Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Poopdeck Pappy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:24 pm

I just got back from the game.

The Pilots started flat, gave up the early goal on a bonafide shot by JMU, and didn't seem to get rolling until after the media timeout. They played well after that, until the final five minutes when the game was well in hand. Dani had a great game with a goal and two assists. Jessica's shot was a cannon blast. It was also good to see Kori score one in her last game at Merlo.

Giving up two goals for the first time this season is indeed a cause for concern, however, as the Cardinal looms on the horizon. We'll need to come out fired up and play that way for the full ninety.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by wyeast on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:26 pm

I missed the game. Looking at the score makes me wonder - what the game was like beyond the box score?

Did we control the game but had a couple short lived but significant errors in defense? How would you fans describe it?

Yet.. we won and I'll take it. Lessons learned to prime the team for the game ahead.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by pms275 on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:33 pm

We did control most of the game. Plenty more shots taken than allowed. JMU packed the box until Portland scored the second one.

Stuff happens, but Portland has to come out with urgency against Stanford. It seems they forgot there is a target on their back because of the program's history. JMU was not intimidated by Merlo Field and its atmosphere.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:34 pm

I think you have to give JMU some credit. they came out strong and put pressure on UP from the start They tested what the ref would allow and took full advantage, at least until Megan decided to give some back, at which point the ref could see where things were going and reined both teams in a bit. . We looked pretty passive and paid for it.

To UP's credit, they didn't panic, stepped up the pressure, controlled the midfield almost completely, and played the short game almost to perfection.we pushed forward really hard, and two of the three goals were a direct result of it.

At the end we got passive again and paid again. Credit JMU for not giving up. How many times this year have we seen very good teams fold the tent and quit after UP got a 2 goal lead? and credit them also for being the only team this year - including the top 10 teams - to score two goals on us.

Interestingly we seemed most vulnerable when we DIDN't push forward, the opposite of what I would expect. It might be instructive for next week against Stanford. It the three games they have had this year against top teams, the only thing they could depend on was counters with O'Hara. It's something we are going to really key on, and this might have been a good lesson for the defense - for the mids, too. They need to track back better.


Folks are blaming the defense a bit for this one, but I thought they payed great games at both ends of the field. It was a bit more high risk than we want normally, but that's what happens when you start out in a hole.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:37 pm

I would say the Pilots controlled possession for long stretches, but JMU was good at bunkering in and getting out on the counter. There were only a few defensive mistakes, but as you can see they were costly. Overall the defense had a solid game.

The Pilots were able to get into the penalty area several times but had a lot of shots deflected by defenders, just over the bar, and at least one hit the post. JMU kept a lot of people back and it made a difference.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Poopdeck Pappy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:40 pm

JMU was surprisingly good for the first 20 minutes of the game when they took the play into our end on numerous occasions. For whatever reason, it took the Pilots a while to settle down and get into their normal possession game.

JMU didn't get off many shots on goal, but they made them count.

Their first goal on a redirect from about 12 yards out was a good shot and I don't think that Kelsey had much of a chance at it. Their second goal was a dribbler to the right post, though, and possibly could have been saved. It was on the ground, though, and Kelsey may not have gotten a good look at it through the traffic in front of her.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:48 pm

Also: 4,879 of us tonight. And Stanford has tentatively scheduled the quarterfinal for 7 pm Friday.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Auto Pilot on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:49 pm

I only listened to the game but here is my impression. The team came out unfocused and got burned by a nice counter attack that beat the defense and caught Kelsey flat footed. That woke the pilots and they cranked up the pressure and scored three unanswered goals. Then in the last 10 minutes let up again and JMU immediately made us pay on a goal that could have been saved but for a mis read. This gave JMU new hope to equalize and energized them.

If we had to have a couple of dodgy spots it is better in this game than the next. The Pilots were a good enough team today to win anyway.

Hopefully, traveling next week will remind the team that we are in the playoffs and it only gets harder as we go on. I watched the Stanford game and the fans seemed like they were stupified so there will really be no home field advantage for them unless our women get startled by heaing the football band brass section playing 1900's fight songs.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:01 pm

Your impressions are pretty much what happened.

I thought the Stanford fight song was from the 1970s.

I'm not a big Stanford fan but I love their fight song.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:06 pm

JMU had two fast players upfront who ran crossing routes at the Pilots and neither Korie nor Kassi had particularly good games tonight. They got shown up for speed a little and did not pick up the runners as tightly as you'd like. Megan S is not fast either and that didn't help.

Early goal was part of a dodgy start by the Pilots. Then they settled down and controlled the rest of the game. Right midfield is a bit of a problem - Sara did not get involved much and Janelle came on the for the last half hour but looked a step off the pace.

At this point of the season anything less than playing really well is going to get shown up.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:16 pm

OK guys, It was fun earlier in the week bombing the JMU fan site with posts about UP.

It's time to trot back over to the site and tell 'em their team represented.

Give props where they are due.....

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by decrink on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:26 pm

Well, I saw it all a bit different. I thought the Pilots came out "sad". They knew this was their last home game in front of a huge crowd and they had no fire. I think they were very emotional. JMU on the other hand had already upset a tough team and they were light and quick to the ball. It seemed like the Pilots touch was very heavy, balls kicked out of bounds, slow to the wings. For 5 minutes...then JMU scored and everything changed. The Pilots woke up and decided to play and totally dominated the rest of the game. At one point the shots were 22-7 and none of the JMU shots except their goal were of any danger. 2nd half was mostly Pilots but then JMU went to two defenders and put more pressure on their attacking third. They had several light chances on goal and then had a nice goal with 6 minutes left on a give and go which freed up their forward just inside the box running right to left. She left footed the ball and it slid within an inch of the left post.

I disagree with Harry, I thought Kassi and Korie both had very strong games. They gave up very little. I thought Megan had one of her weakest games of the year and I blame it on my early comment about "last game of season at Merlo". She was trying to do too much again and lost the ball continuously setting up counter attacks on the right side. She had numerous chances to play the ball back too support and instead tried to take on two defenders that they sent at her immediately. They did a good job stopping her and she kept trying harder to do it herself. She did have a nice cross on Dani's goal and hit a blazer from 25 the bent inside out and nicked off the post. She'll be better next week with the game more open but she should rely on her support more often. It will make her even harder to defend if they have to pull the midfielder on her side back out to defend Sweeney.

I like their chances against Stanford although their are several areas of the field where youth rears its head every now and then. Charney going against seasoned midfielders will realize that talent has a tough time against talent+experience.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by fozziewozzie on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:32 pm

for the playoffs, regardless of who the ladies are playing, it seems it takes them about 10 minutes to get into the flow. jmu didnt allow that an i think the reason was their over all speed, nice touches on the ball an good body position in controlling the ball. jmu is very underrated an technically very sound. i think it took the girls a while to pick up to the speed of the game. jmu is the fastest/quickest team i have seen the ladies play this year.

i thought charney an michelle played the best games ive seen thiem play this year. jtsao's shot/goal was a thing of beauty! i didnt realize how fast sophie is until this game; maybe because of jmu's speed? dani was great too. every time meg touched the ball, she had 2 -3 defenders on her. they obviously had a scouting report on her.

give jmu their due, they played very, very well an werent intimidated in the least. maybe we can thank pilot nation for that.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:36 pm

decrink wrote:
I like their chances against Stanford although their are several areas of the field where youth rears its head every now and then. Charney going against seasoned midfielders will realize that talent has a tough time against talent+experience.

Actually, Charney will be going up against Teresa Noyola, who she knows pretty well and already has played with and against in club and on YNT's.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:38 pm

As I recall Bill was not exactly enthused at this discovery... Cool

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:18 am

I think we were lucky tonight. JMU was impressive. I thought they were a very poised and disciplined team. Very well coached for sure. They played very well together against us.

Passive was a good word I've seen here in describing our play. Flat? Yes... that too! Seemed like the playoff intensity level that should be there at this point....was missing tonight. I didn't get a sense of urgency vibe to put JMU away...and make a statement.

The Pilot attack seems to be tentative. I've notice a tendency for the team to move across the pitch horizontally more so lately!!?? I don't see much pressuring vertically...forward and towards the goal? I saw a little of that with Texas.....but tonight it was more obvious.

What's puzzling to me is when there's open space in front of players....I see a lot of hesitation...stops...parallel passes....or even worse... backpasses? I'm not against backpasses. I understand they're essential sometimes...but there seems to be so much of it lately? It looks habitual. Where did all the forward progress go? Again...I'm trying to point out what I'm seeing even when there's open space in front of a player?

No one seemed to want to challenge a defender one-on-one tonight! Ellie would've eaten these guys up...or at least force an imbalance and crack their defensive line once in awhile.

Sara has this tendency....not to attack forward. Did anyone notice a run forward by her? Very rare. I was wishing she and Jessica would switch positions. Or get Kristen Kelly in there. The weakest link to me has been Janelle. I'm trying to be supportive of her efforts...but...its just not there! It's questionable if she has D1 skills...but she's also not demonstrating any confidence on the pitch.

I'm worried. Hopefully, the team re-energizes themselves for Standford and recovers some aggressiveness before Friday. I noticed that Lauren had a separate post-game huddle with the defensive line. I bet she was reminding them that a "relaxed" effort like they had tonight won't advance them past the Cardinal.

LET'S GO PILOTS!!!

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Observations on game

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:37 am

I agree that Megan R tried to do too much by herself. She appeared to force the ball when faced with several defenders and usually came away empty handed. JMUs #3 got away with a cheap shot early in the game, and Megan soon retaliated. But that was a bit dangerous since it was such an obvious move. We can't afford to lose her due to a red card.

After three players tried the outside midfield position opposite Megan last week in the Texas game, I was hoping to see Kristen start on the outside this time. But it was not to be. The ball seems to stop its forward motion when it goes to Sara. At least this week Janelle was a bit more aggressive and got off a couple of solid shots.

Sophie is such a dependable target for passes, settling & controlling the ball, and then turning upfield.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:23 am

i think that we can all agree that our weakest position on the field now since our tre amigas have left us is the oustside right mid spot. sara is not fast enough or creative enough to fill that spot. while she may have a nice, heavy shot, she is not the answer. janelle, in the una game looked good, not so much in the ut game. kristen looked great in the ut game an i would have liiked to seen what she could have done in this game. of course, if we had our tre amigas we wouldnt be having this discussion.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by ohhh_yeah on Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:32 am

i will finish uploading the photos tomorrow but wanted to share this shot with you...


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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by A_Fan on Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:14 am

It looked to me like the team let up a bit after the 3rd goal and tried to play it safe or not run up the score on JMU. As mentioned by Phantom they controlled the ball, but they didn't seem to be attacking aggressively. At least that's how it seemed from my seat. Of course things may have felt differently to the players on the field. Let's just hope they take Fanatic's tag line to heart in the next round.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by pms275 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:52 am

I'm kind of chuckling here...reading some of these comments, it sounds at times like we were watching different games.

In my opinion, the only glaring issue was how Portland came out flat to start the match and then lowered the intensity level at the end. Both of these situations cost them a goal.

The defense was not bad. It just wasn't perfect. If you consider how far they've come since opening weekend, it's impressive. They are able to lock an opponent down and the freshman don't poach, thinking their speed will save them.

I'm not really in favor of calling out college kids on these boards and questioning their skill level. I suspect if Janelle Jacka was not of D1 ability, Garrett would not have her on the field. I certainly wouldn't say that Megan Rapinoe tried to do too much. When a team is struggling, the leaders have to step up. Early on, everyone was drawing three defenders or more when Portland got close to the goal.

I think last night was a perfect teaching moment. Everyone is gunning for us...gun for them, too....the whole match.

I think there's some needless worry here right now. JMU played inspired soccer. Portland wasn't lucky. This wasn't a situation where the Pilots just got by. They controlled the game after the first 20 minutes and other than that lack of aggression in the waning moments, they were clearly the better team that played better when it mattered most.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by SoreKnees on Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:47 am

Good points all. Rather than reiterate my agreement with many of them, I'll just mention two that haven't really been stressed:

1. JMU played its game very well. They had two good looks at the goal and scored on both. We hit the iron at least twice. If those two go in for us and JMU blows its two chances (as, frankly, many of our opponents have), we have a 5-0 win and are probably giddy with our national championship prospects.

2. This Pilot team is incredibly young to be playing at this level! Take a look at the 2007 cumulative individual stats on the Pilots' Web site. We played 22 matches last year. With 10 field players starting each match, that's 220 starting slots. An amazing 182 of those 220 starts (82.7%) were made by players who are not dressing for the tournament, only 38 starts (17.3%) by currently available players. Only four current field players started a match last year (Tsao 19, Schmidt 11, Jackman 5, Nicholson 3). It really struck me to look at the 2007 starts that we're missing: Enyeart 19, Woznuk 22, Chandhoke 10, Budge 22, Reed 19, R. Rapinoe 4, Lopez 12, Winters 17, Michaelson 22, Scifo 13, Cronkrite 22. (That's a pretty good team!)

Granted, Sophie was getting World Cup experience and the Megans have college experience from previous years, so these numbers underestimate our experience level a bit. Still, over their careers, our current team has 97 total college starts (adding 36 from Megan R. in 2005-06, and 22 from Megan S. and 1 from Korie in 2006). This is an average of 9.7 starts per field position, which is about half a season of college experience. It's the experience-equivalent of starting 5 sophomores with a full year of starting experience and 5 freshmen.

Given these numbers, we're having a heck of a tournament! Good luck to the ladies next week, but even if their season ends in Palo Alto instead of Cary, they've still had a great run and the prospects for next year are surely splendid!

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by purple haze on Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:48 am

Good news to me is that the Pilots turned around a slow, weak start and poured it on for most of the game. Garrett during the first media timeout was as animated as I've seen him, gesturing, pointing, shaking his head. Whatever he said, the message got through.

I've been waiting all season for Jessica to shoot rather than pass. It was worth the wait.

What we know: The roster is what it is. Win or lose, these are the players available. Veterans Sophie and Megan R. are at their peak, really working and leading by example. Pilots are vulnerable to counterattacks -- this has been true all season. Pilots can attack against anyone (even the defenders are scoring!) and are killing teams with set pieces.

Look at the talent left in the field of 8: There are no easy games left. Time to scratch and claw.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:56 am

After waiting overnight to think about the game, I've concluded I would rather have won 3-2, with the lapses we had, than 5-0 (as was correctly stated could have happened), with no lapses. I'd much rather the team play at Stanford as an underdog than feeling they are the favorite. The team definitely needs to scrape and claw from here on out, and the JMU game will reinforce that. Can't take anything for granted.

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Re: Portland Pilots vs. James Madison Gameday Thread

Post by eProf on Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:04 am

The most distressing thing to me about the JMU game is that we had more errant passes than normal. When you play a ball-control game, you're not nearly as effective if you pass the ball to the opponents. We need sharpen passing against Stanford

I thought that JMU played very well. They showed me that their wins in the first two rounds were not flukes. They put passes together better than many teams that we've played.

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