Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:23 pm

fan from afar wrote:
I occasionally look at my CD of UP's first championship. It was a very even game - midfield was very evenly contested. The difference was Christine getting on the end of two possessions and getting the ball into the net. From what I have seen, this year's team was a far superior all-around team to that year's team, EXCEPT - that team had the scorer. This team didn't.

That's how I like to remember it, too, but if you examine the two seasons, there really isn't much difference statistically. And besides, not having Christine isn't bad planing or execution. there is only one of those.

But let's compare the teams:

This year's team scored two more goals (50) than the 2002 team (48) and allowed the same number (12) we were a little less stingy in that we allowed .55 GPG as opposed to the championship team's .49 GPG. We kept the opponent's scoring percentage down by .040 fewer points, so we made them shoot worse or had better keepers.

they were more efficient in scoring, too. it took 375 shots for this edition to score 50, it took the 2002 team 63 more shots to score 2 goals less,
so we scored 2.27 GPG, as opposed to the 2002 team's 1.78 GPG. We did this even though we put fewer shots on goal this year. So, you could claim this year's team were better shooters than the 2002 team.

As to overall play, in addition to matching the GA number, this year's team allowed 22 fewer corner kicks than the 2002 team, although they took 4 fewer.we had 2 more assists this year (48), converted one more penalty, had 3 fewer yellows and were fouled 4 more times and drew a red

But the real differences are minor. this team had a better winning percentage and earned a higher seed. the main difference is that the 2002 team won a 1 goal game and this years team didn't ---once. that's all. otherwise the teams were clones of each other.

I really don't think there is a lot of difference. We are looking to explain away a season that had all the promise in the world until the last game. the team didn't even lose it, technically. sometimes soccer is s cruel sport.





There is one statistic that this year's team blew away the 2002 edition. These players thrilled 46,143 fans who love to watch Pilot soccer. that's another season of leading the NCAA. It appears the nearest rival had more than 10k fewer fans and no one else is close, and more than 176,000 fans watched these seniors. That's more than the next 3 opponent's senior classes combined.

The 2002 team was still building the fan base. Only 16,852 were lucky enough to see that team do it's magic. Those were large crowds then, but nothing like now.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fan from afar on Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:35 am

I REALLY wish I had been one of the 16,852 Pilot fans then (guess that would have meant 16,853 fans) and had seen Christine play in college.

Thanks for the stats. In some ways, they are lending support to my argument, which is that you need a dangerous scorer, and that having the dangerous scorer can overcome other shortcomings. Your point is that even with Christine on the team, the stats for her team were roughly the same as this year's team, and yet they won the NCAA's. Why? I would say because they had the scorer, and this year's team didn't. With two otherwise equal teams on the field, the team with a breakdown-the-defense scorer will eventually win. And, as we saw many times this year, a team (Washington, St Mary, others) that is somewhat inferior can beat or scare the better team if NEITHER team has that scorer.

My observation about this year's team being otherwise (besides Christine) a superior team to '02 were based on how well they controlled games. The fallacy of my observation is that it is based on seeing only the one (championship) game for the '02 team. In that one game at least, I don't think I saw the depth of talent on the '02 team that we had this year, and certainly not the control through mid field. I would be interested in your take as to whether that was true for the whole of '02. This year's team had a lineup full of all-american players, everywhere in the lineup - everything except a dangerous attacker. The '02 team may have been the opposite - the most dangerous attacker (maybe) of all time, and with a few (but FEWER) strong supporting players - do you agree with that? If so, the two teams more or less balance out statistically overall, but the team with the scorer wins and the better balanced team didn't.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by SoreKnees on Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:47 am

Just a quick two cents, which may be more than it is worth!

I felt like the 2002 team was not as good technically as either 2005 or 2010. For me, the 2002 side was just emerging from the old days when teams like UNC and Notre Dame had the ball most of the time against us but we would sometimes score (but never win) when Tifffeny or Shannon would create some magic.

In 2002 we held UNC to a scoreless draw, which for me was a "coming out" of sorts because they didn't dominate the game against us like in the old days. By 2005, we clearly had moved up into the top echelon in game control, with the championship game against UCLA being the final demonstration.

I agree with FFA that this year's team was the equal of the 2005 team in controlling games. But, as many of us have noted, we lacked the spark of a Christine up front. I remember Elli beating a lot of defenders when she played midfield in her early years. I wonder what would have happened had she (or Jess) played 4 years in a more attacking position.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by color me purple on Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:59 am

There is one other important differance between the 2002 team and last year's team that is not being discussed on this string. The 2002 team was coached by Clive Charles. Clive inspired and lead his players on (and off) the pitch. Garrett doesn't. I shudder every time I read one of his players say they are affraid they will get yelled at if they take a shot. That isn't leadership; that's intimidation. There is a differance. I think everyone needs to take a step back and review the mission statement of UP's Athletic Department. I am affraid the UP may have lost their way with their women's soccer program. Its no longer about developing the hearts, minds and spirits of their athletes; it's all about filling the seats in the stadium ($$)and winning the NCAA Div I Championship. I don't think Clive would approve.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fan from afar on Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:03 am

Hey Sore Knees - Worth AT LEAST 2 cents, probably more.

In addition to the '02 championship game, I also bought the '05 championship CD. What a treat. I assume that game was not typical of the whole season, but that things happened to jell at the right moment in time. I haven't watched that one for a while, but my recollection is that the '05 team had the type of ball control the '10 team had, PLUS they had Christine on the finishing end.

I also am wondering whether Jess might have been really effective in a more attacking position. She does have that ability to take someone on and beat them. The thing is, she was such a good one on one defender.

Color Me - Being this far away, I can't really answer you with any authority, but I will say that is not the impression I got when I was out there. It seemed like a very close happy team. They certainly are involved in the community. "Yelled at if they take a shot?" I remember that one quote (only that one time, not "every time"), and I would guess you are taking it FAR too seriously. My guess would be that Garrett was trying to get them to do something in particular in a lopsided game and that she forgot and pulled the trigger. From what I have seen and read, I don't think Garrett is a yeller at all. And, unless I am wrong (always a good possibility), Garrett was the coach in '05 when they won.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:17 am

Garrett also did a lot of the coaching in 2002. Clive was really sick and just could not do a full schedule coaching two teams. I doubt there is much change overall.

And I recall Clive could be pretty forceful in getting players to adjust to his system, to the point where a couple of pretty good players left the program to play elsewhere. ( one lead the nation in scoring at her new home. Her team lost to the Pilots, however).


Last edited by Purplegeezer on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:12 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by A_Fan on Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:09 am

I only recall one player saying this season that she didn't take more shots because she was afraid she might get yelled at. That player was a freshman. Two observations here. 1. "Getting yelled at" is a term used pretty loosely by someone that age. For a prolific high school scorer who may have had pretty free rein in high school even a gentle admonishment might be expressed as "getting yelled at". B. The player never said the "getting yelled at" was by the coaching staff. My experience around the UP teams for many years is that it is more likely that "getting yelled at" came from more experienced teammates and it was not yelling. The coaching staff is not a "getting yelled at" type of staff. It has never been their style and it's not their style now. I have been to many practices in the last couple of years since I retired and I have never heard a coach raise their voice to a player or the team.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by onetouchfutbol on Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:27 pm

But the real differences are minor. this team had a better winning percentage and earned a higher seed. the main difference is that the 2002 team won a 1 goal game and this years team didn't ---once. that's all. otherwise the teams were clones of each other.

I really don't think there is a lot of difference. We are looking to explain away a season that had all the promise in the world until the last game. the team didn't even lose it, technically. sometimes soccer is s cruel sport.
--PGeezer.

Those are some great points. I think we can get into over-analysis or under-analysis in trying to make some sense out of the season. But, the reason we got a #1 seed this year with scoring less is likely that we had a tougher, higher RPI schedule and we still had success.

So, for me the question might be more like: how do we score and convert and remain competitive against the best competition when the stakes are the highest? I think both having mid-field play as well as converters is key. Great players like Sinclair still needed to have a midfielder get the ball and trigger counter attacks. I think focusing on improving mid-field play to feed Foxhoven and Frisbee would be a start... But, mostly, I just agree with PG. Soccer is a cruel sport, and we had a very similar regular season team that got unlucky...

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by purple haze on Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:26 pm

As a father of 2 teenage girls I wouldn't put much weight on the "yelled at" for shooting comment. This is an age group hypersensitive to all sorts of things. "Yelling" can get distorted to mean any admonition or any question delivered in any tone of voice at any volume. Me, I'm a quiet person overall, and my eldest daughter (one of the world's loudest) often says I'm yelling at her. I yell at refs, not daughters.

What I would like to see is the Pilots taking shots in the pre-game warmups. Maybe I don't get to the games early enough to see this phase of warm-up. But I see many other teams with their players taking shots on goal while Pilots have assitant coach Lisa Sari shooting at keepers.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:30 pm

purple haze wrote:

What I would like to see is the Pilots taking shots in the pre-game warmups. Maybe I don't get to the games early enough to see this phase of warm-up. But I see many other teams with their players taking shots on goal while Pilots have assitant coach Lisa Sari shooting at keepers.

That's usually done on the practice field before the keepers warm up on Merlo.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by DaTruRochin on Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:48 pm

Hahha, probably better shooting at a goal with a large netting behind than peppering the stands or Willamette Blvd... I mean they won't make ALL their shots...

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:43 pm

purple haze wrote:
What I would like to see is the Pilots taking shots in the pre-game warmups. Maybe I don't get to the games early enough to see this phase of warm-up. But I see many other teams with their players taking shots on goal while Pilots have assitant coach Lisa Sari shooting at keepers.
The women don't shoot during warmups. They come out, go through their stretch lines, then do some passing and heading, and go back in.

The men, however, do take shots before the game.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fozziewozzie on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:44 pm

fan from a far,
I cannot agree with you more. You can have the most talented team there is, but if you dont have that 'IT' player, your chances are 50/50. When U of P won our championships we had that 'IT' player. Her name is Christine Sinclair! Sinc is to Canadian soccer what Mia Hamm was to American soccer!
While I watched our girls during Tiff's an Shannon's years here, they didnt really have the supporting cast. Sinc did an she was that unique player who could transform a game. You could just see her will herself to do whatever it took to win the ball, to win the game, to win the championship!!

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:09 pm

The whole "It" player argument makes no sense. If you win, your scorer is the "It" player. if you don't then you don't have one.

Nobody can tell me Tiff and Shannon weren't "It" players. They didn't win it all.

Likewise, nobody can tell me USC's Amy Rodriguez was an "It' Player, yet her team did get the big prize. She scored 10 goals in her best season, ended her career with about what Danielle scored as a soph. Her coach benched her for being out of shape. Her stats in the tournament matched Colleen Salisbury. Was Colleen an "It" player or not? She helped win two key matches for us on PK's in both championships and didn't score much more than those two goals. Colleen was certainly more efficient.

Stanford's Ohara had monster stats, then ended her team's hopes for a championship with a stupid red card. was she an "It" player?". How about Notre Dame's Kerri Hanks? She was the best player in college for 3 years. Didn't win a thing. "It", or "Not It"?

How about Casey Noquiera? She frustrated Anson so he sat her for several games after she got thrown off the National team for her lack of training discipline, attitude, and lack of team commitment. Dicicco wrote that the U20's would definitely not have won the u20 World Cup if he had kept her around the team (called her a cancer at one point), yet she got the assist on the score that UNC needed to beat Stanford (ND?) and win a National Championship. Great assist, but was she an "It" player?

I reject that we can't win a National championship without a Sinclair clone. Players need to deliver in key situation, sure, but it doesn't have to be one player. in her second Championship , Christine was hurt, and really hardly scored. she was mainly a decoy to draw defenders. Her main contribution to an outcome in the College Cup was PK to beat Penn State (Colleen also scored, and Christine also "hit one with her purse" - remember?) and supefluous scores in the UCLA final. Wozzie scored the game winner.

Stanford just beat BC 2-0 to get to the final. Name their "It" player...
She didn't score. She and Notre Dame's "It" player spent the day hitting the post - for practice, I guess...



Last edited by Purplegeezer on Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:00 am; edited 10 times in total

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by gnarly on Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:43 pm

I did follow the team in 2002, but I did go to several games in 2005 and have followed the team since. Sinc was a special player but this is a team game. How many times have we faced a talented forward and shut them down because they did not have the supporting cast. The reason we won the championship game was all the small plays that don't show up in any box score, like a couple of key take aways by Huie and a hussle play by Sari. As I watch my tape of that game Woznuk was my my MVP. In 2002, it was a hussle play by Moore that set Christine up for the winning goal.

I'll miss Sophie more than I did Christine. Her character and determination to help the team on either offense or defense is unmatched in all the years I have followed the team. I remember how many times she was there for the seniors when they got eliminated in prior years. I hope someone was there for her this year.

There is also a certain amount of luck in advancing. In the championship years we were fortunate to advance on PKs. Corie made some amazing saves in '05.

Let's look ahead and start thinking about the members of the team for the fall. Will any of the new freshmen start? This year's freshmen are going to be a force for 3 more years and they have Cloee as RS-Fr to boot. An amazing class all around.

Is anyone coming in and enrolling in the spring like Parker did last year? We have 4 on the recruit list for next fall. Will that be it?

Gook luck to last year's seniors. Thanks for the memories and being the role models so that I am happy to bring my daughters to every game I can.




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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by dwm on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:26 pm

Whew! Purplegeezer, that was intense. Bravo!

I think you and I are on the same page.

fan from afar wrote: Your point is that even with Christine on the team, the stats for her team were roughly the same as this year's team, and yet they won the NCAA's. Why? I would say because they had the scorer, and this year's team didn't.

Why? Here's your answer: RANDOM CHANCE! And the second, much-observed answer: PARITY!

There was an academic paper this year by a Brit statistician, proving that in soccer, the better team has substantially less chance of winning than the better team in American football and many other sports. (The author felt that this was an advantage for soccer fans. That's a provocative thought for American sports fans. I.e., fans of the below-average teams have more grounds for hope, whenever they go to a game.)

This is an unavoidable fact because of how rare scoring is in soccer. Ask any statistician. And with the increasing number of good college players, which derives from the popularity of soccer among American girls, there's more parity, more nearly-equal teams, and therefore a greater role for random chance in determining the outcomes. Get used to it. Three out of four #1 seeds got knocked out before the College Cup, it wasn't just us.

Also remember that to win at least one of those two championships we had to advance on PKs in the semis. You win some, you lose some.

This year's team is awesome. They were lucky to beat UW the first time, unlucky the second, too bad it wasn't the other way around.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:55 pm

dwm wrote:
Also remember that to win at least one of those two championships we had to advance on PKs in the semis. You win some, you lose some.

This year's team is awesome. They were lucky to beat UW the first time, unlucky the second, too bad it wasn't the other way around.
We had to advance on PK's in both championships. in 2001 and 2003 we didn't advance, loosing (once on PK's) to Unc and Santa Clara and with largely the same strengths and players.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fan from afar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:41 am

Purplegeezer wrote:The whole "It" player argument makes no sense. If you win, your scorer is the "It" player. if you don't then you don't have one.

I reject that we can't win a National championship without a Sinclair clone. Players need to deliver in key situation, sure, but it doesn't have to be one player. in her second Championship , Christine was hurt, and really hardly scored. she was mainly a decoy to draw defenders. Her main contribution to an outcome in the College Cup was PK to beat Penn State (Colleen also scored, and Christine also "hit one with her purse" - remember?) and supefluous scores in the UCLA final. Wozzie scored the game winner.

Stanford just beat BC 2-0 to get to the final. Name their "It" player...
She didn't score. She and Notre Dame's "It" player spent the day hitting the post - for practice, I guess...


Stanford's "it" player was the one who beat defenders individually and scored.

I agree that you can win without a player of Sinclair's ability. I am also not sure what anyone means by an "it" player. What I believe is that it is almost impossible to win the NCAA's without at least one (OR MORE) player who can beat a defender (break down the defense) and either score or set up someone else. Look at the semi-final goals (I missed the 2nd Stanford goal - recorder ran out). The ND player just took a ball and beat a defender - a good defender. It is immaterial whether she was the big Kahuna on the team or not - the fact is, she scored by taking on and beating a defender. There was not much of any teamwork involved. Same on the (first) Stanford goal - a great INDIVIDUAL effort, not much teamwork involved. BC's great chance came when Mewlis (sp?) drew two defenders to her and left the ball in an open area - another great individual effort.

One point you hammer on here is that having a great scorer does not guarantee success, and I agree. You need the team to go along with him/her. Cal is the perfect example this year. However, that is the opposite of what I said, which is that it is VERY difficult to win WITHOUT one. I also think you are stretching things if you are saying that Rodriguez, O'Hara and Noguiera, regardless of their other liabilities, were not dangerous players who could beat defenders and score. I believe Noguiera scored the only goal in the championship game of two years ago, on a great individual effort.

Final fact - All of the teams (possibly except OSU) who made it to the semis have AT LEAST one player who can beat defenders one on one and break down defenses individually. While you may not need a Sinclair clone, at the end of the day you do need a player(s) who can attack successfully one on one, either to set up someone else or score. Woznuk was one, by the way.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by purple haze on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:13 am

To add to this most excellent discussion, here's how the Stanford website describes the first goal in Stanford's semifinal win over Boston College:
"Levin took a pass from Christen Press and attacked the goal, exploiting space that opened up above the penalty area.

"Their back line was really tight on you initially and then they would start to drop back," Levin said. "They kept dropping and I just kind of cut one side and saw an open shot."

It was Levin's second goal of the season. She also became the 10th Stanford player to score in the NCAA tournament, a span of five matches. As opponents concentrate on marking Press, the nation's leading scorer, Stanford has proven its depth and breadth of talent."

So Press, Stanford's "It" player, didn't score, but drew defensive attention away from someone else and passed to someone else for the game-winning assist.

There are many ways to win a soccer game -- at the most simplistic level, your team has to score one more than the other team. Whoever does that -- be they forward, defender, PK shooter off the bench -- will be a hero among those who care.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:26 am

Yeah, Press drew defenders (of course she did - she will deservedly get the Herman), but nobody thinks the Mewis's or Dimartino or a couple others on the BC team can't draw defenders or score 1v1. They are some of the most celebrated 1v1 players in the game. virtually that whole starting midfield and forwards were considered dominant top 5 players before they signed. Doninant 1v1 doesn't always do it against 4 well coordinated defenders, though.

What won it for Stanford was the dominant passing game and great defending, which BC didn't match. Quon going forward like Elli or Jess was a factor in pressuring the defense, also. Stanford hit the post at least 4 times and still had enough opportunities to win. It was TEAM play that won that game.

You have to hand it to Stanford. They looked like the best of UP teams yesterday. How many times have you watched College soccer and been able to say that?

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by onetouchfutbol on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:45 am

Some really excellent points in the posts above. Two that I absolutely agree with:

1) In every championship or Final 4 run, we've always had to win a shootout. Always.
2) Midfield play was always what set up our counterattacks or our best scorers like Sinclair. The better the competition becomes, the more important midfield play becomes.

I'm sure that the national champion will dominate midfield play and shots on goal once again. I like Stanford's chances as well; I think they're overdue for more success...

----------------------

Also, I'd like to remind people that stats can be misconstrued as well. Shots on goal and conversion rates should be compared to the RPI of your schedule to get the big picture. On one hand, we converted less goals in the regular season this year. On the other hand, the goals that we did score were often against better teams. That's why we got the #1 seed that we deserved.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:55 am

What's missing is that what really wins is that old cliché, defense. Winners let in 15 or fewer goals a season- almost always.

I like our future there....


Last edited by Purplegeezer on Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fan from afar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:04 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:

What won it for Stanford was the dominant passing game and great defending, which BC didn't match. Quon going forward like Elli or Jess was a factor in pressuring the defense, also. Stanford hit the post at least 4 times and still had enough opportunities to win. It was TEAM play that won that game.

You have to hand it to Stanford. They looked like the best of UP teams yesterday. How many times have you watched College soccer and been able to say that?

I seem to be quoting you a lot (that's a compliment) - I agree team play won the game, in this respect - control of the ball and the game in general gave Stanford many many more opportunities to score. In the end, though, it was the individual effort of beating a defender that finally got the ball into the net for them. You need both. Even after all the possession and passing, you need someone who can beat a defender - to score, to draw attention and to set someone up, to cross the ball, whatever else I am not thinking of. You need that moment of individual brilliance from a player.

Re defending - I actually thought the BC backs defended pretty well. Their back line was put under too much constant pressure.

I agree about Stanford looking super. They possess the ball like the Pilots do, maybe a little more direct, and they also have the dangerous finishers. I also thought Verloo looked solid with the ball.

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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:23 pm

fan from afar wrote:
Re defending - I actually thought the BC backs defended pretty well. Their back line was put under too much constant pressure.

Oh, you can't blame it on the backs. I thought they played well. But defense is a team thing, not a back thing. The best defense is possession in the opponents end. There are very few 80 yard scores. (quote that Very Happy )

We have dominant 1v1 players that can pressure defenses - even Stanford's. We won the second half of that game in possession, shots, corners, and scoring. Dani made a great individual play (two, really) to score. We just didn't do it enough in their home this year.

I could go on with a list of times we had players make dominant individual plays this year. I'll just point to Sophie scoring on the kickoff after UW's score. I don't think i even ever saw Christine do that. (not that I can remember all 108 scores)

We will have those next year, too. One of Amanda's strikes (5 goals in about 40 minutes of play) took your breath away with its power.

Geezaldinho
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Re: Garrett Smith Looks Ahead

Post by fan from afar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:25 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:
fan from afar wrote:

There are very few 80 yard scores. (quote that Very Happy )

We will have those next year, too. One of Amanda's strikes (5 goals in about 40 minutes of play) took your breath away with its power.

I'll add it to the growing collection in my Geezer quote book.

I have great hopes for Michaela, and also Amanda from what everyone is saying - I didn't see her play when I was out there.

fan from afar
First man off the Bench
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