Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

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LMU 2 Gonzaga 1 (OT)

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:49 pm

LMU just beat the Zags 2-1 in overtime.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm

A_Fan wrote:The team seemed about a 1/2 step slow in a lot of cases today. Let's just hope they got it out of their system and are back up to speed next week. The Pepperdine coach was quite unhappy with the call against his goalie. He went after the official after the game and had to be restrained by one of his assistants. I hope the play is included in the video highlights promised on the Pilots webpage. I'd like to see it again.
That was the fourth official holding him back as well. I hope the referee includes his tantrum in the match report. I was just hoping Coach Crybaby would walk by the student section on his way out so we could give him a chorus of "You'll never beat the Pilots!"

For the record I agree with the penalty--the keeper didn't even try for the ball. I was just scared the referee wasn't going to give it.

I also agree that, especially in the second half it seemed the Pilots weren't as sharp today. Here's hoping this was just a short lapse and they'll be back to their old selves next week.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:45 pm

Thoughts about today's game:

Pepperdine appeared to me to be one of the better teams we've played this year. As already pointed out, they have a 2-0 win over Tennessee; a 1-0 win over Washington State (which tied USC Friday night); a 1-0 win over Loyola Marymount; and a 1-0 loss to UCLA. Further, the UCLA game was close: Pepperdine had 12 shots, 7 on goal, plus two off posts; UCLA had 17 shots, 10 on goal, plus two off posts. That is very similar to the Pilots' game today: Pepperdine had 11 shots, 4 on goal; the Pilots had 17 shots, 9 on goal. I agree with all the comments about the Pilots looking flat, but we should consider that Pepperdine may be stronger than a lot of us thought.

I think the players also may be feeling a good amount of stress. We all know that there is pressure on them to win every game from here on out. And, although there are benefits to lots of players getting significant playing time and experience at different positions, that also can cause stress. I think that's part of what we saw on the field today. Staff and players need to remember Clive's instruction to players in the locker room before the NCAA final against Santa Clara in 2002: "If you have fun, you will win and will make me very, very happy."

In addition, one of the negatives of all the different lineups and all the subbing is that there's been no basic unit so that players can have a lot of game time figuring out who is going to (and can) do what. There were a lot of errant passes today. The team seemed to be trying to play at a very high speed of play, which may account for part of the errant passing. But, lack of time as a basic unit also may account for some of it.

In addition to the guessing that Michelle Olivier is nursing an injury (I'm guessing minor), it's pretty clear that Charney Burke is too. Although she played some today, it was a very short stint, and she wasn't covering anywhere near the ground she usually does, not going forward on the right side at all.

Martin Jol thought maybe the ref could have called a PK for Pepperdine, against Korie. Shortly before that, Dani Foxhoven got taken down in the penalty box at the other end with what looked to me to be a pretty clear intentional hook of her foot. It wasn't a goal scoring opportunity and the ref let that one go, I think rightly, so he may have had that in mind when Korie and the Pepperdine player went down. On the penalty kick he did call against the Pepperdine keeper, Dani headed the ball pretty well before the Pepperdine keeper clobbered Dani. I bet the Pepperdine coach was arguing that the keeper was going for the ball and collided with Dani as they both got to the ball. The problem was that Dani got there first, so the ref could have concluded it was clear the keeper wasn't going to get it and she just wanted to be sure Dani couldn't get any further play on the ball. It will be interesting to see the replay, if the Pilots post it, to see whether my perception was right.

On Sophie's goal, she took a shot and, I think, ended up on the ground on her knees. It looked like the ball bounced off the keeper and Sophie, from her knees, lunged forward to head the ball. She beat the keeper to it and it went in. I hope we get to see it in the replay, because if it happened that way it was a really great "effort" goal from Sophie.

I agree with Martin Jol that our defenders were caught in a very flat line with no depth on the Pepperdine goal. The ball had come back into the defensive end partly as a result of a ricochet, I think, and we were caught with a big gap between the mid-field and the "all in a line" defenders. Definitely a breakdown in defense.

If Olivier is going to be the holding midfielder when the U20s are gone, as seems to be the case, then that leaves Kassie and Korie as central defenders. But the Pilots will need someone else to go in back there, as a backup if needed. So, the staff needs to give someone some playing time back there, and it looks to be Kristen Kelly. I'm guessing that's why Kassie was out in the second half. A risk? Probably. Necessary? Probably.

All in all, as I get away from the game, I think this is a better result than I would have thought going in. Bringing home to me, and it looks like to the players, that it is going to be tough every day from here on out.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:52 pm

I'm not sure what the bellyaching was about, It was a pretty easy call.

Late on the challenge,
shot to the head,
no contact with the ball
No brainer.

Just to be sure I saw it right, I know a certified ref and asked him. The first words out of his mouth was "perfect call - easy to make"

The reffing otherwise was a little uneven. Keelin gets a yellow for a trip, but Elli gets tripped three times after she beat her player, two with no call at all. I'll have to see if this guy is a FIFA ref. they seem to let e'm play a lot more.

He didn't call the first trip on Danielle, and he didn't call the contact Korie had. Frankly I thought that was a bit of a dive, and there was only body contact, which he was allowing all day.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:01 pm

I also have to add: Great job, alumni drum squad! rimshot It definitely would have been a lot quieter without you.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Auto Pilot on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:09 pm

It is interesting that in a couple of posts it has been mentioned that the backs were playing very flat across the back. This is one of the problems with playing what is known as the flat back four defense. In truth it is not supposed to be flat. It is a misnomner I believe is the word. The central backs cover high and low switching when the ball is being played in the seams in front of the goal.

The wings cover the back on the weak side and are primary coverage on the strong (ball) side. If they are not constantly adjusting to fill the passing lanes they are set to get beat by through balls into space between the last defender and the goal keeper which is how they scored their goal.

If it sounds a little complicated its just my confusion. Its actually a pretty simple system but everyone needs to move together to maintain shape in the back.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:17 pm

And here's the Pepperdine write-up.

Ward is right that they were all over the Pilots for long stretches and were dominant in the second half, and they "silenced the crowd" after the equalizer. No points for doing that, though. He must not have heard us across the way, I guess.

What else is your keeper supposed to do? Not take down the player after the ball is gone, perhaps.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:20 pm

I bet a good part of the stern talking by Garrett after the game was about the failure to execute what you are talking about (especially on the weak side). A "teachable moment," for sure.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:25 pm

The problem with the Pepperdine coach's critique of the pk call is that he says there was a collision on a 50-50 ball. In fact, at the time Dani headed the ball, there was a pretty significant distance between her and the keeper, who hadn't arrived yet. So, it wasn't a 50-50 ball.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Auto Pilot on Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:29 pm

It is clear that Mr. Ward made two mistakes about the "collision" being a 50/50 ball. First Danielle had beat the Portland keeper to the ball. Second even on a 50/50 it is still a foul to punch the opposing player in the face.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:33 pm

an nobody has mentioned the dribble-drive megan sweeney made into the box in the first half an it looked like 3rd an one at the one. she got mauled an no whistle. this was well before korie's take down of the peppedine player later in the 1st half. i am pretty certain that is why the ref didnt call the foul on korie on that play, because he didnt for sweeney. tit for tat, it really is the way things work.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:45 pm

I was right about the ref being a FIFA rated guy.

Jeremy Veher shows up as efing US Open cup, USA-mexico, MLS, College, and YNT and ODP matches.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:47 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:I was right about the ref being a FIFA rated guy.

Jeremy Veher shows up as efing US Open cup, USA-mexico, MLS, College, and YNT and ODP matches.
A Freudian dig at Mr. Veher, Geezer? Razz

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:58 pm

geeze.
i noticed the tag line you have added, a quote by charney in a recent interview. 'luck is when preperation an opportunity meet'. i think that perfectly describes sophie's goal in this game. it was definately lucky, only because opportunity an preperation [i.e. grit] met! it was a goal totally of desire!

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:34 pm

PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:
Purplegeezer wrote:I was right about the ref being a FIFA rated guy.

Jeremy Veher shows up as efing US Open cup, USA-mexico, MLS, College, and YNT and ODP matches.
A Freudian dig at Mr. Veher, Geezer? Razz

Hmm, I'll have to take it up with my analyst. geek

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:47 pm

It was Pepperdine who gave the Pilots its only "blemish"...a tie...during the 2005 Championship Season.

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Pepperdine Coach and PK call

Post by decrink on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:02 pm

I talked to the Pepperdine coach as he left the game and he was not complaining about the PK call. He thought it was deserved. His beef was that he believed after the keeper had saved the ball that two of his girls got held and fouled on the ensuing rebound. He believed they would have cleared the rebound and that the ref missed THAT call not the PK.

Also, in my opinion Rachel R. has had two very poor games in a row. She has missed 6 clear chances at goal, missed a PK and got lucky. She is holding the ball too long and today missed FOUR chances in the 2nd half to put Elli free on the left side. She has gotten a bit too greedy with the ball and is hampering the team. Its almost as if she doesn't trust some of her team mates right now but she is missing many opportunities. Do you think she is trying to hard to make up for her misses by holding the ball?

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Auto Pilot on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:37 pm

Not to be unkind but Rachel R. is out for the season with an ACL injury. I presume you are referring to Megan. To address your statements about her play. She is the attacking center mid. Her job is get the ball and make decisions about where it should go. I trust her judgment where and when to distribute. Ellie got the ball alot on the wing in the first half and Pepperdine had it shut down so I can understand her trying something different in the second half.

As to her hampering the team. Ask any coach in the nation if they would trade a top player for her and I venture you would get 90% plus takers. I will grant she didn't have her best game today. But an off game for her is a career day for any other player.

She has a big burden to shoulder. If you are a Pilots supporter you would know better.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:43 pm

It's already been said, but regarding the penalty... I moved over to the end of the student section for the second half so I was pretty close to the action, and I think what killed the keeper was that she simply didn't go for the ball. Had she tried to slide tackle instead of giving the forearm shiver, I bet the ref wouldn't have called a penalty... as others have mentioned, earlier in the game there were a few plays that probably could have been called as a PK, especially the one in the first half when Sweeney got mugged in the box.

A lot of times keepers get the benefit of the doubt on plays like that, but this was one of those plays that really couldn't have gone unpunished... it was basically a football tackle on our player who had possession. I definitely wouldn't say it was a 50/50 ball. But I'm sure a video replay would confirm/deny my memory of it... I'm sure I'm a bit biased.

As for the Pepperdine coach being upset about the players jostling around outside of the box... honestly, he may have a point. I usually never notice things like that, but before Megan went up to take the kick I noticed several Portland and Pepperdine players getting after it battling for position outside the box. And believe me, there was definitely shoving happening by both teams. It was strange to me, since you never really see that happen... in fact, a few players were in the box already before Megan even took the shot, which is also kind of rare. My gut tells me that maybe the Pepperdine coach had made that a point of emphasis for his team for whatever reason... making sure that his players always get in position outside the box and are quick into the box in case of a rebound. So maybe that's why he was so upset after the game... if that's one of the things that he makes a big emphasis on teaching his team, than I bet he would have been a lot more sensitive and aware of what was happening with all that jostling. Did some Portland players obstruct some Pepperdine players? It's very possible, but my eyes were on the shot, the save, and Megan's recover, and I bet the ref's were too.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:48 pm

In regards to Megan R... I agree with Auto Pilot for the most part. It's easy to forget that she missed almost two full years. No way you don't lose a little bit of touch, a little bit of pace, a little bit of feel for the game when you're out that long. I'm sure she herself would admit that her touch is a bit off... in the first half, she made a beautiful little shake-and-bake move near the top of the box to free herself for an open shot at the goal. She sent in a left footed blast that missed the mark and wasn't really even that close considering the distance. Now... her freshman year and beginning of her sophomore year? A shot like that was in the bank. Now? She's still regaining the feel.

But having said that... she still sets up her teammates beautifully and plays with a toughness and determination that our team really needs. She is still incredibly valuable, even if she isn't putting up the kind of offensive fireworks she did earlier in her career.

But let's ask ourselves this... even though she did end up missing the PK and getting lucky with the recovery, is there a fan out there that can honestly say they would have wanted anyone else other than Megan at the spot to take that shot? I know I wouldn't.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by FANatic on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:51 pm

I only listened to the audio broadcast today and also Friday night. But I got a strange feeling that in both matches no one would pass the ball to Elli no matter how open she was.

Payback time? I didn't actually see the matches so it's only a hunch based on the audio.

Doesn't seem Pilot-like though, and implies chemistry problems with Elli.

I did believe that I heard that Elli made some nice set up passes though.
(Maybe she got the message? Especially when it's coming from leader Megan R.? I don't think you mess with Megan.)

Also, if there are chemistry problems, and/or confusion on all the different line-ups, this can definitely cause a team to underperform and eventually hurt communication. I was real disappointed they didn't start the same line-ups as in WCC matches 1 and 2. However, it sounds like injuries to Michelle O. and Charney might have caused this.

I also agree with UPSF that Kristen needs playing time. However, there are four games scheduled after this one and I believe when you have a new center back duo like with Kassi and Korie, especially with Michelle O. out, that K & K should both have played 90 minutes each, unless we have a cushion goal or two later in the game.

Just a hunch, again - I didn't see the matches.

Any thoughts on the subject(s)?

(Oh, sorry about this - but I just can't help myself: What did the Pilots do in the second half until the Pepp goal woke them up? THEY TOOK THEIR FOOT OFF PEPPERDINE'S THROAT!!!You don't ever want to do that if you dream of Parades and Confetti!)

Not that a championship team doesn't have off games. But I wouldn't make a habit of it.....

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:09 pm

stoney,
no, they're is not another player i would want to take that free shot or pk. having said that, meg was not on her game today an i think she would agree. while she is the most dynamic player we have, today i felt she was average. it pains me very much because i think the world of meg. honestly, would you have ever thought meg would have kicked a pk rigjt at the keeper?!!

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by FairPlay on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:15 pm

FANatic wrote:I only listened to the audio broadcast today and also Friday night. But I got a strange feeling that in both matches no one would pass the ball to Elli no matter how open she was.

Payback time? I didn't actually see the matches so it's only a hunch based on the audio.

Doesn't seem Pilot-like though, and implies chemistry problems with Elli.

Funny you should mention that. I said the exact same thing to my friend today at the game, as I watched two straight attacks in the second half where Rapinoe (once), and someone else second, didn't pass to a *wide* open Elli on the wing.
What payback are you referring to?

With regards to the PK call, it really was a no-brainer. The Pepperdine keeper came in very late and made no attempt at the ball.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:16 pm

AutoPilot is right. I'm with him on this. Megan R is simply one of the BEST mid-fielders in the country. And frankly, I've hadn't ever observed, heard or read a comment about Megan R being greedy. That wouldn't make sense to anyone here. If you knew Megan like we do...you'd know she's ALL about TEAM. Aside from being a Senior National Team candidate....(which vouches for her playing skills)....she's the only Senior left playing....and the Pilot's Captain!

The key point of my rebuttal is this...she's leading a very young team!

I think you'll be hard very pressed to find anyone here who thinks her "miscues" are unacceptable. Why? ... Because she brings so many more intangibles to this team than just her playing skills! Believe it or not...her leadership boosts this team confidence and will to win.

Keep in mind...she's missed 2 collegiate seasons because of her ACL injury. We all acknowledge she's not as sharp YET...(as she used to be)....but there's no doubt she is one the best players you'll ever see on the pitch! Frankly...as AutoPilot mentions...many other teams wish...they could have her to drive their own bus! But WE won't give her up! Stay Tuned decrink....she'll win you over too!

GO PILOTS!!!

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:27 pm

It was weird today. Many seemed to be off their game and not their usual self.

Case in point? More than a few times...I actually saw Ellie..."pause"...at taking open space! I mean...usually...that would make Ellie go bug-eyed and off she'd go on attack! But sometimes...it seemed like she was wondering...why are they leaving me "unmarked"...(with only one defender to try to get pass)? Shocked

GO PILOTS!!!

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