Is it time to consider new leadership?

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Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by purplehaze on Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:05 pm

When I watch the team i see quite a few talented and strong players who are not able to play their best soccer as a result of the formation, or who is on the field and who is managing midfield. I don't understand the decisions that are being made regarding the lineup and positioning of players. We have some real bright spots in this young group. I am hopeful they will develop in true Pilots, but I am not optimistic because I don't believe the school has the courage to change the leadership.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by SoreKnees on Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:13 pm

It would be interesting to know what has happened to ticket revenue for the women. Attendance would tell us something (and is way, way down), but even that overestimates the women's drawing power because I'm sure many people (like me, for instance) renewed season tickets for the men this year.

For most enterprises (even non-profits) revenue loss is a wake-up call that is hard to ignore.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by ninjapizza on Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:04 pm

Yes. It was time a handful of years ago. The danger klaxon was honking before anyone else got up the nerve to talk about it here, even (link), and that was two years ago. I recall pushback for even gently questioning coaching decisions on this board in 2013.

Small positive adjustments have come and gone, along with coaches, recruits and players mid-college career, but how many more poor or no showings in the NCAA tournament will it take? We've long accepted that there is not another Sinclair out there. We can't attract the Rapinoes of the country anymore, but we struggle to even attract regional talent the caliber of any of the 2005 starting 11, or even the bench, I'd wager.

I still love the Pilots and I would never put down anyone who plays in Purple. But can't we give them someone they want to play for?


Last edited by ninjapizza on Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:08 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by ehk21 on Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:39 pm

Of course no one likes to remove people from their jobs, but the program really is just a shell of its former self. Wins, NCAA Tournament appearances, player achievements, attendance--all metrics continue to decline. Even look at this Pilot Nation forum: participation here continues to sag as interest diminishes, in large part because women's soccer no longer generates any kind of buzz. It's sad.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by ejjqb on Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:44 pm

First, concerning ticket revenue, several years ago I complained about having to pay for season tickets for the dismal men's games in order to have tickets for the women and received a take it or leave it response. Recently I sent a similar complaint about the requirement to buy women's season tickets in order to get the men. At least this time the response told me that they were very concerned about the state of the women's program and understood my complaint. So maybe there is hope.

Now as for this team, watching on Sunday was painful. Those around me agreed that the worst was the apparent lack of effort by some of the seniors in the first half. Some promising looking freshmen at least showed that some on the team really do care. One senior in particular gave the ball away uncontested on her first five touches. This has been her norm for the season and yet she continues to start. Does the coaching staff even pay attention to this? At least when she was subbed back in the second half, the effort was much better so maybe someone did get into her ear. I really can't blame all those who have deserted this team when you see players who played their best soccer 2-3 years ago performing as they do. To me, this is all on the coach.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Susie Que on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:10 am

Maybe a PK in the 90th minute against Oregon State, an own-goal on UC Davis and not finishing dead last in conference gives the coaching staff another year.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by StudentPilot on Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:41 am

Did UP win the state of Oregon D1 women's soccer championship on Friday?

A 1-1 tie in the exhibition game against UO, the 2-1 win over PSU, and the 1-0 win against OSU would seem to give them a shot at the championship.

I've read the reactions of disappointed women's soccer fans on PilotNation, and after walking behind the far/press box stands at Merlo last week and learning from all the names and pictures that UP women's soccer has a winning tradition (we students are blissfully "ignorant" of the Pilots' past accomplishments because most of us hadn't even begun grammar school when UP won the two National Championships), I can sort of understand fan's frustrations.

But for those of us who sit in the student section, the soccer games are more about supporting our classmates and partying and making a lot of noise.  Sure, we are disappointed when our classmates lose, but life does not change for us, we still head to a party after Friday and Saturday games, hit the books on Sunday, and head back to class on Monday morning with our student-athlete classmates/friends.

I know the disappointment expressed on PilotNation is directed towards the leadership in the Athletic Department, and not toward the players, but from this student's perspective it's just college sports!! If you were to listen to the student's conversations, you'd discover that most college students are more concerned about the discouraging things happening around the world, and especially here in the US, than we are about sports.

Not all of us place the blame for today's problems on the generations ahead of us, but neither are we concerned about playing sports at the same level as those generations may have done….

Kids today!! But what can you do?
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A refreshing viewpoint

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:49 pm

I am one of the fans who is frustrated at the performance of the UP women's soccer team.  I far too often make comparisons to how the teams of yesteryear used to perform.

I really appreciate this latest viewpoint.  Soccer is only a game, and those of us who live vicariously in the past are causing ourselves a lot of unnecessary frustration.

And yes, I do believe UP won the state big college soccer title for the year.  The final match in the state challenge program will occur on 11/2 when OSU and UO tangle.  But UP has sewn up the state soccer title for this year (woeful soccer though it has been).

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Susie Que on Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:04 pm

Can't we acknowledge that there are disconcerting things going on in the world and simultaneously want a change in the coaching staff? These two ideas are not mutually exclusive.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by OldePilot on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:56 am

Well said StudentPilot!

And no, the ideas are not mutually exclusive. But the priorities certainly are.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:44 am

Food for thought...

Non-"Power Five" conference teams that have made the "Sweet 16" since 2010. (2009 was the last year that Portland made the quarterfinals.)

This probably isn't actually very helpful without going further back, but I don't have time to do that right now.

But overall since 2010:
* 13% of Sweet 16 teams are non-"Big 5" (15 of 112)
* 9% of Quarterfinals teams are non-"Big 5" (5 of 56)
* 3% of Final Four teams are non-"Big 5" (1 of 28)
* 0 runner-ups (0 of 14)
* 0 champions (0 of 7)

Clearly, women's soccer has changed a lot since the days of an all-WCC championship game like in 2002.

At any rate, nearly 50% (7 of 15) of the appearances are still from WCC teams.

2010:
Georgetown (Quarterfinals)
Marquette (Sweet 16)
UC Irvine (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 1 seed, lost in second round

2011:
Long Beach State (Quarterfinals)
San Diego (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Unseeded, lost in second round

2012:
BYU (Quarterfinals)
Marquette (Sweet 16)
San Diego State (Sweet 16)
Denver (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 4 seed, lost in second round

2013:
Santa Clara (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 3 seed, lost in second round

2014:
Pepperdine (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs

2015:
Loyola Marymount (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs

2016:
Georgetown (Final Four)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
BYU (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs

* * *

Las year was obviously a bounce-back year for non-"Big 5" teams, but it was preceded by three consecutive years of a lone non-Big 5 team (WCC, incidentally) managing to only make the Sweet 16.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:16 pm

Thanks for that information, Stonehouse! Really makes me look at this situation a little differently. I would also like to commend StudentPilot for sharing your perspective on the situation. I will always cheer for anyone who dons a Pilot uniform, but I also see value in the posts since too. We can cheer for the ladies but also expect more out of the adult leaders of the program.

Some thoughts from me. Here is my position: something is not working right now. I have no way of knowing what it is since I am an outsider to team. What I can know is that my expectations for Pilot soccer (not outlandish: compete for WCC title, make the playoffs regularly, and make deep runs every couple of years), which are based on historical precedent for Pilot soccer, are not being met.  I have no care for what changes are made to meet my expectations so long as we maintain the tradition of the program and give it an upward trajectory.

Regarding the P5 post. That's really interesting that the WCC (maybe Big East) are the only outsiders that make noise in the tournament anymore. That makes me feel marginally better about our situation, but I still would like to see our ladies maintain their status as one of the top three in the conference (with Santa Clara and BYU).

I can't say I am surprised that the big schools have caught on. Soccer is growing in popularity and the big schools just keep getting bigger. I think TV is starting to make all the difference in the non-football/basketball sports in the same way it did for those. For example, every SEC women's soccer game is on TV. But, I digress, I do not think all of OUR issues are the result of TV exposure for P5 schools. I do think that our task of remaining relevant has become all the more difficult though as a result of that.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:00 pm

OK... couldn't help myself. Here are the stats going all the way back to 1992, Portland's first post-season appearance.

As can be clearly seen, the 90s and early 2000s were simply a different era when it came to non-Power 5 schools being competitive in the women's tournament. It peaked with back-to-back titles by Santa Clara and Portland in 2001-02.

And it wasn't just Portland and Santa Clara, though those were easily the two best non-Power 5 teams in terms of College Cup appearance. Schools like William & Mary, Hartford, Massachusetts, James Madison, Dartmouth, and Harvard had multiple deep runs into the tournament.

It began to slow down in 2003, and really began to change in 2006 - the year after Portland's second title.

Comparing equal 11-season time periods, the performance drop-off for non-Power 5 teams really jumps out:

1995-2005
Championships: 3
Finalists: 5
Final Fours: 16
Quarterfinals: 26
Sweet 16s: 54

2006-2016
Championships: 0
Finalists: 0
Final Fours: 1
Quarterfinals: 9
Sweet 16s: 21

When you look at it through this lens, our four straight quarterfinal appearances in 2006-2009 were extremely impressive. For a few of those years, we were the only non-power 5 team to advance even to the Sweet 16, let alone the quarterfinals.

Another interesting tidbit - Portland hasn't advanced to the Sweet 16 since 2009. During that time, only three non-Power 5 teams have made it that far multiple times: Santa Clara, BYU, and Georgetown. (All just twice.) All other non-Power 5 teams that have made it to the Sweet 16 since 2009 have only made one appearance.

And Georgetown's 2016 College Cup run was the first time a non-Power 5 team made the Final 4 since Portland in 2005.

Long story short? It's a different world out there in women's college soccer. Now does that mean that Portland shouldn't be qualifying for the playoffs consistently and even winning playoff games? Of  course not.

But it does mean that the days of multiple College Cup runs and consistent quarterfinals appearances are probably behind us, and behind every other non-Power 5 team.

1992 (12 teams)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
Hartford (Final 4)
William & Mary (Quarterfinals)
Massachusetts (Quarterfinals)
SMU (Sweet 16... well, actually Sweet 12)
Portland (Sweet 16... well, actually Sweet 12)

1993 (16 teams)
George Mason (Finalist)
Massachusetts (Final 4)
Portland (Quarterfinals)
Florida International (Quarterfinals)
SMU (Sweet 16)
Dartmouth (Sweet 16)
Providence (Sweet 16)
William & Mary (Sweet 16)
Santa Clara (Sweet 16)

1994 (24 teams)
Portland (Final 4)
Hartford (Quarterfinals)
William & Mary (Quarterfinals)
George Mason (Sweet 16)
Saint Mary's (Sweet 16)
Brown (Sweet 16)
Massachusetts (Sweet 16)

1995 (24 teams)
Portland (Finalist)
SMU (Final 4)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
James Madison (Sweet 16)
Massachusetts (Sweet 16)

1996 (32 teams)
Portland (Final 4)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
James Madison (Sweet 16)
Massachusetts (Sweet 16)
San Diego (Sweet 16)

1997 (32 teams)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
William & Mary (Quarterfinals)
Harvard (Quarterfinals)
George Mason (Sweet 16)
UNC Greensboro (Sweet 16)
Hartford (Sweet 16)
SMU (Sweet 16)
* Portland - Lost in first round

1998 (48 teams)
Portland (Final 4)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
Dartmouth (Quarterfinals)
William & Mary (Sweet 16)
San Diego State (Sweet 16)
BYU (Sweet 16)
Hartford (Sweet 16)

1999 (48 teams)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
Hartford (Quarterfinals)
William & Mary (Sweet 16)
SMU (Sweet 16)
*Portland - Missed playoffs

2000 (48 teams)
Portland (Final 4)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
Harvard (Sweet 16)
BYU (Sweet 16)
Dartmouth (Sweet 16)

2001 (64 teams)
Santa Clara (Champion)
Portland (Final 4)
Dayton (Sweet 16)
Dartmouth (Sweet 16)
Cincinnati (Sweet 16)

2002 (64 teams)
Portland (Champion)
Santa Clara (Finalist)
Pepperdine (Sweet 16)
Richmond (Sweet 16)

2003 (64 teams)
BYU (Quarterfinals)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
Portland (Sweet 16)

2004 (64 teams)
Princeton (Final 4)
Santa Clara (Final 4)
Portland (Quarterfinals)

2005 (64 teams)
Portland (Champion)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
Pepperdine (Sweet 16)
Marquette (Sweet 16)
Cal State Fullerton (Sweet 16)
Yale (Sweet 16)

2006 (64 teams)
Portland (Quarterfinals)

2007 (64 teams)
Portland (Quarterfinals)

2008 (64 teams)
Portland (Quarterfinals)
James Madison (Sweet 16)

2009 (64 teams)
Portland (Quarterfinals)
Santa Clara (Sweet 16)

2010 (64 teams)
Georgetown (Quarterfinals)
Marquette (Sweet 16)
UC Irvine (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 1 seed, lost in second round

2011 (64 teams)
Long Beach State (Quarterfinals)
San Diego (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Unseeded, lost in second round

2012 (64 teams)
BYU (Quarterfinals)
Marquette (Sweet 16)
San Diego State (Sweet 16)
Denver (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 4 seed, lost in second round

2013 (64 teams)
Santa Clara (Sweet 16)
* Portland: 3 seed, lost in second round

2014 (64 teams)
Pepperdine (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs

2015 (64 teams)
Loyola Marymount (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs

2016 (64 teams)
Georgetown (Final Four)
Santa Clara (Quarterfinals)
BYU (Sweet 16)
* Portland: Missed playoffs
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Corrado Kid on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:44 pm

Unlike for others, mediocrity or worse is not acceptable.

With a fourth straight year out of the playoffs, it certainly will be time for new leadership.

Shannon MacMillan would be a great choice to coach here. Too bad she probably wouldn't take the job.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by ehk21 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:04 pm

Here's another way to look at it. When the Pilot volleyball program is having a better season and is on a better short-term/medium-term trajectory than the Pilot women's soccer program, then something needs to be done. What factor is the crucial one that has elevated women's volleyball to respectability after decades of difficulty?

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by ejjqb on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:03 pm

I love all the detailed analysis by Stonehouse. It really puts things in perspective concerning expectations for deep playoff runs. However, it has nothing to do with the Pilots' lack of competitiveness within the WCC. All most fans would like to see is quality soccer by players making maximum effort. For some reason, the quality has been lacking much of the time for years now, and this is from players who were touted as quality players. In fact, I would say that the current seniors are playing little better than they did as freshmen. How could that happen? It has been so frustrating to see how often uncontested passes have gone to the other team while an open Pilot was making a run or Pilot players simply making no effort to contest a loose ball or players are completely out of position. You do not have to be a Power 5 school to play quality soccer. The last game showed some improvement but there must be more consistency throughout games, not at critical times. Soccer games are not always won by the team with the most talent but effort and quality of play can overcome a lot. Let's at least reach the level of the WCC (and score a few goals!) and we would have little to complain about based on Stonehouse's work.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:06 pm

1. This has been the most discussion in this forum since probably 2013, I would guess. Just wanted to share that.

2. I would love it if ChrisAWK would weigh in but I would never force him to.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:33 pm

ejjqb wrote:I love all the detailed analysis by Stonehouse.  It really puts things in perspective concerning expectations for deep playoff runs.  However, it has nothing to do with the Pilots' lack of competitiveness within the WCC.

Completely agree! I didn't post all that to make excuses... just to show that the landscape has changed.

I would imagine that everyone in the UP athletic department from administration to coaches would agree that being regularly competitive within the conference (or showing real progress toward that) is a must. Easier said than done in some sports than others, but still... if all of our peer institutions are passing us by, that's a sign something isn't quite right.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Susie Que on Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:40 pm

SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:1. This has been the most discussion in this forum since probably 2013, I would guess. Just wanted to share that.

2. I would love it if ChrisAWK would weigh in but I would never force him to.
We should also hear from Geezaldinho and UPSoccerFanatic, who both are respected voices on this board.

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by OldePilot on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:09 am

Wow! Dipper sure got shortchanged affraid
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Disgruntled on Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:13 pm

Well, I am sure that Chris,Geez, UPSF and DD and others who are ultimately very identifiable prefer not to weigh in on firing a coach. Heck, I am posting under a pseudonym so as not to put myself in any strange situations. It is never with great joy that you call for someone to be fired, GS and his staff all have families, and lives outside of Soccer and outside of UP.

Something is broken, and I am not sure how it should be fixed aside from the obvious. Yes this is college athletics, there are greater things to worry about, but how many people in this city, state, region solely know of UP because of Women's Soccer?

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:13 pm

Susie Que wrote:
SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:1. This has been the most discussion in this forum since probably 2013, I would guess. Just wanted to share that.

2. I would love it if ChrisAWK would weigh in but I would never force him to.
We should also hear from Geezaldinho and UPSoccerFanatic, who both are respected voices on this board.
I have some pertinent data that I'll post, but I'm going to wait until the season is over. For now, I'm just going to root for the team and enjoy my time at Merlo Field.
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by VillaGorilla on Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:16 pm

Stonehouse wrote:
ejjqb wrote:I love all the detailed analysis by Stonehouse.  It really puts things in perspective concerning expectations for deep playoff runs.  However, it has nothing to do with the Pilots' lack of competitiveness within the WCC.

Completely agree! I didn't post all that to make excuses... just to show that the landscape has changed.

I would imagine that everyone in the UP athletic department from administration to coaches would agree that being regularly competitive within the conference (or showing real progress toward that) is a must. Easier said than done in some sports than others, but still... if all of our peer institutions are passing us by, that's a sign something isn't quite right.

The landscape has changed . . . nationally that is.  Gone are the days when big state football-sponsoring research institutions would come onto Merlo starry-eyed and get run off the pitch.  They were indifferent then which is what allowed us to bring Parade All-Americans off the bench.

I don't know that the landscape has changed much in terms of the conference though.  We added one big school but otherwise have the same profile we did a decade or so ago.  Out of curiosity I went back and compiled our conference finishes over the last decade.  Brought back some great past memories!  And some sobering recent ones.  Here's what it looks like for calendar year, finish, number of conference teams, points, games played, points per game, and goal differential:

Year  Fin   Team    Pts  G  PPG    GD
2007    1        8    21   7  3.00   +19
2008    1        8    21   7  3.00   +20
2009    1        8    21   7  3.00   +32
2010    1        8    19   7  2.71   +11
2011    5        9    12   8  1.50   +4
2012    2        9    17   8  2.13   +12
2013    1       10    24   9  2.67   +12
2014    5       10    13   9  1.44   -2
2015    5       10    12   9  1.33   +2
2015    6       10    10   9  1.11   -7
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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by Corrado Kid on Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:35 pm

Last year's team had the lowest conference finish in program history. We added recruits described by the school's media department as "a heralded freshman class, which was ranked 28th in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer." And now, based on the dismal results to date, Chris Thomas, the RPI authority and self-described Pilot fanatic, projects an even worse finish.

With conference play still ahead of us, the outlook is already grim with no chance of being an at-large tournament selection.

There is little doubt this will not be a successful season. The only question now is how bad it'll be.


Last edited by Corrado Kid on Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Re: Is it time to consider new leadership?

Post by SoreKnees on Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:16 pm

Corrado Kid wrote:
There is little doubt this will not be a successful season. The only question now is how bad it'll be.

There's one more question, which speaks to the title of this thread: "How will UP officials react?" The historical record in the table clearly shows that they have been extremely patient with the current staff. Extremely.
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