#27 Louisville Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #2 Big East
Louisville Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Louisville Team Page


Louisville made a nice run in the NCAA Tournament. They reached the round of 16 by knocking off Dayton and Memphis before running into a seemingly unstoppable Florida State squad. Prior to the Cardinals run in 2011, the program had made just two tournament appearances in 2006 and 2007 and failed to win a game. Thus, the results in 2011 were quite impressive, but it could just be the beginning of Louisvilleā€™s success.

2011 Record: 14-7-3, 8-1-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Ferguson-Dayes

Louisville did a great job on defense. Keeper Chloe Kiefer allowed just 23 goals in 24 games and tallied 96 saves. With the opposition scoring less than a goal per game, Louisville was just about always in a game until the final whistle. While Kiefer, now a senior, deserves a ton of credit for the play of the defense, the line in front of her does some work too. Courtney Holtz, Rachel Melhado and Chelsea Hunter are all experienced upperclassmen and started all 24 games in 2011. Juniors Katie Walz and Megan Berberich are more than capable of replacing one of the few losses, Kaitie McDonald, in the back. With all of that talent returning, the Cardinals defense could be even better than they were in 2011. And that should be a scary thought for the rest of the Big East. Louisville also returns Christine Exeter who easily led the team with 14 goals. Exeter, a 5-8 junior, is an efficient scorer and having her up front does give Louisville a major goal scoring threat. And that is usually enough for the Cardinals to pull off a victory.

The problem the Cardinals may have this year is getting Exeter the ball. Jennifer Jones and Jordan Pawlik tallied five and four assists, respectively. Those two were the leaders in assists last season and will be missed. However, there are some options in the midfield to replace that lost production. Angelika Uremovich totaled 11 points with four goals and three assists in 2011 and is expected to take on more of a leadership role in the midfield. Sophomore Erin Yenney is another quality playmaker who could be in for a big season. She is not afraid to shoot the ball and can create opportunities for the strikers up front as well. If she can make strides between her freshman and sophomore seasons, Yenney could be the next star for Louisville.

Final Projection:
The expectations for the Cardinals are on the rise. That could be a double edged sword for the time being however. With only three key players to replace, there is little reason to doubt that this is a team that can have another great year in the Big East and make a very deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Yet, the target is now on Louisville too and they will not sneak up on anyone. Subpar Big East teams will give the Cardinals their best shot and the top teams in the conference have learned not to overlook them. Those expectations can be difficult to deal with. But as long as the Louisville defense continues to be impressive, this is a team that can beat anybody on any given day.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Christine Exeter, Junior, F, 14
Assists: Devyn Ciotti, Sophomore, D, 3; Christine Exeter, Junior, F, 3; Angelika Uremovich, Junior, M, 3; Erin Yenney, Sophomore, M, 3
Shots: Christine Exeter, Junior, F, 88
Saves: Chloe Kiefer, Senior, GK, 96