By Spencer Laws

Ferguson-Dayes Enters 23rd season, Looking for Energy Boost from Newcomers

With the women’s soccer team finishing 2021 with a 7-7-2 regular season and a 3-6-1 conference record, Karen Ferguson-Dayes looks to bring in lots of experience with her players in the 2022 season.

Ferguson-Dayes and her staff have brought in 15 new players to the program this year. The leadership roles will be heavily pressed on graduate students Sarah Hernandez and Massie Whitsett.

Hernandez comes into the season with 67 games started and seven goals scored during her career here at Louisville as a defender. As a midfielder, Whitsett comes into the season with 59 games started and 15 goals during her career. 

The Cards are up for a challenge, as they face one of the tougher schedules in the country; eight out of their sixteen regular season opponents come into the season already ranked. 

Despite the challenge, Louisville is off to a respectable start this season, as they have found themselves with a 2-1 record three games in. They opened the season with a commanding 3-0 home win against the University of Chicago, Illinois. After taking a tough 2-1 loss to Xavier University, the Cards rebounded back with a strong defensive performance on the road against Northern Kentucky, holding them to a shutout  1-0 win. 

The Cardinals travel to Harrisonburg, VA on Thursday, Sept. 1st to square off with the University of Memphis at 7:00 p.m. EST. They will then follow that match up by playing James Madison University this Sunday, Sept. 4th at 1:00 p.m. EST. The James Madison game with be streamed on ESPN+. 

 

The women’s soccer team huddles before a match. 

 

9 Starters Return to Key Up a Postseason Run 

After capturing the Atlantic Division title and finishing the year with a record of 10-7-1, head coach John Michael Hayden tees off his fourth season this year as the men’s soccer head coach. 

The team returns nine starters from last year, including All-ACC forward Aboubcar Camara. Camara, who clocked in 19 goals and three assists in his career so far, was a big contributor to one of the best scoring offensives in the country last year, helping Cards average over two goals a game last year. 

He, along with rest of the returning players, are back likely with a chip on their shoulder due to their heartbreaking end last season. After losing 0-3 to Notre Dame’s penalty kicks in the ACC Championship, they then fell out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Bowling Green State in an 0-1 loss.  

In contrast, the Cards have opened this season with an impressive 3-1 win at home against a No. 10 Saint Louis, followed up with a 3-0 win over cross town opponent Bellarmine to improve to 2-0 on the season. 

The Cardinals will host Seattle University on Friday, Sept. 2nd at 7:30 p.m. EST on the ACC Network. They then follow up by taking a trip down the road to Lexington on Tuesday, Sept. 6th at 7:30 p.m. EST to face off with in-state rival Kentucky, on the SEC Network. 

The men’s soccer team in a huddle.

 

File Photo // GoCards.com //

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