2018 Season

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:02 pm

In an interesting result, Northern Arizona beat Cal State Northridge today, @CSUN.  CSUN has been picked to finish 2nd (Chris Henderson @ All White Kit), 3rd (my simulation), or 4th (Big West coaches) in the Big West.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by A_Fan on Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:49 am

Sore Knees wrote: "Madison Carter, the frosh striker, has a combination of height and pace that I don't remember the Pilot women having ... well ... ever!"

I seem to remember a tall forward with good pace named Sinclair. She was a pretty fair player.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by A_Fan on Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:52 am

UPSF can you tell us what you think about the new system the NCAA is going to use instead of RPI? The article in the paper this morning seems to indicate it will be used for Men's Basketball this season.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:33 pm

The new system is called NET. All that I've seen available on it so far is some news articles about it.

Conceptually, it is a pretty big change from the RPI since it incorporates some predictive elements as well as score differential and other data points that are fairly complex. The details of the formula apparently aren't yet public, so it's hard to tell how complex it really is but it looks quite complex to me and it looks like teams' keeping of games data will become much more important. It's also hard to tell whether the NET will be able to be used for other sports, since some of the data it uses are basketball specific.

Practically, I have some doubts whether it will make a big difference. I've evaluated a bunch of rating systems for DI women's soccer, and the differences among systems are at the margins. Allowing the use of score differential within the system may be something that will give an improvement at the margins, but even that probably wouldn't make a big difference. In my experience, at the most we're probably talking about affecting 1 or 2 at large selections in some years for DI women's soccer, and that should be true for basketball, too.

For women's soccer, the RPI favors teams from weaker conferences over teams from stronger ones. I've proved this is true, notwithstanding that the mid-majors sometimes have claimed otherwise. That likely has been true for basketball, too, since it has to do with the RPI's basic architecture. One selling point for the NET, apparently, has been that it will help the mid-majors because it corrects the RPI's discrimination against them. From my point of view, this is a phony selling point since the RPI doesn't discriminate against them, in fact it helps them.

A major question is whether, given the NET's apparently greater complexity, outsiders will be able to replicate it. If they can't, again from my point of view, this would be a problem.

I could be wrong, but I'm doubting that we'll see the NET replacing the RPI for other sports in the near future.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by A_Fan on Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:58 pm

Thanks very much for the analysis, very interesting.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:00 am

The computer says that according to historic trends, San Jose State should have won tonight. And, the computer's rating difference between the two teams wasn't very close.

The Pilots won at 1:26 minutes into overtime, 1-0, and for those of us who saw the game, they were the better team by a significant margin.

San Jose State finished last year ranked #55 by the RPI and just missed getting into the NCAA Tournament. This year, All White Kit's Chris Henderson (from my view, the most knowledgeable person out there on the details about each team) and my computer have picked them to finish first in the Mountain West Conference, and their conference coaches have picked them to finish second.

Bottom line, this is only the second game of the season, but both games suggest that the Pilots' ship is moving in a good direction.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by purplehaze on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:04 am

Over 5 hours of entertaining play last night on Merlo. It was great to see Armendariz score in OT. The women looked like Pilots of old. They were fast and their passes were crisp. They passed well in tight spaces and they persisted. There was no let up. it was great to see two alums as coaches and to have the stands full again. Only the second game, but feeling hopeful for a good season. We will know more after Sunday.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by SoreKnees on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:17 am

purplehaze wrote:Over 5 hours of entertaining play last night on Merlo.  It was great to see Armendariz score in OT. The women looked like Pilots of old. They were fast and their passes were crisp. They passed well in tight spaces and they persisted. There was no let up. it was great to see two alums as coaches and to have the stands full again. Only the second game, but feeling hopeful for a good season. We will know more after Sunday.

I agree. An impressive and encouraging performance. They had an intensity that has been missing for several years now. And I was very impressed with their fitness; most of the Pilots were running full steam at the end, whereas the Spartans looked exhausted. We'll see more about the fitness on Sunday when they have to do it all over again against a strong rival.

Does anyone know why we didn't see Madison Carter on Friday? Injury? Illness? Discipline? Despite the impressive endurance, there were a couple of players up front who could have used a short break during the second half. It seems like we either have a very, very short bench due to things about which we do not know or that the coach does not have much trust in the backups.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by purplehaze on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:23 am

I noticed that Michelle did not do many substitutions and I was reminded of the Clive days when the players almost always played a full 90 minutes.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:56 am

Madison Carter was on the bench, but not wearing playing shoes. As I recall, she also did not play in the pre-season game against BC. But she started against Northern Arizona. I'm wondering if they're shepherding her through some health issues.

The player I don't think I saw at all is Emily Collier, although maybe I just missed her. She was on crutches after the Northern Arizona game. I hope she's OK.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:56 pm

I didn't notice Collier during the match either.  But at the end of the match, I was at the railing when the players came by with their high-fives.  Collier was the last player in the line, and she was not on crutches.

Davidson went down late in the game and came out.  It looked like she took a blow to the neck or shoulder area.

I thought some of the up-front players looked like they needed a break near the end of the match.  I think the 5-minute intermission before the first OT was much needed.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:57 pm

The 1-0 loss to UW tonight was tough. The ref refused to call, for the Pilots, what I thought was an obvious PK at the end of the game. He calls it, maybe the game finishes 1-1. Who knows?

The computer says UW should have won this game. They finished #59 in the RPI last year and were a bubble team but missed selection for the NCAA Tournament. This year so far, they lost a close game 2-1 to potential top 10 team Florida and won over a decent Cal State Fullerton team 3-0.

I'm happy the Pilots were in it to the end, and unhappy about what I think was a very bad non-call by the ref.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by A_Fan on Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:56 pm

I agree it was a very disappointing non-call. I found the defensive strategy of the Pilots to be very interesting and their discipline in applying it was impressive.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by SoreKnees on Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:11 am

As a former referee, I'm reluctant to criticize ... but from where I sat that was 100% a penalty. I was 70 yards away, directly behind the striker. It looked like the defender stuck out a leg and the attacker tumbled over it. The referee (who was not the best we've ever seen anyway) had a side angle and the AR had the other side. They could have missed the leg extension by the defender. Or they could have seen the striker dive without contact.

Although the Pilots were outplayed most of the match, they hung in pretty well against a bigger, faster side. There were times when they controlled play (late first half, if I recall), but other times when they were scrambling to keep up.

No Carter again last night.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:10 pm

The Pilots looked a half-step slower and not as sharp as Friday from the start.  #9 & #13 for the Huskies were good ball-handlers.

23 players on the roster – a HUGE # compared to past teams.  3 are goalies.  Of the 20 field players, six are currently injured, leaving only 14 field players available, which means there are only 4 subs.  And all 14 field players saw action Sunday.

The most disturbing thing for me, in both the men’s and women’s matches, was how extremely physical the ref allowed the matches to become.  Players are going to get hurt.  The sport loses a lot of appeal for me when players are allowed to grab jerseys, grab arms, throw elbows, body-slam opponents.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by SoreKnees on Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:24 am

From the write-up it sounds like the Pilots played well against Michigan State but struggled to finish. (What's new?) I'm happy to see that Carter was on the pitch again.

Does anyone have more info about the game?
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:08 pm

The Pilots looked firmly in control for most of the game, but couldn't put the ball in the net although they had some good chances. Late in the game, Michigan State had the better of the play, which was understandable since the Pilots brought in only 2 from the bench (I think I have that number right). I bet the players feel they should have won but let it get away.

In terms of expectations, my simulation had this game as a loss. So, their current record is 2 wins - 3 losses - 0 ties as compared to the simulation's 0 wins - 4 losses - 1 tie.

Sunday against Wisconsin will be interesting. They beat Washington 2-1 in overtime.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:00 pm

I thought UP played well.  In the normal ebb and flow of the match, I thought they were in control more than MSU.  Their short passing game was crisper than MSU’s.

I think they gave the ball away too often on long passes forward, but that may be part of a changed offensive strategy to attempt to break a runner free.  The strategy has a low percentage of success (acknowledging that it may only take 1 success to make it worthwhile).  Unlike recent years, the long pass now seems to be a deliberate decision, trying to move the ball forward.  Previously, it appeared to be an attempt to get the ball out of a dangerous situation.

The match was much less physical than the match against UW.  I don’t know if that was because of the teams involved or the way the ref handled the game, but it was a much cleaner match.

Yes, UP used only two subs.  Carter being one of them.

In spite of the outcome, I thought UP performed well.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by Auto-Pilot on Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:49 pm

I thought the Pilots outplayed MSU for most of the game.  It's regrettable that they couldn't come away with the win.

Spoke to someone in a position to know, that Emily Collier will be out for ~3 more weeks.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:08 pm

After the Wisconsin game, I forgot to post on how their result compared to my computer simulation of the season. The simulation says they were supposed to lose big time, and they lost 2-1. To me, that indicates they continue to move in the right direction. Keep working, ladies!
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:37 pm

I missed the Utah Valley game tonight to go to the Thorns game (great game!), but have looked at the box score and read the write-up. Sounds like a good game for the Pilots.

According to my computer simulation, this is a game that should have been a tie with Utah Valley having a rating edge even after adjustment for the Pilots home field advantage but not enough of an edge to take the game out of the tie area. So this is the Pilots' third game where their result is better than what their historic trend direction would have indicated. Encouraging.

On to Sunday, this one I'll get to.
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Re: 2018 Season

Post by ejjqb on Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:41 am

This Pilots' team is so much more entertaining to watch than what we had for the last many years. Michelle has them pushing forward at all times. At one point we commented to each other that we hadn't seen a pass back to the defense! At every opportunity, the ball was passed toward the goal, often very quickly. Unfortunately, many had too much on them and there were a number of passes that seemed to go to where no Pilot could possibly get to it, but the effort is unmistakable and you just have the feeling that, if this group jells, it is going to make some noise. Utah Valley had many talented players and lots of speed but the Pilots were definitely up the the challenge.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:31 pm

I thought the Pilots were going to have a relatively easy time with Utah Valley.  UVU didn’t have an impressive record and not an especially tough schedule-to-date.  But our RPI expert says they were slightly favored to win even on our field.  They certainly gave the Pilots all they could handle.  Their goal came on one helluva shot.  Per the UVU coach, "We played really well tonight," said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. "It was a great match in what is obviously a fantastic environment. Without a doubt, this was our best performance of the season.”

Plenty of energy all night long from Larkin Russell.  Plenty of speed and hard work from Rachel Khaw when she was in there, and from Sydney Warren for her short appearance.  Nice to see the team come back to win.

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Re: 2018 Season

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:05 pm

I just wanted everyone to know that I really appreciate your posts about the team since I cannot watch in person. I especially enjoy UPSoccerFanatic’s posts about the simulation/expectations.

I also wanted to share these two videos since I only discovered them today while browsing. Our digital content has been amazing these last several years and only appears to be getting even better!



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Re: 2018 Season

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:46 pm

An excellent 2-0 win for the Pilots today over the UC Irvine Anteaters. The Pilots controlled the first half, scoring both goals. In the second half, they went into their more defensive shape, similar to what they did for the Washington game: giving UCI space up to about 10 yards from the center line and playing a relatively high back line, thus forcing UCI, when they had the ball, to either play through the middle in a very crowded area (which is hard to do) or to try to play the ball over the top, which was hard for UCI to do since the Pilots are pretty good in the air. I don't think UCI had a decent shot in the second half.

This was a game I have been waiting to see, as it's another game that historic rating trends say the Pilots should have lost. If I have my counting right, the trends say the Pilots should have been 0 wins, 5 losses, and 2 ties as of now. Instead, they're 4 wins, 3 losses, and 0 ties.

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