By Jared Prenda
Head Coach Matt Donohue’s team lived up to its preseason expectations as it squared off against the Goucher Gophers this past Wednesday, January 17th. The Lady Cards decimated their opponents 68-31 in the road conference matchup. This win improved the team’s record to 12-4 overall (3-2 in conference), and keeps the team tied for third place in the Landmark rankings.
The team rotated heavily through its lineup, fielding 13 players throughout the match-up and relied heavily on the reserves. Senior substitute Sam Cowan had a tremendous performance as she shot 100% from the field, including 3-3 from 3-point range, resulting in a game-leading 15 points and a team-high 8 boards. Rookie Kate Parker joined her with a career-high 8-points and fellow freshman Courtney McCool registered a career-high 4 points.
The team got off to a slow start as the Gophers managed to hold on to a 4-3 lead for the opening five minutes of the game before a jumper from senior Payton Smith gave the Cards a lead.
This was the first time that senior transfer Briana Bull faced her former team, and hit a go ahead and-1 to give the Birds a lead that would later stretch to as much as a 37-point margin. Outside of this, Bull had a rather quiet performance against her rival squad, going 1-6 from the field for 3 points with only 2 assists in 19 minutes of action.
If the first quarter was slow, the second was anything but it as the Catholic side lit up its opponent, outscoring Goucher 21-5, and securing a very secure 32-11 lead into the break.
The Cardinals’ defense was especially on display in the contest, as they held Goucher to its lowest point total of the season at 31. The team also controlled the defensive battle by forcing 21 turnovers compared to just 12 of its own, and generating 13 steals while suppressing its opponent to 21% shooting from the field. Catholic also controlled the battle on the boards, 56-41.
The game was a perfect tune-up for the Cardinals as they return to the DuFour Center for this Saturday’s doubleheader against Scranton. The Royals are tied atop the table with an 15-1 record, with a 4-1 conference record. Similar to the men’s matchup, this will be the first time the two squads will meet since Scranton triumphed over CUA in the Landmark Conference playoffs. Also adding to the rivalry is the fact that Catholic was ranked 1st in the conference in the preseason polls, only a few votes ahead of Scranton. The tip off is scheduled for 4 PM on Saturday, January 20th.