Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

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Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by FANatic on Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:33 am

For two consecutive years we have overcome injuries to key players and the loss of other key players to national team commitments. For two consecutive years we have made deep runs into the tournament only to be turned back by UCLA on their (crappy) turf.

Many have expressed their thoughts on this, of course, from various different angles. I have said before in this forum that I don't like excuses. I understand how difficult it is to play a great team on their pitch. Just as I know teams dread having to come to Merlo to face our extremely tough team, as well as the overwhelming advantage of our "12th Man".

Even Garrett has said that the outcome of this last ousting by UCLA would have had a different outcome at Merlo. Well...I agree! So that's two years in a row, ousted by UCLA at their place, in the Elite Eight. Sooo.....What are we going to do about it? I challenge all of you to give this some serious thought before posting. I have accepted that we will be travelling the first 2 rounds every year. We can beat those teams and almost always do. But we apparently aren't strong enough yet to regularly win on the road in the Quarterfinals.

So NCAA Selection Committee and RPI gurus, how are the 3rd round and Quarterfinal teams playoff venues chosen? By record? By seeding? By RPI rating? How do we know we will not be back next year in the Quarterfinals against UCLA down in L.A. again? We've been there two years in a row. Why not three? What must we do to get that critical Quarterfinal match at Merlo? Or, how can we find the strength and will to win a HUGE game on the road in the play-offs without Sinc to bail us out?

Let's get number three in 2008!!! cheers

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:59 pm

FANatic,
as you preferenced, i have taken time to think about this. an all these hours later, the only thing i can think of is 'just win baby'. as much as i hate al davis an the oakland raiders, the only opition i can come up with is to win every an all games. with the ncaa's logic, that is the only way our girls will be able to host the quater finals

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by fozziewozzie on Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:33 pm

pilotdrumer,
i have to give you credit becuase i believe i pilferred my avitar from your photo world! please accept my apologizes. but i am asbsolutley in love with my avitar courtesy of your photo journalistic skills. thank you!

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:06 pm

FANatic, I can say definitively that the 3rd and quarter-final round venues are determined (1) by seed, if one or both teams are seeded and (2) by RPI rating if no team is seeded. The only exception is if the team that otherwise would get the home game can't meet the NCAA's specs for a satisfactory field (which is why USC had to travel to West Virginia for the quarter-finals -- shame on USC -- not the team, the school!). This is not exactly what the NCAA rules say should happen, but it is what the NCAA does.

There are two thing that need to happen to get the 1st/2nd round games and quarter-finals here at Merlo. First, the players have to do their jobs. One less loss this year and we probably would have had a quarter-finals game here. Second, there needs to be a big, aggressive, and angry effort to get the NCAA to recognize the limits of the RPI (it discriminates against the stronger regions, which these days means the West region) and the unfairness of its rules for siting rounds 1 and 2 games. We all know about the siting rule problems. But not many know about the RPI problem. Washington State, Arizona State, and possibly Oregon were victims of the RPI this year because it is unable to recognize that some regions (this year the West) are stronger than others and therefore deserve greater representation in the Tournament. Until the NCAA recognizes and becomes willing to deal with that RPI problem, we are going to experience the same thing year after year. I'm working on a very long and technical paper about the RPI that will explain what I'm talking about. I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the month, at which point I'll make it available to anyone who wants to see it for review and comment. Stay tuned! As far as I'm concerned, it's war with the NCAA until it starts treating Women's DI soccer properly.

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:33 am

I guess we have to help the Northwest PAC10 schools recruit so we can get rounds 1 and 2 at home.

It looks like they'll be taking Gonzaga away from us in a couple years because of the no-game-in-conference-for-3-rounds change, so maybe we just need to get rolling luggage for the team.

UPSF, are you saying we should be scheduling schools like BC, BU, and maybe Hofstra?

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by FANatic on Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:22 am

Great responses thus far, fellow Pilots family members.

UPSoccerFanatic: I like your call to arms! Although I do not understand the RPI on your level, I think I do have a general idea. Count me in! I'd love to review your first draft, and any other weapons you'd be comfortable sharing. I may carry only sword, shield and pen, but I am quite adept at the art of war. And when it comes to my 2nd family, the team and we, the 12th Man, I will defend with honor our dignity and NCAA given rights. If that means taking on the NCAA itself, so be it!!!

Our team is being made to travel unjustly, at least in the 1st/2nd rounds. I don't believe it's an excuse to say that this travel may be wearing down our players, both mentally and physically. We EARN the right to play at home for those opening round games by virtue of the success of our season. We always schedule some tough games for the non-conference part of our schedule, and our WCC conference schedule is generally acknowledged to be very difficult.

While it's a widely accepted fact that great teams do win on the road, when you are disregarded and disrespected year after year after posting one strong season after the other, there comes a time when somebody has to step up and say ENOUGH!

(BTW - In the 2006 playoffs we defeated three consecutive teams on the road before losing in the Quarterfinals. This with a team that had its two most dynamic players and top goal scorers out with injuries by the time the playoffs rolled around - Megan R. and Michelle E.)

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:35 pm

Regarding the importance of home field advantage: From a Pilots' parent at the UCLA game -- as our players exited the field at halftime, an adult UCLA fan stood on the sidelines screaming at our players, swearing at them and calling them names the parent would not repeat to me. In the meantime, during the game the UCLA security staff spent most of its time eyeballing the Purple guys, looking for reasons to eject them. Apparently, one of the other Pilots' parents finally talked to the security staff and they backed off. Sounds like the security staff wasn't interested in enforcing the NCAA rules (remember the caution at the beginning of each game about the kinds of comments that are not allowed?) but instead were trying to intimidate our cheering squad.

The one time I saw inappropriate comments from Pilots' fans at a game at Merlo (I used to sit next to the student section all the time), meaning comments in violation of the NCAA rules, other Pilots' fans stepped in and told the commenters to knock it off. Sounds like UCLA could care less when it comes to enforcing the minimal rules of decent behavior. I guess I'm an idealist, but I thought they'd have higher standards than that.

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by FANatic on Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:02 am

I don't think it's idealistic to expect minimal rules of decent behavior to be enforced, UPSFanatic. Your story about the UCLA match is appalling. We're probably spoiled by Merlo, but I do have to say I've heard a student or two at our place ride an opponent mercilessly in the past.

Against the Yale Bulldogs this year back in September, Mary Kuder returned to Portland as a senior midfielder and team captain. She had been the state of Washington player of the year in 2003 and came to the Pilots as a freshman recruit in 2004. After playing in only four games that year, she saw the writing on the wall and transferred to Yale the following year. (Nothing wrong with that.)

At least one student with a booming voice rode her the entire match. I don't recall any "bad" language and I don't know what the NCAA rules are, but this knucklehead never let up on her the whole game. Why didn't our security tell him to put a sock in it or risk ejection? I felt for Mary. She was doing nothing but playing hard for her team. After awhile I got sick and tired of hearing this Bozo. I felt like walking over there to the student section and putting my own sock in his mouth! (Trust me, gagging on my sock is not a pleasant experience.)

I actually hear a student or two ride a player like that every season, at a match or two. Usually it's because of how they look or a mistake they have made during the match, or some other inane reason. I wish someone with the authority to do so would inform the head of security at these matches and silence these pea brains. (I'm not talking about our rowdy student section in general. They seem to inspire our players. I'm talking about individuals with very loud voices who single out one player from the visiting team and ride them the whole game. I just don't like personal attacks against players on the other team.)

Don't get me wrong. Our crowds are incredible and I regularly hear Pilots fans telling the opposing team's players and coaches what a great game they played. It is as classy a crowd as I've ever seen in this area.

It's the old "one rotten apple" cliche, but it's so true. Just one loud mouth at a game makes me feel terribly uneasy. It's not what PILOTS stand for.

Maybe I'll send a note to the head of security myself. (Sorry for the rant.) Mad

(Perhaps, UPSF, we are both a bit idealistic! I don't find that a bad thing, personally.)

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by A_Fan on Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:28 am

I have a UP story about riding players, it's not soccer related, but its a good story. Back when Rob Chavez was the Men's basketball coach I was at a volleyball match. For some reason which I cannot remember the team the Pilots were playing had all freshman on the floor the whole match and the Pilots handled them pretty easily. Several Men's basketball players were there and they badgered those freshman unmercifully. It was embarrassing. I didn't get up the nerve to go over and tell them to shut up like I should have. That night I wrote a note to Coach Chavez. I explained to him that I thought it was one thing for his players to razz a competitive opponent but pretty bush league to do it all match long to a team of freshman who were just doing their best. I got my frustration off my chest and didn't really expect anything to come of it. I was pleasantly surprised when a few days later I got a note back from Coach Chavez saying he entirely agreed with me about the behavior of his players. He said he had spoken to them about it and assured me that I would not see that type of behavior from his players at future matches. I gained a lot of respect for him for that.

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:11 am

I'm of two minds on this topic. On one hand, of course it's not OK to get overly personal or be super disrespectful to someone, but on the other hand I think some general ribbing and riding isn't a bad thing and in fact is usually pretty darn fun for everyone involved - fans and players. Believe me... there were lots of guys from opposing teams who would make faces or hand gestures or whatever to student fans, and it was almost always playful... really only Jason Keep (the big center from USD a few years back) was the only guy who I could tell was genuinely pissed off at us students. (Maybe those chants about his SAT score chants were a bit below the belt...) I think it's part of sports and that athletes - especially basketball players - are definitely used to it by the time they get to college.

But for sports like women's soccer or volleyball... generally speaking it just doesn't seem right to razz a player unless they do something on the field. From my Merlo student section experience, I would say that whichever unlucky player happens to be playing on the side in front of the students will hear a bit, but really it won't turn "ugly" at all unless that player starts playing dirty or fouling our players or something like that. When that happens... sometimes it's hard to put the cork back in the bottle, you know what I mean?

Anyway... I actually think that UP's students tend to be pretty tame and that when they do razz other players usually it's not much more than just shouting our their name a bunch of times.

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:44 am

I generally agree that the regular kind of razzing is fine. It makes it fun and is part of home field advantage. At the USC game in LA, their men's water polo team was there and were razzing Haelee Deyoung, asking her about what there was to do in Draper, Utah. Interesting thing was that after a while someone went down and sat with them and started telling them about Draper. Turns out, it was Haelee's dad. Pretty funny, and the guys moved on.

The student section, when Chardonnay Poole played for SC, used to ride her about her name. It was pretty funny and she handled it just fine.

That kind of stuff I don't mind. But obscene comments are something else. At the beginning of each game, there's a PA announcement about the NCAA's rules, which are, among other things, that sexual comments about players are cause for ejection.

I think there also are examples where normal razzing can go to far, as when a team is getting demolished and fans start personally demeaning their players, as A_Fan mentioned. But hard razzing as part of good natured fun seems fine to me. This year, I particularly enjoyed the "You can't do that" chant following fouls and the "I can't hear, I can't see, I want to be a referee" cheer.

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Re: Sooo.....What Are We Going To Do About It?

Post by fozziewozzie on Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:41 am

i sit in the student section as often as i am allowed. i love the spirit an the view. that being said, as the years have gone on, i have been more an more disappointed in the students. while i love the chants, 'you cant do that' an 'you got lucky', i have become increasinly disappionted with their rudeness. this is NOT what the u of p is about!! an this from someone who is not even an alum of this university, just a fan. my favorite chant, from the 2005 championship season is from the notre dame game. ' we pray harder!'
we are better then that/this!

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