Monthly Archives: August 2010

KSU Soccer Stadium to Host 2011 College Cup

Coming Soon: College Cup 2011 Hosts

The NCAA just announced that the long standing rotation of the College Cup between Texas A&M and Cary will be broken next season, when the showpiece event moves to Kennesaw, GA and the KSU Soccer Stadium, currently occupied by the Atlanta Beat and the Kennesaw State college team. This is fantastic news, as I haven’t heard of anyone who hasn’t come away impressed with the facility after experiencing it in the flesh. From first-hand experience, the stadium is a tremendous place to catch a game, and I have few doubts that the stadium will be full and rocking come College Cup time next year.

And it’s just a short drive away from me at the moment. That helps too.

NCAA Soccer – Tuesday's Big Match – BYU vs Northwestern

South Field

BYU's South Field, One of The Most Picturesque Places To Catch A Match In The Nation

The problem with virtuoso performances is that they often demand encores.

How Northwestern can follow up one of what will surely be one of the upsets of the year is anybody’s guess, but the Wildcats will get a fighting chance in one of the most hostile environments in college soccer when they journey west to South Field in Provo, Utah, home of BYU. Northwestern can’t help but feel a little exasperated after their huge win over UCLA was met with the equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders by the voting coaches in the weekly coaches’ poll, leaving the Wildcats in the “receiving votes” category. They should not be lacking in motivation as they try and prove their win in Madison over the Bruins was not a fluke. Kate Allen’s scored three goals for the Wildcats, including the winner over UCLA, while the defense has locked down opponents, only conceding once in three matches.

But beating BYU in Provo is a gargantuan task for any team. Whether it’s the stamina sucking altitude of Provo, the rabid fan support, or the fact that the Cougars are actually a very good team, the list of those to come out of South Field with a victory is a short one indeed. BYU has already come out firing in 2010, with three dominant victories, including a 2-0 win over a Long Beach State team that was so impressive this past weekend. Northwestern’s stout defense will be tested in full by BYU’s arsenal, highlighted by the goalscoring talents of Kassidy Shumway, Jennie Marshall, and Carlee Payne.

It makes for a tantalizing Tuesday night clash. Can BYU sweep another team aside in the friendly confines of South Field? Or will Northwestern keep rolling and force their doubters to take notice? Another victory for the Wildcats would surely announce their presence to the nation as possible Big Ten contenders, a stunning thought not two weeks ago.

NCAA Coaches' Poll: UCLA – #11, Team That Beat UCLA – Tough Luck

Boy, to be a fly on the wall in Evanston when the latest coaches’ poll was released. Generally, such polls are nothing more than tools for SIDs to tout in their propaganda press releases, but this one still has to sting. Northwestern beats UCLA, an undisputed top five team at the beginning of the year, on a neutral field and not in a “fluky” manner and still gets dissed by the coaches. Are you telling me that a win over the Bruins isn’t worth a spot in the Top 25 when some of the teams listed are getting credit for beating glorified punching bags?

Other Things:

-Duke beats Missouri and Georgia, loses close to Stanford. Duke is behind Wake Forest, who lost to UNC Greensboro. Huh?

-For that matter, Wake Forest = ranked, UNC Greensboro = unranked. Hmmm.

-South Carolina loses to Louisville, is still ranked. Louisville, not close to being ranked. Wha?

-Georgetown gets ranked by beating American, George Washington, and St. Francis (PA). Wait, really?

-Virginia Tech loses twice, including to Long Beach State, still ranked. LBSU, unranked.

-Rutgers still has their Top 25 Card after losing to Monmouth.

-New Mexico, also still puzzlingly unranked

Can the RPI hurry up and get a little more accurate? Pretty please?

The Anorak: Analyzing Week 20 WPS Attendance

Team Weekend Attendance Percentage Difference Between 2009 Average Percentage Difference Between 2009 Median Percentage Difference Between Last Home Game Overall 2010 Median
Atlanta 4,289 N/A N/A +19% 3,339
Washington 3,143 -82% -47% +20% 3,744
Philly 4,101 N/A N/A +36% 2,600

 

It was a big weekend for the expansion teams, as both Atlanta and Philadelphia had their best attendance numbers since their respective opening days. It was also the first time that both teams broke the ’4,000′ threshold. Shame neither team could get a win.

Washington, on the other hand, had its fourth-lowest attendance figure of the season.

 

Average weekend attendance: 3,844

Average league median: 3,519

Average league attendance: 3,611

 

Boston: 4,490 (12)

Chicago: 4,212 (10)

Atlanta: 4,132 (9)

Washington: 3,784 (11)

SBFC: 3,254 (9)

Saint Louis Athletica: 3,027 (4)

FCGP: 3,021 (10)

Philadelphia: 2,965 (12)

Frauenbundesliga Review, Week Three

Carmen Wales recalls a week in which there was an old rivalry kicked off, an “old” player enjoyed great comeback and old (bad) habits returned in the third game day of the Frauenbundesliga.

The surprise of this game day was the draw from FCR 01 Duisburg at Hamburger SV. Hamburg nearly won the game, which would have been an even bigger suprise, but unfortunately showed the old bad habit of not beeing able to make it until the 90th minute. Hamburg led 2-1 after goals from Kim Kulig (34min) and Swiss International Ana Maria Crnogorcevic (45min) with 2-1. But in the last minute of the game, a penalty was scored by Inka Grings. It tied the Game to the final 2-2 and destroyed the dream of Hamburg’s first win of the season. At least it was their first point!

SG Essen-Schönebeck also secured their first point at a scoreless draw against FF USV Jena.

The “old” player Martina Müller is the new top scorer of the league after scoring 5 goals for Wolfsburg in the 6-3 win against newcomers Herford. It was an ”up and down” match and was highly entertaining. It began with a hatt trick by Martina Müller. In between 9 minutes ( 7-16min) Müller did score the 3-0 lead for Wolfsburg. Two more Wolsburg Goals – an own goal and another Müller goal made the half time result 4-1.
After the HT break a complete changed Herforder SV team showed up and also schowed for the first time, why they made it into the 1st League.
The 17 year-old Laura Freisinger scored two goals for Herford and it seemed as if they could draw the game and get their first point but in the last three minutes goals by Jakabfi and the Müller’s fifth goal finished the Game with 6-3 for Wolfsburg and made them second in the League.

Bayern Munich had their second League win against SC 07 Bad Neuenahr. After a scorless first half it was U20WCWinner Stefanie Mirlach who scored the game winning 1-0.

the second newcomer Bayer 04 Leverkusen still has to wait to score their first goals. They disappointed again at their game against 1 FC Saarbrücken. 2-0 for Saarbrücken was the final score there.

The big old rivalry game from Turbine Potsdam against FFC Frankfurt had everything one expect from this game: Lots of Emotions, a bunch of great goals and a red card (again). It is hard to describe every detail of the game so you better take a look at the Highlights from DFB.Tv here:

http://tv.dfb.de/index.php?view=2459

But we give it a try: Frankfurt started much better than in their last two games and put on pressure right from the start. A great chance from Kerstin Garefrekes was saved by Sarholz. Postdam lost U20WCWinner Kemme already at the 25min due to an unnecessary red card. Also Frankfurt’s Coach had to see the rest of the game fromt he stands after getting a red card for pushing Kemme. Although down to 10, Potsdam did hold the 0-0 until halftime. Short after the second half begun Garefrekes hit the Frankfurt lead. Postdam did fight back and a tremendous rocket from Mittag brought the equalizer. The game winner was made by subbed in Japanese International Yuki Nagasato and the win was also secured by some more amazing saves from 18th years old Anna “Felix” Felicitas Sarholz.
The win over the old rivalry made Postdam League Leaders.

 

FCR 2001 Duisburg  -  Hamburger SV      2:2               
FF USV Jena     -  SG Essen-Schönebeck  0:0               
VfL Wolfsburg   -  Herforder SV         6:3
SC 07 Bad Neuenahr -  FC Bayern München 0:1
1. FFC Turbine Potsdam  – 1. FFC Frankfurt      2:1
1. FC Saarbrücken       – Bayer 04 Leverkusen   2:0

 

//

  Total Form
#   Team MP W D L F A D P Last 5 matches  
1 Previous rank: 2 Turbine Potsdam 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 9 W W W  
2 Previous rank: 6 Wolfsburg 3 3 0 0 13 8 +5 9 W W W  
3 Previous rank: 1 FCR Duisburg 3 2 1 0 13 2 +11 7 D W W  
4 Previous rank: 5 Bad Neuenahr 3 2 0 1 7 4 +3 6 L W W  
5 Previous rank: 3 Saarbrücken 3 2 0 1 7 4 +3 6 W L W  
6 Previous rank: 4 Bayern München 3 2 0 1 3 3 +0 6 W L W  
7 Previous rank: 9 USV Jena 3 1 1 1 5 3 +2 4 D W L  
8   FFC Frankfurt 3 1 0 2 10 6 +4 3 L W L  
9 Previous rank: 7 Essen-Schönebeck 3 0 1 2 3 6 -3 1 D L L  
10 Previous rank: 11 Hamburger SV 3 0 1 2 3 9 -6 1 D L L  
11 Previous rank: 10 Herforder SV 3 0 0 3 3 14 -11 0 L L L  
12   Bayer Leverkusen 3 0 0 3 0 15 -15 0 L L L  
Player Team Goal    
M. Müller Wolfsburg 7    
I. Grings FCR Duisburg 6    
K. Garefrekes FFC Frankfurt 4    
Genoveva Añonma USV Jena 3    
C. Uwak Saarbrücken 3    

Results From the UEFA Women's World Cup Qualifying Playoffs Draw

We now know who will face who in the last stage of UEFA WWC qualifying. The draw was conducted in Nyon, Switzerland this morning. Here’s how it went down:

 

1.) France v. Italy

2.) England v. Switzerland

3.) Ukraine v. Norway

4.) Sweden v. Denmark

 

The first leg of each match will be held over the weekend of September 11/12. The final leg will be held midweek on September15/16.

The four winners will advance to the 2011 Women’s World Cup. The four losers will entered into another play-off.  The loser of Sweden/Denmark will face the loser of England/Switzerland. The loser of Ukraine/Norway will meet the loser of France/Italy. Those matches will be played out on October 2/3 and October 6/7.

The winners of those two matches will then meet October 22/23 and October 27/28 to decide who meets the third-placed CONCACAF team (which will presumably be Mexico or Canada).

 

WPS implications: The first leg of the play-offs falls on the final weekend of the WPS season (September 11). Every country represented in the play-offs save for Ukraine has at least one player currently playing in WPS.

The players have their final play-off game scheduled midweek. The WPS First Round playoff between the third and fourth-placed teams will be held that Sunday. The returning WPS players will presumably be exhausted after playing three critical matches in a matter of seven days. Plus the jet lag.

It’s going to be interesting.

 

NCAA Soccer Review – 08/29/10 – It's Raining Upsets!

Northwestern Coaches

The Northwestern Brain Trust Definitely Got It Right in Sunday's 1-0 Win Over UCLA

Upsets. So many upsets. This is why we love college soccer, folks. A taste of the madness:

-UCLA slipped to a shock 1-0 defeat to Northwestern in Madison on Sunday afternoon. Kate Allen scored one of the biggest goals in Wildcat history in the fifty-fourth minute to help lead the upset. UCLA held a massive edge in corner kicks but statistically, everything else was close to even. The Bruins’ Sydney Leroux was held without a shot on goal, while Jillian Ellis’ team got only three shots on goal, all from Zakiya Bywaters. UCLA hadn’t lost to an unranked team since November of 2006.

-Monmouth stunned Rutgers in Piscataway, 1-0, despite only having two shots on goal. Dana Costello’s sixth minute goal held up as Lia Ferro made nine saves for the victors. It was Monmouth’s first ever victory over a nationally ranked side.

-Liz Ruiz made thirteen saves for Boise State, as they blitzed Colorado College for three unanswered goals and held on to win, 3-1.

-Penn State were unable to convert twenty-four shots into more than one goal and paid the price, dropping a surprising decision to William & Mary, 2-1. Danielle Toney’s opener looked to get the home side off to a great start, but the lead didn’t last eight minutes as Audrey Barry tied it up for the visitors. Kaitlin O’Connor would give the Tribe the upset win with a blockbuster free kick from forty yards that beat PSU’s Krissy Tribbett. Penn State had had a great chance to grab the lead again through Christine Nairn after sixty-three minutes when her shot hit the bar, but the Nittany Lions would ultimately rue their lackadaisical finishing. The teams ended up even on shots on goal, despite Penn State more than doubling their opponents in overall shots.

-As it turns out, UCLA weren’t the only team to be upset in Madison on Sunday as the home Wisconsin Badgers were upended by unfashionable Cincinnati, 1-0. Without Paige Adams and Laurie Nosbusch, the Wisconsin attack fell flat, only managing three shots on goal compared to the Bearcats’ seven. One of those seven was Kelli Pawelko’s free kick that found the back of the net and gave Cincy a great win on the road.

-On a day of stunning scorelines, Boston University‘s 3-0 win over Washington may be one that resonates loudest. Jessica Luscinski, Emma Clark, and Jessica Morrow all found the target for the Terriers as they shocked their Pac-10 opponents. Kelly King and Alice Binns combined for the clean sheet for the victors.

Marquette 0 – 1 (Williams 98′) New Mexico [aet]

New Mexico proved their legitimacy to the nation with a smash and grab victory over hosts Marquette, in no small part due to a heroic performance in goal by Kelli Cornell. The Lobos keeper was lights out in net, making twelve saves as Marquette bombarded the goal all afternoon long. New Mexico made one of their three shots on goal count, with talisman Jennifer Williams taking a long ball from Rachel Montoya on the run and beating Marquette keeper Natalie Kulla to the ball. Williams popped the ball over Kulla and guided it into the empty net to give New Mexico the priceless victory in Milwaukee. Rosie Malone-Povolny, Lindsey Page, and Cara Jacobson all forced Cornell into three saves each but were out of luck in breaching the New Mexico goal.

Long Beach State 2 (Link 34′, 60′) – 1 (Harvey 71′) Virginia Tech

Red hot Long Beach State striker Nadia Link continued her fine run of form with both goals for Long Beach State in a 2-1 win over Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon. The Hokies held a sizable advantage in overall shots and corner kicks, but Emily Kingsborough made four saves to preserve the lead for the 49ers. The match winning goal off of Link’s foot came at the hour mark when she was on hand to finish a team move from Jenny Soza and Shawna Gordon to put the ball home from six yards. The Beach had taken the lead eleven minutes from halftime with some heady play after a quick free kick from Karina Camacho caught the Hokies out, letting Link open the scoring from the edge of the area. Jennifer Harvey would halve the lead for Virginia Tech after finishing a Marika Gray corner from short range, but there would be no equalizer over the final twenty minutes. The 49ers completed a fantastic weekend and will likely jump into many pollsters’ Top 25 rankings after two upset wins.
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7 Things Learned In the Frauenbundesliga, Week 3

7.) The Climbers Will Struggle, Pt. 3

There was good news and bad news when it came to newly-promoted sides Bayer Leverkusen and Herforder SV. Good news: Bayer Leverkusen only lost 2-0 against Saarbrucken and the final goal came in the 90’. Bad news: The team has yet to score a goal in the top flight this season. Good news: Herford earned three goals today against Wolfsburg. 17 year-old Austrian Laura Feiersinger earned a brace while the other came from an own goal. It was the team’s first goals of the season. Bad news: Herford lost 6-3.  

 

6.) Hamburg’s Youngsters Are the Pulse of the Club

After a disappointing start to the season, Hamburg finally seemed to get their domestic campaign on track as they earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Duisburg. Teenage starlets Kim Kulig and Ane-Marie Crnogorcevic (fresh off her six goal performance for Switzerland against Kazakhstan last week)  gave Hamburg the 2-1 advantage over the then league-leaders. It appears the team’s defense still needs to be sorted out, however, as Hamburg conceded a penalty in the 89’. Inka Grings stepped up and naturally converted it. But still, Hamburger SV’s youngsters gave the team its first point of the season.

 

5.) Anna Felicitas Sarholz Is Amazing

Turbine Potsdam’s goalkeeper celebrated her 18th birthday nearly two months ago. The young adult (the fact that she’s 18 years old bears repeating) already has two league titles and a UEFA Champions League trophy to her name. Her team is now top of the table and she’s conceded just two goals. FFC Frankfurt peppered her with shots on Sunday, particularly by the end of the match on Sunday, but she ably batted each one away. She played a tremendous role in her team’s comeback victory.

 

4.) FFC Frankfurt Are In Some Turmoil

FFC Frankfurt make up a third of Germany’s ‘Big Three’. But you wouldn’t know it by the team’s results. Frankfurt coughed up a lead to surprise packages Wolfsburg on the first day of the season, easily dispensed Herford 6-0 last week but then gave up two second half goals to give arch rivals Turbine Potsdam the win. The team are now 8th in the Frauenbundesliga, just two spots above the relegation zone. Defensive frailties may be to blame (sorry, Ali Krieger) or perhaps it’s lack of team cohesion. Next week Frankfurt host Bad Neuenahr, who are surprisingly sitting 4th in the league. Could another upset be on the cards?

 

3.) Wolfsburg Are For Real

The perennial midtable side have a perfect record and is behind Turbine Potsdam on goal difference. The team has staged comebacks in its previous two Frauenbundesliga matches. This weekend they faced Herford and dismantled them 6-3. Wolfsburg are tied with Duisburg for most goals thus far with 13 in three matches. If the team has an Achilles’ heel it’s definitely its defense. Wolfsburg have shipped eight goals already, which is striking considering only Hamburg, Herford and Bayer Leverkusen (the bottom three teams) have conceded more. But if the team can keep scoring and scrapping, who knows where they might end up.

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In Commemoration of the Chicago Red Stars' 2010 Season

Dear Red Stars,

Condolences, friends. It was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? It’s a shame it all had to end when Allie Long threaded that pass through to Abby Wambach who buried her shot, as she does. Sky Blue FC lost 2-1 on Saturday night while you guys lost your season. And all at the hands of a team that currently has your former head coach serving in its front office. Appropriate, isn’t it. Luck has always hated you guys.

But there were bright spots. Whitney Engen; she’s quality. It would be unjust for her not to be up for consideration for Rookie of the Year. She’s a defender so she won’t win it but she best be recognized.

Ella Masar, phew, what a story. After failing to find the net in approximately 30 games as a professional, she somehow found this wonderful vein of form. She was in such a poor state that she nearly didn’t make the June 25th trip to Boston that eventually turned things around. She scored a pair of goals that night and hasn’t stopped scoring since.  Girl’s scored 8 goals in 12 games.  Only six players in the league have better scoring records.

And what about Formiga? She’s scary good and is both scary and good in equal measure. She’s appeared in all but one match for the Red Stars this season and did everything a midfielder can do. She broke up play, won tackles, hassled opponents, dictated play, found open teammates and solidified the midfield. Don’t let her lack of goals or assists fool you. She does everything else.

This being said, there were a couple of not so awesome things this season as well. Like Emma Hayes and her sacking on May 24th. Up to that point the Red Stars had taken four points from a possible 18. They had also managed to score just three times in six matches. Omid Namazi and Charlie Naimo were appointed Head Coach and Technical Advisor respectively.  Since then Omid Namazi has taken 14 points out of a maximum 45 points. That’s an improvement from Hayes’ record but the Red Stars’ 2009 season also has been taken into account.

Cristiane, Megan Rapinoe and Casey Nogueira have all been duds this season. And that’s the end of that.

And then there were the injuries and transactions. The Red Stars have parted ways with Meghann Burke, Ifeoma Dieke, Michele Weissenhofer, Brittany Klein, Anita Asante, Jackie Santacaterina, and Kosovare Asllani this season. Kelsey Davis and Julianne Sitch suffered season-ending injuries. Jess McDonald and Nikki Washington have constant injury woes. Veronica Boquete and Christie Shaner were signed. That’s a lot of player movement.

So yeah, Marta may have scored as many goals this year as your entire team combined. And yes, you haven’t been able to string two consecutive wins together in franchise history. And ok, you’ve never won a game after going a goal down. All those things may be true, Chicago, but there’s still something redeeming about you guys.

It can’t only be the kits, although they’re still the coolest in the league.

Maybe it’s the fans and how you guys have consistently averaged the second-best attendance in the league all season long, despite winning just twice at home. Or perhaps it’s the team’s front office. Imagine how hard it is to market a team that can’t win at home, has no real ‘stars’ and that plays some pretty atrocious soccer at times. And through that, the team can still attract the second-best attendance in the league? Well done, front office. (P.S. you know an organization is classy when it issues a press release admitting the team has been eliminated from playoff contention as soon as it happens.)

The Red Stars may have been the first team mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but they could still have a major effect on playoff implications. They have Philadelphia and Washington remaining, two teams angling for a playoff position. So go on Chicago, keep things interesting and give it a go.

And hey if it doesn’t work out, there’s always the #1 draft pick to look forward to. One wonders how Alex Morgan will do alongside Ella Masar. 

The Chicago Red Stars: never good, never bad, never dull.

The One In Which FCGP Score Six and the Beat Concede Just As Many

FC Gold Pride are making up for lost time. The team’s six goal output was a compensatory move for those three goalless draws earlier this month. With regular season title in tow, the Pride are now reminding everyone exactly why they deserve it. It took 43 minutes before Tiffeny Milbrett’s shot snuck past Hope Solo. Camille Abily doubled FCGP’s lead just eight minutes later before Eniola Aluko (or was it Angie Kerr?) cut the visiting side’s lead in half in the 65’.

If the match had ended here the result would have been characterized as yet another hard-fought performance in a losing effort by the Beat. According to reports from attendees, the Beat went out and gave FCGP a real go. Head coach James Galanis attempted to fight fire with fire, hoping to score more goals on FCGP #2 Brittany Cameron than Hope Solo would concede. It seemed like the Beat were throwing caution at the wind, like they had done in Boston a week prior. They had nothing to lose, after all. Why not entertain the multitudes in attendance? (The Beat had its best home gate since opening day with 4,289 in attendance last night.)

Perhaps the multitude were indeed entertained, but surely not by their home team. After Aluko’s (or was it Kerr’s?) goal, FC Gold Pride went on to hit four more within a period of 20 minutes. Marta would tally her 16th and 17th goal of the season in quick succession, Kelley O’Hara earned her fourth of her rookie campaign and then Christine Sinclair gave the dagger a final twist in the 88′.

It was the first time a WPS team had ever scored six goals and indeed, the first time a WPS team had ever conceded six goals. This result may permanently stain Hope Solo’s reputation as being “the world’s best goalkeeper 1a”.  (If it’s any consolation, “the world’s best goalkeeper 1b” Nadine Angerer conceded two late goals to hand Frankfurt a 2-1 loss against rivals Turbine Potsdam this morning.)

But it would be unfair to assign all of the blame on Solo. Her defense was also complicit in this mess (McCall Zerboni started at right-back) and should shoulder some responsibility. Eyewitness accounts state that the score line would have reached double figures had it not been for Solo’s efforts. Few goalkeepers would be imperious to the all-out barrage FC Gold Pride treated the Beat’s defense to.

Blowout results can never be attributed to a single culprit. The 6-1 was a result of FCGP’s reinvigorated spirit, Galanis’ naïve tactics and the Beat’s woeful defending. Take your pick.

If there’s one thing the Beat can be thankful for it’s that they’ll never have to face the regular season champions again this season. 12 of the 32 goals Solo has conceded this year have been against FC Gold Pride.