U of L Fall Sports Preview

From U of L SID

The University of Louisville held its fourth annual Fall Sports Media Day Thursday afternoon at Lynn Stadium. Coaches and student-athletes from cross country, field hockey, women’s soccer and volleyball took a break from preseason training to preview their upcoming seasons with the local media.

Cross Country Press Conference Cross Country Notes

The University of Louisville women’s cross country team placed second at the 2017 ACC Championships at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park on Oct. 27. The finish marked Louisville’s best as a member of the ACC, besting fourth in the previous year. The men’s team finished in 15th place.
• Sophomore Dorcas Wasike earned runner-up after a stretch run duel with Syracuse senior Paige Stoner, earning All-ACC honors with a personal-best 6K time of 19:54.1.
• Fellow sophomore Kassidy Manning was named to the All-ACC team as she finished 15th with a personal-best time of 20:31.2.
• In the postseason, Wasike became Louisville’s first women’s All-American as she finished 29th with a time of 20:05.29 at the 2017 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships at Sawyer Park. In addition to ACC and NCAA accolades, she was also named to the USTFCCCA All-Southeast Region team.
• In the outdoor track season, Wasike finished second at the NCAA Championships in the 10,000m with a personal-best time of 32:11.81, passing multiple runners in the final two laps with a 69.2 in the final lap. Along with her All-American honors, she was named 2018 ACC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year as she won the 10,000m and finished second in the 5,000m while running without her shoe.
• Redshirt freshman Albert Kosgei broke out as the top men’s runner in 2017. In his Louisville debut, Kosgei took first in the Tennessee Dual with a 6.4K time of 20:17.4. He also posted top-10 performances at the Pre-National Invitational (fifth) and John McNichols Invitational (ninth).
• Louisville Cross Country is one of five UofL teams that were among the nation’s leaders within their sports in the most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) data. The Cardinals were among the top-10 percent in their respective sports, which measure academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes.

Field Hockey Press Conference

Field Hockey Notes
•After a scrimmage on August 19 at 2017 NCAA semifinalist, third-ranked Michigan, the Cardinals will officially open the 2018 season on Aug. 24 at Indiana.
• UofL finished the 2017 season with a 14-8 overall record and made its fourth straight and seventh overall NCAA appearance.
• The Cardinals reached the finals of the ACC championship after defeating No. 11 Syracuse 3-2 in the program’s first ACC quarterfinal victory and following with a thrilling 3-2 shootout win over No. 2 Duke in the semifinals.
• Louisville finished tied for second in the ACC regular season standings with a 4-2 conference record and earned the No. 3 seed in the ACC Championship. The four ACC wins were the most for the Cards since joining the conference in 2014.
• The Cardinals were ranked No. 8 in the final NFHCA Coaches’ Poll, marking UofL’s 54th straight appearance in the top 20 dating back to the 2013 season.
• For the second straight year and the sixth time overall, Trager Stadium will serve as the host site for the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship. The event was also staged on the Cardinals’ home field in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2017.  In addition, the NCAA Division II Championship was played at the facility in 2010.  Located in Cardinal Park on the UofL campus, Trager Stadium opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2008 with a seating capacity of 2,500.
• The Cards return 12 letterwinners and six starters including 2017 NFHCA All-Americans Taylor Stone and Ayeisha McFerran along with fellow All-NFHCA selection Carter Ayars.
• Senior Ayeisha McFerran (Larne, Northern Ireland) was recently named Goalkeeper of the Tournament after helping the Irish National Team to a silver medal in the 2018 Vitality Hockey World Cup. She in her fourth season as a member of the Irish national team and is one of only two three-time All-Americans in UofL field hockey history.
• Seniors Taylor Stone and Katie Walsh were named to USA Field Hockey’s National Team Development Squad while junior Carter Ayars and Meghan Schneider were named to the U.S. Under 21 team.
• Justine Sowry is in her eighth season at the helm for the Cardinals. The 2016 NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year has compiled a 94-49 record at Louisville and has an overall 152-80 record while in her 12th season as a head coach.

Women’s Soccer Press Conference

Women’s Soccer Notes
• Sophomore midfielder Emina Ekic was named to the Preseason All-ACC Women’s Soccer team in a vote of the league’s 14 head coaches. The Cardinals were picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll, while defending ACC champion North Carolina was the preseason favorite to win another conference title.
• The Cardinals return nine starters and 16 letterwinners from a team that finished with a 9-7-2 overall record.  Louisville returns all three leading scorers in Ekic, Brooklynn Rivers and Allison Whitfield.  All three players are from Kentucky while two players are from Louisville.
• Louisville also returns starting keeper Gabby Kouzelos and centerback Gabrielle Vincent.  The Cardinal defense held opponents to 1.06 goals and 9.2 shots per game during the 2017 season.  Louisville finished the year with eight shutouts, including No. 5 North Carolina (preseason ACC favorite).  Kouzelos registered 50 saves for the Cardinals and holds a goals against average of 1.05.
• Ekic made an immediate impact on the Cardinals in her rookie season.  She started in 17 matches and led the Cardinals in scoring with 17 points.  She also led the team with seven goals on the year and tied for the lead with three assists. She was named the ACC Co-Freshman of the Year while also earning second team All-ACC honors. She was an ACC All-Freshman team selection as well. Topping her accolades for the season, Ekic also earned first team all-region honors by United Soccer Coaches Association.  The freshman ranked in the top 10 in shots, goals and points among the ACC leaders.  She finished her first season with two multi-point games, including a career-high two goals and one assist against Kentucky.
• Forwards Whitield and Rivers were central offensive weapons for the Cardinals, each tallying four goals while Rivers finished with three assists and Whitfield had two assists on the season.  Both Rivers and Whitfield finished with two game-winning goals.

Volleyball Press Conference

Volleyball Notes
• After being selected eighth in the ACC preseason poll with a first-year head coach, Dani Busboom Kelly and the Cardinals earned an ACC title as they posted a 24-7 record, going 18-2 in league play to earn an automatic berth and their 26th NCAA Championship appearance.
• The Cardinals claimed two of the conference’s major postseason awards with junior Wilma Rivera being named the ACC Setter of the Year and junior libero Molly Sauer picking up her second ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.
• Outside hitter Melanie McHenry joined Rivera on the First Team All-ACC, with Sauer, Tess ClarkMaggie DeJong and Jasmine Bennett earning Second Team All-ACC honors.
• Rivera was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, with Busboom Kelly taking the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year award. McHenry and Rivera were both named to the AVCA All-East Region teams.
• Amanda Green and Molly Sauer were both named to the U.S. Collegiate National Team for its tours of Europe and China, respectively. Busboom Kelly served as head coach for the USCNT Europe tour.
• Six Cardinals were named to the Academic All-ACC team: Bennett, Clark, DeJong, McHenry, Rivera and Sauer.