Louisville Olympic sports notebook

Sandy Pearsall

Here's a Cardinal Authority notebook of items full of details about some Olympic sports at the University of Louisville in recent weeks. The softball teams opens the season on Friday, while several other teams welcome new additions.

SOFTBALL OPENS SEASON IN LAS VEGAS

Coming off a program-best 55-5 season, the University of Louisville softball team opens a new season on Friday in the UNLV Kick-Off Classic.

U of L is ranked No. 18 will play Texas Tech and UNLV tomorrow before meeting DePaul and Central Florida on Saturday and Minnesota on Sunday.

Louisville returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners, including all-American Taner Fowler and six all-conference selections. Fowler, a junior designated hitter and utility player, was selected to the preseason College Sports Madness Softball Preseason All-American Third Team.

Fowler and senior outfielder Jennifer Esteban were both selected to the All-Big East Conference preseason first team.

The Cardinals were ranked No. 18 in both preseason polls and picked to finish third in the Big East Conference.

Louisville will play five games next weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., before a home opener on Feb. 22 against Kent State in the Cardinal Classic.

MEN'S SOCCER HAS SIX TRANSFERS

U of L men's soccer coach Ken Lolla announced the addition of six transfer players enrolled for the spring semester.

The listing of transfer is: Ricky DiPasquale (Roberts Wesleyan), Mitch Lurie (Portland), Derek McCaffrey (Boston), Nolan Moore (Cal Poly), James Ockford (Mount St. Mary's) and John Strong (Virginia Tech).

"The group of players we have received this semester adds talent and experience to our team," Lolla said. "They are people of good character and will add to the culture of our program."

DiPasquale, a midfielder, played two seasons at Roberts Wesleyan. Lurie, a 6-2 defender, appeared in 31 matches for the Pilots with 16 starts over two seasons and was a member of the U.S. U18 National team in 2011.

McCaffrey, a midfielder, started 51 games in three seasons at Boston, scoring two game-winning goals and named second-team All-America East conference as a sophomore in 2011. Another midfielder, Moore is a former captain of the British Columbia U-18 Provincial squad. Ockford is a midfielder/forward and started in 48 games in three seasons at Mount St. Mary's and scored five goals.

Strong started all 39 games in his two years at Virginia Tech.

WOMEN'S SOCCER SIGNS SIX

U of L women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes announced the addition of six signees, including Christian Academy goalie Taylor Smith.

The Cardinals also signed defender Rachele Armand of Aurora, Ill., goalie Paige Brown of Jackson, Mo., midfielder Caroline Kimble of Ashton, Md., midfielder Christy Monroy of Scotch Plains, N.J., and midfielder/forward Kari Weinland of New Albany, Ohio.

"I'm very pleased to announce the 2013 class for our program as they all possess a similar quality in that they are all fiercely determined to be successful students and soccer players," Ferguson-Dayes said. "This class has the talent to immediately make an impact on the college game and help us in our last year in the Big East and ultimately in our transition in to the ACC."

FIELD HOCKEY SIGNS BACK FROM NEW JERSEY

The U of L field hockey team will announce several other signees in the coming weeks but announced back Gianna Perrone has signed.

Perrone played for Eastern Regional High School, which was ranked No. 1 nationally in 2011 and '12. She helped lead her team to four Group 4 State titles. In 2012, she was named team captain and earned All-Group 4 third team honors.

Perrone is a member of USA Field Hockey's Under 17 squad and competed in the Junior National Camp and AAU Junior Olympics in 2011.

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