Offensive Uncertainty

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Offensive Uncertainty

Post by wrv on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:00 am

We are obviously unsettled as to which lineup is the most proficient offensely. It appears that our freshman Capelle has been our best scoring threat to date. Last night one of the Cal Northridge broadcasters let slip that Capelle was "dominating" the game at one point. Is there a need to tweak the starting lineup. Are our other highly regarded freshman all behind Capelle? What role will Frisbie, Parker and Bridges play offensively this year? What role for Taylor Brooke, who also has helped offensively? Is Kremenski the right choice to start? Is Foxhoven hurt, or is there something she is not doing that Garrett wants her to do?

The Pilot offense is sputtering . . .should changes be made to address the problem, particularly before we head matches with more skilled opponents.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:12 am

I think a lot of it has to do with finding that new play maker that we've been blessed with over the last little stretch, a la, Megan Rapinoe and Michelle Enyeart. Obviously those are very difficult shoes to fill... Foxhoven is most effective when used as a pure finisher, consistently putting in created chances and feasting on defensive miscues, but in order to have those opportunities you need someone wreaking havoc on the defense and setting the tone for the rest of the offense to play around.

I think a lot of our offense in the past has relied on creativity and speed from the wings, I guess the biggest question is, who steps up and fills in that void??

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:10 pm

Before someone determines who should play where on offense, they need to determine "how" they want the team to play offense.

For example, as one citizen of the Pilot Nation has stated....

“The Pilots play a patient, possession oriented game. They are not a long ball team. This requires finesse and touch and coordination. My experience over several years is that it takes time for that to come together under game conditions.”

And as another member states.....

“I think a lot of our offense in the past has relied on creativity and speed from the wings ….. (we) need someone (a la, Megan Rapinoe and Michelle Enyeart) wreaking havoc on the defense and setting the tone for the rest of the offense to play around.”

Sounds like two differant approaches to me.

In addition, the Pilots defense got beat up last night (more on that later).The Pilots need to determine how they react to pushy, physical play.

Megan Rapinoe's name has already come up, but when she played her attitude was "You step on my toe, I'll chop off your foot." Where she grew up (California), that is how the game is played.

Someone needs to make some hard choices.


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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPFAN on Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:50 pm

I am not worried that the offense will produce. The good news is that there are lot of players who can score and a lot of depth. Also, it is great to have a spark off the bench, depending on how the game is going. Still, 42 shots in the first 2 games is pretty darn good and I think it will simply be a matter of time before they find the back of the net more regularly. It always takes a little more time to gel offensively, so I think patience is in order.

In another thread it was stated that the tourney committee doesn't take into account scores, so if the team does their job with team defense, our worst case should be a tie. To win, we just need one more goal than the opponent. Sounds easy, huh..........? Smile Smile

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by A_Fan on Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:58 pm

Agreed UPFAN.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:32 pm

I wish we had scored more, but I also agree - We had a LOT of good shots this game. We'll get them in later. The game was a good illustration, though, of why you DO need to score and provide yourself a cushion against a lucky break.

Uncle John - I don't really see any conflict between the approaches you list. Finesse, touch, patient, possession-oriented, coordination, a player sometimes wreaking havoc, speed and runs from the wings, not relying on the long ball - Sounds like a good approach to me.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:24 pm

Fan from Afar,

I agree. The best approach is to combine both types of offense. But unfortunately, the team is currently not playing either way well right now.

I know this team is good, especially against other teams in the WCC, but last year against more crafty, physical, and aggressive teams (i.e teams in the top 20) I personally have not seen UP play with the enough 'bite'.

In my opinion, I think this team has he right players to do so, but they are not given enough free reign to play the way they intuitively know how to.

I think most team sports (especially sports like soccer, basketball, and american football) are played at their best when played intuitively, creatively, and with plenty of speed.

Again, this only my opinion.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:44 pm

UJ - I am at a little disadvantage, being this far away and only being able to catch a few games live each year. But, as to whether the players are playing under too much structure (too much restriction), from what little I have seen, I would probably disagree with you. I think Garrett insists they play with patience with lots of passing, and with the players they have now, I think he wants them to stress playing down the wings and then in. But, I have also seen them play in through Sophie and Keelin and then forward. I think the attack has been pretty varied. Now that I have seen the first game, I feel much better about the way we played. I saw two problems in the game, both of which will be corrected. 1- We finished poorly, and 2- there were a LOT of passes that just missed connecting around the box. Correct either of those problems, and we have 3-4 goals. Correct both and we have maybe 6-7 goals. The goals will come.

As far as playing with bite against top 20 teams, it's hard to say a team with Sophie, Keelin, Cloee etc doesn't play with enough bite, but the results from the past few years speak for themselves, and you may have a point there. TAMU and UCLA seemed to take us completely out of our possession game last year.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:59 pm

Fan From Afar,

Thanks for the very insightful analysis. Let's hope for a successfull and entertaining season.

Uncle John

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by BigBro on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:28 pm

wrv wrote:We are obviously unsettled as to which lineup is the most proficient offensely. It appears that our freshman Capelle has been our best scoring threat to date. Last night one of the Cal Northridge broadcasters let slip that Capelle was "dominating" the game at one point. Is there a need to tweak the starting lineup. Are our other highly regarded freshman all behind Capelle? What role will Frisbie, Parker and Bridges play offensively this year? What role for Taylor Brooke, who also has helped offensively? Is Kremenski the right choice to start? Is Foxhoven hurt, or is there something she is not doing that Garrett wants her to do?

The Pilot offense is sputtering . . .should changes be made to address the problem, particularly before we head matches with more skilled opponents.

Lets not trust sunday's sportscasters for any reliable information on how the game was played.

I think to say "sputtering" isn't entirely accurate, since no one here has a first-hand account of sunday's game, and the opposition keeper kept PSU in the game with a few good saves on friday. We created chances, the team just took some time to send one home. We're two games into a 20-odd game season, and we don't have several of the key sources of offense that we had last year.

We've lost Michelle, easily the most explosive attacker we had up the middle, and our outside mids are slightly above 50% efficiency compared to last year. This team isn't hitting on all cylinders yet (and really shouldn't be expected to be, on the first weekend of the season), and we still managed many good scoring opportunities and two wins.

My take on Capelle is that she had a few tap ins. Not to take anything away from Capelle or Dani, as finishing plays is a very important part of the way we won so convincingly in many games last year (and will be again this year), but that isn't where the offense actually comes from.

We need to be more physical, and more aggressive. Coach G knows this - did anyone else notice the increased amount of fouls we committed on sunday? Last season, we had a total of 166 fouls. Thats 7 a game. On sunday, we committed 18. It was 10 on Friday. Also, how many times did we see shots from outside the box last season?

The reason we aren't scoring a lot right now is because the team hasn't played this way in games before. Garret seems to be encouraging a more physical, and less refined finishing style in the front end.When the passes inside weren't working on Friday (because of the bunker defense, but the same will be true of a non-bunker better D), we noticeably went to the outside shots and longer crosses in the second half (on top of the outside shots from the first half - I think winters had a very nice one that required a great save). That was a tactic we did not take last season - last season, we kept sending it in until it worked, and our offense paid the price against physical, tough teams (remember the OSU game?). Remember when we scored from outside the box last season, and the player apologized for taking the shot?

I think this is great. The team is learning how to score without stringing 20 passes together and putting it on Dani's foot at 8 yards. We're going to need this new skillset to produce consistent offensive numbers when we go deeper into the season and start playing some really good teams. I'm betting the bigger players (especially our two seniors in the middle) will post some nice numbers in both goals and assists, and I'm expecting our more finesse attackers (who at this point seem to be Dani and her understudy, Capelle) to clean up a lot of garbage. I'd be surprised to ever see Dani and Capelle on the field at the same time.

In my opinion, we're going to need to convince the better teams that we have more weapons than the 8-yard shot from Dani. We do that, and we force them to actually defend above the 18 yard box, which frees up space everywhere.
I'll also note - one of our more lethal methods of scoring last season was in transition - another reason friday's game was so close is that there was no transition.

Shorter: There is no problem. Garret is (in my opinion) changing the offensive philosophy to be more effective against better teams, and the team is still learning how to play in the new system. Expect more fouls, more physical play, and more shots from the outside. In terms of this weekend alone, we demolished PSU. Their keeper had great saves, and first-game nerves (imo) sent some shots off-target that wouldn't normally have been. Tougher to say on sunday, but we won.


Last edited by BigBro on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:40 pm

I'm not sure it' fair to call Micaelas score a tap-in.

From the article Jason Brough wrote, she gathered u.p a header from Kreminski at midfield and beat everyone to the goal and beat the keeper 1v1 5 yards out.

While technically, 5 yards out IS a tap in, some people would call that beating the defense with blazing speed.

Let's give it a it a couple more games where we can actually see what the team is doing before we judge on deficiencies.

I see this as pretty significant. Without great speed somewhere up the middle, teams will try to push the back line forward and clog the middle, force everything outside, and try and limit our game.

The treat of one person being able to break it wide open changes all that. For one thing, it gives us another 5 - 10 yards of space.


It's REALLY early yet for UP teams to have it all together.


Last edited by Geezaldinho on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:47 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by BigBro on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:43 pm

Oh. I hadn't read the article - I was going from the call. I should have compensated for rampant homerism.

Mea Culpa

(did anyone notice how the first line of my post said to not trust the sportscasters? good advice...)


Last edited by BigBro on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:43 pm

BigBro:

Outstanding write up man!

I feel better already!!

I just hope the girls are quick study's. Once the team starts playing the big(ger) dogs, starting with Oklahoma St. next Saturday, there is very little respite until after the Stanford game on Sept 25 (in Palo Alto).

That will be one tough (but entertaining) month of soccer.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by wrv on Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:21 pm

I think that substituting Capelle for Danielle, particularly as early as occured on Sunday, following a similar substittution on Friday, implies that Garrett felt some change in the front line was beneficial and perhaps necessary, that the offense was not producing enough scoring opportunities. Seems obvious, I guess, until the experts weigh in. No one should discount Capelle's role, nor make too little of her play. Brooke also appears to be contributing. I have not heard, fopr instance, that Danielle is injured.(?)

It also appears that Capelle has moved ahead of the more highly regarded recruits who have yet to see the pitch. While all this may change, it is a delight to see her vault, however temporarily, to the head of this stellar class.

Compare this year's pattern of substitution with last year's at this point and I suspect you will note a difference, not just in the players on the pitch, but also in that more players are involved at more critical stages in the game. I agree that Garrett is trying to find his most effective lineup offensively; although this does not seem a particularly unusual thing for a coach to do, I do think there are reasons for it.

Let's hope that the goals come easier . . .


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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:25 pm

Ellen Parker and Amanda Frisbie have been hurt, so it's hard even to know what the starting lineup will be once they're able to play, much less what the sub pattern will be.

Although a good number of posters are concerned about offense, the one thing that leaves me a little unhappy is not offense but rather the CSN goal and the flurry at the end of the game. (They had 4 shots in the first 89:20 and four shots in the last 40 seconds.)

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by purple haze on Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:34 pm

If Pilots don't get at least some goals in transition, or on breakaways, it will be a tough grind all year. They will break through, even without Enyeart -- the overall team speed is there (and remember the speedy outside backs that attack). Sending through balls to test the D line and get somebody 1:1 v the keeper can really help the cause.

On top what others have noted, I think Pilots need Kendra at last year's speed to really crackle again. She was a demon last season till injured. Her speed and experience will be welcomed on her return; hope it comes soon.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:40 pm

UPSoccerFanatic wrote:
Although a good number of posters are concerned about offense, the one thing that leaves me a little unhappy is not offense but rather the CSN goal and the flurry at the end of the game. (They had 4 shots in the first 89:20 and four shots in the last 40 seconds.)
This. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing, regardless of the score.

For the record, I'm not worried about the offense after one weekend.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by onetouchfutbol on Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:45 pm

UPFAN wrote:I am not worried that the offense will produce. The good news is that there are lot of players who can score and a lot of depth. Also, it is great to have a spark off the bench, depending on how the game is going. Still, 42 shots in the first 2 games is pretty darn good and I think it will simply be a matter of time before they find the back of the net more regularly. It always takes a little more time to gel offensively, so I think patience is in order.

In another thread it was stated that the tourney committee doesn't take into account scores, so if the team does their job with team defense, our worst case should be a tie. To win, we just need one more goal than the opponent. Sounds easy, huh..........? Smile Smile

I agree completely. We cannot ignore the stat of shots on goal. Foxhoven will find her groove, and we'll have plenty of higher scoring games soon enough. But, shots on goal is what really shows our dominance. If you look at the games that ended our seasons in recent years, the other team dominated that stat. We should dominate shots on goal against lesser competition, and we have enough talent to hit some of those shots from further out as the season progresses and players get their rhythm.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPreveler on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:19 pm

I agree that defense is crucial, but if we aren’t scoring as we should be then one goal from the other team can result in a loss. I’ve been thinking about Dani's goal scoring ability last year and to me she is an amazing finisher but definitely relied a lot on players to get her the ball in front of the goal. Enyeart was the main key to this, but our midfielder group of Sophie, Keelin, Kendra, and Kendall were also huge factors. To me this midfielder group really clicked and was one of the best midfielder group in the nation. I agree with Purple Haze that we need Kendra added in, and I also hope her return comes soon.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:42 am

Remember..... Kendra, Keelin, Sophie, Jess and Ellie will ALL be gone next year. Other people need to be brought along and be given a good opportunity to gain GAME experience.

I can't help but feel sorry for players like Emma and Molly K. From what I have seen, they are both good players but I don't think they have been given a decent chance to show what they can do.

And if they don't get a chance soon, it may be too late. Practice only goes so far.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by onetouchfutbol on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:02 am

Uncle John wrote:Remember..... Kendra, Keelin, Sophie, Jess and Ellie will ALL be gone next year. Other people need to be brought along and be given a good opportunity to gain GAME experience.

I can't help but feel sorry for players like Emma and Molly K. From what I have seen, they are both good players but I don't think they have been given a decent chance to show what they can do.

And if they don't get a chance soon, it may be too late. Practice only goes so far.

They will be gone, but, every year we reload, and our goals are set extremely high once again. Student athletes are very lucky; they'll all get their minutes. But, honestly the seniors have earned their stripes. Sink or swim, I want to see the seniors play...

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Psychotic on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:23 pm

It seems Garrett team philosophy comes from the European "indirect" style of play that emphasizes ball control and many short passes, as opposed to long airballs. I would guess this early in the season; Garrett "Possession Soccer" emphasis is to teach his new players this style of ball control. Note this style of play normally will not produce a great number of shots however it should create one to four wide open easy shots per game.

It is my opinion Garrett is using these first games to tutor his players on the importance of a good first touch to stay out of trouble while maintaining proper spacing in relation to the ball, his opponents, and teammates.

Therefore at this time, speed will not be the issue until opposing team’s defense start to win the 50-50 balls and apply synchronized high pressure defense. At that time the team should shift gears with a more direct counter attacking styles that uses long passes and long "over-the-top" airballs where the team will easily showcase its speed for all to see.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by purple haze on Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:05 pm

How about this philosophy: Score two or three goals by whatever means necessary and without apologies, and then play solid possession soccer and shut down any chance for the opponent, while seizing any advantage for another goal.

We all know the problem with 1-0 games -- a fluke goal can make them 1-1. We've seen that happen before and we know soccer is unfair that way. Come playoff time, 1-0 games are the norm and the Pilots will have to be ready for seizing and holding that slim lead over strong teams. A single goal often determines who goes to the College Cup. But no one wants an early-season tie against a lesser team to mess with the team's success.

Whatever philosophy the Pilots operate under, or whatever season-long development plan they have, I'll trust their coaches who live and breathe this stuff.


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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by eProf on Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:37 pm

purple haze wrote:
We all know the problem with 1-0 games -- a fluke goal can make them 1-1.
This is especially a problem with a freshman keeper who has less experience and still learning to play with the defense.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by wrv on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:13 pm

Another problem with 1 nil, or 2-1 games against lesser opposition, is that those games leave you with a nagging doubt that the team can raise the level of play up to stiffer competition, such as Stanford, Santa Clara. even perhaps Oklahoma State.

Reassurance on Sunday would be nice.

Go Pilots.

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