Picking up the pieces

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Picking up the pieces

Post by SoreKnees on Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Board seems kind of quiet today, so I thought I'd start the conversation about where the season goes from here.

We had all hoped for (and perhaps expected) an undefeated season leading inevitably to a #1 seed. That hope is now out the window, so where does this leave us?

Now that we have lost to the highest ranked team on our schedule, is there any way to retain/regain a #1 if other teams win as expected? Will our record look unimpressive because we won't have beaten anyone likely to end up in the top 10?

I didn't get to see the game last night and I'm interested to hear from those of you who did. Does this loss expose weaknesses that we didn't know existed or did we just run into a hot team on a night we weren't at our best? Does this show that we are obviously not a national-championship-quality side? Where were the weaknesses? How much will it help if and when Cloee and/or Cassie return?

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by DaTruRochin on Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:06 pm

The most glaring deficiency last night was speed in the back, their forward Hooper (her name escapes me) was absolutely DEVASTATING. I mean she just had a monster game (and their goalies drop kicks seemed to absolutely sail, which led to a lot of instant offense)

I don't know that it necessarily breaks our entire season, we are still contenders, but the path back to College Station looks a lot more difficult (as does actually hosting playoff games). I think aside from our speed in the back, the biggest problem last night was we never had any possession, none of that flow we are so used to seeing. We just flat out got out played, and it seemed the only offense we got was purely grind out route one style soccer (aka not pretty).

That said I don't want to make any judgments on this team just yet until we see how they can respond tomorrow against SMU. This game could very well just be the wake up call we needed.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:23 pm

The most highly ranked team on our schedule at the beginning of the season was Texas A&M, but not as of this week. As of this week, Cal is the most highly ranked team and is in the top 10.

I think it's too early to get a fix on how the seeding will pan out. A lot of the top teams already have one loss and more of them are going to have at least one loss and very possibly two before the season is over. As of right now, North Carolina looks good to be undefeated and get a #1 seed. Stanford comes next, but must win all its Pac 10 games, which is a tall order. After that, I'd be surprised if any other team is undefeated.

Just for fun a while ago, I decided to see what kind of record it took, in 2007 and 2008, (1) to get one of the four #1 seeds in the tournament, (2) to get any seed, and (3) to get an at large selection.

To do this, I simply looked at teams' numbers of losses and ties, treating a tie as half a loss.

Maximum number of losses by one of the four #1 seeds:

2007: 4 losses (Penn State: 3 losses and 2 ties; Stanford: 2 losses and 4 ties)
2008: 2 losses (UNC: 1 loss and 2 ties)

Teams' records in 2008 had to be significantly better to get a #1 seed than in 2007. But, it's fair to say that for 2009, it is highly unlikely that a team with more than 4 losses could get a #1 seed. I'd be inclined to go with 3 as a more likely number.

Any seed:

2007: 7.5 losses (Wake Forest: 6 losses and 3 ties)
2008: 7 losses (Wake Forest: 7 losses)

It's unlikely a team with more than 7.5 losses could get a seed.

At Large:

Here, I looked a teams on the bubble, which means in the 40s in the RPI rankings.

2007: 8.5 losses (Miami: 6 losses and 5 ties)
2008: 9 losses (Auburn: 8 losses and 2 ties)

Although there may be teams with poorer records that got at large selections because ranked higher (I didn't check), I'd say it's unlikely a team with more than 9 losses that's in the 40s in the RPI rankings would get an at large selection.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by GUPhantom on Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:17 pm

My video feed yesterday was not up to par. I just don't have a fast enough service with Mbps to paint my screen . Anyway...my overall impression was that that was the flattest performance I've seen from the women. We've always been competitive....even with ties and losses. But yesterday, we just didn't have it! When was the last time where the Pilots were completely out of it? I think it was our poorest all-around execution I've ever witnessed. I agree lack of possession was a missing ingredient. There were many missed passes and everyone seemed out of synch with their timing.

I'm not so sure the Aggies influenced that. TAMU is a very good team and had their game together. I'm not buying in that we couldn't handle them or can't handle their speed. We did very well against Alex Morgan who's known for her breakaway speed. The backline shut her down.

Obviously, the talent is there. I think its "soft-skill" work they need to solidify. The performance was abberant. I still believe this Pilot team is a Championship-caliber team. No worries. The team will regroup and reassess what they need to do. Learn from it...and improve. We all recognize the character makeup of the individuals on the team. I'm sure none of them are content with what happened and are just itching to get back on the pitch to prove it. They're just too talented, too hard-working and too proud to be diverted.

GO PILOTS!!!

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by A_Fan on Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:41 pm

Gotta agree with you Phantom. I think they will learn from this and will be back in Texas in December.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by purple haze on Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:40 pm

I saw only parts of the TAM game when it was still a scoreless tie and then after Portland was within 2-1 through the end. Three goals against a team with Kelsey in goal? Two goals behind at any point -- I can scarcely remember such numbers in the recent bright history of the team. Undefeated seasons are rare and unlikely; I dind't take no losses as a given. Road games are always the wild cards and are seldom easy. The question now is: How do the Pilots players and staff put this one behind them and regroup? (Going up 2-0 at halftime versus SMU is a strong reply even if against a less powerful team.) A successful response involves fixing anything that was broken, shaking things up a bit, not getting down, and trying hard. I trust they can do it and make a deep playoff run. Obviously getting Kassie and Clohee fit and back in the lineup would be a huge boost. Kassie is the type of "energy" player that the Pilots can use; they need Kassie's assertive personality in the mix to liven things up. Tho we have praised the Pilots' depth, in the TAM game we had no answer off the bench for what was happening on the field. Other than Kendall J. coming off the bench to score versus the Ducks, has any sub scored this season even with all the sub time that the lopsided games have made possible? I might be overlooking someone, but it seems that so far the Pilots depend on the starters to score and don't have a "super sub" scorer off the bench. Kendall J. is starter-worthy, IMHO, and can be that offensive threat off the bench if she is not starting.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:43 pm

I've liked Charney's energy when she's subbed in. She's not shy about taking shots when she sees a chance. Looks like she started today against SMU and had 6 shots...2 times more than the rest of her teammates.

I've liked Taylor Brooke too. She's fearless and zesty! Zest might be a good nickname for her.

We've yet to see Molly Klier? Has she had any PT yet?

GO PILOTS!!!

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by purple haze on Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:58 pm

Charney definitely has scoring potential that has yet to register on the scoreboard. She should keep on shooting when she can. Taylor is fitting in well -- she has some moves. If not Zesty, then perhaps Feisty as a nickname. Very similar player to Charney from what I've seen. No Molly Klier time yet , as best I know. Looked like she was injured at the start of the season on (since she wasn't dressed for the early games). Wonder why she hasn't been in yet. In other midfield news, it was classy and wise of Coach Smith to play Sarah Kackman in her home state of Texas. Could help recruiting down there.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by bluffer on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:26 pm

Before everyone gives Charney carte blanche to keep on shooting lets look at the stats for the game. Enyeart - 3 shots 2 goals, Chandhoke - 2 shots 2 goals, Johnson - 2 shots 1 goal, Schmidt 2 shots 1 goal, Burke - 6 shots 0 goals (none on goal). I'm not saying she should never take a shot but I think she should make better decisions about when and where to take a shot. Just because you can shoot does not mean you should shoot. I definitely do not subscribe to the notion that any shot is a good shot.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:40 pm

Actually, Purple Haze nor I...are advocating that Charney be a gunslinger. I think....so far...most of her shot selections have had merit and opportunity. I don't have the impression from what I've observed... that she's out of wildly out of control with her shots.

I won't speak for Purple Haze but I believe we benefit from her play. I would even guess that Garrett may encourage her to shoot. Better that... than wasted opportunities. The team sometimes tends to be frozen...looking for the perfect pass...the perfert through ball. Charney, I think...keeps our opponents honest defensively...opens things up. She's a wildcard they have to account for. Sort of like how a good 3-point shooter is. She opens things up for the post players who work their magic in the box. She adds a nice balance to the attack. Individually, she may had 6 shots and no goals....but I'd say her play may have been a contributing element to the 6 goals we did get today.


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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:50 pm

GUPhantom wrote:Actually, Purple Haze nor I...are advocating that Charney be a gunslinger. I think....so far...most of her shot selections have had merit and opportunity. I don't have the impression from what I've observed... that she's out of wildly out of control with her shots.

I won't speak for Purple Haze but I believe we benefit from her play. I would even guess that Garrett may encourage her to shoot. Better that... than wasted opportunities. The team sometimes tends to be frozen...looking for the perfect pass...the perfert through ball. Charney, I think...keeps our opponents honest defensively...opens things up. She's a wildcard they have to account for. Sort of like how a good 3-point shooter is. She opens things up for the post players who work their magic in the box. She adds a nice balance to the attack. Individually, she may had 6 shots and no goals....but I'd say her play may have been a contributing element to the 6 goals we did get today.


GO PILOTS!!!

Huie played a similar role when she was here. You can't have the opponent thinking you won't shoot unless you are in the 6 yd box (though it seems like that's what we do).

She took a LOT of shots, many from outside and off target. Clive told her to keep doing it.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:59 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:Huie played a similar role when she was here. You can't have the opponent thinking you won't shoot unless you are in the 6 yd box (though it seems like that's what we do).

She took a LOT of shots, many from outside and off target. Clive told her to keep doing it.

I had that very thought.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by fan from afar on Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:20 am

A few thoughts on Charney -

1- I remember (for some reason) a quote from Kelsey before the season last year. Talking about the new freshmen, she was saying what a powerful shot Charney had, already, even as a new freshman.

2- In spite of her hard shot, she did very little scoring last year, while playing basically full time as an offensive player.

3- I remember her missing a lot of shots last year, mostly wide, including a few easy ones from well inside the 18.

Keeping in mind as always that I don't see the team in person much - it would seem that her accuracy needs work. If she were getting her shots on frame and not scoring, that would be one thing, but I think her percentage of shots on frame is very low. Consider, how many of her 6 shots were on frame? Evidently, none.

I really love everything else about her game, so accuracy will hopefully come in time.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by SoreKnees on Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:41 am

fan from afar wrote:A few thoughts on Charney -

3- I remember her missing a lot of shots last year, mostly wide, including a few easy ones from well inside the 18.


Clearly you remember correctly. Shot-on-goal % stats from 2008 (all players with 10+ shots):

Foxhoven .627
Schmidt .680
M Rapinoe .411
Enyeart .536
Reed .538
Burk .236
Kremenski .611
Winters .400
Jacka .500

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Charney

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:09 pm

Iíve seen all the games this year except SMU. Iíve posted comments on several of the games and usually have included some positive words about Charney. She has impressed me: hustling, working hard, working well with her teammates. She appears to be a bit quicker than last year. All the players have areas in which they can improve. With her work ethic, Iíll let Charney play while she works on her shooting.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by fan from afar on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:22 am

Interesting stats, Sore Knees. The forwards have the highest %'s, which you would expect. At first glance, you might wonder about Meghan's low percentage, but I think she took a lot of longer shots. As someone said here earlier, you need to do that occasionally to keep defenses honest.

UPSR - I also thought Charney looked quicker this year (also Danielle and Sophie), and I agree about letting her play. As I said, I really like everything else about her game.

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Re: Picking up the pieces

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:02 am

SOG % is not necessarily a meaningful stat.

Midfielders are more likely than forwards to be shooting from outside the box; lowr %.

Also, a lame shot that flies easily into the keeper's arms is a SOG, but a fierce drive that misses the post by a foot is not. I'd rather see the latter than the former.

So be careful of the stats. Like many others here I trust my eyes and what we see when we are at the game.

Charney is looking for a role on the team right now. I don't think she is at her best out wide: I'd like to see her in a more central role. She does not have the pace of Elli, Michelle E, Kendra or Kendall, but she is a good passer and has shown a good first touch on the ball in tight spaces. In the diamond midfield that means the attacking mid role. Right now that means she's coming off the bench.

I've liked what I've seen of her but many times she's playing with 5 or 6 other subs after the game is effectively over.

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