USC game

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USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:49 pm

It's never too early to start getting your thoughts on USC. Since I'm not very shy, I'll start.
Last season USC was ranked about 14th in the nation and managed to get a National championship from it.


USC played Portland State tonight and Beat them 2:0. their only other game was San Diego, who they beat 1:0 in overtime.

They are very different than UCLA. They aren't known as a scoring machine. AROD got 10 goals last year, and she's their top scorer. They play something that looks like a 4-5-1 to me, which means that they'll be running at you on counters with AROD every chance they get, otherwise they'll be very compact and defense minded. The Goal that Cheney scored tonight is really more like what AROD is known for.

I'll also be interested to see what Ali is like in person. the reports are he's a yeller. I wonder how that will go over in Pilot country.

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Re: USC game

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:23 pm

An entry on the BigSoccer blog says that Amy Rodriguez will not be playing. I'm not sure I believe it.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:45 pm

Hmm...

the PSU box shows she didn't play in that game last night.
I think our game is a little different, though.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:43 pm

I talked to folks at the Men's game who confirmed that AROD is not on the trip. She stayed in California to recover from the Olympic tournament.
It would have been nice to see her play.

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Re: USC game

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:33 pm

Probably a smart move on her and coach Ali's parts, but it would have been fun to see us play USC with her playing, as we did last year.

Should be an interesting game.

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Re: USC game

Post by purple haze on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:08 am

I would rather see the Pilots lose with A-Rod playing than to have the Pilots win and not see her play.

Psych! I want to see the Pilots rebound and stick it to USC no matter who's on the field.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:13 am

Either way, you'll still see a very tight defense and a team that tries to counter.

At this point in the season its more about how we play than it is about the opponent..

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Re: USC game

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:49 am

Looking forward to another classic today, although it feels pretty cool out. May have to break out the fall attire.

Most important thing is to see how the Pilots play. Even though they lost against UCLA - undeservedly so in my opinion - they played much better than against Oregon.

Freshmen have all impressed: Olivier looks great, not just defensively but she plays the ball out so well. McCluskie did not come in with the same expectations as the other three starters. She has coped exceptionally well. Burk has been solid if not spectacular; and I thought that Foxhoven stepped up considerably v UCLA compared to Oregon.

Megan R also improved significantly. I'm hoping we see her at the level she was in 2005. Not surprisingly she is not there yet. She is a tiger in the tackle and covering acres of space. Her shot is not back yet, and she gave the ball away too often on Saturday. I'm betting she's holding herself to the same high standards as I am. If she gets it all back she has the potential to be one of the best plyers in the country.

Waiting to see how much we see of Sophie S and in what position.

While it is mostly about getting into top form for conference play, the fact is that RPI rankings do make a difference come playoff time. Having lost to UCLA - however undeservedly - it would be helpful to get a win today. Pilots have done well away from home in the early rounds in the past but are going to be without Michelle E, Elli R, and the midfield general Keelin "I win every header in the middle of the park" Winters come end of season and could use all the home field advantage they can get.

Let's go Pilots.

ps. I wrote that Megan S appeared to struggle against Oregon, so it's only fair that I observe that she had a strong game against UCLA. Given that she was up against WWF star Kara Lang (she uses her arms more than any soccer player I've seen in years), Megan's performance was all the more creditiworthy. Lang was the least impressive of the Trojan's front three. Cheney and Leroux were pretty darned good though.

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Re: USC game

Post by ninjapizza on Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:26 pm

Deep in the second half, I feel like I am watching an entirely different team. And not in a good way.

I really hope Rachael Rapinoe is ok.

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Re: USC game

Post by ninjapizza on Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:41 pm

Hard fought 1-0 win in overtime.

Phew. I think I have a new superstition, which is to be totally pessimistic and grumpy until the Pilots prove me wrong. Smile

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Re: USC game

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:55 pm

You sound like a fan of any other big-time team, then... Very Happy

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Re: USC game

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:32 pm

Great game. Photos late tonight, I hope. Smile

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Wow!

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:36 pm

Tough game today. I'm still coming down after the exciting finish. Great burst down the left side by Elli Reed, who played the whole game at left defense and did so well in my opinion. Cross to far post, Charney Burk got a header in; I'm not sure how it got to Sophie Schmidt - pushed out by keeper? knocked out by defender? whatever it came to Sophie who bundled it home. Cue pandemonium by Pilots team and crowd!

Davis, Tsao, Reed, and Enyeart played every minute but most everyone else rotated in and out at some point. I think Emma Nelson and Hailie De Young were the only ones not to see action.

Rachel R got hurt - knee! - in the first half. Fingers crossed that it's not serious.

Kelsey D made one great save on a one-on-one break by USC that kept UP in the game.

More thoughts later. Player of the game for me was Michelle Olivier.

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Re: USC game

Post by pms275 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:46 pm

Martin Jol wrote:
Davis, Tsao, Reed, and Enyeart played every minute but most everyone else rotated in and out at some point. I think Emma Nelson and Hailie De Young were the only ones not to see action.

Rachel R got hurt - knee! - in the first half. Fingers crossed that it's not serious.

Most of the Pilots played, but I don't think Kelly or Jacka got in either. I'll have to look at the Pilot website, but I don't think there's any news on R. Rapinoe's knee. That happened right in front of our seats, and it just sucked the life out of the stadium. Hope it's nothing serious. Both Rapinoe sisters deserve a break when it comes to their injuries.

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Wooff!

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:55 pm

Great game, I might offer up Kelsey as player of the game if for nothing else than for stopping a 2 on keeper break and Keeping UP in the game.

The game was a bit disjointed, credit the USC defense for that. I actually thought USC played a better passing game in the midfield than UCLA. that may have been because they packed the midfield. I thought we got the better of the run of play, and Keelin was still Queen of the air when she was in there.

Rachael was a bit of a scare. She seemed in good spirits at half time and told a passer-by she thought she'd be OK. At the end of the game she walked with no apparent hitch in her gait.

Hopefully, the games get easier for a bit until Florida and then should be manageable until Santa Clara. Lets hope everyone stays healthy.

The box score is up on the website if you want to see minutes. click "details" for the game on the schedule.

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Re: USC game

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:16 pm

Previous post was correct: neither Kelly nor Jacka played.

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Re: USC game

Post by fozziewozzie on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:23 pm

agree that kelsey was player of the game for her tremendous save!

yes keelin is 'queen of the air', but something else ive noticed this year is that it seems like she has a sixth sense when she's on the ball, knows where every defender is an where they're coming from. very impressive. her game is even better then last year by a lot.

no one has mentioned the energy level boost i noticed when haley kreminski came into the game. what a spark plug she is. and the chemistry she an sophie have with each other is exciting. plus, she is so rugged, not going to get knocked of the ball an will knock you over.

lastly, in the autograph zone after the game, i met hailee deyoung's mother. she told me hailee is red-shirting this year. also, saw rachel, and while other players had ice adhered to parts of thier body, she had none to knee. i take that as a good sign!

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Re: USC game

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:35 pm

Assume that Hailee can only redshirt if Kelsey stays healthy.

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Re: USC game

Post by fozziewozzie on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:37 pm

one last thought, megan r had a tremendous game! i had forgotten how high she can jump. in the air she plays like she's 5'11" she gets up that high! an her dribbling skills were unbelievable in this game. i feel her confidence in herself an her knee coming back.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:57 pm

I have one more comment this game. I don't think anyone can doubt Ellie's defensive skills after this game. She won most of the balls on her side, pushed forward, tracked back and chased down players who got past other defenders,( really don't think another player on the team could have done that) passed well on the wing, Kept going when other players were visibly tiring, and finally started the scoring try.

A great game by her, I thought.

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Re: USC game

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:15 pm

As we look back on these two games, we should remember that we have seen two of the premier soccer programs in the nation. I think the significance of the fine Pilot performances we witnessed is enhanced based on the level of competition we faced (UCLA 7 PSU 0 as another example).

Halley Kreminski: big, athletic (ala Haillee), strong, not afraid to get in to the mix of thngs; I think she will be a big plus as she gains more playing time

Sophie: so strong with the ball; hard to knock her off it; solid target up front; settles the ball; good leg also

Charney: aggressive, not afraid to take a shot; some players have a tendency to keep the ball a split second to long and lose any shot; Rachel is another one who is not afraid to let her rip

Michelle E: we miss her up front where her break away speed is so dangerous; when she plays a wide midfielder she spends more time maneuvering side-to-side than toward the goal

Keelin: she owns the headers, but is quickly becoming a vital piece of our overall game; she collects (either from the opposition or a teammte) the ball and then protects it and dishes it out; her changes of direction with the ball to avoid the defenders are enjoyable to watch

Megan: near the top in almost all areas; she fights for the ball and maneuvers it as I mentioned for Keelin; and what a leg shown on that free kick!; hopefully she will continue to find her game

The next four games may provide an opportunity for the coaching staff to experiment with various combinations of players and positions. And work out some of kinks in our touch game.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:41 pm

Boaz Herzog has his article for the Oregonian out. It's a nice recap of the game and a little bit on Rachael's knee.


OregonLive

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Re: USC game

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:07 pm

I made it up for the games and got my firsh chance to see the Pilots at home. How sweet it was to hear Villa and the fans again.

Just a quick note on the second half of the USC game I thought the Pilots finally got wide in the attack and that made the difference in the run of play leading up to the goal. In the first half the offense was not one I recognized. It seemed we were not getting numbers up and were trying to force in through the middle.

Thankfully the second half I personally saw a transformation of a team that is beginning to find itself both on offense and defense. The goal came on a good run down the left side wide ending with a switching/crossing pass to Burk who headed it at the keeper. The SC keeper seemed to get a piece of it and went down. Somehow it got back to Sophie (assist from Burke off the rebound?) waiting calmly about five yards out in the box and she finished beautifully for the win.

I am so happy we did not have a repeat of last year getting beat by SC and UCLA in the same weekend. I am very encourged for the team going forward. In the first half I was wondering how we were going to get by without Michelle, Keelin and Ellie. By the end of the game I felt that the team will be able to function on all pistons when it comes time for them to leave.

GO PILOTS

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:10 pm

And...

Topdrawer soccer now has UP at #5, which means he doesn't think yet that UP will get a #1 seed. He'll reform----give him a chance.

Topdrawer also chose to put USC's version of the game on their website. I thought the winners got that privilege.


Topdrawer

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Re: USC game

Post by ejjqb on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:12 pm

A few comments after watching the three games. Keelin gets better with each game--she has become a beast, in the air, on the ground, defensively and offensively. She just stands out so much.

The freshman have more than justified all the hype they got in this forum. When you consider that the back line has had a total of two years of college experience for most of the games, these young ladies have held their own quite well, with the exception of two goals so far. There have been some lack of communication but that should be expected at this stage.

Foxhoven already shows the same drive and flair that Michelle E. has demonstrated so well. If the two of them have more opportunity up front together, the goals should really flow.

It was a bit puzzling to watch Michelle on the wing today, seeming to be lost at times, totally left out of the flow of the game for long stretches, especially in the second half. As I saw things today, the first real quality shot came when she made a run down the left side and sent a great cross that nearly resulted in a goal. That was the last time that she made that type of run all game, choosing rather to take everything to the middle and get clogged up. In fact, she chose several times to pass up chances to run the sideline to receive passes in open space. This does not fit with the Pilot game I have watched for many years.

Megan is getting better with each game, seeming to gain more confidence in her abilities. I just hope that Rachael's experience today doesn't slow her down, but I could easily understand some tentativeness. She is clearly the emotional leader of this team and her constant effort all over the field must be inspiring.

There is so much talent on this team that once they learn each other's tendencies and put things together, watch out. These next four games should get them more than ready to take on Florida, Rutgers and Penn State. Then, watch out WCC.

Finally, great win today by a tired group of Pilots. And let's keep Rachael in our prayers for this to be a small hurt.

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