St Mary's

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St Mary's

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:24 pm

Our suspicions about the St. Mary's game during the chat are apparently correct. To quote Garrett:

Saint Mary’s made it difficult on us today with lots of numbers on the defensive half. Our patience and maturity really came through today and we were able to finally get one. This was a tough pitch to play on, but our team showed great composure and came away with a good result.

Sounds so much nicer than "the field sucks and they packed the box"

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Re: St Mary's

Post by GUPhantom on Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:20 am

Can someone explain this strategy to me? I've never understood the play-not-to-lose game with soccer...especially by a team like St Mary's where there's no benefit to them to tie? Keeping the game close it one thing....but at the same time, if you're not even trying to score...that puzzles me?

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Re: St Mary's

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:46 am

I think the idea is that if you pack it in, you can keep the score close enough that a miracle goal on your part due to a fast break counter or PK will make the difference-especially if the better team has an off day or gets frustrated.

I've never actually ever seen it work for a whole game, but that's the theory. Sometimes it works if you get a lead early and try to hold on--


It's an admission that you have no chance playing strait up on somebody--Makes for really boring soccer.

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Packin' It In (As Opposed To Goin' Home)

Post by FANatic on Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:48 am

I'm sure there are soccer scholars on this forum that can give a much better explanation than me, GUPhantom. But this is my take: You know going in, ("you" being the much less talented club), that you are going to get killed. You can either take your punishment, like Portland State earlier this season (7-0), which is complete humiliation. Or you can pack it in, foul, and do everything in your power to stop us from scoring; hoping that over the course of regulation, and possibly overtime, you might slip one past our keeper.

Personally, if I really KNEW that my team was in for a humiliating whipping at home, I'm not so sure I wouldn't do the same thing as SMC did. Ugly, yes. A bad example to youth? Probably. But soccer to me is sometimes a chess match between coaches. I felt bad for Portland State's players, coaches and fans. We were basically laughing them off the pitch.

Some will probably say SMC is a far superior team to PSU. Apparently, SMC's coaches felt enough fear of the Pilots to warrant this defensive "build a fort around the goal" move. If you "experienced" the game on GameTracker like some of us did, you know that despite the obvious domination by the Pilots, we could have easily either lost or played to a draw in that match.

So, from SMC's standpoint, they had a chance at victory until the very end. That should give them confidence going into their next match. And why would they not prefer a draw to a loss? A draw is, I believe, one point in the standings. Don't you want as many points as possible in the conference standings? I personally would have preferred a draw and a loss down in L.A. to the two losses we sustained.

That's my three cents, GUPhantom. Just an off-the-cuff, overlong, rambling opinion. Not necessarily correct, just an opinion! (Great question, though. Wish I could have seen the game in person). Very Happy

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Re: St Mary's

Post by GUPhantom on Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:19 am

Thanks for the insights guys. I meant the question to be rhetorical and merely wanted to express how much I hate the tactic. I know its a way for weaker teams like St Mary's to keep the game close and hope for a chance in the latter part of the game...but Yuk! Razz

I first saw the strategy when a ranked West Virginia team visited Merlo in 2005. I guess I should be used to seeing it used against the Pilots...but Yuk! No

Because of the low scoring that's inherent to soccer....it can be a very tough sport to promote and sell to the general public anyway!! It brings back bad memories from another sport! Remember the 4-Corners game in Basketball? The NCAA had to address the issue. Otherwise, they'd lose their National TV contracts and audience! The Rules Commitee had given birth to the 10 second line and the infamous shot clock! I'm not saying this would happen with soccer....but can you imagine what would happen if our opponents in the next 2 games (which will be televised)....employed this tactic and packed the box?

Larry Williams would have a FIT!! He'd never be able to get another station (local or national) to cover a WCC soccer game. Next thing you know...the only commentators we'll be able to hire and promote our games...are those 2 yahoos who did the UW game! Remember them? ....At least they'll be entertaining!?...but YUK! affraid

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