Game against the Ducks

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Game against the Ducks

Post by eProf on Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:29 pm

The Pilot women played Oregon this afternoon, winning 1-0 on a first-half PK goal by Danielle Foxhoven. The Pilots played the first half with GK: Hailee; defense: Jessica, Kristen, Megan, Elli; mid: Keelin, Charney, Kendra, Michelle E.; forward: Sophie, Danielle. Second-half lineup was similar, with Halley subbing for Danielle at intermission, and Sarah subbing for Charney around the midpoint of the second half.

The first half had UP having perhaps a bit more possition that UO, but the Ducks had their share of possession. The Ducks possession, however, was almost all in their defensive half--it was quite odd, because I'm not used to team playing a possession game, and then not moving forward. As a result the Pilots had more shots, chances and corners than the Ducks. The PK was called when Danielle had the ball on near the edge of the box on the left side, badly juked a defender to gain a reasonably clear path to the goal, and was tripped by the defender as she tried to recover. Danelle buried the corner with a hard shot near the low left corner of the net.

Second half was similar in that both teams had quite a bit of possession, but the Ducks pushed foward more, and had some reasonable scoring opportunities; some of these opportunies were as a result of counterattacks. Hailee was very composed in guarding the net, and had a couple of nice saves. The Pilots also had some good chances, but never managed to convert.

I wasn't counting, but I'd guess that the Pilots had about an 8-2 advantage in corners. Jessica took them; none ended up being too dangerous.

Megan had a handful, typically covering (at varying times) the two players who were arguably the Ducks most dangerous attackers (#'s 20 and 28--I don't know their names). #28 towered over her, and #20 was quite fast. She looked like she was struggling at times, but was up to the task. Overall a good game.

Charney was quite active, and was involved in much of the midfield play. She had a hard shot that nearly went in--tipped over the bar by the keeper, if I recall.

Kendra also had a nice game. Very energetic, and had a number of nice moves to beat defenders.

I continue to be impressed by Kristen Kelly. A solid defensive game, and several disposessions by attackers.

Sophie also had a very nice game. A number of very entertaining one-touch passes or flicks that looked to set up other players in dangerous situations.

The Pilots OK together as a team. A number of 5-6-7-pass combination that drew approval from the Pilot fans. There were also a fair number of misreads when a pass went to nowhere because the passer and receiver were not on the same page. They were not as sharp as in the U-23 game, but were entertaining.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by SoreKnees on Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:53 pm

I agree with most of your comments, eP. But I thought that the Pilots looked really flat. They played as though the big game was last week---which, of course, it was---and they didn't really want to be playing today.

I have two main reactions after seeing three of the four exhibitions this spring. First, the defense will need to be better in the fall, and it surely will be if Olivier is back in full health and Colohan is as good as expected. Anything we get from McCluskey is a plus.

The second concern is that we have just not been getting Enyeart into dangerous situations. Several times in each of the last two games she has beaten 2-3 defenders only to be slowed down and shut down by the back line. Coming out of the midfield with her patented rushes just asks too much. I think she is at her best up front where beating a defender or two means going in on the keeper alone. I'd leave Foxhoven up top with Enyeart and try Schmidt at mid. Sophie is great at control in tight situations and in the short passing game, which should make her very effective at the attacking central midfield position. I wish we'd seen that lineup tested a few times this spring, when the games don't mean anything.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by A_Fan on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:25 pm

I agree with you about Michelle and Sophie, SoreKnees. They have both proven themselves at the positions you suggest and it sure seems like the team would be better with them in those positions. I also prefer Ellie at mid rather than defender.

That being said, Garrett has been pretty successful. I've only coached recreational soccer and never had a winning team. I've got to believe he knows what he's doing.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by fozziewozzie on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:52 pm

first off, i would like to say that hailee was sensational an was the player of the match! she made at least 4 terriffic save including what very well may have been an own goal if hailee wasn't on her toes. i went the the scrimmage 2 weeks ago against u of w an one of the first things i noticed was how much more stronger, mature an self confident hailee is. but kelsey is still our keeper, but we are in very good hands when kels graduates this year.

the next player that caught my eye was halley kreminski. i love her game and am so impressed with her talent. she had a couple of near misses on shots on goal, one w/ the left foot that was a rocket an another w/her right that was beautiful touch shot that again just missed. we have a real sleeper here folks that i think our opponents may over looked since she missed about the first half of the season last year. i love the chemistry she has w/sophie.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:02 pm

One of the reasons Sophie is up top is that she plays so well posting up with her back to a defender. There really isn't anyone else on the team that does that as well.

When we played some really Physical teams a couple years ago, they just pounded our other forwards and her skills became really important. The Purdue game in Seattle two years ago in the game I'm really thinking of. (a nightmare game all around - both Rapinoes went down)

Perhaps you'll see her a little more withdrawn and MAYBE when we push up Michelle should be in a more advanced position, but Sophie really does break up the logjamb.

I thought she was terrific handling pressure today.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by A_Fan on Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:14 am

Good point Geezer. That Purdue game in Seattle was quite physical. Isn't that the one where the Purdue girl and Rachel go into it? I remember Megan appearing out of nowhere to come to her sister's side, ready to mix it up herself.

The team does need that physicality against certain teams and Sophie certainly brings it.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by purple haze on Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:23 am

Let's give the Ducks credit for a solid game against a vaunted opponent. 1-0 loss to Pilots on the road is good progress for UO even in a "meaningless" spring scrimmage. I agree that the Pilots didn't look as sharp as last week, but they held nothing back and didn't go deep in their bench. letting their stars play the full game. I overheard UO assistant coach Lauren Hanson (ex-Pilot player and asst. coach, of course) advising the Ducks at halftime about their defensive efforts. She said, "We are over the intimidation factor" and repeated, "We can play with them. We can play with them." The Ducks showed they believed her. If the Ducks are on the rise, it bodes well for an intrastate rivalry.

There's nothing like seeing Michelle Enyeart start a downfield run to get the fans excited. We saw too few of those against the Ducks. I favor her up top based on her past goal-scoring from the front line. Midfield seems to quiet her explosive game. I'll echo the praise of Halley K. too -- she could have a breakthrough season as she has all the tools -- speed, strength, versatility and a nose for the goal.

Haileee was excellent and showed that the Pilots did the right thing in redshirting her last season. She looked like a big-game keeper vs. Ducks.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by bluffer on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:38 am

I've thought all along that Michelle at forward and Sophie at attacking mid made much better sense than insisting that the Pilots need someone/anyone to "Post Up" with their back to the goal to receive the ball. Why not utilize the speed and athleticism of the true forwards to lose their defender (s) and receive the ball on the move. I know that Sinclair was very adept at receiving the ball with her back to the goal then turning and shooting. That was her strength and not Michelle's, however, everyone has seen Michelle make runs that very few forwards are capable of emulating, even Sinclair. When Michelle isn't touching the ball she isn't creating scoring opportunities for anyone, including herself. Sophie is an attacking midfielder and she and Keelin would absolutely control the midfield against any team in the nation. If you must have a "Post" player then it makes more sense to have Sophie and Michelle at forward. Both work so well together and Michelle will create scoring chances for others where Danielle appears only able to capitalize on what others create. I think speed and ball handling at forward will always trump size and strength of a defender. I would leave Ellie at left back with Jessica at right back or move Jessica up to wing with Sweeney at one of the defensive back positions. Jessica has shown an attacking flair from the day she stepped on the pitch for the pilots. Add Michell O., Colohan, and Kassie at defensive mid and the team has a lot of potential for next year.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:50 am

bluffer wrote:If you must have a "Post" player then it makes more sense to have Sophie and Michelle at forward. Both work so well together and Michelle will create scoring chances for others where Danielle appears only able to capitalize on what others create. I think speed and ball handling at forward will always trump size and strength of a defender.

I agree - except that I think your premise that Danielle doesn't create opportunities for others is flawed. She did have six assists last year which I think puts her about 3rd on the team for returning players behind only Sophie's and Michelle' seven each and she was the leading scorer.

You can call that "just capitalizing on what others create" I call it finishing. That's not something that's taught.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by purple haze on Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:52 pm

The good news is that the Pilots have a wealth of talent to play on the front line. The bad news is that there can only be two strikers as the team currently lines up. Clearly the Pilots have players with different styles who can all be effective scorers. Geezer is right that Danielle can just plain finish. At all levels of the game that is the hardest thing to do. She's only a freshman and will doubtless round out her game as many other top Pilots have done over time. Like all other players she is part of a well-tuned machine that depends on everyone's best effort to gain a result. She earned her PK goal vs. Ducks, for instance, as well as the one vs. U-23s. (No other teammate scored in both games.)

I'll put my faith in the coaching brain trust to sort out where everyone can best fit for fall and beyond. And I'll try to wait patiently to see what the incoming freshman class brings to the pitch.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:57 pm

bluffer said,

i know that Sinclair was very adept at receiving the ball with her back to the goal then turning and shooting. That was her strength and not Michelle's, however, everyone has seen Michelle make runs that very few forwards are capable of emulating, even Sinclair.

while i know that sinc was incredible with her back to the goal, it seems to me that a majority of her goals were on breakways and the unbelievable speed she poccesses for a person of her size. christine has incredible speed which she uses to her advantage every chance she gets. everytime she had a breakaway, i would start yelling at the opposing gk, 'you're in trouble!'

having said that, i too would like to see michelle up top w/dani an move sophie to the midfield. soph is so strong an such a complete player that i think to maximize her talents would be to play her in midfiled.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:29 pm

Having watched all of last season's home games and three of the spring games I must beg to differ from some of the views here. Most telling spring game was the U23 game.

For me Sophie and Danielle are written on the team sheet in ink at forward. They combine better and better together, and against strong teams Sophie's ability to hold the ball and play with her back to goal is a great asset. Danielle is a very good scorer, she's the deadliest finisher on the team, and her larger game is improving too. Sophie does not play attacking midfield for Canada; she plays the holding mid spot, and we have Keelin there. Hailee is promising but her first touch on the ball is not as good as either SS or DF, and that makes a bunch of a difference up front.

I think that Michelle Enyeart is best in midfield. I like the way that she and Charney have moved back and forth between wide and attacking mid spots. She does have remarkable speed and I think she will get more space to use it in midfield. Attacking mid is almost a roving assignment for her and probably her best spot. Keelin is a rock at holding defensive mid and is a dead cert to play there. I think that Charney and Kendra will start in the wide spots unless one of the freshman can displace them.

Elli and Jessica are fab at outside defense, pace and skill on the ball; sound defensively and able to move forward and join the attack; and both can score goals. They are classic UP outside defenders.

Michelle Sweeney and Kristen Kelly have played very well in spring, which is great to see. Michelle O and Cloee are even better, based on reputation for Cloee. One of Michelle O's great qualities is what she does with the ball once she has won it. Very good passer and consistently plays the ball to the feet of a UP player, which is an easily overlooked great attribute for central defender.

Kelsey is a good GK and Hailee is a strong back up who will get PT in preparation for a starting role in 2010.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:32 pm

And it's all speculation until the fall!

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by bluffer on Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:37 pm

Redknapp - We are going to have to agree to disagree about the forward position, however, I might point out that if you compare the freshman years of both Danielle and Michelle you will find that statistically they are almost identical so I think that your statement that Danielle is the "Deadliest finisher on the team" is giving her a little too much credit. What I don't see is Danielle having the ability to make the play that Michelle made against Colorado in the 2007 playoffs or the 60-65 yard run (The Goal) Michelle made against San Diego. She just doesn't appear to have that kind of game changing - Dagger to the heart of the Opponent - athletic ability/skill, which I think will be sorely missed when it's needed in a tight game.

As for Sophie, I believe her recent experience at foward would only enhance her ability to play the attacking mid position. Is that so much different than the holding mid position that you state she plays for Canada? I personally can't think of a stronger or better duo at mid than Sophie and Keelin.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:19 pm

Michelle is so fast I think her speed might be wasted sitting high up top. I think she is perfect to take over Megan R. outside mid spot where she would have plenty of room to work her magic. From that position she could make the dashing runs that she is capable of and beat defenders to score or assist. For me its a no brainer.

The back line and how they play with Kelsey is going to be key to the success of the defense. If they can match their effort of last year which was seriously good, I think they had only given up three goals all year until late in the season; 14 shutouts etc.

Add all the new and returning fire power and we should just blow teams up all year.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by bluffer on Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:59 pm

That's a first. Now Michelle has too much speed to play forward! Someone tell her to slow down and maybe the coaching staff will change their mind.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:23 pm

bluffer wrote:What I don't see is Danielle having the ability to make the play that Michelle made against Colorado in the 2007 playoffs or the 60-65 yard run (The Goal) Michelle made against San Diego. She just doesn't appear to have that kind of game changing - Dagger to the heart of the Opponent - athletic ability/skill, which I think will be sorely missed when it's needed in a tight game.


I suggest you look at the stats for SanDiego State, Florida, Texas, And James Madison last year.

You might haveto modify you "dagger to the heart " comment.

"The Goal" was against San Diego. It was two years ago, and you can see it here:


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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:56 pm

bluffer wrote:That's a first. Now Michelle has too much speed to play forward! Someone tell her to slow down and maybe the coaching staff will change their mind.
Now now thats not what I said. The more speed all the better for a forward. What I was thinking about is where people fit in best overall for the team. I think we have a consensus that Dani plays forward. The debate seems to me about who should play the other forward. Sophie is a choice and Michelle is a choice.

Midfielders tend to play endline to endline. I like someone with Michelle's speed covering a lot of field. Either way, I predict she will be moving far up the pilot all-times charts in goals and assists.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:58 pm

No problem, bluffer. Part of the fun of this game is the chance to talk about it. As you say, we can agree to disagree.

I think Michelle E's pace is used to best effect in midfield and that Danielle is a better finisher. You don't.

You think that Sophie would make a good attacking midfield player. I think that she would be good anywhere on the field, to be honest, but that she and Keelin are a little too alike to play together in center mid, and she's best up front.

Bottom line: what we think doesn't count. In Garrett we trust!

Any way you arrange these 11 players (Kelsey, Jessica, Michelle O, Cloee, Elli, Kendra, Keelin, Charney, Michelle E, Sophie, Danielle) UP has a good team next fall. If someone else is good enough to put one of these players on the bench: great.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by SoreKnees on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:39 pm

It might depend on the situation. If we are breaking out of our own end, with the forwards at the halfway line or just beyond, Michelle's explosive speed can be a game-changer. We'd want her up top.

But if we are dominating the ball with the opponents hunkered in their own box and our front line compressed, we need a back-to-the-goal target like Sophie. Each has a role to play in front. I could imagine them switching up depending on the kind of game it is and how the other team is defending us.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by aleppiek on Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:46 am

One quick question, who can remember the last time we scored an "easy" goal that we didn't have to grind out? I remember several from 2 years ago when Michelle just flat beat the defense and had a breakway, last year, not so much... Danielle while a fantastic nose for the ball in and around the box does not have the breakaway speed to beat someone on a through ball and beat the keeper 1v1 Michelle does, can, and will. I think that you negate a huge advantage in pressuring the back line with no top end speed up top.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by fan from afar on Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:31 am

My 2 cents - I agree with both Sore Knees and Harry - Michelle basically at mid where her speed can be used to good advantage but moved to forward if the game is more free-flowing. If it is a grind it out game mostly in our offensive end, the breakaway speed Michelle has is wasted at forward. I also agree that Michelle's best and most effective position is at forward, with either Sophie of Danielle, but - you have to look at the team placement as a whole, the big picture, consider the entire 11. Danielle is a forward, period. If Michelle is to play forward, that means 1- either Sophie must move to attacking mid, or 2- Danielle has to come out. I personally don't like Sophie as an attacking mid, but it's an option that could make sense. However, if you opt to leave Sophie at forward with Michelle, which I think is the strongest forward combination, so that Danielle is out, who comes in to replace her, and where? It's not just a question of where Michelle should play, but what the 11 as a whole look like, and I think we are weaker with Danielle out, or with Sophie at attacking mid.

Isn't this a nice problem to have? And, isn't it great to have a coach who we know will make the right decisions?

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by SoreKnees on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:54 am

Another possibility would be a 4-3-3 with Sophie in the middle up front and Charney and Kendra moving in a bit from the wings to play a more generic midfield. Both of them have good ball skills in tight situations that would work to advantage in the center of the pitch.

But ultimately the game is so fluid that it may not matter too much what we call them. Michelle is going to make long runs toward the goal, Sophie is going to be a target up front, and Danielle is going to take advantage of her opportunities near the goal.

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by onetouchfutbol on Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:58 pm

The reality is that in tight games you need both players who can dominate the midfield as well as finishers. We need players who can win the ball in the air in the midfield, have give-and-go types of assists, and finishers. I trust Garrett to make the team work.

As far as formations go, I'm biased toward a 4-3-3 with one attacking midfielder who can push up to form a 4-2-4 like the old Brazil teams used to play. I mentioned in another post how I love the 4-2-4.

Anyway, I trust Garrett to get the job done, and there's really nothing to fret about in April. Thanks for posting that goal, PurpleGeezer. Definitely a classic.


Last edited by athleticjames on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Game against the Ducks

Post by fan from afar on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:47 am

I personally would like to see UP play a 4-4-3. Might have a problem with the refs, though.

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