Cox vs. Reed

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Cox vs. Reed

Post by Auto Pilot on Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:30 pm

To all you that saw Steph play left back all four years. How does Elli compare at this stage in her career? Or is that even a fair comparison? Seems to me that there is a spot in Garrett's heart for a high scoring defender (isn't that a prominant feature on his resume)?

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by Harry Redknapp on Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:30 pm

Steph was amazingly sound on defense. She would go for game after game without putting a foot wrong. Elli is not that strong; not that she's bad but just not that good. Elli is faster than Steph; and she is a better offensive player and has a stronger shot.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by GUPhantom on Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:52 pm

I'd say it's not a fair comparison. Even though Ellie is playing some left back, I think Garrett on puts her there only to supplement her U-20 experience. Ellie's all-around talent allows her to do a good defensive job...but she is totally offensive minded!

In Ellie's freshman year, I think most Pilot fans would agree that she had a "hard time" passing and giving up the ball. She was fearless and seemed to always think she could get by anybody and everybody...2 on 1, 3 on 1, 4 on 1....I'll bet that everyone in this forum at one time or another yelled for Ellie to....PASS IT!!!

Ellie is much, much, much better this year! She's learned that she can't do it all herself. She more selective on when to challenge and push things offensively! She's really made strides in striking and taking advantage when an opportunity's there...versus trying to create opportunities that aren't there.

Steph was known for her mature play...even as a sophomore! I've never seen anyone else play with so much non-chanlant and calm. Defensively, her anticipation of play and positioning was inhumane. She always seem to be at the right place at the right time to break up offensive threats. Because of her poise on the pitch, I think her athletic abilities were underrated a bit too....particularly her speed! Next to Sinclair and Huie...I'd say she was at least top 3 on the 2005 team! She was beautiful to watch on the ball! I think her ball control and dribbling skills were also underrated. She was smooth as silk when she brought play forward to the offensive side!! BUT...she always looked to pass to her teammates first! Many teams I think...knew it too!! They would give her soooo much space around the box and concentrate on covering the other Pilots! Many times I would scream for her to SHOOT cause it looked like she always had a "free-kick" chance without the wall! That wide-open!! But...gotta love her...99% of the time...she'd try to find the open teammate!

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:07 pm

Auto Pilot wrote:To all you that saw Steph play left back all four years. How does Elli compare at this stage in her career? Or is that even a fair comparison? Seems to me that there is a spot in Garrett's heart for a high scoring defender (isn't that a prominant feature on his resume)?

Steph didn't play left back all four years. She paired with (I think) Kari Evans at central defender as a freshman for much of the season. She only played left back when she came back from her National Team redshirt year.

But to answer your question Steph was a different player than Elli. She started out much more defensive oriented and was a total lock down player defensively. her positioning was flawless, as was her passing. I think she only had maybe 2 goals in her career (perhaps both last year). her forté was setting up players for scores. She was also a very calming influence on the team. If things were going bad, you knew if you got the ball to her it would get to the right folks.


Ellie is a scorer in defender's guise. She's niftier on the ball, quicker, faster, and will burn opponents. She isn't as polished a defender yet as Steph, but it will come, and she can often get a second crack at the attacker with her speed. The last few games nothing happened but bad things for the other team on her side.

I actually think that Ellie is better suited to come out of the back. she has more room to do her stuff.
And it's pretty good stuff. I think Garrett ought to keep her there.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by fozziewozzie on Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:01 pm

an these arguments are what i have been saying since elli was moved to the d-line. i love her offensive skills absolutely, an while her defensive skills have improved greatly, on my d-line i want defense primarily with good offensive skills. i like j-tsao an sweeney on the corners better then elli just because they are better defensively and do a good job offensively.

elli can run all day and with her improved defense, i just think she is more valuable at midfield. she kind of reminds me of angie in that she has worked very very hard on her defense. she's just learned it sooner in her careeer.

if i were to compare elli to anyone it would be 'frenchie'. comes in as a midfielder an departs as a d-back. the only differences are, frenchie was stronger an elli is faster.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:32 pm

One thing to consider is that a lot of the best teams are using a 3-4-3 to compress the playing field and bottle up opponents (UNC, UCLA). I don't think it's in Garrett's makeup to have 3 defenders. I just don't think he feels women are fast enough to cover the width of the whole field for a whole game.

But having a player like Ellie gets you to just about the same point with her speed and offensive skills.

And while people are still criticizing her defense, can you name an instance when she got beat this fall? I sure can't think of one. A play I do recall is when she ran down an NAU player on a breakaway and just stepped in front of her and took over possession. There isn't another player on the team who could do that. (OK, maybe Enyeart, but she wasn't there.)

We're outscoring people 28-2 with 5 shutouts. Neither goal came from her side. Her defense can't be that bad.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by purple haze on Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:37 pm

On a lot of teams Ellie would be a striker due to her nose for the net and all-out speed. This season she is showing a stronger kick to finish off her runs. It's outrageous to see a d-back score 2-3 goals in a game as she has this season. One might have been from midfield spot; I'm not sure). That's not normal, folks, but it shows the wealth of scoring talent on the Pilots. Not to mention the overall team defensive speed to cover for Reed or Sweeney or Tsao on their sideline runs. If Florida has quick strikers we may notsee so much upfield movement, but if the Pilots see an opportunity to advance a backline player, they'll seize it.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by fozziewozzie on Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:48 pm

that has always been the pilots m.o. as much as i have loved the pilots strikers, i have ALWAYS been a fan of the pilots outside backs!!

go pilots!!!

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by bluffer on Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:07 am

GU Phantom wrote: In Ellie's freshman year, I think most Pilot fans would agree that she had a "hard time" passing and giving up the ball. She was fearless and seemed to always think she could get by anybody and everybody...2 on 1, 3 on 1, 4 on 1....I'll bet that everyone in this forum at one time or another yelled for Ellie to....PASS IT!!! Ellie is much, much, much better this year! She's learned that she can't do it all herself. She more selective on when to challenge and push things offensively! She's really made strides in striking and taking advantage when an opportunity's there...versus trying to create opportunities that aren't there.

I agree with the first part, but I have to disagree that Elli is any better this year, especially as it applies to the last game. I don't recall Elli making one meaningful pass to Michelle during that game and they were on the same side of the field. She passed more to Charney than Michelle. And it wasn't because Michelle was being double teamed or wasn't open. It looked like a deliberate decision on Elli's not to pass to Michelle. Is it because she does not want anyone else to have success at a position (left wing) that she claims as hers or is she just incapable of knowing/learning when to pass the ball. I think she cost the pilots a goal scoring opportunity in the UCLA game by not passing the ball at the opportune time or as GU phantom said, "taking advantage when an opportunity's there". Maybe some of you can recall the play, Elli had the ball and was dribbling down the left side. Two defenders in front of her with a passing lane between the two wide enough to drive a car through. Michelle is in her line of sight to the left and making a run by the left defender. Michelle is calling for the ball and gesturing with her left hand where to play the ball so she can run onto it and go to goal. Instead of making a simple early pass between the two defenders Elli dribbles, and dribbles, and dribbles, then, when Michelle pulls up to keep from going offsides Elli passes the ball between the two defenders and straight to the UCLA keeper. Would the Pilots have scored? We'll never know, but I can see Michelle doing exactly what she did last game. Dribbling to goal, drawing the keeper and defenders and laying off a pass for an easy tap in. That's what being a "Team" player is all about.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by ejjqb on Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:48 am

Just to reinforce bluffer's point, in each game I have noticed Michelle making tremendous efforts to get to the open space, especially on the left side, only to be ignored. It's not always by Elli, but most often it is. I can see frustration in her demeanor at times after these runs and I hope that doesn't affect her long-term if this continues. There's no one on this team who makes things happen once they get the ball the way Michelle does. There's also no one who is less selfish once they do get the ball as her assists record will attest. PASS THE BALL TO MICHELLE, ELLI!

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:46 am

This was a problem I saw for both outside defenders against San Diego State, and I was looking specifically to see what the outside backs were doing in relation to the outside mids. The outside mids (Michelle and Charney) were playing very wide in order to spread the field. On the right, Megan Sweeney was taking the ball in towards the center what appeared to me to be too much and not giving it to Charney on the sideline when Charney was wide open. Yes, there was a lot of space towards the middle, but the balance between sending it wide to Charney and taking it into the middle space seemed not good. On the left, it was a little different. Sometimes Elli took it towards the middle and sometimes she took it down the side, around Michelle. It almost looked like Elli was using Michelle all the time as a decoy.

I thought I was looking pretty carefully at how well Michelle was marked on the left, as compared to Charney on the right. It did seem to me that Michelle was pretty closely marked as compared to Charney so that there was more opportunity to get the ball to Charney as compared to Michelle. I do see one of the facts of life Michelle will have to deal with this year is being a "marked woman." Maybe that will change as other players score more goals. In any event, however, in my opinion Elli needs to make a better effort to get the ball to Michelle more. Elli needs to recognize that Michelle needs to have the ball at her feet a lot more, for the good of the team.

This also may be in part of function of Keelin not having played holding mid and Megan Rapinoe not having played that much. Keelin is a great distributor of the ball. Last year, she was uncanny in particular at getting the ball to Angie. I think that if Keelin and Megan are in their regular positions, you see the ball going more to Michelle.

My bet is that the staff has been working on this particular issue this week. I know that they have been emphasizing that the team must spread the field, getting the ball to the outside mids. Hopefully, we'll see some progress on this.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by Pravda on Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:45 pm

Agree with both ejjqb and Bluffer on Elli's lack of passing. The problem is that we can get away with a lot of individualism against mediocre teams, but can't get the same results aginst the harder teams. It didn't work against UCLA or USC and won't get us through the playoffs. Most goalies will stop a direct shot from 20-30 yds out. We need to draw defenders and dish it off.
That's what Wozzie, Schmidt and Enyeart are all so good at. And Foxhoven has taken advantage of being on the receiving end and done a good job of finishing. Either use Enyeart on the wing or move her up top where she can be involved more. Whenever Reed goes up top. Enyeart has to drop back and cover her defensively. You're taking the Conference leader in points out of the offense for stretches at a time.
Speaking of outside defenders, let's give Tsao some credit for the amazing job she has done against UCLA's and USC's forwards. She seems to play more like Cox than Reed. She plays intelligently and calmly with a "defense first" mentality. Quite an accomplishment for a foward to learn in only one year's time.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:46 pm

I want to qualify my last post by saying I think Reed is a brilliant player. I like the fact that she is willing to take on several opponents at a time. And her work rate is phenomenal. She just needs to become a better passer -- meaning better at seeing where to pass the ball and then actually passing it a reasonable amount of the time.

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by FANatic on Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:45 pm

Haven't seen the Pilots recently and wasn't aware of Reed not passing to
Enyeart. Since so many of you are so obviously concerned about it, I believe it is a real situation.

What I don't understand is why Garrett is allowing this to happen. The only possible reason I can think of is that Elli is so talented and relentless, that he figures Michelle will find her touches elsewhere, so he's not concerned about it.

Otherwise, if this is true, I'd take Reed behind the woodshed if I was Garrett, and at the next game passes would be coming from Reed to Enyeart so often Michelle would be scoring 3 and assisting another 2. Shocked

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:57 pm

FANatic wrote: I'd take Reed behind the woodshed if I was Garrett, and at the next game passes would be coming from Reed to Enyeart so often Michelle would be scoring 3 and assisting another 2. Shocked

Yeah, I can see that discussion now.

Garrett:
Ellie, next time you cross it into Keelin, it better hit her in the head and not go in the net---or else

Ellie:
sure coach, I'm sorry, I'll try harder

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by GUPhantom on Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:40 pm

No worries! I don't think the woodshed is necessary for Ellie at all! I'm sure it'll all eventually work out! I don't think Ellie purposely ignores Michelle. And I'm sure Garrett will evaluate and present game footage as a training tool and point out these discrepancies. If we as a common fans notice Ellie's oversight...you can bet Garrett also has it on his list to address. But, you never know for sure anyway...could it be that how we see Ellie play is part of a game plan? Maybe the coaching staff saw some opponents overplay in certain situations and instructed Ellie to take the the attack deeper on her own? Someone mentioned "using Michelle as a decoy" or "because she's marked"? That's more plausible than Ellie ignoring Michelle!

That said...I do believe its mostly Ellie missing Michelle. But again, I don't believe its intentional!

Ellie reminds me of a kid who's just realized she doesn't have training wheels on anymore! Or like the exited new puppy who realizes that the leash is off for the first time! She just has the inate urge to RUN RUN RUN herself into obilvion!! At this stage in her career, Ellie is just like that undisciplined puppy....you love her....but sometimes hate the behavior! Let's be patient with her and allow her to enjoy her journey! I see more Good than Bad here...I believe enormous strides will come with her play! I'm desperately trying not to use any more canine analogies...but...once her temperment settles down on the pitch....the Ellie-Michelle combination has so much potential to be UNSTOPPABLE when it equilibrates!

GO PILOTS!!!

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Re: Cox vs. Reed

Post by bluffer on Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:13 pm

I have to disagree, now more than ever. In yesterdays game Elli again had a clear opportunity to pass to an open Michelle and keep the ball wide and after looking directly at her she took the ball to the middle. After the play you could see Michelle giving Elli some "Personal" instruction. I think even her patience has a limit and after a year and a half of play I think everyone has waited long enough for Elli to learn the game. Is there anyone besides Elli who thinks that you can dribble the ball faster than you can pass it? Does Elli not realize that while she is dribbling she is allowing the opposing defense to recover and mark their players. Now I'm not a coach but I think you want to get the ball forward and past the defense in the quickest way possible to enhance any scoring opportunity.

If you want to make a comparison to Stephanie Lopez just remember how Stephanie did so much more by doing less. She used her skill to beat an opponent then passed the ball forward while staying in position defensively. If you were open you got the ball, there was never any hesitation about wanting to pass to one player and not another. That's what "Team" is all about.

As for the rest of the Pilots. Tsao was her usual superb self. Sweeney played great and appeared to mesh well with Michelle for the short period they were on the same side. Kelsey came up big several times. Keelin and Meagan dominate the middle but Meagan's passing and shooting is still a little erratic at times. McKluskie and Olivier continue to improve and settle in and Michelle and Danielle are in a class of their own. When they are together there probably isn't a better tandem playing.

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