Offensive Uncertainty

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:58 pm

There sure is a lot of fretting going on, for three wins and no losses into the season. Go back to the 2002 season and look at the game scores from beginning to end. You can do that by going to the Pilots women's soccer page, clicking on Statistics, and bringing up the 2002 stats.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:05 pm

UPSoccerFanatic wrote:There sure is a lot of fretting going on, for three wins and no losses into the season. Go back to the 2002 season and look at the game scores from beginning to end. You can do that by going to the Pilots women's soccer page, clicking on Statistics, and bringing up the 2002 stats.
+107

Supporting more than one team gives one perspective, is all I'm saying...

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:15 am

I'm with UPSF. Too early to be down on the team and the players. Kendra is not back yet - rumors of an appearance within the month are encouraging. Amanda F and Ellen P - two heralded freshmen who are real candidates to fill the two outfield positions not covered by returning starters - are not in action yet. And at the back, Cloee C is essentially starting over after only playing 5 games last year and we have a new GK settling in.

I know that it's not the same thing but after watching my Spurs lose at home to Wigan yesterday I'm very happy with 3 wins from the first 3 games. Against teams who've essentially played not to get thumped by dropping 10 players behind the ball and hoping to counter-attack for any goals.

I'm looking forward to this afternoon.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by wrv on Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:36 am

Straw men are afoot: I am not sure anyone is down on the team, nor do I think the discussion is actually engaged in "fretting," at least not much. More like a strong grasp of reality, at least where it concerns the team's performance. 3-0 is a good beginning and much better than the alternative. Of course there is much to be optimistic about . . .let's hope our reason for optimism increases this afternoon.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by purple haze on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:44 am

We are splitting hairs and debating degrees of excellence here. We are hoping for perfection, realizing it is extremely difficult and unreasonable for all but a few teams, given the many variables in any sport. Can't wait for today's game and see what happens. What happens on the field is more important than my opinions about it.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:02 am

Loved the first half against OSU - REALLY beautiful soccer, GREAT entry passes, tremendous dominating possession, truly fun to watch, but - - - after all that, at half time it was 0-0. Other posters IMHO hit the nail on the head about the 2nd half - some new frosh who played like new frosh (probably nerves), along with occasional loss of patience by some older players. 4-0 is indeed a perfect start, but - - - -

Indisputable fact - 5 goals in 4 games, 2 of which were against weak teams. I would feel MUCH better about what's ahead if we were finishing better.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:08 am

Hello Fan from Afar,

From what I saw this weekend (my wife and I come up for the games), I feel much more confident.

The senior offensive players (the seniors Sophie, Keelin, Ellie, and Jess) played with a great deal of confidence and speed. They are raising the standards for the under classmen.

The team is coming together!

However, with that said, and going back to my usual paranoid self -- I am NOT looking forward to the day Sophie takes her sabbatical.

It looks like she is willing her team to play better every game!

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:16 am

I agree about Sophie, UJ. She is almost impossible to get the ball away from, and what a leader!! I can see even on the computer screen how her will infects the team. I also will be able to see the team in person, the next two weekends. I am particularly looking forward to watching the movement away from the ball around the box that you never see on TV. It seems to be very effective, based on the number of entry passes that make it in safely.

I sure hope they break through and finish and score some goals.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:28 am

I too would like to see more goals. These one goal games are making me crazy.

I also hope Kendall Johnson's knee is OK.

She has been playing with more confidence every game. The team needs her.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPFAN on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:42 am

I will take 1 nil wins over the alternative. It makes everything more exciting anyway. Smile

Looking at other top programs, I like where we sit at 4-0-0 with 6 goals scored. Especially with the compressed, bunkered defenses we have played thus far. The Pilots have figured them out and found a way to win.

Notre Dame is 2-1-0 with 5 goals
Stanford is 2-0-2 with 7 goals
UCLA is 2-1-0 with 9 goals
UNC is 3-0-1 with 14 goals

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fwill on Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:05 pm

Like every other poster on Pilot Nation, I've been thinking way too much about my beloved Pilots this fall and there are several conclusions I've come to.

For starters, this is the first season in a very long time that we don't have a bona-fide superstar scoring goals for us (Schmidt is a superstar, but at distributing and possession rather than scoring). No offense to the Foxhoven fans, but Dani is only as good as her support network - she needs to be fed balls from the players who create opportunities.

The second is that our defense is finally completely solid. It's been pretty suspect for the last couple of seasons, but now its consistent and the line up is pretty dang good. I do have a couple of minor concerns about McCluskie's health; she still looks a little wobbly and limps sometimes, but played better as the half continued. The other is the lack of communication between Dees and Colohan: there were at least two occasions on Friday night when Colohan ignored Dees and a couple others where Colohan was not blocking out SMU players who were interfering with Dees' line of sight on corner kicks. I suspect that will change as Dees gets more experience.

All in all, I think this is the most balanced and strongest Pilot team I have seen and I can't wait to see the rest of the season. I'm with some of the others, though, who dream of more goals. I always like it best when we win by at least two goals! jocolor

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:25 pm

UPFan - One big thing you left out in your program comparison - quality of opposition. If we had won all those low scoring games against top teams, I would feel GREAT!! But, these were definitely not the same quality of teams that Notre Dame, UCLA, UNC and Stanford have been playing. Except for OSU, these are teams we should have beaten easily, bunkered or not. Also, I think it's 5 goals scored.

Looked it up - you're right - 6 goals.

Fwill - right on. Our defense looks great, at least so far, except for that one series in the second game. As far as Sophie, I think she could be a big time scorer if she were playing attacker, but she is probably the best in the country at what she is doing now. Even better, she has probably the best holding mid in the country playing behind her. Good observation about Dees and Cloee - things you can't really notice on the computer screen. REALLY looking forward to seeing games in person.


Last edited by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:29 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:26 pm

Does anyone know anything about Kendall?

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPFAN on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:25 pm

fan from afar - I did take it into account, I was simply suggesting I like the wins vs. the alternative. I am sure UCLA is not too happy with a 1 nil loss at northwestern, being outshot 7 - 6.


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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:46 pm

fwill wrote: No offense to the Foxhoven fans, but Dani is only as good as her support network - she needs to be fed balls from the players who create opportunities.

As an admitted Foxhoven fan, I think I may have been the originator of the Fox in the Box moniker, I think that you are shortchanging Dani. Last year three players had 12 assists, Sophie, Michelle E and Dani.

Yesterday Dani showed again that her hold up game and ability to create chances for others has improved again. In the space of five minutes in the first half yesterday she set up Michelle Cruz for a one-on-one with the GK, and then was involved in the play where Keelin hit the post.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:51 pm

UPFAN wrote:fan from afar - I did take it into account, I was simply suggesting I like the wins vs. the alternative. I am sure UCLA is not too happy with a 1 nil loss at northwestern, being outshot 7 - 6.


Actually, I just checked out the Notre Dame and UCLA schedules. They have not played any real top teams yet as far as I know (Virginia, maybe?), and they each have a loss. You're right - UCLA must be pretty unhappy right now. That's a bad loss.

4-0 is a great start for us. I just wish we had scored a few more, especially against the really weaker teams. It seems like we are scoring just enough to get by, but there are much better teams on the horizon. Maybe a deluge of goals is forthcoming this weekend to shut up we who worry.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:08 pm

Fan From Afar,

From what I saw this weekend in Portland, the goals are just barely off the horizon.

They will probably dock just about the time you land at the airport and get set up to watch the first game against Wisconsin. If not by then, they will surely materialize against Syracuse.

No worries.

(Accept about Kendall maybe - you can worry about her a little bit.)

Have fun next weekend,

UJ

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:20 pm

fwill wrote:... The second is that our defense is finally completely solid. It's been pretty suspect for the last couple of seasons, but now its consistent and the line up is pretty dang good. ....

I agree with this and had been thinking of making a similar comment. I believe there is much more emphasis on defense this year, including using possession as a form of defense. If the Pilots use possession as a form of defense, there probably is going to be less scoring than we've been used to seeing in recent years. Of course we don't like games going 0-0 or even 1-0 late into the game, but I really like the defense I've seen -- Cloee is a bear! -- and the amount of possession the Pilots have had, which has involved everyone (even Erin Dees throwing and kick-passing the ball more than we're used to seeing).

Also, on Dani's goal in the SMU game, no one has commented and I haven't gone back to the video replay yet to see it, but is my recollection correct that there was a very long string of passes before that goal?

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by BigBro on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:32 pm

On Dees rolling or passing the ball out - I'm so happy to see that. I was saying it to myself last year - our possession is so stellar, I see no reason for a 50/50 ball at all. We play so well from the back. I love the GK short pass.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:37 pm

UPSoccerFanatic wrote:

Also, on Dani's goal in the SMU game, no one has commented and I haven't gone back to the video replay yet to see it, but is my recollection correct that there was a very long string of passes before that goal?
I didn't count the passes before the goal, though I might go back and do so this week. I did count the UP passes once we had the lead, and the count was ridiculous.

The first UP possession after the score was 30 passes or so (the commentators say 20, but my count is nearer right), then the next few were several passes, one touch by SMU, followed by several more, and then again. it took several stress free minutes off the clock.

They can't score if we have the ball, and as Meagan Sweeney said, we have the win, there is no need to push the attack. Not pushing the attack makes it easier to possess...and it HAS to be demoralizing for the opponent.

The end result isn't as satisfying to fans. We don't get to ring the cowbells and such as much, but they all count as wins.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by purple haze on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:21 pm

Cheers to all the defenders -- the back line has been taking care of business. Almost nothing is getting behind them as they win all the 50-50 headers. They are passing more and distributing the ball more than the other teams' midfielders. The Pilot mids have been so tough and are winning the ball back quickly. Kendall and Sophie were clamping down on the left side whenever OSU tried anything up the line. Keelin is everywhere, including the attack. Ellie and Jessica are playing all game at the highest level, able to make attacking runs and threaten non-stop -- that's fitness! The D is here; the O will come.


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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Harry Redknapp on Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:40 pm

Bro

I agree with you on the pass and throw distribution from Erin: it is vastly to be preferred over the long punt for exactly that reason. 100% possession is bette than the lottery - even with Keelin and Sophie who win more than their fair share of balls in the air.

It helps to have a back four that can all play with the ball and make a pass: MichO has played holding mid, Elli is a converted winger, Jess a converted forward, and Cloee is no slouch on the ball either. One upside to the opposition dropping everyone back is that it allows you to play the ball out fromt he back.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fan from afar on Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:30 am

Uncle John wrote:Fan From Afar,

From what I saw this weekend in Portland, the goals are just barely off the horizon.

They will probably dock just about the time you land at the airport and get set up to watch the first game against Wisconsin. If not by then, they will surely materialize against Syracuse.

No worries.

(Accept about Kendall maybe - you can worry about her a little bit.)

Have fun next weekend,

UJ

I hope you're right, UJ - But - - - I'm from Syracuse!!! Oh well. I still hope it happens.

I agree with everyone about Dees rolling the ball out. I love it. Also, a good point about using possession as a form of defense, which will lead to lower scoring games.

Hopefully, Kendall will be suited up this weekend. If not, Cruz to left outside? Elli up to left outside?

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by Harry Redknapp on Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:11 am

My guess would be Cruz. Also waiting to see if Ellen P makes an appearance this weekend. Rumor that she would be training this week and might be fit to play by the weekend. She was on campus in the spring and played in spring games so is further along in the acclimation and freshman jitters process than her classmates.

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Re: Offensive Uncertainty

Post by fwill on Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:18 am

Elli has finally settled into her position at outside back, so it seems unlikely to switch her up front. I'm with 'Arry on guessing Cruz, but I am biased as I also really dig Cruz's physical style of play. Our bench seems to have been recruited with a strong, fast, passing offense in mind and so there are three or four players that could potentially play the wings.

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