Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

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Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:22 pm

Interesting question to look into...

To put in the for what it's worth department - it's strange to me that UP played on Friday and Sunday, while Washington took the whole week off to prepare for UP. Generally, when a Sunday game is scheduled, the teams will agree to play the same number of games the week immediately prior, so as to avoid any advantage for a team that is fresher due to not playing two days before.

I'm not saying that UW lead nearly the whole game because of an "unfair" advantage, but I would say that they definitely looked fresher out there - no surprise after Portland played a full 90 against Oregon on Friday night.

Did UW change their schedule right before this season or did a game get cancelled or something like that? Because this definitely isn't standard practice, and very much doubt that any top-25 program would be happy with such an arrangement.

Anyone in the know with UW soccer? Geez?


Last edited by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Sigh... spelling)

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:03 pm

This is a really great question, and I have heard enough, but not the details, to believe that there is a back story that would be interesting to a whole lot of people. I have definite suspicions about what happened, but in the interest of not having people start treating speculation as fact, I'll wait to hear if anyone knows or can find out anything about this.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:58 pm

That's an interesting question.

I know UW had another game a couple years ago where they didn't play Friday, and my understanding is that teams that consider each other comparable have that clause in their contracts.

I also remember a few years ago when UP made a Florida swing to play UF and FSU. One of those teams cancelled their Friday game at the last minute. We went 0-1-1 for the weekend, and I remember people commented that it was an unfair advantage, especially in the 100 weather in Florida at the time.

Maybe there should be a clause that says if you default on the Friday game commitment, you have to make it up the next time the teams play, and make ceding an extra game rematch On home field mandatory.

Also, they could make the rematches mandatory on Friday.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by eProf on Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:31 pm

If the contract says that a team should play on Friday, and and a team does not do so, I'd like the opposing coach to have the option of making any three players on the non-Friday-playing team ineligible for the Sunday game.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:45 pm

Then , of course there is the sort of gamesmanship UNC showed in 2005.

With a game against UP already announced, they reneged in Christine's senior year because the scheduled too may games.

They still managed to play USD, USF, Davidson, and Tennesee, though.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:29 pm

Speaking of which, this has got me thinking about the fact that the Pilots played Cal on Friday before the Stanford game, and Stanford played Hawaii. Against Hawaii, Stanford was up 3-0 at the 10 minute mark and 5-0 at the 38 minute mark. Anyone think Stanford scheduled the Hawaii game before they scheduled the Pilots game? No, I didn't think so. So apparently, Stanford thought they needed to play a cupcake and have the Pilots play a top tier team in order to be able to beat the Pilots on Stanford's home field.

This all gives a sense that there's a pretty cut-throat undercurrent that the coaches must deal with over the long-term.

While I'm at it, UW's not having had a Friday game and Stanford having played Hawaii on Friday gives me a better sense of some of the complications the coaching staff must deal with -- such as developing game tactics best suited to recognizing that the other team is better rested in addition to preparing for the loss of players to national team duty in addition to recognizing player fatigue for some players who have been playing in major competitions over the summer in addition to dealing with player injuries in addition to giving players experience so they'll be ready for the NCAA Tournament (and also for key roles next year). Makes me appreciate the coaching staff -- and players -- more than ever.

By the way, according to the current RPI, the Pilots are back on top as the best opponent to have played for strength of schedule purposes! rimshot

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by fan from afar on Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:40 am

eProf wrote:If the contract says that a team should play on Friday, and and a team does not do so, I'd like the opposing coach to have the option of making any three players on the non-Friday-playing team ineligible for the Sunday game.

A novel idea, eprof - If I were the coach making the three picks, I would start by selecting the other team's goalies.

This is an interesting thread. There does seem to be a lot of gamesmanship going on. Given the choice, the obvious answer is to schedule the better opponent on Friday, the lesser one on Sunday, although you don't always know that far ahead who the stronger opponent will be. I would be interested in hearing from fans in attendance at Stanford - Did the Pilots seem more tired or sluggish than Stanford? Do you think the difference in the Friday games might at least partly account for the poor first half?

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by jc on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:46 am

There is probably some freshness effect that comes from no game (or an easy game) two days prior to a match, but I don't think one should make too much of it in this case. First, the Portland women have proven to be very well-conditioned (one bit of evidence: second-half margin). The players who get the most minutes and run the most distance -- Elli and Jessica -- seem to still have plenty of energy, even after 90 minutes. Second, outside of those two plus Sophie and Keelin, there has been plenty of substitution this year. I know we looked sluggish often on Sunday, but I would attribute it more to the UW style of play than to UW being fresher. There are enough other constraints in scheduling that if a school wishes to play top teams many of the matches will necessarily follow tough games just two days prior. In the long run I believe the more challenging schedule is a big benefit.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:22 am

Good points all around, JC.

However, I think the issue people have is that, generally speaking, when a Sunday game like this is scheduled between two Top-25 teams it is written in the contract that the teams are either both to play games on Friday or both not to play - which is understandable for both sides, because when you are talking the high stakes of RPI and seeding and all that the only way you can do it is try and ensure that all is fair and that both teams are on a level playing field in terms of freshness.

I'm not blaming our struggles against Washington on this and I haven't seen our contract with them, but since this is pretty standard across the world of college soccer, I have to believe that Washington did something a bit untoward here.

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Re: Why Didn't Washington Play on Friday?

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:18 am

I thought I'd track back a few years to see what the actual history was.

2005:
We played on a Friday. (Away)
UW played Gonzaga the previous Sunday (5 days). we played Arizona the previous Friday(7 days)

2006:
We played on a Friday. (Home)
UW played the previous Thurs(BYU)-Friday (New Mex). We played 2 Arizona schools on Fri/Sunday
UW played UNM back to back with BYU. they lost to BYU and beat UNM


2007:
We played on a Wednesday. (away)
The Portland invitational was the weekend before, so both teams played the same two teams the weekend before.

2008:
We played on a Friday.(home)
UW played Hawaii and Utah the weekend before, we traveled East to play Rutgers and Penn State.

2009:
We played on a Sunday. (away)
UW played Seattle U. 4 days before, we played Cal 2 days before.

2010:
We played on a Sunday, of course. (home)
UW played USF the Sunday before (7 days), we played Oregon the Friday before (2 days).


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