Junior Emily Cardell of the Louisville women's soccer team is providing updates and insight throughout the 2011 season on what's happening with the Cardinals.
Blog #7 - Oct. 29, 2011
Good afternoon folks! I'm very excited to be writing you guys again, because I have great news to share with all of you. I'll fill you in on our lives of the past week and a half before we get to the exciting news.
So, the last time I wrote you we had just gotten done with our fun-filled family weekend all in honor of our seniors- Caitlin Beck, Kaitie McDonald, Jennifer Jones, and Kassie Young. After that weekend, we spent our week training for our upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. We headed up to Cincinnati Friday afternoon, and stayed in a hotel across the river in Covington, Kentucky. At this hotel, we were granted the pleasure of meeting Emmy. Emmy is a beautiful, big parrot that we got to feed pistachios to and try to talk to in hopes of getting a response. There was a sign outside of her cage that said "Talk to me, I will respond!", so we did. It was not easy to get a response from Emmy, whether you talked slow, really slow, fast, or in your "parrot" voice. But, I'm convinced she said hi to me the next morning before we left for our morning walk. Anyways, we took a morning stroll on Saturday, and admired the ever-so-gorgeous Ohio River. The tint of beautiful brown it has in the fall is nearly breath taking. Then we headed back to the hotel and anxiously awaited our pregame meal, since Caitlin Beck said it was her all-time favorite restaurant growing up. We headed to a very homey Italian restaurant and indulged in our typical pregame meal- pasta, marinara, chicken and vegetables. Oh, and bread, I can't forget the bread. The bread itself is like a separate meal for my team. After our bellies were full, we headed back to the hotel for what felt like forever. It was really only about an hour and then we headed over to UC to get ready for our game.
Leading up to the game, we knew it was going to be a battle, it always is. This occasion was special for them because it was Cincinnati's senior night and their last game of the season since they did not get a bid into the Big East tournament. For us? If we won, we would win our division of the Big East and grant ourselves a number one seed going into the Big East tournament. There was a lot that each team was playing for that night. It was an all out battle for 90 minutes. It's hard to keep yourself and your teammates composed during games like that, but we did a great job. We focused on what we needed to do, and we did it. In the second half, our shining star, Christine Exeter
, put the lone goal of the game in the back of the net off of a breakaway started by Kaitie McDonald
. There was still plenty of time left in the game, so we knew we had to maintain our composure and focus on the details to make sure we accomplished our goal. When that clock struck 90 minutes, there was a storm of Louisville Cardinals all over Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati. We won our program's first ever Big East National Division regular season championship, and it just happened to be the 100th win for our coach, Karen Ferguson-Dayes
. We're so happy we could give you that honor, Coach!
What's all this mean? Well, with a one seed going into the Big East tournament, that means we host the quarterfinals here, at Cardinal Park, on Sunday, October 30. The first set of games were played Thursday and we knew we were going to play the winner of Rutgers versus Providence. Providence ended up prevailing in that game 1-0, so they will travel here for the quarterfinal game this Sunday.
The determination and dedication of my team right now is amazing and we know what we want. It starts this weekend against Providence. We need a big crowd to support us and help us get a win so we can head to Morgantown, W.Va., next weekend and play for the Big East Championship! I'll see you all Sunday, October 30 at 1 p.m. GO CARDS!!
Blog #6 - Oct. 18, 2011
HELLO CARDINAL FAMILY! I send my deepest apologies for keeping you anxiously waiting for another update from me. No excuses are being made, I hope you all forgive me. We'll jump right in...
Since my last update we have played in six games, crazy how time flies. The first of the six was against then 10th-ranked Marquette. Although we battled hard, we ended up losing 1-0. After Marquette, we took on South Florida that Sunday on a locally televised game on the Wazoo Sports Network. We ended that game with a beautiful overtime victory, 2-1. We got goals in the game from my best friend and Canadian roommate, Angelika Uremovich, and the game-winner came from none other than Christine Exeter.
After a great turn around on Sunday from a loss on Friday, we took that week to recover our bodies and get ready for a long travel weekend to Villanova and Georgetown. We got to Villanova on Thursday evening and had a gourmet dinner at Outback Steakhouse (obviously the restaurant of choice on away trips), and headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Our game against Villanova was very exciting. After a 2-2 tie in regulation in which Christine Exeter scored both goals, we went into overtime. Off of a beautiful set piece from Devyn Ciotti, our sweet little freshman Kim Sharo found her noggin on the ball to score us the game winner! That was her second goal of the season, and it was the game winner! Then, that Saturday we traveled to the always-tough Georgetown Hoyas. On Saturday, which was our day off, we toured the monuments of Washington DC, and had a quick history lesson. It was really interesting to see all the things we just read about in a textbook or learn about in class in real life. Jennifer Jones wasn't having the history lesson though, she had her heart set on playing kickball in the nearby park. Majority ruled against her, so she just juggled her way up the stairs with her soccer ball to the Lincoln Memorial. It's hard to get that girl away from the soccer ball!
Anywho, on Sunday we played a fantastic game against Georgetown. After a goal from Christine Exeter and a goal by the Hoyas, we went into overtime. I guess you could say we no longer play 90-minute games, we've become all too accustomed to 110 minutes of soccer. Then, drum roll please, Christine Exeter scored the game winner for us!! This girl is on fire right now. After a great six-point weekend, and our first one of the season, we got some ice cream and headed back to the town of Louis for a very important week of training. That week of training led up to our last home weekend against Rutgers and Seton Hall.
Friday night we took on Rutgers in our anxiously awaited pink jerseys to raise awareness for breast cancer. As if playing for breast cancer awareness wasn't enough motivation to get a win, we were also blessed with the opportunity to meet a young girl named Kadison. Kadison was recently in an ATV accident and ended up having to get the bottom part of her right leg amputated. We were fortunate enough to spend some time with Kadison at Kosair Children's Hospital and we promised her that she'd be able to watch our game against Rutgers on a computer in her hospital bed. We had a lot to play for on Friday night, and we showed that. We beat Rutgers 2-1 (both goals from Christine Exeter!), and Kadison and all families affected by breast cancer were in our hearts during that victory.
As always senior weekend entails the annual family picnic on Saturday. Not only is this our favorite weekend because we get to see everybody's family and get to know them better, but we get all of the parent's homemade food all in ONE place. What could be better? Of course I have to credit my dad, Chef Dave Cardell, for providing delicious hamburgers and grilled chicken for all to eat. Look out Bobby Flay! After indulging, we went home and rested up for our game against Seton Hall because we had a lot to play for during that game, as well. There really is nothing you play more for than for your teammates. That's what we did on Sunday to honor our beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, loving seniors: Caitlin Beck, Kassie Young, Jennifer Jones, and Kaitie McDonald. For them, we had a 3-0 victory over Seton Hall. With goals from Erin Yenney (BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, get it!), Jordan Pawlik, and Jennifer Jones. Jonesy also ended the game with an assist for a 3-point game on her senior day. I love all of our seniors and I'm going to miss you guys so much next year!!
Caitlin - I'm going to miss my fellow IAU-er and bench buddy. Who is going to violently shake me every time we score now?? And who is going to cheer so loudly for all of the coaches during pregame announcements?
Kassie - What a presence you brought to our team in just a few short months. Can't wait to come to your wedding!! And, I'm not sure who I'm going to ask to yell things on to the field now since your voice carries further than anyone's on our team!
Jonesy - Who is going to go to yoga with me and not be able to contain ourselves when you know who is in class?? I'm so happy you obliged to taking TWO pictures with me in all of our years together! Those are making the record books for sure. I LOVE YOU JONESY!!
Mac - Macaroni, you're the best. "Guns A Blazin" will certainly be running through our heads before every game next season. I'm going to miss my treatment buddy, who else is going to spend three hours a day in there with me?
Now that all the festivities are over, it's time to continue our road towards winning a Big East Championship. We are currently first place in our division, and we have one more game coming up this Saturday against University of Cincinnati at 7 pm. Right now, this is the biggest game of our lives, and it is our only focus. If you can't make it to the game, you can watch it or keep an eye on Gametracker. I'm sure we'll be hearing you cheering for us from wherever you are!! GO CARDS!
Blog #5 - Sept. 28, 2011
Hello again, my loyal followers! I'm back with updates on your favorite women's soccer team. This is a long one so let us begin.
Last Thursday we took off from Louisville and headed toward Storrs, Conn. Luckily, the trip was smooth and we had little turbulence. But, to freshman Kim Sharo, even the slightest irregular movement of our plane and she was convinced that we were going down. I'm pretty sure Erin Yenney and Devyn Ciotti spent their whole time on the flight comforting Kim from take-off to the landing. That's what teammates are for, right? Anyways, we landed in Connecticut, and headed straight for our favorite thing: food! We indulged in a delicious steak dinner in the outback of Australia (aka Outback Steakhouse). We all took our food comas and went to bed, and prepared ourselves for our game against UCONN.
With typical Connecticut weather, our game against UCONN was played in rain and crazy fog. It was hard to see anything that was going on over on the other side of the field because of the fog. But, despite the weather, my girls put up a great fight. After two overtimes and a couple of crossbars getting in the way for us we ended up tying UCONN 2-2.
Saturday morning began with a quick pool regeneration, and then we headed off to Providence, Rhode Island. After some down time, we headed to dinner at another nice restaurant. No restaurant is ever prepared for us to come in, solely because each of our tables asks for at least three loaves of bread throughout dinner. At the restaurant we ate at on Saturday night, I think that my table went through two loaves of bread, and I know that we weren't the worst (Erin Yenney). After dinner, we were allowed to walk around the mall downtown. Besides a Build-A-Bear purchase by me and Courtney Holtz, I think that the best purchase goes to Kim Sharo and Julie Casselman who bought Rachel Melhado a motion-activated candy dispenser for her 19th birthday. Which, by the way, a special happy birthday wish to Rachel Melhado, who hit the big 1-9 this past weekend. After some productive shopping, we headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest before our game against Providence.
After some minor complications with Providence's field, our game was pushed back two hours and moved to a nearby college. After all the confusion, our game against Providence went underway and we ended up getting a 1-0 result. Our goal came off a beautiful cross from Jennifer Jones to the X-terminator (Christine Exeter) where X put it in the back of the net to put us up 1-0, and we kept that lead until the end of the game. Overall, it was a great result. Also, we had a special guest appearance from our friends from The Program, Erik Kapitulik and Katie Brooks. Thanks for making your way out to Rhode Island and cheering us on!
After a turbulence-filled flight back from Rhode Island, we landed in good ole Louisville, Kentucky. I do have to let everyone know that as we were getting off the plane our assistant coach, Natalie Cocchi, seemed to have lost her footing on the slick airplane stairs and fell down scraping her knee against the concrete. Sounds like a minor case of Walzy Palsy to me.
Now it's time for us to focus on our upcoming weekend because it will definitely be challenging and we are excited for it. On Friday at 7 p.m., we take on Marquette, which is ranked 10th in the nation right now. We will be sporting our new all black uniforms and it is also alumni night! So all alumni, come on out to your old stomping grounds and watch us take on Marquette! Also, on Sunday we take on South Florida at Cardinal Park at 1 p.m. It's an exciting, fun-filled weekend coming up here in Louisville with all the sporting events. Hope to see you all out at Cardinal Park at 7 p.m., on Friday! GO CARDS!!
Blog #4 - Sept. 21, 2011
Hello everybody! It's me, again. And boy do I have some exciting things to write about for this past weekend. Let's just get to the point...
On Thursday afternoon, my team traveled to South Bend, Indiana to take on the defending national champions, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. After an extremely tough battle, and a wonderful performance from my ladies, we were able to pull off a victory against the Irish. With that victory, we broke a 62-game unbeaten streak in BIG EAST Conference regular season play for Notre Dame (they hadn't lost a game since September of 2005). To say the least, we were pleased with our performance and our victory on Friday night.
We then made the trip back to Louisville that night, with an ice cream stop at Dairy Queen along the way. Ice cream was a total necessity. The ice cream purchases included blizzards, a couple sundaes, and there might have been a banana split thrown in there as well (cough, Rachel Melhado, cough). We all certainly enjoyed the victory and the ice cream, but you can only enjoy it for so long before you have to focus on the next game.
Sunday afternoon, we took on DePaul at home, and it was a very frustrating game. We ended up tying the game 1-1. Shout out to my girl, Christine Exeter, for getting that comeback goal for us. There were many missed opportunities to seal the deal in this game, and we know that. We learned some valuable lessons against DePaul, and we will continue to learn from our mistakes.
We head out to UCONN (Karen Ferguson-Dayes' alma mater) and Providence this Thursday afternoon. The last trip to UCONN we experienced some crazy turbulence. Thank goodness for my wing woman, Angelika Uremovich, who sat arm-in-arm with me for the last hour of the trip. I don't think I would have made it out of there alive without her. I, along with others, kissed the tarmac when we arrived in Connecticut. Hopefully, this trip goes a little more smoothly. Keep track of us online via Twitter, Facebook or Gametracker. We're excited for our competition this weekend! GO CARDS!
Blog #3 - Sept. 15, 2011
Hello again, everybody! I'm here again with your weekly update. But before I begin, I have one complaint. What is this weather!? I mean yesterday I was sitting outside enjoying the 85-degree weather, and today as I write to you, I am bundled up in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. I don't know about you, but I am not ready for it to get cold. I'm sure all the Canadians on my team, which by the way, is half my team, are thoroughly enjoying this cold weather (especially Rachel Melhado and Angelika Uremovich). Us Americans, not so much.
Anywho, let's recap last weekend. This past weekend we competed in UK's Tropical Smoothie Invitational. On Friday night we played our rival, the University of Kentucky. After a rough, emotional, and hard fought game we were not able to come out with the result that we were looking for. It was a pretty tough loss for us, and after the game we brought it together as a team and decided that it was time to turn our season around. After Saturday's regeneration, we headed back to Lexington to take on the Butler Bulldogs. Butler always gives us a hard fought game and we knew we were going to have to battle to get a win. Throughout the first 90 minutes we did that, we battled and did everything we could to try and get a goal. But, we ended up going into double overtime with Butler. Luckily, we were able to get a fantastic goal off of Kim Sharo's assist to, drumroll please......., Katie Walz! I think when I celebrated I forgot we had won the game and I was more so celebrating the fact that Walzy Palsy (refer to last weeks blog) had scored her first career goal to win us the game! So, the weekend definitely ended on a good note.
For a meaningful side note, my big sister and biggest role model in my life, Chloe Kiefer, celebrated her 22nd birthday this Thursday. So, from the whole team, once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLO! It won't be too long before you'll start seeing wrinkles, spotting grey hairs, and begin to fall asleep mid-conversation, ya old grandma!
We're back in action this weekend when we take on Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Friday at 5 p.m., and then DePaul on Sunday at CARDINAL PARK at 1 p.m. Come out and support your women's soccer team this Sunday! Talk to ya next week with updates from this weekend! GO CARDS!!
Blog #2 - Sept. 9, 2011
Hey there Cardinal fans! I'm back with another update on your UofL women's soccer team. Oh my, how much has happened since I last wrote to you.
We'll get the bad news out of the way first. This past weekend we took on Baylor and Central Michigan in our tournament sponsored by Courtyard at Marriott. Friday night we competed against Baylor and unfortunately could not get the result that we were looking for. After a recooperation day on Saturday, my girls were ready to take on Central Michigan. After a scoreless tie in regulation, we went into overtime. Unfortunately, we could not produce the result that we were looking for again. BUT, never fear, our heads are still held high and we're ready for this weekend.
On a lighter note, I will NEVER forget a birthday shout out, because everybody deserves a little extra attention on their birthday. The past week has been filled with three very special birthdays. Starting off with our freshman, Sydney Blomquist, who turned 18. Gosh Syd, you make me feel like a grandma (imagine how Chloe Kiefer will feel after next week, the big 2-2). Then came the beast, the X-terminator, the one and only Christine Exeter. She had her 19th birthday last Saturday. And last but certainly not least, my roommate and sidekick Courtney Holtz had her big 21st birthday. Sorry Court, but you'll always be the baby of our apartment.
Also, not many people are aware of the chronic condition called "Walzy Palsy". Probably because it doesn't medically exist. But, we have a girl on our team with a severe case of this "Walzy Palsy" and it is none other than Katie Walz (also referred to as "W-squared"). Walz never shorts our team of a good laugh. From walking to class and banging her head on a dumpster and having a black eye for a week, to us warming up, doing some carioca, we look back and somehow Walz has gotten her feet caught up under her and she's face planted on the ground. Yes folks, it happens at least once a week. This week at practice, during a harmless game of possession, Walz managed to find probably the only hole on McDonald's field and fell flat on her face. We've made a unanimous decision on our team that a video camera needs to be on her at ALL times. We love you Walzy!
With all joking aside, it's business time this weekend. We have some redemption for our latest results and we have our biggest rival coming up tonight against UK. We're ready for the challenge. Our heads are held high and we have so much belief in this team. We are one team with one heartbeat. Let's get it done this weekend, ladies! GO CARDS!
Blog #1 - Sept. 2, 2011
Howdy folks! Tis' the season for fall sports blogs, and I am honored to take over THE Caitlin Beck's previous blogging privileges. I hope I can live up to the infamous Beck's Cardinal Chomp. It'll be a tough one.
The past month has been very busy with preseason, school starting and getting into our regular season. Preseason was intense and a lot of challenging work, but during our off-time, we spent a lot of time together as a team and took the time to get to know our new "freshies". We have nine new freshmen that fit right into our family, and not to forget Kassie Young, who is a senior goalkeeper transfer. In between and after two-a-days, our team took part in some seriously competitive team bonding activities. One activity that we did as a team was a four-team challenge in a game of Double Dare 2000 (excellent childhood show off of Nickelodeon). After popping whipped cream filled balloons with our butts, throwing eggs at each others' heads, pouring milk blindly into a cup on our teammate's heads and other entertaining activities, the winners were of course, the Giggle Express. Check out our page on Facebook for some great videos. We also competed in charades one day and we even got our coaches involved. MVC (Most Valuable Coach) definitely goes to Karen Ferguson-Dayes for her Home Alone impersonations and her infamous hands in the air "rock on" celebrations. Also, as a newly added member to the IAU (Injured Athletes United), it's always a necessity to keep things light on the sideline, which is exactly what Caitlin Beck and I did this past preseason. Luckily, Kyle Singer provided me with the team Flip video camera and Caitlin and I took the initiative that we would "Ghost" (stand/walk as closely behind a person and mimic any and all moves they do until they notice you) our whole team including coaches and managers and put together a compilation video of all our footage. Needless to say, the footage we have captured so far is quite priceless.
With all the fun and games off the field, we did have two productive exhibition games against Saint Louis and Vanderbilt. We beat Saint Louis 2-1 off goals from our Jamaican Bobsled team-Zakiya McIntosh and Christine Exeter, better known as Z and X. Then after the game, we went into penalty kicks just to have some fun and practice taking them and we held our ground until the end and came out victorious in the PK shootout. Although we played some great soccer against Vanderbilt, we were not able to get that goal and the game ended in a scoreless tie. It was unfortunate we had no goals, but we had many glimpses of excellent soccer.
Two weeks ago we had our season opener at Eastern Kentucky University and we were very satisfied with our performance. We came out of the game with a 5-0 victory, with goals from five different players - Angelika Uremovich, Kim Sharo (who turned 18 on the day of her first collegiate goal), Christine Exeter, Devyn Ciotti and Jordan Pawlik. Our next game was at Toledo, and we had a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation and two overtime periods. It was definitely a disappointing result for us and we had a pretty long, quiet bus ride back home to Louisville. After a 2 a.m., arrival back in Louisville, we regenerated and got our bodies ready to take on Illinois in our home opener at Cardinal Park. After getting up to an early lead thanks to Jordan Pawlik, we were leading 1-0 with about 12 minutes left in the game when we had a mishap and gave up a goal. We went into overtime with Illinois, and unfortunately they snuck a goal in to win the game. It was definitely not the ideal weekend, but we learned from our mistakes and worked on them during training this week.
We're definitely ready to get after it this weekend. Baylor and Central Michigan are both great teams and both matches should be very exciting in our Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Airport Cardinal Classic. Come out to our game against Baylor tonight at 7:30 p.m., ET. The more the merrier! Also, come out and support us against Central Michigan this Sunday at 2:30 p.m., ET. We love the support! GO CARDS!!