NCAA – The ReRank: Power Rankings After the Elite Eight

Still Alive

1. Florida State
2. Virginia
3. Texas A&M
4. Stanford

Eliminated in Elite Eight

5. UCLA

It really wasn’t supposed to end this way for the Bruins. Certainly not before the College Cup. Who knows if it would’ve hurt more or less if it had been against a lesser opponent or as the result of some kind of fluke. There was none of that here, as the defending national champs were simply beaten by the better team on the night. With the third season always the most important for new managers, it’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins respond to Friday’s shattering defeat. There’s no shortage of promising talent in Westwood, but the back four and midfield needs to be rebuilt, almost from scratch.

6. Penn State

A post here, a save there, near misses everywhere. The Nittany Lions could’ve very easily made it to the College Cup if a few breaks had gone their way, though they could also have no complaints of being hard done by against a strong Texas A&M side. PSU loses some strong defenders in Whitney Church and Kori Chapic but are otherwise loaded going into 2015. The defense adds in some elite recruits and should get Brittany Basinger back from injury after the full-back missed all of this season. With just a little more offensive punch, the Nittany Lions may well be a contender for a national title next season.

7. Florida

The scourge of penalties strikes again. Florida and Stanford played reasonably close for the second half and in extra time after the Gators struggled in the first half against the Card. UF are going to be kicking themselves for not getting to the last four at long last though, having been so close with such a talented team. There’s still a lot of talent here for 2015, but the loss of Havana Solaun is going to probably loom larger than some might believe. The playmaker was Florida’s most important player, IMO. There are also questions to answer in goal, meaning a return to the Elite Eight could be more difficult than anticipated.

8. South Carolina

There’s no shame in losing to Florida State, even by multiple goals. But the defeat to the Seminoles also illuminated the gap between the good and the great in Division I. It’s astonishing that the Gamecocks made the Elite Eight scoring just one goal, but SC is always going to have a chance considering how well drilled the defense always is. But that defense still has to replace Taylor Leach at center-back and Sabrina D’Angelo in goal, which is a big blow. Without some more punch in the attack as well, it’s difficult envisioning Carolina getting back to this point.

9 thoughts on “NCAA – The ReRank: Power Rankings After the Elite Eight

  1. Hooked001

    The 3 Elite Eight games I saw (didn’t see Florida State/USC) were very entertaining. What struck me about the 6 teams I did see was how consistent they were in doing what it appeared that they set out to do. I hope that the semi-finals will be as entertaining.

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  2. Anthem

    I disagreed with your rerank last week as I don’t think you can move virginia into the 2 spot ahead of fsu since they had lost to fsu twice earlier in the season. If you were penalizing fsu for margin of victory then you have the same issue with ucla barely beating Pepperdine in the 89 minute.

    But if you had the rank from last week as is – then you can’t really move fsu up above a team that beats the overall number 1 on their own home soil regardless of fsu’s thumping of sc at home. Because ucla was the favorite the entire way (similar to virginia last year).

    Anyhow I think the rank this week is correct as long as it wasn’t a “rerank” – fsu deserves to be above UVA until Uva can figure out how to beat then as they have lost twice to them this year. I just think that last weeks was incorrect and if you were truly “reranking” from last week – no one would move a number 3 team to number 1 above the number 2 that defeats number 1 at their home. Just doesn’t happen,

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  3. Random

    UCLA just seemed to be off in almost all aspects vs. UVA and that very much could be a credit to UVA’s play. Courtnall did not have her usual game and what was with all the fouling from her, especially since she is faster than probably 99% if not 100% of the other players on the field. Dydasco was good, but quiet for much of the game. Mewis was MIA for most of the game, actually UCLA’s midfield was as a whole. I remember looking at the field during the game and seeing a defensive line and some people up top and thinking where is their midfield? They had no linking play whatsoever which is typically one of their strengths.

    Coloprico (sp?) had a fantastic game for UVA, she was all over that field and I don’t think they would have won if not for her work especially on the defensive side of the ball. Sonnet was also excellent. I would have had a hard time picking player of the game between the two, but would probably have given Sonnet the nod due to the goal.

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  4. sec

    Really impressed by PSU’s younger players. One player that stood out, and must be considered to have potential at the “next level” (pro or WNT) is the outside back, Elliston. Also, their freshman forward, who’s name escapes me now, was very good. Next to Stanford and UCLA, PSU and FSU are two programs that just continue to re-stock with top talent. UVA is not far behind on the recruiting trail.

    Texas A&M reminds me a bit of Va Tech last season, where everything just came together perfectly for this incredible season. Their win over PSU reminded me of Va Tech’s win over Santa Clara last year, where SCU really should’ve scored several times. So, I don’t think A&M’s defense can deal with UVA.

    Interesting to note about UVA, they lose only two real starters for 2015 — Brian and Colaprico. Those are massive losses, to be sure, but UVA will still be a team to reckon with in 2015.

    As for the UVA v. Texas A&M match, I expect Ratcliffe to return to her position up top with Doniak, to try to get behind A&M’s back line with her speed. Unless I missed something, I don’t see A&M having a flank player that warrants Ratcliffe playing outside mid (to offer defensive cover). I also see Millar and Cox getting playing time in the semi-final, because the turn-around for the final is less than 48 hours. This will mean Colaprico will get some playing time at outside mid (along with defensive mid), which will improve UVA’s attack.

    As for the other match, I cannot see Stanford scoring on FSU. And if FSU gets just one goal, it is really match over for Stanford.

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  5. Bruin

    There is a curious aversion ever to talk about the role of officiating in a game. This is not to excuse UCLA’s poor performance on Friday. However, in this game it should be stated that the match referee also had a poor game. It wasn’t so much the repeated obstruction by UVA players that was totally ignored, or curiously late whistles for infractions by both teams, but rather that he completely missed an incident in the 73rd minute that should have resulted in the sending off of a Virginia player, and quite possibly a different result. A Virginia player clattered in to a UCLA player close to the UCLA bench and brought them down, but play was allowed to continue. As the UCLA player got to her feet, and stumbled away a UVA player lying on the ground attempted to leg whip or kick her as she went by. As David Beckham would confirm you normally get sent off for doing something like that. In this case the referee either completely missed it or chose to ignore it. He gave a throw in instead. The last 17 minutes would have been very different with one UVA player less, and who knows what the outcome would have been. If UVA had won they would also have been without that player for their semifinal.

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    1. Anthem

      I find it curious that you would argue the result to be different over the possibility of someone being sent off. . . I didn’t see the play in question but notwithstanding whether someone should be sent off or not – most of us as competitors want the game to be contested on the pitch. I am sure the players would prefer it to be 11v11 and that each team played and the best team moves on. Why would anyone want to have he game decided by the referee ?

      The reality in the women’s game is that you generally see very few yellows and even fewer reds anyhow.

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  6. Soccer fan

    Sour grapes are sour grapes no matter how you choose to word them. UVA had to travel cross country, play on your field and still outplayed the supposed #1team in the country. The only goal you managed was a fluke ,but I guess your lack of offense was the referee’s fault too. Maybe 2or3 penalty kicks would have helped the lesser team win. I doubt it!

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  7. hykos

    I enjoy your updates, Chris, they are always on the mark. Of course, D’Angelo will be missed. But SC has already shown to have a decent GK depth chart. That Crider held UNC off the board at their place in only her second career start shows she would be a worthy fill in to return for the Gamecocks next year.

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  8. David Glenn

    Hey, Bruin. Face it…your girls did not want it as much as the UVA girls did. Quit being a whiner. Unreal….

    Reply

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