USC game

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Re: USC game

Post by fozziewozzie on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:52 pm

ejjqib,
what a great recap of the game today. the thing i see most is the girls know what they want to do, they're just arent clicking. they see the passes an the 'plan', but they are just not executing. three games into the season, clickiing or not, l feel pretty optimistic. an when our 'big three leave us for the u-20's world cup, i feel pretty confident that we will do well. it's an embarassment of riches an its only going to get more that way.

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Re: USC game

Post by aleppiek on Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:40 am

I was rather surprised by the USC staff. I had heard awful things about Ali as a coach. He was amazingly mellow. I had a great vantage point being right behind the opposing bench... I think I only heard him speak once, which surprised me as I had heard he was a screamer.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:14 am

aleppiek wrote:I was rather surprised by the USC staff. I had heard awful things about Ali as a coach. He was amazingly mellow. I had a great vantage point being right behind the opposing bench... I think I only heard him speak once, which surprised me as I had heard he was a screamer.

I heard that too. Of course, I heard it from UCLA fans. You always have to take those things with a grain of salt.

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Kudos to Coach

Post by Oscar on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:16 am

It was a great move by the coach to move Elli Reed to the left back. Her speed paid off time after time on runs by SC down the right side. Then she makes a great run down the left to set up the winning goal. A fine move, Coach.

Charney Burk's activity level is so high that she just has to be on the field. I agree with most of you that Haylee was the player of the match yesterday but over the whole weekend, Keelin Winters was the best player on the field. She absolutely controls her part of the field. She's impossible to dispossess of the ball. Michelle will adjust to midfield and it's a great way to use her speed. Megan as a Woznuk redux is working well and will get better.

This team has all kinds of potential to become absolutely lethal. The freshmen are playing well and most of the veterans are rounding into shape nicely. It's going to be a very fun year. And, although it's early, let's remember that the two Rapinos are the only two seniors on the team. Yowza.

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Re: USC game

Post by aleppiek on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:34 am

Oscar, my wife and I were discussing that very point yesterday... a lot of youth.

Hypothetically speaking, what if Rachel's injury holds her out significant time, she and Megan could theoretically (if I am not mistaken) both petition the NCAA for 6th years of eligibility. I think Megan, if not both she and Rachel may be ready to move on after this year, but imagine the possibilities.

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Switching Positions

Post by wrv on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:59 am

I agree with Women's Soccer Rookie's summation and insights and the stated need to get Enyeart wide. Perhaps I tinker too much, and I for one am certainly no expert, but putting Enyeart up front and placing Foxhoven at outside mid may liven the Pilot's offense, giving Enyeart the space and opportunity she can exploit. Foxhoven, while skilled and dangerous, does not have the extra gear Enyeart does. Is it possible that Enyeart's midfield play is a result of the National U-20 team wishing to play her there so that she now wants to try the position? Hmmn?

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:09 am

Actually, all the reports I saw for the u20 team had her as a forward/striker. for many games she was paired with O'hara of Stanford, then Noyola.

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Re: USC game

Post by wrv on Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:20 pm

One other point that needs to be made about the comments thus far: if I am not mistaken, no one has commented on the fact that we beat the No. 1 team in the national rankings. Have we come so far that the accomplishment is not particularly noteworthy? Apparently we have, so I will be the first to note the obvious: WE JUST KNOCKED OFF NO. 1--CONGRATUALATIONS! GO PILOTS!

Great expectations aside, soneone needed to put it in digital space, even if we all already know it.

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Re: USC game

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:22 pm

Agreed, wrv. Not every day you get to be the No. 1 ranked defending national champions!!! Smile

I posted this in a different thread, but here works better probably... when's the last time we beat a #1 team? Penn State or UCLA in 2005? Santa Clara some year? I'm really not sure...

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:31 pm

Let's be realistic. USC went into the tournament last year at about #14, which I think makes them the lowest seed ever to win it all.
This year, their preseason ranking was basically a tribute to that Championship.

I don't think anyone can say they have made any great leap in prowess since last season. So are they really #1, or are they really a #14 who just peaked at the right time last year and are riding that wave? They also didn't have AROD. She only scored 10 goals last year, but they were almost all when it counted, including her goal against UP.

It was a great win. It will surely help us when it comes to seeding in the tournament. But I think everyone who saw both games this weekend will say we beat the weaker team. We still have a ways to go if we want a chance at it all. We'll get there... we'll get there.

The most gratifying thing I took out of the weekend is we are right there with two top teams who are WAY more experienced than we are right now. By the end of the season, when it counts, that gap won't exist.

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Re: USC game

Post by wrv on Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:50 pm

Do you think the absence of Amy Rodriguez helped U.P. look stronger and made USC look less effective on the offensive end? The gap to which you allude may well exist even in the playoffs if she returns and the Pilots lose three players to national commitments. They will be a team to fear in the playoffs . . .as will UCLA. I am hopefull that the freshmen will fill the missing gap(why does this remind me of watergate?) but I fear the effect of the loss of our threesome in the playoffs--I, like other posters, am not entirely optomistic about the gap's disappearance.

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Re: USC game

Post by upsailor on Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:58 pm

womens soccer, I would ceratinly agree with purplegezzer that of the two so cal teams we beat the weaker of the two.
One might also compare their games against PSU. 2 to o and 7 to 0.

Also by mid season I believe that the Pilots will begin to hit their stride with the freshmen well intergrated with the vetrans,

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Re: USC game

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:00 pm

Ha ha... Geezer is right, of course. It's just fun to say that we beat the #1 team in the country, even if it is more of a tribute to their championship than anything else.

From what I hear (I was out of town), UCLA was pretty clearly the better team.

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Re: USC game

Post by Trenchcoat Wally on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:22 pm

Good game- Nice weather -- good weekend

I can live with 1-1 against those two teams.

Rapinoe is soon worthy of the US national team. If healthy, she will be the future center mid for the US. She still has not peaked in her playing career at all. She should be rested about 1/3rd into the second half to return for the final 20. She appears to become fatigued from all that running and hustle. The moves and touches she is making are amazing. The Pilots are playing at about 84% of what is possible....

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Re: USC game

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:44 pm

Based on what I've seen in past years of how the team progresses over the course of a season, I would say the Pilots are not playing close to 84% of what's possible. Typically, they have three periods they go through. The first is exciting but simply getting used to each other on the field, with a big emphasis on defense. The second is workmanlike, where they always look to me like they're pretty tired. The third is when the offense really gets going and the team looks fluid from one end of the field to the other. I assume that's when the team really is focusing on offense. The third period always is a big jump from what came before.

I'd say the team is at about 55% of what's possible. The X-factor will be what happens with the loss of Michelle, Keelin, and Elli. Preparing for that will be the main challenge of the coaching staff this year.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:47 pm

wrv wrote:I, like other posters, am not entirely optomistic about the gap's disappearance.

The only gap I was talking about is an experience gap. I think that even with the three u20 players gone, we'll match up, we'll match up with the other contenders.

I've been watching UP for a long time now. Years ago there was a real gap in the athleticism of UP teams as compared to other teams. We only did as well as they did because we were better coached and played what I consider to be a better brand of soccer. I think the athletic gap has pretty much disappeared. I don't think either of the teams this weekend was any faster, tougher, or stronger than we. The only real failures I saw were experience mistakes. I think those will be largely gone by the playoffs. It's not just the Freshmen. Some of our players returning from layoffs have a ways to go, too, and Sophie still hasn't played a full season for us. I see nothing but positives for us.

Of course, I'm hoping Rachael will return to us, but even if she doesn't, we still have a heck of a team developing.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:06 pm

wrv wrote:Do you think the absence of Amy Rodriguez helped U.P. look stronger and made USC look less effective on the offensive end? The gap to which you allude may well exist even in the playoffs if she returns and the Pilots lose three players to national commitments. They will be a team to fear in the playoffs . . .as will UCLA. I am hopefull that the freshmen will fill the missing gap(why does this remind me of watergate?) but I fear the effect of the loss of our threesome in the playoffs--I, like other posters, am not entirely optomistic about the gap's disappearance.

I'l address just the AROD issue here. AROD scored 10 (yes, count them, 10! ) goals and three assists last year. I'm actually a little puzzled about the big to do about her being the next big scorer. Thus far, she hasn't shown it.

Compare that to Enyearts 12 goals and 15 assists, or to Megans 10 goals in less than a half season before she got hurt, or to Rachael's 10 goals in a partial season, or to Kendra's 9 goals, or to Sophie's 7 goals and 7 assists in about 8 games and all of a sudden it doesn't look all that formidable. I still think they have more to worry about with us than we do about them.

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Re: USC game

Post by Harry Redknapp on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:22 pm

I thought that UCLA was a much stronger team than USC. Also much rougher. Having said that, SC was without A-Rod. In addition, either UP was tired from Saturday or SC disrupted their game because I thought the Pilots played better against UCLA.

Kelsey Davis made one fabulous stop yesterday on the breakaway. There were a couple of times I thought she would come gather the ball and she left it to the defense to handle. GK is not a position of uncertainty or concern though, as long as she is healthy, and even then Hailee DeYoung is great cover.

Jessica Tsao has played three solid games; she gives little away on defense and is good going forward. I thought Megan Sweeney was shaky against Oregon and had a very good game against UCLA. She did not play yesterday. I thought that Elli Reed had a splendid game - and not just because she created the winning goal. Michelle Olivier does not look like a freshman to me. She has been the best player on the team through three games. Not only is she strong defensively but she consistently plays the ball out to a UP player. Kassi McCluskie has played better than I expected - she was not as heralded as other incoming players. She's made a few mistakes but that is hardly surprising given the quality of the opposition. Korie Nicholson has looked OK too. Still think that Sophie Schmidt might fit well alongside Olivier.

Keelin Winters has grown in skill, composure and confidence in one year. She is playing very well. She was solid defensively last year; she's better looking going forward this year. Charney Burk has made a good start: flashes of skill and vision, and her shot has sharpened as the games have progressed. Yesterday Michelle Enyeart started wide left. She has amazing pace on the ball and I love her ability to run at the defense from deep. She set up a good chance for Foxhoven early yesterday through a classic surge and cross. If she plays midfield it leaves open the question who plays forward. Kendra started yesterday. I like her game and I like her as a wide midfielder; she tackles back and can play a good through ball and follow up.

I think that Megan Rapinoe has made a good start on her recovery but think that she is still a way from her potential. The best news is that she's played most of three hard games. She runs all over the field and tackles like a demon. Yesterday was the first game when her shot seemed to have come back: she hit a great free kick. But her passing yesterday was poor. She gave the ball away often; and many of her fierce tackles were called for because she did not control the ball to begin with.

Sophie Schmidt has played forward and wide midfield so far. In some ways you can say that she can play anywhere. I'll be interested to see where she settles to produce national team form. Michelle Enyeart is great up front too. She just scores goals. Danielle Foxhoven has made a nice start to her career. She has many good touches, she works hard and gives the other defense no rest. Her finishing touch is not quite there yet. Hallie Kreminski came off the bench and played up front yesterday. She brought some energy and size to the game. Rachel R played with characteristic verve but was hurt after only 11 minutes yesterday: it was very quiet for several minutes until she got up and limped off. My guess is that they will be very careful with her next week.

Overall a good start to the season. If freshmen continue to settle in, Sophie gets up to full speed and Megan R continues to regain her form of 2005 and early 2006 then this will be a very good team.

The loss of Keelin, Elli and Michelle will be significant. Sophie can cover the defensive midfield spot. Replacing the other two is a whole different question. Time will tell who can step up. I'm looking forward to finding out.

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Re: USC game

Post by pms275 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:36 pm

Stonehouse wrote:From what I hear (I was out of town), UCLA was pretty clearly the better team.

Hmmm, I don't know if clearly is the right word. Very Happy UCLA was the better team on Saturday, but I thought for most of the match, things were fairly even. If not for the defensive lapse late in the first half, it's hard to say what would have happened.

UCLA was clearly the better team yesterday when they smoked Portland State, 7-0. Embarassed

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:38 pm

Martin Jol wrote:I thought that UCLA was a much stronger team than USC. Also much rougher. Having said that, SC was without A-Rod. In addition, either UP was tired from Saturday or SC disrupted their game because I thought the Pilots played better against UCLA.

I'm not sure that the teams were any different in roughness. They both tallied 20 fouls. Yeah, I know there were different refs, But neither team was shy.

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Re: USC game

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:41 pm

pms268 wrote:
Stonehouse wrote:From what I hear (I was out of town), UCLA was pretty clearly the better team.

Hmmm, I don't know if clearly is the right word. Very Happy UCLA was the better team on Saturday, but I thought for most of the match, things were fairly even. If not for the defensive lapse late in the first half, it's hard to say what would have happened.

UCLA was clearly the better team yesterday when they smoked Portland State, 7-0. Embarassed

I don't think Stoney meant better than us. I think he meant UCLA was better than USC.

That's pretty accurate. I also don't think either team was better than UP. I think we had the better run of play for long stretches against both teams. More experienced? sure.

UCLA made us pay for a mistake and USC couldn't. That was the difference.

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Re: USC game

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:09 pm

Well I would think that we all share the opinion that the Pilots are better than any other college team or why else would we be here Smile I agree that UCLA seemed to be better than USC, at least as they played against us.

I agree with the opinions stated above with regard to getting Michelle E out wide with the caveat that I think we need to get the whole team playing wider on offense. To me that was the difference between the first and second half and overtime for the Pilots. We take pride in Merlo being a first class correctly proportioned "wide" field which suits our style of play. That is why we dread playing Pepperdine on their postage stamp (give them credit to being under construction for a new soccer specific venue though).

The second half of the USC game I saw our team finally getting wider in the attack and it finally paid off in the Ellie-Charney-Sophie goal. We were also better after half time at getting numbers up in the attack. I think that may have had something to do with the "pep" talk Garrett gave them at half time. In any event it worked and we pulled out the weekend with one of the "must win" games.

UCLA seems to being playing a better looking style of soccer than last year. Jill may have torn a page out of Pia's book. So look for them to be a monster again this year. Which is fine with me because when we beat them, which we will when it counts, it will be all the more sweet.

Conversely, USC does not look like the team that beat us last year in LA. I give credit to Megan R. for terrorizing the likes of Ashley Nick who shredded us last year. The return of A. Rodriguez will definately make them better but she can be taken out of the game if you deny her the ball up top. She tends to like playing high up and stays there.

The foregoing notwithstanding and forgive me for repeating it yet again. We beat the champs! It made my day as I was dissapointed that we were so close against UCLA. When we went down a goal everyone got all quiet around me which was strange as I am used to a very vocal crowd when I visit Merlo. I must say though that the students and Villa came through with a truly awesome white out.

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Re: USC game

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:19 pm

Yep. Geezer's right. I was referring to UCLA being clearly better than USC. Come on... I never think ANYONE is clearly better than UP. Heck, I don't even think Gonzaga's basketball team is clearly better than ours! Smile

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Re: USC game

Post by KFTC on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:23 pm

UCLA seems to being playing a better looking style of soccer than last year. Jill may have torn a page out of Pia's book. So look for them to be a monster again this year. Which is fine with me because when we beat them, which we will when it counts, it will be all the more sweet.

I'm not sure if you attribute that to Jill, or to her two assistants, Shannon MacMillan and BJ Snow, who have been coaching the team in Jill's absence while she was with the national team. I would gather that means the entire pre-season, and probably most of last spring as well.

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Re: USC game

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:22 pm

Well KFTC, I mentioned Jill specificaly because she is the head coach and has the last word on how they play.....but Shannon MacMillan and BJ Snow I am sure had a good deal of influence. I talked to a couple of the UCLA players after the game and asked what they thought of having Shannon and It was unanimous that they adore her as a person and have a deep respect for her as a player and coach. I didn't see them in the spring so I am not sure when the transformation began.

I am sure there is another long ball team out there that will prove me wrong ...again...but we will have to see who it is. Surprised

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