The Louisville women's soccer team is not on route to a post-season appearance. They're in the bottom half of the ACC and won't qualify for the conference tournament at this rate. Sitting at 8-6 right now does not show hopes of making it to the NCAA Tournament next month.
However, compared to the last three seasons this team could finish above .500. At eight wins they have hit their most wins since 2015 when they finished at 8-8-2.
The Cards have outscored opponents 23-17. All but two of the losses have been decided by one goal. The others were both two goal differential matches. In the win column there have been a trio of victories with a differential of two goals and one match with a goal differential of four.
The defense this year has been tough. Even with defender Shelby Cohen out for the season and Niamh Nelson having only returned recently the Cards have posted five clean sheets and allowed only one goal in three other matches.
Inger Katrine Bjerke and Gabi Vincent have shown leadership in the centerback role and Gabby Kouzelos has captained the team well.
On the offensive end 10 different players have scored this season. Spreading the scoring around prevents reliance on a couple of players to do all of the work and risk a ruined season with the loss of one of them. Kennadi Carbin is one of the 10 scorers this season, but is out for the season with personal reasons.
Freshman Emina Ekic has been the go-to player this season. She leads the team in goals with seven and is tied with Vincent for three assists. Ekic rarely sees time on the bench and has fought hard for every ball since game one. The Louisville native has helped lift the Cards on multiple occasions this season.
In my season preview I bravely predicted a 12-6 and 6-4 finish on the season. At 8-6 and 2-4 currently my chances of a successful prediction do not look promising. Reaching the double-digit win mark would still be a successful season in my book and get Louisville headed in the right direction for next season.
With some of the top players such as Ekic, sophomores Allison Whitfield and Brooklynn Rivers, and Vincent all still underclassmen there is excellent talent for future years. The downfall to the end of the season will be the loss of a pair of studs in Bjerke and senior Alison Price, both positions will have big shoes to fill.
Coach Ferguson-Dayes squad has not ended their season and has four more guaranteed matches this season. Their next two will be at home against conference opponents Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
Note: The Pittsburgh game on Friday, Oct. 13 will be Senior Day.