The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.
Issue link: http://louisville.epubxp.com/i/141236
Story by Eric Crawford — a former UofL student and now a highly respected, multi-award winning sportswriter. Crawford, who is a multimedia journalist at WDRB-TV in Louisville, spent the majority of his storied career covering UofL sports as a beat writer and as a senior sports columnist for The Courier-Journal. His work has appeared in several national publications including USA Today, ESPN.com, CNN.com and he is currently collaborating with UofL coach Rick Pitino on the coach's latest book. 30|LOUISVILLE.EDU (Top left) The women are all smiles as they accept the Final Four trophy and advance to take on Cal; (Top middle) Forward Antonita Slaughter raises her "L"s up high as the Cards move on to face UConn in the fnals (Top right) Bria Smith takes it to the hole on her way to scoring seven in the fnals; (Bottom left) Shoni Shimmel works around a screen; (Bottom right) Bria Smith collapses to the foor after a hard fought battle in the fnal game Stacy Revere/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images both teams, and who injured her surgically repaired knee against California but refused to stop playing, walked out of the locker room with her head high, and her knee on ice. "I gave everything for this university and this program," she said. "There's a lot to be proud of here. Someday they're going to win a championship. We wanted to match what the men did, but I'm proud of this team and what we did and the way we represented the school." The UofL women didn't win the championship, but they did supply the tournament's most memorable moment with their win over Baylor, which had won 32 straight games and 74 of its past 75. ESPN called Walz a "mad scientist." The team embraced its "party crasher" image. But Walz said there was no science to it. "These players, what can you say about them, but that they showed what can happen when a team totally buys in, totally plays together and totally believes," Walz said. "They knew the odds they were up against every night but they didn't care. They went out and played fearlessly. They backed down from nothing. We'll probably look back and wonder how we did all this. But I'm so proud of them. They did something in this tournament that you haven't seen in women's basketball before, and they'll be remembered for that." How can we possibly forget? What the Lady Cards did was awe-inspiring. And, it was a dream come true for the UofL faithful. Two basketball teams deep in the big dance. Two reasons to stay glued to the TV. Both won our hearts and gave us all a reason to hold our "L" up high.