Game tonight

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Game tonight

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:54 pm

So much forour speculation on starting line ups:

Reed and Winters were nursing injuries and did not play; DeYoung was GK and Enyeart came off the bench.

Great first goal taken well by Chandhoke after great combo from Schmidt and Woznuk. But Pilots struggled to put them away.

Defense was solid all game: Lopez, Michaelson, Cronkrite tough as always. Tsao had best game of the year, in my opinion. The Gonzaga goal was disappointing: DeYoung came out but did not get to cross ...

Jackman struggled in midfield; we've got used to Winters winning headers and tidying up in apparently effortless fashion. Jackman gave the ball away and was not the force in the air. Woznuk was masterful and Budge had a good game although she'll be disappointed notto have hit the target with one of her six shots. Scifo did well filling in for Reed.

Second goal was PK that Woznuk had to take twicw; she buried both of them. Came from quick throw in bt Schmidt and dartinto box by Enyeart who was hacked down. Final goal was a beaut: through ballplayed to perfection by Schmidt and finished with aplomb by Enyeart.

Schmidt got better and better as the game progrssed; she was slightly off in the first few minutes. Chandhoke did Ok, took the goal well. Enyeart looked sharper- not sure why she did not start.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by FANatic on Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:46 am

Good summation, Martin Jol. My response to the game is similar to your's.

Where is everyone? Wake up and post, please! PilotNut had a post on the game at the end of the previous topic. MJ's is post number two regarding the results of the Zags game, and this post is number three. That was a huge game for us last night and a big win, being the conference opener. I'm counting on you guys and gals to keep this forum full of ideas, info and excitement!

I was able to make the game last night and I'm glad I did. I was really thrown by the starting lineup changes. I do know from catching parts of two practices last week, that Keelin Winters, Elli Reed, Kelsey Davis and Michelle Enyeart were all held out of one or more practices. As of Thursday, it almost looked like a skeleton crew with former Pilot players Cori Alexander, Lisa Sari and Lauren Hanson all scrimmaging with what was left of the team.

The Oregonian this morning stated that Winters (knee), Reed (ankle), and Davis (lingering symptoms from concussion), all could have played last night, but with only one game this week-end and six conference games to go, Garrett erred on the side of caution and rested them.

Regarding Enyeart not starting, she also was not practicing Thursday, (just some running), so something is also up with her but no one has said what that is, that I have heard. My guess is she might not have played at all if Gonzaga had not tied the game with 30 minutes left in regulation. At that point, Garrett subbed her for Kendra, and Michelle seemed to take off like a rocket, igniting the offense and making two great breakaway attempts, one ending in Wozzy's PK goal and the other a beautiful fake on the goalie with about three defenders hanging on her, which she wacked into an empty net. (Again, Sophie made both those plays possible and actually would have had three assists instead of two had Enyeart scored on the breakaway that resulted in Wozzy's PK goal).

Considering we only subbed one player, Enyeart, for the whole game, (Janelle Jacka came in for Sophie in the 86th minute , I believe, when the game was basically over), I thought our players showed amazing energy, stamina and tenacity. No one seemed to slow a step and we seemed to get stronger and more dominant as the game wore on. Wozzy was brilliant again, at times making moves and one touch passes that truly were a sight to behold. We have such a great group of seniors, led by Woz and Stephanie Lopez.

We have a terrific core of young players, but I thought before the season began that we have a very special group of seniors, one that is capable of leading this program to its 3rd N.C. if all the cards fall the right way for us. I mean, how do you replace Wozzy and Steph? Last night, I was already getting a little sentimental about it; just knowing that I will never see them in Pilot uniforms after this year. Oh, they'll both probably be on the 2011 U.S. World Cup team, and we'll be watching them playing professionally in a couple years in the new women's professional league on television. But seeing them play at Merlo is an incredible treat.

Wouldn't it be something if their last Pilots' game was in December, hoisting that big N.C. trophy after dog-piling in the middle of the field?

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Re: Game tonight

Post by thepuck on Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:23 pm

I can't speak for anybody else, but its fall break week at UP and I imagine several people (myself included) are not around.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by FANatic on Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:52 pm

Thanks, thepuck. Didn't know about fall break. Thought it wasn't quite as rowdy there in the student section as is customary for a Friday/Saturday night game.

What about you out-of-towners? Anyone listen to the audio of the game?

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:29 pm

FANatic, thanks for the insight from practice. We assumed it had to be injuries all around. Speaking of which, here we are 12 games into the season and only 4 players have started every game (Michaelson, Cronkrite, Woznuk, and Budge): that's how bad it's been. Reed and Enyeart dropped off the list last night.

Coaches take roll call in the locker room and arrange the 11 strongest players into a starting line up. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

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Re: Game tonight

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:06 pm

Hey FANatic...Iíve been popping in and out of the website...but just browsing. Havenít had the time to post or add any new insights or comments.

That's an excellent review and point Martin. The way the season has been playing out...I left the business of predicting the starting lineup to Coach Smith sometime after the Purdue game...when the Rapinoes were lost for season. I thought there were a core group of players (about two thirds of them) that would be consistently be in the starting lineup...with the last third of the girls....rotating in and out....depending on health or game matchups. Who would've thought the starting lineup was as nebulous as it has been??? Only 4 have started every game? Wow...that was surprising!!

I was at the game last night. And despite the wounded piling up, I liked what I saw. Lopez, Schmidt and Woznuk were fabulous. Angie especially has been All-World and has certainly carried the team through a very tough part of the season. Where would the Pilots have been without her? Without Megan...and without Schmidt and Lopez for the first half of the season....Angie put this young and wounded team on her shoulders. She may not be a vocal senior leader but her leadership and playmaking skills on the pitch has been unyeilding. The statistics may not show it....but her play has been dominant. She's simply been the best collegiate midfielder...if not the best overall collegiate player in the country. No doubt about it. To me, she should be the unanimous Hermann Trophy winner this year. I agree FANatic...who is going to quaterback this team next year? In her tenure...Angies' always been at the heart of the Pilot attack. I'm going to stand up...and give her the biggest ovation come Senior Day! She's deserving of more accolades! Its too bad that she's under the radar as far as being recognized as one of the best players on the team publicly...but I bet her name comes up often from her teammates as being the most important.

I also agree with Martin on Jessica Tsao. She was a big surprise to me. I haven't been sold on her until last night. I thought she's always been vulnerable defensively on the wings against quicker opposition. Her lack of footspeed has been suspect.. But she was possessed last night. She made up for lack of speed with aggressive defense. She physically clamped down on anyone who came into her area. She showed a marked improvement against the Zags.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:57 am

It's really way to early to worry about next year, but I know what you mean about filling the void that will be left when Woznuk is gone. But Megan Rapinoe will probably play the point of the diamond in midfield; remember that Woznuk was playing wide on the right before MR was hurt. Longer term I think that Elli Reed could make a mark there.

She has got pace, a good first touch on the ball, the ability to take players on, she just needs to develop the judgement about when to play it simple and when to go for broke. Time will tell. Meantime this is shaping up as an interesting season.

Reality came back for Oregon and Oregon State in LA yesterday with comfortable wins for UCLA and USC.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:45 am

Hey everyone! I was at the game on Saturday... a few nervous moments, but overall a nice win. Gonzaga is probably the fourth-best team in the conference (behind us, SC, and USD), so a 3-1 win against a decent team is a fine performance.

Anyway, I just wanted to echo GUPhantom's comments about Woznuk... she has kept the team together and has been so brilliant out on the field. I feel sorry for her, though, because I'm not sure if she'll have the statistics to get the post-season awards that we all know she deserves. I'm hoping and praying that the All-American selection people will be smart enough to see beyond goals and assists, but I'm not sure... still, it's been such a treat to see her shine this year. She will definitely be missed.

And here's hoping everyone can get all rested up and healthy!

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:05 am

I think that maybe Angie gets more credit from opposing coaches than from our own fans.

She's also been mentioned by Nat'l Team coaches as a playmaker for the future.

Eventually, as the world catches up to the US women's team, the US is going to have to play a smarter style of ball, like they did in the final WWC game. It's no accident that there were 2 Santa Clara players and a UP player on the field when they finally started playing smart soccer. I predict more of that in the future, and players like Angie will be in the forefront.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by harryb on Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:16 pm

Another possibility for the future is Sophie Schmidt in center mid after the Rapinoes are healthy.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Oscar on Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:46 pm

Sorry about the late post but I also was very impressed with the team on Saturday.

As to Jessica Tsao, I've been impressed with her from the beginning. She was naturally tentative at the beginning but as her confidence has increased so has the quality of her play. I think she's going to end up being faster than you all might think. Remember she is only 12 months removed from her own ACL surgery. She's very smart and I think will really be a fine player here at UP.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by FANatic on Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:12 pm

That's an interesting thought about Sophie playing center mid, harryb. To be honest, I am fairly concerned about Megan's knee, now that she's torn the same one twice. Rebecca Meierbachtol never came back from tearing her's twice. She should be a redshirt senior this year. I saw her once in August, and she had this very sickening-looking black metal brace on her knee. I'm no medical expert, but I fear for her future ability to walk normally and without pain. She is so young.

Question for my fellow posters who are more knowledgeable about the game than I am: Although I certainly saw some brilliant plays from Sophie on Saturday night, would she be better suited as a striker or center mid? Forget about Megan for a moment. Correct me if I am wrong, but if Sophie's game has one minor flaw as an offensive player, she seems to lack foot speed as she chases down balls going into the corners of the field. It seemed to me that on several occasions when she raced to the corner at the same time as a Gonzaga defender, she was beaten to the ball and an opportunity to make some hay was lost. I'm not used to seeing this with Pilot offensive players, as we generally have speed demons who rarely are beaten to a corner. Am I off-base? She seems most effective when she is at the top of the box, back to the GK, where she can either dish or turn and make a play on the goal. (I got a feeling I'm going to be taken to the woodshed for saying this...)

Oscar - Great point about Jessica Tsao's ACL surgery. Like everyone else, I thought she was very solid against the Bulldogs. However, like others, I had my doubts earlier in the season. I thought she made some questionable decisions in her passing that led to vulnerable situations for us. I've always thought she would be a solid player for us down the road, but playing on a back line with three battle-tested seniors, I thought she might have been a tad over her head. However, if she continues to play like she did on Saturday, she'll be just fine. (I really loved her fire and tenacity. It was a big game, and she showed up prepared and ready for the challenge).

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Re: Game tonight

Post by pms275 on Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:02 pm

Fanatic, interesting comment on Sophie. I was sitting with a friend on Saturday night who plays and knows the game well. He said the same thing. He thought she is creative and posts up well but lacks the speed to scare a defender.

That being said, Chandhoke and Enyeart, who both played as the other forward during the match do have speed. So, maybe it's a moot point for now as long as someone up front is fast.

Completely agree with you on Tsao's performance Saturday night. She was a fireball--best game I've seen her play for the Pilots.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by fuzzywozie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:39 pm

i remember wondering who would replace erin misaki after her senior season. i was so impressed by her vision an passing that i thought she would be irreplacable. enter angie woznuk an my first thoughts were 'oh my god'.
i have spoken with someone very knowledgable an they tell me that we have a commitment from 'a top notch center mid'. an the excitement i saw in their face tells me that the recruit is ready to step in right now.
garrett and his staff have carried on in clive's tradition most admirably. how many of us realize that natalie is the last player clive recruited before his tragic passing? starting next year this team will b entirely garrett's.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:54 pm

Fanatic,

Actually I thought she showed more speed than she had when she played last spring on the other side of the ball.

But she's not in there for her blazing speed. UP has plenty of speed up top. What we have been lacking is someone who could post up, take some physical pressure, and dish. I think Sophie is doing rather well for having done it for 135 minutes in her career. 2 goals, 2 assists, another breakaway feed that would have been an assist if Enyeart hadn't been taken down in the box, (Angie converted the PK). On the first goal, she drew 3 defenders and got the ball out to Angie who ultimately set up the goal for Kendra. In so doing, she freed up both those players.

She had a role in every goal the last game and a half. she got on a team of the week last week, and may yet this week. Aren't you guys getting a little Picky?

If by her playing center mid, you mean the attacking one, I'd say more speed is needed there. It seems the college game is evolving so that the first thing that happens when you receive the ball up top is that a defender bumps you in the back. It's particularly true with some of the bigger teams we have faced. Purdue and Fullerton this year (Fl. St, to a lesser extent) were particularly into that style of play and I don't think our forwards were handling it very well. I guess she's used to doing it to others, so it doesn't bother her. The Canadian style, I guess.

Sophie seems unaffected by the pressure and holds the ball long enough that opponents gravitate to her. Then the other forwards get more 1v1 chances. It's already added a dimension to our game. As she gets a little better distributing, I think it will open up the offense for the speed merchants. but even already, there were some great ideas I saw this weekend. She also creates other problems for the defense. They aren't used to having to face a world class defender as they try to clear. she won some balls in the offensive side that directly set up chances.

Enyeart particularly played well off of Sophie on some slanting runs in her 30 minutes on the field. In fact I'd say that combo turned the game around.

We're all spoiled. We remember Christine and Megan ( and Rachel) could bump, run, dish and finish. We still need all that to happen, but it doesn't necessarily need to all come from one person.

Besides, it may be a whole new lineup next week, the way the season has been going.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by FANatic on Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:00 am

I thought my remarks on Sophie's speed might get a little attention. Please continue with your thoughts. It's all very enlightening to me. Thank you.

pms268 - I appreciate your post. It very well may be a moot point. We do have plenty of speed all around Sophie.

fuzzywozie - You are right on about Angie replacing Erin. Actually, I remember that although I was blown away because her feet seemed a blur to me as a freshman, Wozzie would sometimes try to force the ball through and around players a la our young Miss Elli Reed. I remember being somewhat frustrated that she would sometimes lose possesion of the ball because of it. (Maybe Elli will mature similarly, because Wozzie had completely solved that by her redshirt sophomore season). Also, I agree Garrett and his staff have done a remarkable job recruiting and your mention of a top-notch attacking midfield recruit is very exciting indeed! (Anyone have a clue who this player might be)?

Purplegeezer - Terrific take on Sophie and exactly the kind of explanation/analysis I was looking for. You really put it in perspective for me, and also put me a bit at ease. Your so right. Sophie has done so much in 135 minutes and will only get better. In a way, she is almost a unique forward. How many world-class defenders do most defensive players generally have to deal with up top? None?!?!?!

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Re: Game tonight

Post by A_Fan on Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am

Concerning Sophie's speed Purplegeezer is right. It's not always speed that is the most important trait in a player. There are may dimensions to any position based not just on a player's skills but also those of their teammates. Rachel Rapinoe does not have the speed of an Enyeart, but that does not prevent her from being successful. She too was a defender converted to a forward. Abby Wambaugh on the National team is another example. She is not extremely fleet of foot, but she brings other skills to the position that make her and the team successful.

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Re: Game tonight

Post by GUPhantom on Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:18 am

Sophieís return and insertion at the forward position has had a huge impact. Before...the offense was swift...but sometimes out of control. Pardon the analogy....but like basketball...we were a fastbreak team that stalled in the halfcourt when defenses had a chance to regroup.

Geezer describes Sophie's role perfectly. When she "posts up" at the top of the box...the Pilot's attack becomes more organized. She's comfortable playing and receiving incoming services from Angie with her back to the goal....not at all bothered with a defense's push and pressure. I feel sad that I didn't witness it myself....but from what others described...we got a small hint of this early in the season when Coach Smith gave Megan Rapinoe some playing time in Seattle.

Anyway...if Sophie is one-on-one with a defender, she's strong enough to hold her ground and turn on a defender.

If she draws a crowd....even better...she can push the ball back up to Angie and have a little Give&Go...or drop a pass to our speed demons (Ellie, Kendra, Natalie and Michelle)...making runs through the box. We got a little inside-out game going now. And this is just Game 2 with the "new" configuration....so expect it to just get better. It also prepares the team for tournament play when most opposition will surely try to slow the game down and force a "half-court" attack. That's why I think Garrett's move to put Sophie up top was brilliant. It creates space for scoring opportunities that we didn't see in the first half of the season. It really opens the door offensively and when this team gets nasty and show its teeth!!

That brings up the 2nd offensive dimension that came with Stephanie's return. Yes, her defensive skills and instincts are inhumane. But, what I also enjoyed...was her interplay and involvement with the offense. There were a few runs that included Angie, Sophie and Steph in a keep-away triangle....subtle...but beautiful to watch. Ok..I'm spoiled...more of that please!

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Sophie and the Offense

Post by Oscar on Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:09 am

My take, FWIW, is that Sophie gives the frontline a more physical presence. Early in the season, the offense relied a lot on dribbling and then looking for the magic pass. In particular, Kendra Chandhoke is such a sublimely skillful dribbler and ball handler that they often over relied on it. The same really goes for Ellie Reed. She's relentless but gets caught up in traffic a lot.

Now, Sophie, due to her physicality, can control the ball and wait a little bit to see the play develop and for Michelle to break free as she inevitably will with her blazing speed. It's the same thing that Angie W does when she waits for something good to happen but she does it a different way.

It's a real nice change to see happen and is going to be very successful.

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