Santa Clara

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Santa Clara

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:14 pm

Just back from the game. First off, I just want to state what a great rivalry the Portland-Santa Clara one is.

They are beat up way worse then we are, an they still battled to the last whistle. a total class act all the way.
They just couldn't hang with us this year. Lots of teams we played would have folded long before.

Second, We are now a virtual lock on the conference Championship and automatic bid, and the seeding possibilities are looking better and better as the tournament nears.

Let's just savor it for a little.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Oscar on Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:19 pm

I was glad to see this one, too, after having to miss Thursday. A very workmanlike win for the ladies. I was curious why Enyeart didn't start. She made a very noticeable difference when she came even before that bolt from the blue goal at the end of the first half. Anyone have any insight?

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by VillaGorilla on Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:48 pm

Kendra may have gotten the start to rest Enyeart. Kendra sat on Thursday while Enyeart got the start; didn't Garrett do the same thing the previous weekend? It's a definite luxury to be able to bring the conference point leader in off of the bench with fresh legs - Michelle definitely had a burst of speed for her goal this afternoon.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by fuzzywozie on Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:54 pm

anyone else notice how physical the game was? mostly on the part of santa clara. i actually saw garrett get up off the bench twice! he never does that. this was by far the girls best game. lets just hope they can continue to build on this going into the playoffs.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:05 pm

Strong performance from Pilots to follow up on the crushing of San Diego. Santa Clara are way better thab SD. Earlier comments are right: SC played hard and tough. Klein is a very good holding MF.

Having said that Davis did not have a save to make today; she had some crosses and corners to deal with but no shots. The SC keeper had way more to do, and the defense fro SC was very good under pressure. Up was looking for the neat through pass and SC cut them out and closed them down well.

I think Kendra started because last weekend she played on Sunday and scored 4 and garrett is rotating players in some places: including Enyeart and Chandhoke, and using Scifo to spell Reed and Budge. Scifo played well in that relief role today. I expect that Enyeart will see more time than Chandhoke.

Must also give credit tot eh defense again today: very solid and Tsao has played better with every game in the last couple of weeks. I had my doubts early on but she is playing well now.

Reed played under control today and was quick to make the simple pass. Winters gave the ball up a couple of times but otherwise had a cracking game: I love the way she wins almost every header that is anywhere near her, and she does so many simple things well. Woznuk was sublime today. A couple of splendid strikes: one in each half. The first left the GK standing but hit the bar, the second from some way out caught GK by surprise but she managed to react in time to grab it.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by fuzzywozie on Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:25 pm

my loving angie i hope goes without saying at this point. she has stolen my heart long ago. but with a new class coming in,keelin winters is fast approaching my all time favorties. am i the only one who is absolutely blown away by her? she is absolutely amazing in the air an i cannot believe that she landed in our laps. what a plAyer! as a long time sports fan, i was impressed her dad is brian winters, no slouch during his nba career, but she has gain my undying repect on her own! she is simply amazing!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by FANatic on Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:50 pm

fuzzywozie - I think we all had an inkling you loved Angie. Afterall, your moniker has her nickname in it! Very Happy

Interesting tidbit about Keelin's Dad. I remember Brian Winters. Wonder if he's been at any of the games? She's become a real force for this team. With a great "head" game, for sure.

Martin Jol - You write so eloquently and with such precise analysis. It's fairly easy to see you know this game well.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by stryker29 on Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:28 pm

Took the girls to the game today. Took your advice and bought the bench back end zone seats, they were okay. My observations: Enyeart is a beast! I know she's splitting time with Kendra but I imagine it will be hard to keep her off the field in the playoffs. In my view she was easily the fastest, most dangerous player from either side on the field today. She is just tenacious. Some coaches will tell you, you can't teach that, she has that extra gear when she needs it. The back line played well. I agree with the previous poster, Tsao seems fairly comfortable. For me, the glue that holds it all together is Woznuk. What a great combination of athleticism, technical skill, vision and guts.My kids love her, she has a great calmness over the ball even when in a crowd(another thing you probably can't teach) The only hint of concern for me was the beginning of the first and secon halves. SC came out strong and aggressive in the first ten minutes and dominated possession. In the second, they did the same but for only 6-8 minutes. Not a big deal, but some teams will make you pay for a slow start out of the gates like that. All in all, a great game, looking forward to the playoffs.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Oscar on Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:40 pm

One other observation. This team is definitely a championship contender and yet they started four freshmen. Yikes!. This team's going to be very good for a long time.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:01 pm

Earlier in the week, we had a discussion about favorite players. I commented that anyone who makes a bicycle kick work jumps to the top of my list. Today Natalie tried one.

Budgie, you don't need to try those, you're already in my Pantheon.

On second thought ---don't stop trying.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by GUPhantom on Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:47 pm

Yes...Hats off to both teams for delivering a hard fought contest. What else is there to expect from the Portland-Santa Clara rivalry...but quality "Real Futbol"!! I did notice how physical the game was. Kendra will probably wear a blackeye this week for her efforts. During the autograph session her eye was closed and she was holding an icepack to it. Sophie probably has something to say...about the difference between Canadian and WCC soccer now? She was on the receiving end of a vicious tackle today. She needed a few minutes to shake it off and continue.

I sensed in the first 10 minutes of the game that the Pilots were cautious for some reason. Mostly I think because of the team's respect for the Broncos and knowing a wounded doG is a more dangerous one. SCU just came off a loss to GU...and they were also affected by the injury bug. Just like as us...they've lost a couple of their premeire players in Amanda Poach and Jordan Angeli to ACL tears for the season. I think they may have lost another in this afternoon's game. I didn't catch who it was...but she crumpled to the ground...without any contact or anyone near her...and had to be helped off. That was at the same exact spot Megan Rapinoe went down too. Anyway, I think the Pilots were cautious because...if you're too aggressive against the Broncos...they will burn you! But at the same time...you're not aggressive....the Broncos will burn you. Our offense and defense had to be balanced with its play today. And it did that!

The Broncos tried something I had not seen before. In the first half...they were banging in a lot of over-the-top-long balls...from their back line to their forwards. Skipping the midfield altogether? They did that a lot and it seemed to me to be a part of their game plan. That was a curious strategy? Maybe just to throw us off a little bit. Or maybe Jerry Smith saw a weakness in the backline he wanted to exploit? The Pilot defense was steadfast today however. Whatever he thought was there didn't pan out. They seemed to abandon it later on and started to keep the ball on the ground.

Fuzzy...I'm with you on loving Angie. I've told my kids...that if I was building a team...and can only choose ONLY 1 player from our Big 3...Steph, Megan or Angie...it would have to be Angie! Because her skills and abilities gives you the best chance to elevate the play of other members of the team. BUT....that's my stupid detached vulcan logic! If I ever had to make a choice between the 3...just shoot me! In reality...it would be just too emotional for me deal with!

GO PILOTS!!!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by troyh@bnresearch.com on Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:54 am

game balls:

Jessica Tsao

Natalie Budge

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by pms275 on Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:44 pm

Phantom, the player who went down for Santa Clara was Lindsey Johnson, a freshman defender.

Actually, I didn't think Portland was as much cautious at the start of the match as they were disrupted by SCU's aggression out of the gate. It really messed up the rhythm and timing of their possession game. That being said, the Pilots weathered those first 10 to 15 minutes really well.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:27 pm

I've noticed that pattern quite a bit over the years. It happened the last time Notre Dame was here, and Wisconsin when they were good.

The thing is, most teams can't keep the pressure up for long. 10-15 minutes seems to be about it. Eventually, they chase and wear out. When we started to link up later in the half, I figured we'd be OK.

Sort of a rope-a-dope.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by FANatic on Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:13 pm

What I've noticed is that the entire Pilots team seems to be in tip-top condition. We can go at lightning pace for a long time without subbing, while it seems almost every team we play is constantly subbing. I don't seem to recall this in previous years. Perhaps part of it is we're starting to recruit faster, quicker players. It's a joke watching Enyeart and Elli blow by anyone they feel like at any time they want. Wozzie can play keep away, sweetly teasing the opposition into thinking that they have a remote chance of getting the ball away from her. Jessica Tsao is like an Energizer Bunny. Scifo is also extremely fast.

But it's not just these speedy players. The conditioning level of this whole team is just superb. And there is no respite when our subs come in. They race around the field just as much as the starters do.

I have to believe that Steph and Sophie, along with a rejuvenated Angie, have given this team such calmness and confidence, that they don't think they're going to win every game they play, they know they're going to win every game they play!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by A_Fan on Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:39 am

Actually being in great condition has long been a hallmark of Clive's and now Garrett's teams. It has over the years been one of the ways to separate the good teams from the run of the mill teams. At tournament time it is quite evident that the teams that go far not only have talented players, but they are in excellent condition.

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Santa Clara

Post by bluffer on Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:09 pm

Just a few observations from that last two games. The lineup finally seems to be set except for the forward position. The Pilots have three great forwards but for me Enyeart has to be on the field first and it's a toss up who joins her. Both Chandhoke and Schmidt bring different skills to the game but the key is to have Enyeart out there with her speed.

As to Chandhoke and Schmidt, I do think that Chandhoke brings a lot to the game and during the Santa Clara game really seemed to be taking more of an active role instead of waiting for the game to come to her. I wonder if she read one of the prior posts. Schmidt on the other hand brings the ability to receive the ball with her back to the goal while holding off a defender and then dishing off a pass. In essence she has taken over the role that Rachel Rapinoe was filling but is even better and I think is much more of a team player.

As to leadership I think Cronkite is not given enough credit. I see her taking charge on defense, directing players, and playing really solid defense. In the middle is Woznuk, skilled, smart and leading by the way she plays. I do have one question in her play though. Especially during the second half of the Santa Clara game I saw a number of times when Woznuk had the ball in the middle, Enyeart just on side ready to make a run, calling for the ball and motioning with her hand where she wanted the pass, then Woznuk looking directly at her and turning away to pass the ball across the field to Budge. Am I missing something? Are the coaches missing something?

The other's I would like to mention are Winters and Taso. Great additions to the team, playing some really solid soccer and both will be hard to keep out of the starting lineup.

Now, let's hope they continue their winning ways against LMU and Pepperdine and bring home the WCC Conference title.

Go Pilots!

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Michelle on Buzz TOW

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:51 am

Well, it was a clean sweep this week for Portland players on the Team of the Week lists.

Michelle Enyeart made the Soccer Buzz list for Oct 30. CONGRATS MICHELLE!!!

It sure makes a difference when the games are on National TV. Folks from around the country get to see what special players we really have!

Seems like there should be a defensive award though--We shut down two of the best teams in the country-Santa Clara with no shots on goal, and the only praise those players get is from us.

GO Pilots!!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:07 am

Honestly, if anyone was watching that San Diego game and saw Michelle's first goal, they'll realize that there is a very, very, very small number of players who can do what she did on that play. I'm glad to see her starting to get some kudos... she was playing awesome early in the year (was leading the country in assists for a time) yet it seemed like she wasn't getting much credit. Great to see her name back on the national scene and not just here on Pilot Nation!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:56 pm

I think we can start referring to that as THE GOAL.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:38 pm

Seriously... it deserves a moniker. "The Goal" works for me... kind of like "The Catch" and "The Drive".

I wonder if anyone has that game on DVR or taped or something like that... would be great to get it up on YouTube!

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by FANatic on Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:09 pm

I saw "THE GOAL" live and about 30 feet or so in front of me. The greatest goal I can ever remember seeing live. Although Christine probably had a few of them!

I can't wait to see it again. And again. And again. And again.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:54 pm

I think Sophie adds an element of playing under control and being able to hold it and dish off as others around her are breaking for the open field that is really needed in the forward line. Plus, she can control most of the throw ins and many of the air balls that come into her area. These are things the forward line needed seriously before she arrived back from Canada. You could see the need for it early in the season, but the need was really clear at UCLA and USC. Credit to my wife, she made the call on the way to the Oregon game -- she though Garrett should put Sophie up front.

Regarding Angie's distribution of the ball not always to Michelle, she needs to spread it around and make the defense guard the entire field. I'm sure that is the game plan. That means the defenders can't crowd Enyeart's part of the field and gives her the ability to out-sprint opponents in the open field. It's part of a style of play that Christine referred to when she said, "Teams think they'll double up on Sinclair. But if you do, there's Rapinoe, Woznuk, Budge -- they'll kill you for it." The fact that these others also were scoring threats helped open up Christine, just as her play opened them up.

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Re: Santa Clara

Post by FANatic on Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:28 pm

UPSFanatic - I agree that putting Sophie up front has made a huge difference in our ability to score goals from a variety of players. I remember when we were having difficulty finishing earlier in the season. That all changed since Sophie has been up top and also since Ms. Calm/Brilliant arrived back on campus (yes I mean Steph)! Those two changed the entire dynamic of the team. They have opened up and inspired Angie's game to new heights because she now has a couple players more on her level. Angie was playing well before, but since the WC ladies returned, her game has noticeably gone up a few notches.

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