Game Thread UP vs UO

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Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:14 pm

Never to early to start on of these, right? Anyway, figured this was a good time to scout the opponent a bit:

http://www.goducks.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=500&KEY=&SPID=237&SPSID=4317

Here is their season preview:

Oregon’s focus in 2008 begins with a return to basics.
Hard work. Tenacity. Discipline. Pride. Heart. Attention to detail. Passion. Determination.

Those were the things that made the Ducks so successful in 2006 when they finished second in the Pac-10 with a 6-1-2 mark and went 12-6-2 overall. And it’s not like last year was a disappointment in terms of the program’s relative success rate; 8-8-4 overall with the team’s best offensive output in six years.

But it was the little things, the details, that seemed to hold Oregon back from a truly great season in 2007. Now, with the players from coach Tara Erickson’s first class entering their final seasons in Eugene, the core seniors, and three transfers who have joined that class along the way, have adopted a motto for the 2008. Everyday Intensity.

“What that means is that you have to bring the same intensity, the same focus, to a practice on a Tuesday as you do to a big game on the weekend,” said Erickson. “The only way to play at a high level every game is to bring it every day in practice and that’s how we’ve asked our seniors to lead their team this year.”

The senior class, led by Nicole Dobrzynski, Allison Newton and Darcie Gardner are on the verge of completing historic careers. They’ve never had a losing eason and have already won more games (29) than any class in school history. But leadership, and replacing graduated senior starters Tiffany Smith (forward) and Dylann Tharp (defender), will also have to come from throughout the classes, from players like juniors Danielle Sweeney and Teresa Bowns and sophomores Rianna Mansfield and Sara Plutko. It can even come from the bench in the form of the injury-sidelined goalkeeper Jessie Chatfield.

“To generate a consistent attack, you have to have leadership and experience all over the fi eld,” said Erickson. “The backbone of this team is going to be our leadership. Not just from the seniors, but from all the veteran players who we need to step up for us.”

Forward
For the first time in several years, Oregon will feature a talented combination of attackers, rather than a sole striker. Sophomore Jen Stoltenberg showed romise of becoming the next great striker for Oregon, while junior Teresa Bowns led the team in points with 16 (five goals, six assists). Bowns, who can also drop back to midfield, will serve as a crafty and creative compliment to Stoltenberg’s swift and speedy style.

Newcomers Carrie Holland and Brittany Westrum, as well as Mackenzie Doty, will add depth up top. Holland is a transfer from Richmond who scored four goals last years for the Spiders.

“(Bowns and Stoltenberg) have a chance to become a really dynamic combo,” said Erickson. “You can see the chemistry developing between the two of them playing off each other. Both of them have the ability to strike quickly, too.”

Midfield
Oregon may be deepest in the midfield in 2008. In addition to Bowns, the other midfielders include veterans like Allison Newton, senior Jessica Goodell and junior Dani Oster. Then there’s sophomore Mercedes Walters, who looked strong at attacking midfield the later part of 2007 and Rianna Mansfield, off the radar after redshirting last season recovering from surgery.

That should make the fall battle to claim one of four starting spots very competitive. Walters and Bowns would be the early favorites to see the majority of the minutes at attacking midfield. Goodell (two goals, two assists in 2007), looking more comfortable after transferring from Nebraska a year ago, and Oster, the incumbent two-year starter, should really push each other at outside right midfielder, while Newton will likely continue to aim for her high-degree of difficulty goals from the left midfield. She scored five goals with three assists from the outside last year.

Holding or defensive midfield will be another spot to watch with Mansfield, maybe the Ducks’ best kept secret, and rapidly improving sophomore Kirstie Kuhns getting looks. Freshman Lauren Thompson could also develop into a physical presence in the middle, while senior Adriana Montes, sophomore Mackenzie Doty and freshman Taylor Jones will provide depth on the outside.

“I like the potential we have to create some scoring chances in the midfield,” said Erickson. “Newton has been working hard and really wants to score goals and Goodell is great at directing traffic and has a deadly strike. If we can have our outside score a few, it will open it up for everyone."

Defense
A trademark of any Tara Erickson-coached team, Oregon looks to be solid again behind a veteran defense that will be anchored by Nicole Dobrzynski, Danielle Sweeney and Darcie Gardner.

The speedy Dobrzynski takes over from the graduated Dylann Tharp in the role of most experienced defender, while Sweeney and Gardner, both offensive-minded back-line players, found ways to contribute to the attack, especially on set pieces. Sweeney (four goals, four assists in 2007) was particularly potent playing up the left side with Newton (nine goals, seven assists combined). The athletic 5-9 Gardner was a reliable target on set pieces with three goals and an assist a year ago.

While Dobrzynski and Sweeney are virtual locks to open the season as starters, Gardner, junior Barbara Blocker and sophomore Bree Rowe, coming off an outstanding spring, could see action on the right side. Sophomore Sara Plutko looks to be Tharp’s heir apparent at the other center defender spot along side Dobrzynski, but freshman Lauren Thompson, a skilled player in the air, who could also be a weapon on set pieces, will get a look. Freshmen Haley Wilson and Catherine Brothers will provide depth along the outside.

“We’re going to be a bluecollar, hard-working defense,” said Erickson. “I expect the defense to really step it up this fall.”

Goalkeeper
The biggest question, and one Oregon had not expected to have to answer for another year, is the starting goalkeeper situation. After losing three-year starter Jessie Chatfield to a career-ending knee injury in July, Erickson and the coaching staff find themselves needing to replace the program’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts.

The entire fall camp will serve as an audition between sophomore Tori Johnson and freshman Cody Miles. Johnson appeared in three games last season, playing 18 minutes and making one save, while Miles is an athletic goalie from Salem.

“There’s no denying we’re going to really miss Jessie,” said Erickson.
“But we’re not going to get any pity from any of our opponents, so we’ll be ready and confident with Cody or Tori in net.”

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by aleppiek on Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:25 pm

Stonehouse, nice find. I almost feel bad for them coming into our house against our squad to start the season... I have to think that we will be damaging the psyche of one young keeper.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by FANatic on Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:12 pm

Let's get Stoney's game thread back on top here. Less than six hours from now is gametime!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

It sure is quiet in here so far today. Think maybe everyone is pretty much "talked out" about their pre-game thoughts and observations.

Remember, if you can't be at the game, you can watch it on Pilots Video for a fee. You can listen to a live audio broadcast for free. You can watch "livestats" for fairly quick updates on how the match is progressing. All on www.portlandpilots.com . Just hit the calender button in the box where it says SCOREBOARD in the right upper area of the page.

And don't forget Pilot Nation's own Chatbox, where you can text one another online before, during and after the match. Just hit HOME at the upper left of the top menu, then go to the bottom left of that page and hit "Join The Chat". (Had lots of fun in there last season!!!)

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by pms275 on Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:47 pm

It will be interesting to see how Oregon does this year. I'm fairly confident, however, that their season will start with a loss tonight at Merlo. I'm going to say Pilots win by a score of 3-0.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Auto Pilot on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:37 pm

It should be great. I was at the opener last year with Florida State and the anticipation and excitement of the event was palpable. I think with the crowd at Merlo and all the work the women have put in over the summer will play out favorably for the pilots ie. (Women's U-20 events and the Freshman coming in early for summer school).

I am confident that we will be many chances to score. I think the key will be putting shots on frame and testing the new keeper and playing tough defense. I have a prediction that if the Pilots score early in the first half we could get as many as 3 goals in the first half. If we have trouble scoring or fall behind it will be a close game with the Pilots ultimately prevailing of course.

Therefore, as it has been said by many before me; score early and score often.

In re-reading my first paragraph I have predicted both a blow-out or a close game at the same time. It seems somewhat schizophrenic but I am a big believer in the importance on the first goal in the way the rest of the game is played.

I hope those that can attend feel like writing volumes about it on this board. I will be appreciative as I wait watching the agonizing play by play text scroll out on my computer.

Have fun and remember to wear white.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:48 pm

Listened to the Rachel Rapinoe podcast this morning and one point she made resonated for me. When asked about losing Reed, Winters, and Enyeart to U20 WC she said that by end of season the freshman will have settled in and be ready to step up.

One scary thing about this team is that there are only two seniors. All this talent and potential and only 2 players will be playing their final season. Wow!

With only two hours to go before kick off, more speculation about line ups is probably a waste of cyber-breath but I really think that Megan Rapinoe's best position is the attacking mid at the point of the diamond.

I'd like to see Enyeart stay upfront, with Rachel R or maybe Foxhoven - my guess is we'll see both tonight.

And if Elli Reed is good enough to play defense for the U20s - and she looked pretty darned strong there in the spring - then she's good enough to play there for UP. Choosing not to play there in order to stay with Sweeney and Tsao may be a good call - but neither of them have Elli's pace: going forward or getting back.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:52 pm

I forgot to add that I think that UP will score at least 5 goals tonight. Oregon has a GK crisis, and UP has a bunch of players with something to prove:

Megan and Rachel that they are healthy
Charney and Danielle that they are ready for D1
Kendra that she cannot be forgotten
and Michelle can't help herself, she just scores.

And Elli, Sophie and Keelin might pop one in.

That's 9 serious scoring threats!

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:29 pm

Martin Jol wrote:I forgot to add that I think that UP will score at least 5 goals tonight. Oregon has a GK crisis, and UP has a bunch of players with something to prove:

Megan and Rachel that they are healthy
Charney and Danielle that they are ready for D1
Kendra that she cannot be forgotten
and Michelle can't help herself, she just scores.

And Elli, Sophie and Keelin might pop one in.

That's 9 serious scoring threats!

You heard it first here folks from the mouth of Maarten---

Michelle Olivier can't score Very Happy

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:37 pm

Now, geezer. That's not what I said. I'm not discounting anyone else on the team, but expect most of the goals to come from midfield and forward.

I think that Enyeart will score the first goal tonight.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:46 pm

Just funnin'

But you see, she was MY choice for first goal--off a header on a set piece.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by ninjapizza on Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:44 pm

Starting lineups are in the gametracker. Four freshmen!

Still no audio or video. The anticipation is killing me!

Go Pilots!

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by ninjapizza on Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:08 pm

Video is acceptable but audio could REALLY use some work. I'm watching on one computer while using the live audio on another. Gotta solve these first world problems.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by ninjapizza on Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:17 pm

Gah! The video feed died just after the start of the second half!

As much as I have appreciated the free live audio, it just doesn't do Pilots soccer justice.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by pilotsfan70 on Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:21 pm

I have no video either. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by ninjapizza on Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:36 pm

It's back up again.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by DaTruRochin on Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:59 pm

Geezer, did you light off your victory cigar next to the fireworks???

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Auto Pilot on Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:24 pm

Was it just my feed or did anyone else who coughed up the money for the video ticket get alot of low end feedback on the audio?

I will wait till later to comment on the game itself since this is not a spoiler thread. There might be one or two pilot fans living in a cave somewhere.

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Re: Game Thread UP vs UO

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:42 pm

DaTruRochin wrote:Geezer, did you light off your victory cigar next to the fireworks???

Not my fault. Those kids across the way started chanting "It's all over" and somebody got confused....

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