonight. Louisville is taking on Notre Dame, who is looking much more this season like a contender or at least a spoiler. After opening the season 2-2 with losses to Texas Tech and Santa Clara, ND has gone undefeated in their last six. Granted, those matches include home against Illinois and Oklahoma, a home-home with Toledo, and the same two conference foes Louisville has beaten. Notre Dame also swept Syracuse (raise your hand if you, personally, have swept Syracuse this season. Don't be shy.) but needed one set more than Louisville to put away BC. 

The Cards and Irish will be on ACC Network proper, which means this one is almost certainly going five sets. Tune in at 7PM and strap in.

ACC Announces Basketball Schedules

Louisville women's basketball now knows what the entirety of their 2023-24 schedule looks like since the ACC has announced conference schedules. There will be a larger schedule breakdown coming, I'm sure, but let's hit the highlights.

In what is likely the last season for awhile that Louisville will play multiple conference opponents more than once in a regular season (with Cal, Stanford, and SMU joining the ACC next year), the Cards will once again get four teams twice. This season, those teams are Pitt, Boston College, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Louisville will play the first game in three of four of those pairings at the Yum! Center.

Outside of those four, Louisville will host Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and FSU. That leaves, as I'm sure you're aware, Miami, Clemson, UNC, NC State, and GT as road games. The Cards open and close the conference season on the road, playing Miami on New Year's Eve and getting the honor of being Notre Dame's Senior Day. Louisville will honor their seniors on Leap Day against FSU. 

An interesting quirk of the way the calendar lines up this year means that Louisville will play nine games in February. It would take some individual calculation to determine the last time Louisville played nine regular season games in a month, much less in February, but let's all go ahead and assume it's kind of weird. Please no one ruin this for me.

As I mentioned earlier, more to come on basketball as the season draws nearer. For now, let's continue to support our fall sports teams that are in the full swing of their seasons!

Until next time, Go Cards!

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