Monthly Archives: October 2010

NCAA Pre-Tournament Week “aRPI” Bracket

This is from the latest aRPI estimate from nc-soccer.com. I think we’re looking at thirteen teams fighting for nine spots. I think everyone from Memphis down is still in the danger zone (with the exception of Virginia Tech).

Think you can create all those NCAA regionals for the weekend for yourself smart guy? Take a look at what the committee may look at when sending teams into each regional. Blue pegs are First Seeds, green pegs are second seeds, yellow pegs are third seeds, red pegs are fourth seeds, purple pegs are the first five out at this point. Also keep in mind teams from the same league can’t play each other in the first two rounds.

Click on the link to open the map in a Google Map format.

First Seeds

1 – Stanford – Pac-10*
2 – Portland – WCC*
3 – North Carolina – ACC*
4 – Virginia – ACC
5 – Florida – SEC*
6 – Boston College – ACC
7 – Maryland – ACC
8 – Oklahoma State – Big XII
9 – Texas A&M – Big XII*
10 – Marquette – Big East*
11 – Notre Dame – Big East
12 – Florida State – ACC
13 – Ohio State – Big Ten*
14 – Hofstra – CAA*
15 – West Virginia – Big East
16 – USC – Pac-10
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Report Suggests FC Gold Pride and Washington Freedom Set To Fold, WPS Denies Imminent Announcement

The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf is reporting that 2010 WPS champions FC Gold Pride and the Washington Freedom will be ceasing operations. The official announcement should arrive tomorrow.

WPS PR Consultant Rob Penner has denied that an announcement is forthcoming, tweeting:

 

“Contrary to reports, there are no announcements scheduled tomorrow (Monday) from any WPS franchises or from the league…”

 

Penner adds:

“The Board of Governors and the WPS CEO/CFO are currently working overtime on securing each teams’ commitment for the 2011 season. You’d have to check with each individual team on their current plans for 2011 but no announcements are scheduled for Monday.”

 

Rather than speculating or prognosticating, perhaps it’s best to leave it that for now. We’ll surely learn the validity of the report this week.

Notables: the Ghouls and Goals Edition

USWNT 2002 Gold Cup Squad. Guess Which One Was the Holding Midfielder.

 

  • The USWNT ran riot on Guatemala last night and qualified to the semifinals with a 9-0 score win. Amy Rodriguez nabbed a hat-trick, Amy Wamebach Abby Wambach and Megan RapinewRapinoe each bagged a brace, Alex Morgan scored her second USWNT goal in two appearances and Carli Lloyd converted a goal from the penalty area. See the mayhem for yourself below and check out Scott French’s write-up of the game for ESPN Los Angeles.

 

 

  • Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lori Lindsey were used as substitutes for Wambach, Amy LePeilbet and Shannon Boxx respectively. Games against such weak competition reveal very little but we can always draw assumptions, right? It was interesting to see Sauerbrunn used as a center-back rather than a full back. This perhaps suggests that Sauerbrunn will be a utility defender and that Coach Sundhage is okay with the current outside back options of Mitts, Cox and/or Buehler. Hopefully Ali Krieger will be used for the match against Costa Rica on Monday. She’s the only player whose professional team is in season and with Frankfurt just one point behind Turbine Potsdam in the table, it would suck if this whole tournament was just a massive waste of time.

 

  • Additionally, two goals were scored from open play in the second half, compared to six in the first. This is the second straight time the United States has gotten complacent and sloppy in the second half. Granted, a half time score of 6-0 is quite the cushion and complaining about a 9-0 final score sounds all nitpicky, but the USWNT suffered yet another late lapse of concentration. The team can get away with it in such meaningless matches but must break the habit before meeting stronger competition. Perhaps Costa Rica would qualify as stronger competition.

 

  • In the other match, Costa Rica defeated Haiti 3-0. Las Ticas have now qualified for the semifinals. So much for that prediction about Haiti…but it is a shame they had to play the two strongest teams in the group first. Perhaps things could have been different if they started off their campaign with the easy-pickings that is Guatemala.

 

  • Later today Canada wil meet Guyana while Trinidad & Tobago will face Mexico. If ever there was a game in which Christine Sinclair could score five times, this would be it. T&T need to pull off the upset over Mexico to have a chance at qualifying. A mere T&T draw would make the final group match between Canada and Mexico infinitely more interesting.

 

  • With all the tweeting and donating to the Project Pink cause in the past few months, PUMA is proud to announce that Project Pink raised a total of $62,730.62. Fans voted for the official charitable beneficiary of the Project Pink effort and the lucky winner is the Breast Cancer and Research and Education Fund at Magee-Womens Foundation. PUMA has also pledged to donate an additional $1 to the cause up until November 5th for every tweet sharing this nifty video:

 

  • Considering the recent hat-tricks of both Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez, perhaps Alex Morgan is next in line for a three-goal performance in CONCACAF WWCQ. Cross-Conference argues that at the moment, the 21 year-old’s hypothetical hat-trick would be put to better use for the Cal Golden Bears, not the USWNT. Morgan’s frequent call-ups to the USWNT this past month have likely dashed any ambitions the Bears may have had for a deep NCAA Tournament run. Rhythm bandits corroborates the Collectors’ point and adds “in light of what one might call “abandonment” of her college team, she should be getting more out of her call-up than she’s currently getting”.

 

  • While it is unfortunate that Morgan’s presence in Cancun has perhaps meant that both Cal’s 2010 NCAA season and Megan Jesolva’s name will now live in utter obscurity, Sundhage’s obvious faith in the player perhaps suggests that Morgan is more than a mere hanger-on. Yes, the USWNT should not have waited two years after the 2008 U-20 WWC to give her a shot with the senior team. It gives the impression that Morgan is little more than a fringe player who is only utilized at the 74′ mark of a game. However, one can argue that the role of Abby Wambach’s strike partner is yet still vacant, despite the best intentions of Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney. It was not surprising to see Morgan fail to make an appearance in the Haiti game, given A-Rod’s disposition as a pure confidence player. Getting subbed out, nevermind dropped for a match against such poor competition could have done her head in. Rodriguez’s 52 senior USWNT caps merits some loyalty from Sundhage. If Morgan has a ho-hum tournament then no, it won’t have been worth it. But if she continues to make a marked difference for the team, she could potentially pry the starting spot away from A-Rod, whose 4.25 goals-to-games ratio is far from stellar. (And prior to last night’s hat-trick, it stood at a lowly 5.56). Every impression Morgan can offer the USWNT is worthwhile. She probably isn’t world-class but other than Wambach, look at the USWNT’s pool of forwards and tell me who is.

 

  • The African Women’s Championship kicked off today. Hosts South Africa tipped Tanzania 2-1 in the tournament’s opening match. Available coverage of the tournament is scant so mere score lines and names of goal-scorers may have to suffice. For starters, Pitch Invasion offers an overview of the tournaments and attempts to explain why Nigeria’s Super Falconets have always dominated the continent and the 2008 champions Equatorial Guinea are such an anomaly.

 

  • There were no surprises in the Fraeun-Bundesliga today as the teams that were supposed to win did win and vice versa. Second-place Frankfurt struggled marginally against Bayern Munich but Conny Pohlers’ 90th minute goal sealed the 2-0 win. Wolfsburg jumped Munich for fifth place after defeating a miserly Jena side 4-1. Bad Neuenahr remain the hottest team in the league with a 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. That’s 24 goals and one conceded in Bad Nuenenahr’s last four matches. Celia da Mbabi Okoyino has scored one-third of the total. 

 

  • It’s been awhile but happy belated birthday to both Kelly Smith and Ali Riley who turned 32 and 23 respectively on Friday. Also, happy birthday to Inka Grings who is 32 today. Sorry you had to be illogically snubbed by FIFA during your birthday week.

 

  • You may have noticed something new in the sidebar over that-away >>>>>. Rather than going down the treacherous GoogleAds route or straight up asking for donations (which we might end up resorting to anyway), we’ve hopefully happened upon a happy medium with Amazon Associates. There you’ll find an array of women’s soccer-related books and DVD’s that could be of interest to some readers. Shilling is difficult and it’s something I’ve wanted to avoid doing for a long while. But if all parties can benefit (that being you, us and the nebulous woso community at large), it makes the task a little easier. Feel free to browse the selection and know that a percentage of your purchase will help fund either a Starbucks venti iced chai latte or a bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston. The former is more likely, however. 

 

  • Lastly, here’s the USWNT’s 2-0 win over Mexico in the semifinal of the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. Somebody please tell me how Abby Wambach managed to score that second goal.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

*Breaking News* Notre Dame’s 77 Match Big East Unbeaten Streak Over At Hands of UConn

Notre Dame’s NCAA Division I record seventy-seven match Big East undefeated streak has ended in the Big East quarterfinals after being defeated by UConn, 2-0 in South Bend this afternoon. Elise Fugowski scored twice for the Huskies who are now likely headed for the NCAA Tournament.

More on the match later in the full day’s recap.

NCAA Soccer – 8 Matches That Matter for 10/31/10

Ali Hawkins

A Healthy Ali Hawkins Is Key For All of UNC's Trophy Hopes for 2010

(All times listed are Eastern.)

Wake Forest vs North Carolina (3:30)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. North Carolina has another chance to win the ACC title. Despite losing two matches at home in league play, the Heels have risen to the top as their rivals drop points against each other in a particularly brutal season of ACC play. UNC’s destiny will be in their own hands when they take the pitch in Winston-Salem in the middle of Sunday afternoon. With all of their rivals likely having finished by the time they will have taken the pitch, UNC will know exactly what they need against the Demon Deacons to bring more silverware home. What they undoubtedly need after Thursday is a little tighter defense. You don’t concede three times in ACC play too many times and come out victorious. Then again you don’t come across a team with as much firepower as UNC that often either. The Heels will have to corral Wake’s Katie Stengel though. The freshman forward has had a great first year and will surely be licking her lips after seeing what the Duke forwards accomplished on Thursday.
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NCAA Soccer Review – 10/30/10 – Berkeley Runs Red As Press, Stanford Power Past Cal

Christen Press

There's Been A Lot Of Goals For Christen Press To Celebrate This Season

Cal 0 – 3 (Taylor 19′, Press 25′, 81′) Stanford [Attendance 664]

With Alex Morgan flexing her muscles in Cancun, Christen Press was left to dominate the headlines in Berkeley as Stanford cruised to victory over Cal in a state derby. The visitors would break onto the scoreboard just shy of the nineteen minute mark when Courtney Verloo’s corner was only cleared as far as Teresa Noyola. Noyola would pick out Lindsay Taylor who made no mistake in hitting the back of the net to give her side the lead. Press would make her presence felt six minutes later after turning on Annie Case’s long throw and hitting a screamer past Cal keeper Emily Kruger for her twentieth of the season. Kruger would try in vain to keep it close as she pushed a Press shot onto the bar in the later stages of the first half and then making a double save on Press and Marjani Hing-Glover in the second half. Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick would see Emily Oliver save an attempt early in the second half to keep the Bears off the board. Press would add the cherry on top for the visitors, finishing off a breakaway in the eighty-first minute to ensure Stanford would record a decisive rivalry win. Press has now tallied a point in a staggering seventeen straight matches for the Cardinal and will have a chance to help her side to a Pac-10 title against Oregon State next weekend.
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NCAA Soccer Review – 10/29/10 – Kit Hits The Jackpot For Gators as Fraine & Elliott Get One For The Thumb

Gators Post-Title Win

The Gators Were A Happy Bunch After A Fifth Straight Title

South Carolina 0 – 1 (Kit 45′) Florida [Attendance: 2548]

A hotly disputed Nicky Kit free kick goal at the stroke of halftime ensured she’d be picking up her fourth league title ring and redshirt seniors Ashlee Elliott and Katie Fraine would be picking up one for the thumb as Florida topped South Carolina, 1-0. A foul was whistled against South Carolina a few yards outside the area to the right of the frame of the goal, but it appeared that time would run out before the Gators could get the kick off. But with South Carolina players standing over the ball, the referee whistled for the clock to stop in the belief that the Gamecocks were wasting time. SC coach Shelley Smith was less than thrilled with the decision after the match, claiming that Florida had chosen to play the ball quickly and weren’t entitled to their ten yards. The official disagreed and Kit stepped up to bend a shot to the right side of the goal, ricocheting the free kick off the post and across the line with just a few seconds left to play in the half.

The fateful free kick clock decision wasn’t the only call Carolina found themselves unhappy with. With Danielle Au being bodychecked in the box from behind by the Gators with less than a quarter of an hour to play, the home side believed they should have been awarded a penalty but were denied. The Gamecocks found it difficult to put the ball on frame throughout, with just one shot on goal. Kayla Grimsley should have made it 1-0 to the hosts in the thirty-ninth minute after getting 1v1 vs Fraine but screwed her shot wide of the goal. Grimsley would come close to making up for it on an indirect free kick a few yards inside the area in the fifty-eighth minute but would see Fraine tip the ball over to keep the Gators on top. The visitors would force Mollie Patton to make five saves in the Carolina goal but could not get a second goal to establish breathing room. In the end though, the Gators would hold on to their slim lead and head back to Gainesville with a fifth straight SEC title in tow.
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Tancredi Leads Canada 1-0 Over Trinidad and Tobago

Canada kicked off their CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers last night by defeating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0. The Canadians dominated in possession but were unable to put away more goals, which were partly related to not being able to develop rhythm against a very physical T&T side and some questionable calls by the referees. Play was sloppy, but “a win is a win” seems to be the theme of the night.

-The starting line up was very similar to the one that won 3-1 against China on September 30, with the exception of Carmelina Moscota being replaced by Sophie Schmidt. Karina LeBlanc was in net, with Marie-Eve Nault, Emily Zurrer, Candace Chapman and Rhian Wilkinson in defence, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt and Kaylyn Kyle in midfield, and Melissa Tancredi, Christine Sinclair and Josée Bélanger up top.

-The number of goals is definitely a hot topic of discussion for this game. Most people were probably expecting a blow out. In past CONCACAF WWCQ meetings between Canada and T&T, high-scoring games had been the norm, including 6-0 (1991), 4-0 (1993), and 5-0 (1994) victories by Canada.

-Tancredi scored a hat-trick, but the first 2 goals were disallowed on questionable calls by the far side assistant referee. In the 36′, Tancredi held her run while anticipating a cross from Kyle. The ball bounced off a T&T defender and to Tancredi, who slotted the shot past the goalkeeper’s outstretched legs. Prior to Kyle’s cross, the AR appears to be a couple steps behind the defensive line, which would have made it difficult for her to make a proper call. Then in the 42′, Bélanger sent in a through ball past 3 T&T players to Sinclair, who was behind the last defender. Sinclair’s cross to Tancredi was roofed into the net but that goal, too, was also called back.

-The all-important goal finally came in the 63′. Following a poorly taken T&T corner kick, Canada made a quick succession of passes starting from a clearance by Nault to second half substitute Jonelle Filigno, who tapped the ball over to Matheson. She then passed it up field to Sinclair, who booted the ball over to Wilkinson making a run from her defensive position. She then looped the ball over to Tancredi, who muscled her way past the defender, settled the ball with her abs stomach, and sent a right footed shot into the back of the net, all while in stride and falling over. It was this type of quick decision making that was lacking in the early part of the game, but more on this later in the post.

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Dominguez Nets Four in Mexico’s Wild Home Opening Victory

It certainly wasn’t a game for the purists but as 7-2 score lines go, this match was pretty memorable. Mexico opened their CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign with grandiose win over Women’s Gold Cup debutantes Guyana. Mexico’s magnificent #9 Maribel Dominguez put four past 37 year-old Guyanese goalkeeper Catherine Kobelka and provided the cross for what would be Mexico’s first goal in the 2’.

As spectacular as Dominguez’s goals were, Mexico’s defense had some spectacularly poor moments as well. After Dominguez’s headed effort put Mexico up 2-0, Guyana’s Mariam El-Masri made it 2-1 in the 29’ after beating a peculiarly unhurried Mexico back four. Dominguez converted a penalty kick six minutes later after a Guyanese defender was called for shirt-pulling in the area. But Guyana appeared to have made it a game in the 40’ after Mexico (and Buffalo Flash) goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar committed the mother of all goalkeeping errors by somehow mishandling a pop-up from Kayla DeSouza.

It was all Mexico all the time after that, however. Dinora Garza scored her second at the stroke of halftime after easily beating Guyana’s back four and coolly converting the 1 v. 1 chance with the goalkeeper. In the 59’, Guadelupe Worbis scored the pick of the litter, as she expertly converted a looping one-timer from nearly 30 yards out.

Mexico continued to test their luck with wonderful long-range shots that were denied by the crossbar. In fact, the crossbar probably had more contact with the ball than Guyana’s goalkeeper did.

Dominguez hit her third goal in the 69’ as she guided a low right-footed shot into the corner of the net. She then completed the rout in the 80’ as she met a miserable clearance by a Guyana defender and blasted it home.

It’s difficult to tell from the video angle of the last shot, but it appears that Dominguez earned a perfect quad on the night, if there is such a thing: header, penalty kick, right foot, left foot.  

The match may not have been a master class of precision and technical quality, but it was 90 minutes of non-stop fun. Mexico, along with the ringleader Dominguez, certainly gave the near-capacity crowd a spectacle.

NCAA Saturday Night Showdown – 10/30/10 – Cal vs Stanford

Megan Jesolva

Cal's Megan Jesolva Will Be A Busy Bear On Saturday

Cal vs Stanford (6:00)

Can we all collectively shake our fists at the Pac-10 scheduling computer or human monolith? With Morgan on international duty in Cancun, we’re deprived of a mouthwatering matchup between the likely #1 pick in the WPS draft and another certain first round selection in Christen Press of Stanford. While we’re lamenting Morgan’s absence, Cal might be agonizing over facing their heated rivals without their talisman. With three matches left, the Bears are teetering on the edge of the bubble and haven’t looked too good without their star striker. Not many stars have looked too good against the Cardinal and their all-around talent. With Cal unlikely to win a shootout without Morgan, it will likely be up to Megan Jesolva and the Bears defense to cage Press and the other Stanford attackers. It’s an assignment most sides have failed thus far. But it’s a derby match and the Bears would love nothing better than to spoil the undefeated season of their heated rivals and lock up a place in the NCAA Tournament.
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