NCAA – Updated Class of 2016 Recruiting Rankings

Through this weekend’s last updated of the big recruiting spreadsheet.

1. North Carolina
2. UCLA
3. Duke
4. Virginia
5. Notre Dame
6. Stanford
7. Santa Clara
8. West Virginia
9. USC
10. Florida State
11. South Carolina
12. Rutgers
13. Washington
14. Maryland
15. Tennessee
16. Boston College
17. Auburn
18. Texas Tech
19. Saint Louis
20. Miami (FL)
21. UCF
22. LSU
23. Louisville
24. Kentucky
25. SMU

Committed Blue Chip Prospects

Marley Canales (UCLA)
Mia Gyau (Duke)
Mallory Pugh (UCLA)

NCAA – 2014 All White Kit Pre-Season All-America Team

GK – Katelyn Rowland – SR – UCLA

LB – Megan Campbell – SR – Florida State
CB – Abby Dahlkemper – SR – UCLA
CB – Kadeisha Buchanan – SO – West Virginia
RB – Ally Courtnall – SR – UCLA

CM – Sarah Killion – SR – UCLA
CM – Morgan Brian – SR – Virginia
CM – Dagny Brynjarsdottir – SR – Florida State

FW – Savannah Jordan – SO – Florida
FW – Makenzy Doniak – JR – Virginia
FW – Jannelle Flaws – SR – Illinois

NCAA – List of Players Missing For The U20 Women’s World Cup

From FIFA’s official list. Feel free to offer up a correction if you find something incorrect.

Alabama
-Noelle Sanz

Boston College
-McKenzie Meehan

Clemson
-Kailen Sheridan

Dayton
-Ashley Campbell

Duke
-Christina Gibbons
-Rebecca Quinn

Florida
-Savannah Jordan

Florida State
-Nicolette Driesse
-Emma Koivisto

Georgia
-Mariel Gutierrez

Harvard
-Marie Becker
-Lizzie Durack
-Midge Purce

Kansas
-Aurelie Gagnet

LSU
-Lily Alfeld
-Jordan Carvery
-Emma Fletcher
-Megan Lee

Memphis
-Kylie Davis
-Valerie Sanderson

NC State
-Franziska Jaser

North Carolina
-Katie Bowen
-Jenny Chiu
-Summer Green

Notre Dame
-Katie Naughton
-Cari Roccaro

Ohio State
-Lindsay Agnew
-Nichelle Prince

Oklahoma State
-Courtney Dike

Penn State
-Brittany Basinger
-Rose Chandler

Pepperdine
-Taylor Alvarado

Princeton
-Vanessa Gregoire

San Diego State
-Evie Millynn

Stanford
-Stephanie Amack
-Jane Campbell
-Andi Sullivan

Syracuse
-Stephanie Skilton

Tennessee
-Carlyn Baldwin

Texas Tech
-Janine Beckie

UC Irvine
-Claudia Lopez
-Clarissa Robles

UCF
-Lena Petermann

UCLA
-Katelyn Rowland

USC
-Tanya Samarzich

Virginia
-Makenzy Doniak

Washington
-Amanda Perez

West Virginia
-Kadeisha Buchanan
-Ashley Lawrence
-Amandine Pierre-Louis

Wisconsin
-Rose Lavelle
-Kinley McNicoll
-Victoria Pickett

NWSL – Fantasy Round Sixteen Preview

Big round! Probably. Portland’s frontline lit opposing teams up, making anyone who went heavy with them a happy camper. Washington? Err, the only player to really establish themselves with a big round was Jodie Taylor. Neither side has a double game round this week, so just about everyone will be dropping their Spirit players while facing big decisions about whether to offload their Thorns players, as Paul Riley’s side faces a massive trip to face league leader Seattle in their only fixture this round.

Five clubs have two games this round, meaning there are going to be some enormous scores. Of course, that’s dependent on you making the right guesses as to which double-gamers to leave in your lineup. I’d highly advise against springing for too many single gamers this round. The only single-game club this round with a decent matchup is Chicago…and they are hardly the most reliable fantasy team.

A final note. Boston will likely be eliminated from postseason contention this round, while Seattle may clinch the regular season title in due course. Be aware that as clubs have little to play for down the stretch, squad rotation to either give minutes to fringe players to evaluate them for next season or rest starters is a very real threat and could submarine your stretch run. Then again, if you’re close to victory in a league, you may well need to take a risk or two to come up trumps.

Chris’ Round Sixteen Team Rankings

1. WNY
2. FCKC
3. SEA
4. HOU
5. POR
6. CHI
7. SBFC
8. WSH
9. BOS

Double-Gamers To Consider

GK

Barnhart (FCKC) – The “safe” option. I’d gamble on her keeping a clean sheet, but would you bet an allocation slot on it?

McLeod (HOU) – I’m not optimistic of her chances of keeping a clean sheet or even picking up a win. I am confident of her making a ton of saves though.

Solo (SEA) – Reign defense has been leaking goals as of late, and hey, things may not get better with Portland coming to town. Could have a chance for a clean sheet against Houston though.

Wys (WNY) – The “risky” option. Hard to totally trust Flash defense but still produced big time last round and is best option without allocation status.

DEF

Engen (HOU) – Dash defensive lineup has been unpredictable. Bad in real life, bad in fantasy, and I wouldn’t spend an allocation slot on Engen.

Fletcher (SEA) – Decent play in defense, as she’s a set piece threat. With leaky rearguard though, odds if lean sheet could be spotty.

Robinson (FCKC) – The FCKC defender to take obviously. And honestly, the only one with any real hope of serious offense.

Taylor (WNY) – Value gets a big boost if Wambach’s back to get on the end of set pieces but still a top play regardless.
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WPSL: ASA Charge fall in tough match with CFC Passion

ASA Charge central defender Jennifer Gillette had a terrific performance in her final game, but it wasn't enough. (file photo courtesy of Ken L. Harriford)

Central defender Jennifer Gillette had a terrific performance in her final game, but it wasn’t enough. (file photo courtesy of Ken L. Harriford)

The ASA Chesapeake Charge, top seeds in the WPSL’s Northeast Conference, were unable to muster enough offense to overcome the #4 CFC Passion, who prevailed, 2-1, in a match that went 120 minutes after being tied 1-1 in the regulation 90.
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W-League: Spirit Reserves claim Northeastern Conference Championship

Ashley Herndon would tally a goal and three assists in the conference championship.

Ashley Herndon would tally a goal and three assists in the conference championship. (Photo by Larry J. Clark)

A Braddock Road Stars Elite team missing four of its best players was no match for a Washington Spirit Reserves team nearly at full strength and intent on returning to the W-League Final Four as the Northeastern Conference champion. The Reserves won, 6-0, with Kelsey Pardue and Emily Bruder each scoring a brace.
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NCAA – 2014 CoachRank – How Do New Faces Fare?

Forty-six schools made coaching changes between 2008 and 2010.  Of those schools, thirty-seven were replacing coaches who had been in their post for three or more seasons.  But how many of those schools made a change for the better in terms of results on the pitch?  Unsurprisingly, it’s a bit of a murky picture in the eyes of the CoachRank system.

Note: This data used the unadjusted data, not weighting conference difficulty, a variable that creates problems when comparing coaches across a broad expanse of time.

CoachRank Difference In Coaches Hired Between 2009-2011 and Their Predecessors

244.59% – Clemson (2.55 – Eddie Radwanski – 0.74 – Hershey Strosberg)
229.63% – Nicholls State (5.34 – Dylan Harrison – 1.62 – Cindy Piper)
217.60% – Montana (31.76 – Mark Plakorus – 10.00 – Neil Segwick)
184.97% – Arkansas State (16.30 – Tafadzwa Ziyenge – 5.72 – Derek Pittman)
160.23% – Vermont (9.03 – Kristi Lefebvre – 3.47 – Kwame Lloyd)
87.67% – Winthrop (38.21 – Spencer Smith – 20.36 – Melissa Heinz)
68.09% – Tennessee-Martin (48.51 – Phil McNamara – 28.86 – Craig Roberts)
63.32% – Virginia Tech (40.29 – Chugger Adair – 24.67 – Kelly Cagle)
55.66% – Saint Mary’s (CA) (3.30 – Kai Edwards – 2.12 – Kelly Lindsey)
52.73% – Youngstown State (3.91 – Will Lemke – 2.56 – Anthony James)
48.99% – Kentucky (30.98 – Jon Lipsitz – 18.79 – Warren Lipka)
45.30% – Howard (20.85 – Brent Leiba – 14.35 – Erinn Garner)
37.53% – Morehead State (40.49 – Warren Lipka – 29.44 Erin Aubry)
34.46% – High Point (44.05 – Marty Beall – 32.76 – Michelle Rayner)
29.98% – East Tennessee State (25.10 – Adam Sayers – 19.31 – Heather Henson)
22.36% – Air Force (1.97 – Larry Friend – 1.61 – Marty Buckley)
7.04% – Lehigh (21.46 – Eric Lambinus – 20.00 – Manny Oudin)
5.80% – Northeastern (28.80 – Tracey Leone – 27.22 Ed Matz)

-9.69% – Indiana State (14.26 – Erika True – 15.79 – Vernon Croft)
-10.02% – Rice (24.70 – Nicky Adams – 27.45 – Chris Huston)
-26.08% – Ole Miss (19.56 – Matt Mott – 26.46 – Steve Holeman)
-32.82% – Fresno State (30.80 – Brian Zwaschka – 45.85 – Steve Springthorpe)
-33.10% – College of Charleston (19.87 – Christian Michner – 29.70 – Kevin Dempsey)
-35.35% – Holy Cross (2.67 – Darren Gallagher – 4.13 – Deb Cox)
-35.43% – Belmont (19.96 – Heather Henson – 30.91 – Lisa Howe)
-42.78% – Hawaii (13.37 – Michele Nagamine – 23.37 – Pinsoom Tenzing)
-49.69% – Xavier (4.01 – Woody Sherwood – 7.97 – Alvin Alexander)
-49.82% – Georgia (23.62 – Steve Holeman – 39.29 – Patrick Baker)
-51.30% – Charlotte (28.21 – John Cullen – 57.93 – Jon Lipsitz)
-64.25% – Manhattan (5.02 – Brendan Lawler – 14.04 – Sean Driscoll)
-70.61% – Rhode Island (4.60 – Michael Needham – 15.65 – Zac Shaw)
-71.16% – Loyola (Ill.) (14.15 – Barry Bimbi – 49.07 – Frank Mateus)
-73.26% – Gonzaga (4.33 – Amy Edwards – 16.19 – Shannon Stiles)
-77.37% – Vanderbilt (3.11 – Derek Greene – 13.74 – Ronnie Woodard)
-82.42% – UAB (4.78 – Harold Warren – 27.19 – Paul Harbin)
-85.72% – Western Carolina (5.71 – Chad Miller – 39.99 – Tammy DeCesare)
-86.75% – UNC Asheville (3.40 – Michelle Demko – 25.66 – Michele Cornish)

NA – Appalachian State (15.61 – Sarah Strickland – NA – Hallie Briggs)
NA – Ball State (18.31 – Craig Roberts – NA – Michael Lovett)
NA – Coastal Carolina (19.48 – Paul Hogan – NA – Tammy DeCesare)
NA – Marist (50.30 – Katherine Lyn – NA – Steve Davis)
NA – Nevada (6.18 – Melissa Price – NA – Jaime Frias)
NA – Northern Iowa (5.33 – James Price – NA – Jen Plante)
NA – South Dakota (2.80 – Mandy Green – NA – Marcia Oliveira)
NA – UMass (21.66 – Ed Matz – NA – Angela Napoli)
NA – UMKC (23.82 – Chris Cissell – NA – Anita Rodriguez)

Did Your School Make A Good Decision With Their New Hire?  Flip A Coin.

48.6%.  That’s the percentage of schools with measurable CoachRank scores who saw those CoachRank scores go up after changing coaches between 2009 and 2011.  In short, it’s been close to 50/50.

Teams At Rock Bottom Usually Don’t Stay There

OK, some might argue that the improvement seen by some of the clubs listed below is a product of being so damn bad, they couldn’t possibly be worse.  In particular, how are you supposed to not get better than Hershey Strosberg’s 0.74 CoachRank rated tenure at Clemson.  It’s such then that we should take some of the big gains at the top of the chart with a little bit of salt.  At the very least though, it’s a good sign that clubs in pretty deep holes aren’t digging themselves any deeper.  There were ten schools who had made changes with old coaches having 10.00 CoachRank scores or lower, with eight of those schools seeing an improvement in their scores.  Note for a little skepticism?  Only Mark Plakorus at Montana and Tafadzwa Ziyenge at Arkansas State got their programs even in double digits.  Of course, program building’s a difficult art and one usually grounded in long-term solutions.

At the other end of the spectrum, replacing an underachieving coach isn’t a guarantee for improvement.  Holy Cross and Xavier both had coaches with under 10.00 CoachRank scores leave.  Both programs, historically bad, have seen results only worsen despite the change at the top.  Continue reading

NWSL – Fantasy Round Fifteen Preview

Meh in Round Twelve, pretty damn good in Round Thirteen, and To Be Determined (but probably quite disappointing) in Round Fourteen. That’s a quick catchup now that points for the past few weeks have been tabulated. I finally cracked the Top 100 after Round Thirteen, but I suspect that I’m going to crash hard given how I got nada from GK or my defenders, along with disappointing returns from Little, Lloyd, and Jodie Taylor.

This round’s pretty clear cut. Portland and Washington have two matches, and the one match they don’t play against each other is a good matchup for both. Beyond those two teams, it’s largely a guessing game to fill out your roster. Can Seattle overcome the malaise that’s seemingly overtaken them in recent weeks and put a previously slumping Chicago team to the sword? Will FCKC be able to recover on the road from their drubbing at Portland’s hands? Will WNY recover from another devastating goalkeeping injury to save their season? It may be about picking trusted options instead of wild guesses for the single gamers.

Team Rankings

1. POR
2. WSH
3. SEA
4. FCKC
5. WNY
6. CHI
7. SBFC
8. BOS

BYE: HOU

Double-Gamers To Consider

GK

Harris (WSH) – Probably the safer option for a clean sheet on the weekend, but do you trust Washington’s defense against Portland? Also costs an allocated slot.

Angerer (POR) – Thorns can’t keep a clean sheet to save their lives. But both games are certainly winnable, and she doesn’t cost an allocation. Continue reading

NCAA – 2014 CoachRank – Lessons From The Recently Departed

As a part of calculating CoachRank numbers, I also looked at the coaches that left their position after the 2013 season to see if there were any patterns that emerged in regards to those coaches who departed.  The results are below, but here are some of the more intriguing things from the data I noted:

28% of Coaches With a CoachRank Score Under 17.00 Are Not Returning For 2014. The Rate For All Coaches Was Around 12%

Keep in mind there’s a pretty big hole in the data with no coaches rated between 16.72 and 21.59 having left, but it still looks like the sweet spot may be 17.00 points.  Whereas the overall turnover rate this season was at about 12%, once you examine everyone who finished the season with a CoachRank score of 17.00 or below, that number jumps up to 28%.  Broadly speaking, that would put the “danger zone” as roughly the bottom 25% of coaches currently ranked in the system.  Fifty-three coaches are currently ranked at 17.00 or below going into the 2014 season.  Naturally, some coaches may rise above that mark, while others may fall below it after the coming season.  If current trends hold up, fifteen or so coaches from that group may be gone after 2014.

Those Between 17.00-28.00 Shouldn’t Breathe Easier

The percentage of coaches departing in the 17.00-28.00 range is significantly lower than that of the under 17.00 range at roughly 9%, though that’s still a shade higher than the 6% of coaches who departed at above 28.00 CoachRank score.  That’s only part of the story though, as only Katherine Remy Vettori from Loyola (MD) was sacked with a CR score above 28.00, as the others leaving their post within that range retired or left for another job.

In the 17.00-28.00 range, one coach (Theresa Romagnolo) left for a bigger job, while Elie Monteiro also left for another job from UMass-Lowell, as they transition to DI.  Three coaches were sacked, and one coach resigned.  Delving a little deeper into the data, what can we learn about the four coaches who left who didn’t leave for a bigger job?

Beth Acreman (Murray State – 21.59)

The total CoachRank score only tells part of the story.  If you factor out the 2009 season, which MSU finished with a 66.67 Season Score with, Acreman’s last four seasons grade out to an average of 10.32, which probably does a much better job of explaining why she was given the boot after this season.  There seemed to be a mini revival in 2011, but the club went back downhill the last two seasons and didn’t win a postseason game in Acreman’s final four seasons.  Beyond the numbers?  Giant waves of internationals and enormous roster churn.  The former certainly isn’t a death sentence for coaches, but it may well be a factor in some of the latter.  And given the team’s underperformance in the last four seasons, it may well have been the final straw here.

Jeff Leightman (San Jose State – 24.24)

It was a pretty drastic fall for San Jose State and Leightman, who won at least a share of a league title in 2009 and 2010 but which has declined precipitously since that 2010 triumph.  There’s not really much nuanced about SJSU’s fall.  They hit a high point in 2010 but have declined every season since then, culminating with last season’s desultory season.

Ali Khosroshahin (USC – 26.06)

2009 & 2010 Season Scores: 54.18, 57.21

2011-2013 Season Score Average: 6.30

Whether Khosroshahin was a victim of his own success after his shock title triumph in 2007 or that of a quick-triggered AD, what’s not debatable is the stunning drop after the 2010 season.  USC took just about a third of the possible league points in the Pac-12 and missed out on three straight NCAA Tournaments after having made the Big Dance in Khosroshahin’s first four seasons.  Likely not helping matters was USC’s continued appearance near the top of recruiting rankings every offseason.  It was the grandest of ironies:  Khosroshahin essentially paying the price for not getting the most out of top youth talent.  Or what his predecessor Jim Millinder was essentially sacked for.

Steve Ballard (UTSA – 27.62)

Perhaps harsh by some measures but calculated by others.  Considering Ballard took a program that had been the dreams of some and gotten it to the NCAA Tournament in 2010, you have to raise your eyebrow a little at how quickly the Roadrunners dispensed with him, especially considering how the club was still respectable in 2011.  But the last two seasons, 5.61 and 7.78 in the Season Score department, perhaps showed that UTSA was going to struggle with a step up in competition from the Southland, with the club languishing near the bottom in both the WAC and C-USA.  Ballard also, like Acreman, relied heavily on international recruits, transfers, and JUCO newcomers as his stint progressed, with lots of roster churn as well.  That more than anything may have urged the club to pull the plug. Continue reading