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Saturday, January 13, 2024


We're getting closer to the end of that weird stretch of the winter where it feels like there should be more to talk about than basketball but it's not quite as much as you'd like to think. However, we aren't there yet. There are some other goings-on to discuss, though, so let's look at a few.

Opening Day of Rod McCravy Memorial Invite a Success

Louisville track and field have gotten off to a fairly hot start in indoor and that continues at their home facility of the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center. The event continues today starting at 11am, but the Cards saw success in yesterday's opening events.

The long jump was a strong event for Louisville on both sides of the locker room. Jeremiah Willis (1) and Jake Burkey (3) were both on the podium and scored top-ten nation-wide jumps. Synclair Savage came up fourth while Lucy Fellows put up a fifth-place finish in her collegiate debut.

Out on the track, a couple of Louisville women had good results in the medium distance category. Lauren Bettencourt placed fourth in the 1000m with a time that was fifth-fastest in program history. MacKenzie Bell finished sixth in the 600m with the third-fastest run for UofL all-time.

Fall Learfield Directors' Cup Results

With the final football polls in, the Learfield Directors' Cup standings for the fall 2023 season could be finalized. Louisville finds itself placed 13th in the country with 244 total points. Louisville is one of nine ACC schools in the top 25, the most of any conference. Ironically, the PAC-12 (the conference that will be dissolving in short order) has the second most with five. 

Louisville's 244 points come from four teams that reached the postseason: volleyball, field hockey, football, and men's soccer. Volleyball amassed the most points (83) by finishing fifth. Field hockey also finished fifth, but there were fewer points on offer, so they earned 65. Football's 18th place in the final rankings netted 56 points and men's soccer finishing 17th in the NCAA tournament earned them 50. 

Leading the way in the overall standings is North Carolina. The Heels have 372.5 points, primarily contributed to by their field hockey title and top-10 finishes in men's and women's soccer and men's cross country. Stanford is hot on their heels, with 371 points, and Texas (344) and Notre Dame (343) are not far behind. 

ACC Women's Soccer Moves Up to Next Level

The Learfield Cup isn't the only thing being dominated by the ACC currently. The NWSL draft was last night, and while the University of Louisville didn't have any players selected, the ACC had a busy night. Coincidentally, Racing Louisville didn't take any ACC players with their four picks (Reilyn Turner - UCLA, Emma Sears - Ohio State, Sam Cary - Iowa, Madison White - Texas Tech), but that didn't stop the conference from being represented by 19 of the 56 selections. Future conference member Stanford, added three selections with two coming in the first round. 

UNC had the most players drafted of any team. The Heels saw the first two players off the board (Ally Sentnor and Savy King) and had a third selected before the first round was over. In total, six players were drafted from the team that finished fourth in the conference and fell in the Elite Eight. Clemson had four players selected while ACC and NCAA Champion Florida State had three. Notre Dame and Pitt each had two players selected and UVA and NC State had one player each. The team with the second most draftees was actually BYU, who had five players selected. 

Louisville will be looking for more from their women's soccer squads in 2024. Note the plural. I expect we'll be looking for improvement from UofL for sure, as they look to add players to the list of draftees and rejoin the ACC and NCAA tournament conversations. People will also expect more out of Racing. The team no longer has the "new car smell," and fans are anxious for success in the league. Cardinal fans will be disappointed to no longer see Emina Ekic on the sidelines, but we'll hope for another hometown hero to join the fold in due time.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Though we made it through well enough last week, Jeff and I will be happy to have more than the two of us on this week's show. Daryl is back in action after what seems like an eternity away (it probably hasn't been quite that long), but we're still without Jared as the Louisville men's team is at home at noon again this week. Our primary focus will once more be WBB, as it's that time of year. 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
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


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