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5 Aug 2012
I took in the soccer ladies match against Duquesne today and came away feeling coach Pfau has not left this program as good as we would wish. To his credit coach Croft played nearly all his players. We have a serious lack of speed up top and in the outside backs. The Dukes' forwards repeatedly turned the corner on our backs and went to goal. Our speed up top is a problem. We had several opportunities to outrace the defenders and could not get a step on any of them by our forwards or outside mids. I also noticed we lacked anyone who took on a defender with moves when in 1v1 situations. Our goalkeeping was shaky. The one goal was in part due to poor coordination from the keeper and the back line.
I do like the way coach Croft seems to have thrown out Pfau's very direct and boring play with long balls that usually end up with us just giving it away to the defense. This team repeatedly built the attack from the back and used the mids out wide to open up the field and find space for our attackers. They lacked the penetrating runs we have seen from the men's team but this style could be quite an improvement if we can find some speed and players capable of penetrating runs.
Exhibition games are for working out your problems, but I honestly thought that we would dominate the Dukes. The opposite was true, especially in the second half when the Dukes should have gotten two more wide-open goals. This team has even depth from top to bottom. It lacks however the top level player like Ampai who can pick up the team when needed and pull in other top level talent because of their presence.
I hope coach Croft is the guy to put it all together for the ladies.
6 Dec 2010
Like many of you who attended the Akron-Cal soccer match, I couldn't understand why the AR (Assistant Referee) was escorted out of the game. I checked with a few people and here's what I got. After Akron scored to knot the game at 1-1 the AR called the referee over and said Caleb had been riding him constantly after Cal scored its first goal, which Caleb contended the Cal player was offsides. The AT said either He (Caleb) goes or I go. The referee said he was not going to throw out a head caoch in the quarterfinals of the NCAA championships. The AR then said "I quit".
The fourth official took his place and Akron found a sufficiently certified referee in the stands to be the fourth ref. I've never seen this in decades of watching soccer. Caleb was asked about the incident in his press conference and he wisely pleaded ignorance. My bet is this AR will spend years getting back to having any highly respected game assignments.
1) Meves was below par during the game and way above in the shootout. He came up big when needed.
2) The Cal goalie was the best to play on L.J. Field in years. He will be in MLS or Europe.
3) Cal was the best team to visit us in the last two years. They were flat out good and better that Michigan. They were very well coached.
4) Cal was a class act. After the game their captain came back out onto the field to congratulate Akron and wish them well.
5) 6 scouts were there from MLS. I saw Jeff Agoos, former USMNT captain scouting again. The first time I saw him was at the OSU game but he may have been to many more games.
6) Ampai was ineffective this game. He played predictably and never was a threat. He never penetrated and Cal was content to let him play laterally. They funneled him into the central D where he lost space and opportunity to shoot.
7) the weather slowed Akron's possession game and gave Cal's bigger and more physical forwards a chance to bang around in the box.
8) In my opinion the crowd was a disappointment. I know the weather was bad but how often do you have a chance to see the last game before the final four on our campus. Thank God the Rowdies didn't fail us. They have been loyal and steady all year. They are worth a goal a game. The rest of the Akron following let us down. We should have set a record for attendence.
9) We present matchup problems for Michigan that haven't been solved since we last played (7-1) despite their vast improvement. We also are in their heads and Caleb will masterfully exploit that. We will go on to the finals.
10) A final between us and Louisville is a toss-up. They are that good. But I believe we will find a way to win.
18 Dec 2009
Showing bias to the ACC, George Gelnovatch, the coach of Virginia, was named national soccer coach of the year by Soccer America. Virginia had three loses and three ties going into the NCAA finals. Apparently, being undefeated and untied, prior to the final four, against the hardest RPI in the country was not enough to get Caleb Porter his just recognition. During the run of all these victories Caleb's boys scored 55 goals and gave up 7. That wasn't enough.
So you reward a coach, who after the first 20 minutes of the national championship, decides he can't play with the Zips and he drops 9 field players in front of his goal to stop Akron and play for a shootout. Our coach respect's the game and his players too much to sink to that level to win a championship. He playe attacking, dominant soccer.
Virginia won the game and the championship. So be it. Congratulations. But don't say that was great coaching compared to what Caleb did. We've got the coach of the year! End of discussion. Bring on that new stadium and see the Zips at the top for years to come.
Thanks for what you did Caleb! The best is yet to come.
20 Sep 2009
Our performance gainst IU was pathetic and depressing. Randomly, here's what I saw.
1) We are not prepared to play. Forget the crap about going with the 2nd string QB. There is not a D-1 team today that doesn't get both ready to play because of injury. Offensively we were predictable and defensively we tackled poorly (#11) and put no pressure on Chapell.
2) Where are the offensive wizzards Shane Montgomery and Walt Harris? We did nothing to keep IU off balance with what Rodgers could do best. IU's offensive play-calling put ours to shame.
3) The students did their part. I can't get on them at all. The rest of the ticket buying public sent us a rude message that they don't think much of our football. Having any big 10 team on campus, in beautiful weather, with us having high aspirations should put a sellout crowd in Info. Realistically, I think the public is telling us they are sick of mediocre football. They want us to win before they come.
4) Defense starts with pressure. I saw little of that Saturday. We have the horses finally. Find a scheme that rushes at least four big nasties. I watched IU all day and they rarely sent less than four. We rushed three repeatedly thus giving Chapell time to pick us apart.
5) The cops have been nice to me and my friends for two games now. No hassles when beer is not obviously put in front of them. Cut 'em some slack.
6) Attendance, in my opinion, is officially in the dumper. We have never rebounded from this type of setback. With opponents that are all capable and probably predicted to win, coupled with the eventual diminishing weather we are back to square one. Marketing ain't gonna save this issue, as if we had marketing.
7) The offensive line is officially outted. They can't drive block and are slow to drop and set up to pass block. This is not new. Last year, for example, against Buffalo, we repreatedly needed one or two yards to keep drives going and we couldn't get it. They are overrated and not very athletic or mean.
8) Rodgers didn't fail due to lack of talent. He failed due to poor decision making. Throwing into coverage is a fatal mistake. I still want to see what he can do when behind a line that gives him reasonable time. For those who feels Jacq could make a difference, forget it. He is slow as molassis and makes even worse decisions. See the last three games of 2008 that we lost to begin with. Rodgers is still a better QB. For those in ZN who post that JD can only make do with the talent at QB that he has, remember he recruited these guys while other MAC coaches are getting better talent.
9) I hear the bell tolling for JD. CMU, Syracuse, Buffalo and NIU are flat out better than us. BGSU could be also. Ohio and EMU are probably equal. Only Can't State and Temple are scrap. If JD can't go 7-5, I can't see how he can survive. This year he got everything needed to win.
6 Sep 2009
I promise myself that I would not post after the game as I would probably say something I would regret. So here's a lame effort to give more thoughts on the game.
1) We were not prepared for this one. I know the D did good but as a team we were playing like we had no belief we could compete.
2) J.D. got outcoached. His staff got outcoached. Akron is terrible at making any meaningful halftime adjustments.
3) Can the offense try something new? How about the old adage that you take what they give? We never threw to the TE in the entire game. How about throwing to a back coming out of the backfield? How about after an entire half of running up the middle we try something else.
4) QB is a problem. CJ can not win the game for us, but he can lose it. I'll take Rodgers footspeed over CJ's throwing any day. Rodgers can learn to throw but CJ will never get faster. If we had used Rodgers more PSU would have had to watch for the run more thereby putting some receivers one on one. Rodgers has never had the investment in playing time that CJ has had. Give him a chance. In 2010 Nicely will be the next Lefleur anyway. BTW, CJ is in his third year of starting and he still locks onto one receiver and ignores his progressions. If this is our best then we have been taken for a ride by the coaching staff.
5) We have little to be proud of because we didn't play good football. We were not going to win, but we needed to earn respect. That didn't happen.
6) Why did we continue to play Jake Anderson? He drew three penalties for offsides and one for delay of game when he was late reporting in on a fourth down punt. We have heard so much about the depth of the O-line. Well give someone else a chance to go in and get their butt whipped also. That's better than drawing penalties.
7) 7-5 or better is the only performance that can save JD's job. That will be a challenge with CMU and BGSU looking strong; 'Cuse, NIU and Buffalo being no easy marks; and an upset somewhere along the line. Granted we will probably upset someone too. Outside CMU, there is the possibility we can run the rest of the schedule. Do you really believe we can with this kind of offensive leadership from the O-line, QB and coaching staff? I hope so, but Saturday did not inspire anyone. I don't want J.D. to be fired. I just want to see proof he can build a team that can dominate the MAC and be competitive in any game. Over this game and the last two years I have yet to see performance that says he can. He's got 10 more games to show it.
8) I feel sorry for Bain. I heard from the non-coaching staff that he was not responding to therapy for his back. W/o him and Tonga and Henderson our D-line is not the strength we thought we would have. It is much improved, but not enough to make a top team worry. Against PSU we still slipped into the 3-3-5 too much. With no pressure, Clark eventually found open receivers. To win the MAC we must bring pressure.
9) Our LB's are only OK. They are still too small, especially when they blitz out of the 3-3-5.
There was so much hope for this season that perhaps we lost our perspective. One game doesn't destroy the season, so let's get back on track and take 'em one at a time. I'll be screaming my head off for the boys to take it out on Morgan State. See you in the SRO Info.
27 Aug 2012 - 18:16
21 Aug 2011 - 22:43
21 Aug 2011 - 8:53
1 Oct 2010 - 21:40
22 Sep 2010 - 6:57
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