Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:32 pm

Some things to consider.

Garrett in the position of giving the Amigas their deserved time on the pitch while still getting all the other players ready for the Tournament. I've watched all but 3 of the games this year, and I'll say that I don't think I've seen the same starting lineup twice. If Megan isn't connecting like we expect, maybe it's because the players around her are changing so much. I don't think anybody thought having to deal with these changes was going to be easy.

The combination of Megan and Keelin has dominated every midfield this year. that includes Pepperdine, and it includes UCLA and USC. There just aren't that may players who win balls like those two, whether it's in the air or on the ground. When the game was on the line they stepped up a gear that no other players I can think of can can do - even Tim Ward acknowledged that. .

I'll take Megan on an off day anytime.

Folks keep commenting on players not playing together. Well I think we are getting spoiled. Lets not forget the scoring ratio is 45-4 now. We have a defense that's in the top 3 in the country and we are playing four or more freshmen and three or four sophs regularly. We are taking almost 3 times as many shots and are 5 times more efficient with them than our opponents. and that's with a roster that changes every game.

Garrett is asking a lot from all our players this year. There used to be years where you saw the starters and that was it. There really wasn't much experimenting. 2005 was a good example until we had a 3 or 4 goal lead.

Not this year. Apparently Garrett is feeling that we are going to need everybody who's left in the tournament and is willing to risk some failure to see that they are ready. I'll admit it's kind of nerve wracking, but I don't think there's another way to do it than to let the players work it out.

Any discussion about paybacks and discord I think are silly. Elli is getting doubled a lot, those open spaces were often being closed quickly by a good defense, and frankly, Elli was getting tripped and fouled without getting calls. There are lots of other capable players on the pitch. The best way to keep defenses honest is to distribute. If Megan doesn't always make the right choices, she more than makes up for by winning the ball back. If she sometimes misses a shot, other players are still looking for her to lead.

these kids are focussed on a goal, and that's a sweep in the College Cup.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:45 pm

Pilots had the same starting line up v. Gonzaga and LMU. Some of us expected to see that same starting XI out there today, but Keelin and Elli started and Michelle O and Charney did not. Have to believe Garrett has sound reasons.

Against both Gonzaga and LMU Pilots did ease up but only after they had scored the 2nd goal. Big difference between 1-0 and 2-0.

IMO, Megan has come 90% back to her best form. Her passing is still sometimes off, and she is not hitting her cannon shot with her left foot. At times she appears to lose focus a tad - she is one of the players where you can see her operating one level below all out. That's when she makes an errant pass, and today she was not moving into positions of support as readily.

She played very well in the first two WCC games; not quite so well today. Not quite so well by Megan R is still pretty darn good though.

For this team to do well without the three amigas, Megan R and Sophie have to be at international level: they are the stars. If they play at their best others will step up too and Pilots have a chance to win out.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:51 pm

Stonehouse wrote: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.

Well said, Stonehouse. I remember a quote from Garrett saying that he doesn't expect Megan to be in full form until November. What I like is that he's given her the freedom to do everything she can on the field, which I think will help her get back to full form as soon as is reasonably possible. Risks now? Yes. Necessary? Yes.

Something I observed during the game but had forgotten until now. The opposing players hate playing against Megan. She fights for absolutely everything, even when it seems she doesn't have a chance, and it drives them nuts.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:02 am

The video (on the Pilot website) appears to show that the keeper made no attempt to play the ball: she just whacked Danielle. Penalty.

Sophie's goal. Awesome effort. Total determination.

Didn't show the P'dine goal so no more post mortem on that.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:16 am

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse here. One more thought on the PK and the pushing and shoving that those who saw the game live saw. If the Pepperdine GK had not committed the flagrant foul, one there would have been no PK, Second no rebound for people to be pushing pulling and shuffling around. Point being Pepperdine put themselves in the position for the ref to call the foul and for the ref to make the non call(s) surrounding the scuffle after the kick. As we well know when you intentionally fly into the radar of a ref be ready for anything. Beating a Dead Horse

Boag weighs in here

Interesting that Ward admitted it was the GK foul he was mad about. He felt like he got hometowned. I wonder if he knows our refs give us the shaft on a regular basis?

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:32 am

Here is a direct link to the video highlights:

http://www.portlandpilots.com/custompages/Videos/101908womensweb.mov

One quibble... I wish they would have shown the Pepperdine goal. I was out of the stadium at that moment (was walking my nieces and nephew home for piano lessons... poor kids missed the excitement at the end of the game)... would have liked to see what happened when they scored. But I suppose it's best to have just the Pilot highlights. I don't know.

As for the PK... upon seeing it again, no doubt the keeper didn't make a play for the ball whatsoever. If you pay attention and watch it closely, clearly Danielle heads the ball before the keeper even starts her jump. Really, it's an easy call and the Waves coach whining about it is total BS. The sad part for Pepperdine is that if the keeper would have not even touched Danielle, there was a defender right there that would have likely beaten Foxhoven to the ball anyway.

Side note: I love how you can hear the alumni Ritmo Piloto drum squad guys in those highlights... hearing those rhythms definitely brought me back to the early-mid 90's... it's the sound that belongs at Merlo Field. Smile

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by purple haze on Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:21 am

After reading The Oregonians recap of the game, I'm happy to see so many posts here with more insight and fresh perspectives. Let's cut Megan R. some slack. She's the only senior, she's the acknowledged team leader, she's returning from major surgery ... and she goes all-out every play. She has fought epic battles up the middle all fall against tough players who want to earn their own reputation against her leevel of play. Versus Pepperdine, who chipped over the defense to set up both Schmidt's goal and Foxhoven's header that led to the PK? None other than Megan. Late-season fatigue may be taking a toll on her; that's to be expected.

A high price to pay for the Pilots' near-perfection is the expectation that nothing less than shutout wins will do. That's just not realistic.

Pilot Nation's hopes will rise as high as Megan can lift them. She is the key.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by FANatic on Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:35 am

(Skip this one Geezer. Pretty please???)

FairPlay wrote:
What payback are you referring to?

Hey FairPlay - how's it goin'?

Several of us, but not all, believe that Elli hangs on to the ball too long sometimes, and in her drive toward the goal often misses wide open teammates that are in good position to make something happen. Elli is talented enough to sometimes make her style work, as she is amazingly quick and determined and can create her own goals. But too often, some of us think, instead of hanging onto the ball, and sometimes losing possession of it, that the team would be better served if she would look to pass more often. This would be beneficial to both the team and Elli, creating more good chances for all the attacking Pilots.

I'm not saying as fact players are deliberately not passing to Elli, as I have not seen these games in person. It was just a hunch I had listening to the audio feed. That's what I meant by "payback". Players *possibly* not passing to Elli because she does not pass to them.

To be fair, this simply is not a trait of a class outfit like the Pilots, as it is really petty and implies discord. Thankfully, the Pilots just ain't that way! So I'd be glad to be wrong on this. (Although it sounds like you noticed that a couple Pilots had Elli wide open on the flank, and failed to pass off to her. I can only let others who saw the game like you comment on this issue, or hopefully non-issue.)

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:52 am

FANatic - I think it's a non issue. I played soccer for a long time (very mediocrely - is that even a word?) and can guarantee you that in the moment, when you are running at full speed or focusing on getting past the defender in front of you, you just can't simply always see where your teammates are at. Often, you eventually just develop a sixth sense for it after playing with someone for a long time, but even then - it's so much easier for a fan who can see the whole pitch to see the open person than it is for someone right in the thick of things. Players like Angie Woznuk - who can see the field so well - are few and far between. And when you take into consideration that this team has been playing with several different line-ups all year and that there are a lot of new players and older players in new positions, it's not really surprising that sometimes the Pilots will miss an open player... just comes with the territory of not having a super experienced, settled team.

Elli is really skillful with the ball and uses those skills to get around defenders. Sometimes last year she would try to do too much with it, but I haven't seen that much at all this year. And I can guarantee you that non of the Pilots out there are thinking "Elli didn't pass it to me once last year, so I'm not going to pass to her now." No way... heck, that doesn't even really happen on teams where the players genuinely dislike each other. At the end of the day, everyone wants to win and will do whatever it takes to do so.

Also, it's not always a bad play when an attacker tries to challenge a defender one-on-one or even one-on-two. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but even when it doesn't that does not mean that a player should have necessarily tried to swing it out wide just because someone was open. Soccer is about trying to take advantage of situations, and honestly sometimes there is a higher probability of success if a player like Elli or Megan with great ball skill tries to juke a defender than trying to pass it wide and hoping to be on the finishing end of a cross. Just think on Christine Sinclair... she was relentless going forward, pressuring, always attacking. Often she would go right at a defender. A lot of times the defender would win. But a lot of times Christine would end up putting the ball in the back of the net. If she had instead always been looking to cross to open teammates, I'm pretty sure the Pilots would have ended up with a lot less goals.

Furthermore, there's no way of knowing what the players were instructed to do by the coaches. Remember... they scout the opponents. So what if Garrett told them to be a bit more aggressive attacking the middle because their central defenders were a weak link? What if he told them to try and pressure them that way instead of always trying to swing it out wide and crossing it in?

It's that kind of stuff that we just simply don't know. So I would take things at face value rather than trying to read some kind of jealousy or pettiness into it. Chances are that it's a combination of 1) the players simply didn't see their open teammates or 2) they did see their open teammates, but decided that trying to attack with the ball had a higher chance of success than passing.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Shadrach on Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:29 am

Just one more comment please on Megan R. as the absolute leader - heart and guts - of these Pilots. What she does on the field is well known and witnessed by thousands of people at every game. It's what she does when not too many people are around that is equally as important - not only to her but to her teammates. A quick case in point. On Saturday just before noon my wife and I were leaving the UP campus by the back road behind Christie Hall and ahead of us down the road we see a pack of runners coming right at us. This is no ramshackle group, no way. This is an organized pack, 4 across and 4 deep, evenly spaced, and moving as if they were one person. It's the Pilot women's soccer team. I pull over to give them a wide berth and roll down my window as they stream by. In the lead is Megan R. - unmistakable by her grit and presence. I shout "Go you amazing Pilots" and raise my arm in salute. I am instantly rewarded by 16 smiles, at least that many waves, and a look of gratitude from Megan that reaches deep inside me. I'm thinking - "no Megan, all the gratitude and appreciation and thanks belong to you for what you mean to this team". GO PILOTS!

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:08 am

I think Elli got the ball plenty yesterday and had a bunch of good runs. She also made some really great passes. There were a couple of times when players could have given her the ball to try one-on-one runs, but the players chose instead to try to set up their own shots more from the middle. On those occasions, as I recall, the players got off some pretty good shots. The balance seemed fine to me. FANatic, I'm guessing that the announcer wasn't identifying Elli as receiving balls when she in fact was receiving them.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:48 am

Stonehouse wrote:
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...
I see it all the time on set pieces into the penalty area. Think about corners and free kicks.
Stonehouse wrote:in fact, a few players were in the box already before Megan even took the shot, which is also kind of rare.
That's not surprising, either. What's rare is when the referee calls it and orders a retake.
Stonehouse wrote:my eyes were on the shot, the save, and Megan's recover, and I bet the ref's were too.
And he probably didn't have time to get far enough back to see the ball and all the other action. The priority here is seeing where the ball is.

And the coach said the collision wasn't malicious. Come on, now--malice is not a factor in giving a penalty.

As for Megan, she was off her game Sunday, but so were a few others. She does more for the team than just run the midfield, and she's a fan favorite for more than her playmaking.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:53 am

Oh I agree... I've been in plenty of scrums fighting for position on corner kicks and such. I just never thought to do the same on penalty kicks. I guess I wasn't specific enough.

Funny you bring up the players running into the box... on the video highlights, you can clearly see two Pepperdine players start running into the box the same time as Megan started her approach on the ball. Kinda funny.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by ohhh_yeah on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:04 pm

i have not uploaded the match photos yet...












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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by FSUfan on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:05 pm

Sorry, just skimming over the thread, but who punched who in the face?

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:21 pm

FSUfan wrote:Sorry, just skimming over the thread, but who punched who in the face?

Pepperdine Keeper punched Danielle Foxhoven on a 1v1
not a punch really, more like a forearm shivver to the head.

You can see it here

Hightlights

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:23 pm

Not really a "punch," just Foxhoven (UP) going for a header in the penalty area, then the Pepperdine GK hitting her in the face as she challenged (late) for the ball, which was already behind her. Or as Geezer summed up, "Late on the challenge, hit in the face, not playing the ball, easy PK call."

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:30 pm

Here's a still from the video:



I've been having a little back-and-forth with some Pepperdine people on their board... of course they think it was a bad call! Ah fans! Smile So I took this screen shot to prove that the bell was well beyond the two players when contact was made.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:47 pm

figures. I'll check out the discussion, but you might also want to include this shot of when Danielle took the header



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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by A_Fan on Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:49 pm

If you take the video and stop it just before the collision, then push the right arrow key at the bottom right side of the screen it will progress a frame at a time (or whatever the digital equivalent is). You can easily see that the keeper made no effort to get the ball, she turned her body away from the ball so as to cushion the coming collision with her arm and shoulder.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:16 pm

Allright it wasn't a punch. You can call it a forearm shiver, a karate chop or the "people's elbow" Its on tape and clearly Danielle face collides with a part of the keepers arm.

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:22 pm

Yeah, no doubt it was a shot.
I think it took until about this point in the game for the pain to go away

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by ohhh_yeah on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:41 pm

i will not get all of the photos uploaded until tonight... i have a match to go to... but here is some of my favorites so far...












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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:05 pm

Oh man... that last pic is a heartbreaker. I was sitting directly behind the P of the flag. Though maybe it's a good thing... I don't want to break people's computer screens. Smile

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Re: Pepperdine @ Merlo 10/19/2008

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:14 pm

Is Kelsey wearing capri pants?

(She can wear whatever she wants the way she plays.) Laughing

I feel you, Stonehouse. After the one shining moment in my avatar I was worried about Oregon's new video screen, but Duck Vision is none the worse for wear. Wink

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