2010 UNC Tar Heels

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Soccerhunter, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    The 2009 season was fantastic! Another national championship has been wrapped up, and as of this date (December 22) most all of the 2009 accolades have been announced. It is time to start a new thread for 2010.


    We Tar Heel fans are so fortunate! We get to enjoy really great soccer year in and year out and next season should be no exception. Sure, we loose members of that amazing class that helped win the NCAA championship in 2006 2008,2009...), and there will certainly be some big holes left next year, but let’s look at the exciting possibilities.


    Here’s how I see next year shaping up. I see some growing pains of a “rebuilding” year for perhaps two thirds of the season -especially if Anson schedules (as he typically does) some top notch teams early on. New roles and new faces will have to work their way into the line up and working efficiently as a team will take a little while even after a regular lineup and substitution patterns are settled. I fully expect the Tar Heels to make the NCAA tournament, of course, and I would even not be surprised to see the 2010 team make the final four, but I will not be overly disappointed if they loose a critical game earlier in the tournament.


    I am excited about the solid recruits in next year’s freshman class. Kealia Ohai is very highly touted, and is probably one of the top three players entering college. But Crystal Dunn showed so well this past year and a she may surprise a lot of us! Crystal is one of two 5’1” Tarheel Recruits (the other being Megan Morris). Since Anson generally prefers taller players, it will be interesting to see how these two excellent players produce next year. There has been much discussion on the 2009 Tar Heel thread about Elizabeth Burchenal. My feeling is that she is one in a line of Carolina recruits that have been well vetted and she will come on strong. Finally, does anyone know anything about Kelly McFarlane?


    My expectations for a 2010 line up are:


    Goal: Sieloff (possibly platooning with Daly)
    Backs: Givan, Wood, Bronze
    Midfield: Klingenberg, Brooks, Hawkins, Dunn
    Forwards: McDonald, Jones, Ohai


    But so much could easily change! Ali would make a great back in Anson’s system. Lucy could not return in which case Elizabeth Burchenal might step into the midfield (or go up front if Ohai went to mid.) Ranee Premji played well and may move up.



    And I’d love to see Merritt Matthias get more time, not to mention Erin Mikula, and Megan Morris may surprise us. Emmalie Pfankuch will get stronger along with Maria who has some great moments this past year.


    Brittani Bartok remains an enigma... such skill, but she seems slow to pick up the mental part that the Tar Heel game depends on.... Maybe next year will be her year to shine. Dang, who have I forgotten?? The possible combinations are endless.


  2. Rohbino

    Rohbino Member

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    Don't forget about Alyssa Rich. She got some good minutes in the front as a frosh and will compete for even more in her 2nd year.
  3. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Ouch...of course... That's what I get for drafting things at 3:00 am.
  4. UNC4EVER

    UNC4EVER Member

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Wow. 2010. Hard to get my head around a new year, but I guess its time.

    GK: Daly could win the start; she is first rate on the line for a young keeper. Spring 2010: she needs to work on her kicking/distribution as a minimum. It would be nice if she could become more dynamic off her line, as the Heels back three are always aided by a sweeper-keeper. Don't know Sieloff well enough to compare, but would say its one or the other. The only time the Heels are gonna swap keepers is when one is a U20 National champ and the other takes the team to an NCAA championship. That won't happen that often.

    D: GIVAN! Others are a mystery? I am surprised we have recruited two petite defenders (5'1") as it is hard to imagine we would play them in the back? I don't know the gals, so I can be educated? Seems like we need some height? I might like Wood, Pfanchuk, or Brooks in the back, as well as some of these touted freshmen.

    M: Klingenberg, Lubrano, Hawkins, Mikula, Premji are easy choices, as well as the freshmen.

    F: McDonald, Rich, Jones, Ohai, Barkok, Matthias are obvious looks.

    It will be interesting to see how we shape this Spring as the squad is clearly looking for defenders. This is when Givan took off a couple years ago after having rostered on the front line.

    I'm sure we have the depth for another great year!


  5. jbs01

    jbs01 Member

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    I think you are right that the big unknown will be the back line. Seems like Givan will move to center back and be the leader. Even if Bronze come back, I don't see her being successful as an outside back -- she just doesn't have the speed for that position.

    How about Bartok as one of the outside backs? She has good size and she is really fast. As someone pointed out, she does not seem to be breaking out as a forward, but might do so at one of the outside back positions.
  6. AndyMead

    AndyMead BjgSoccer Muderator

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    Why would you move her from the wing?
  7. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Yes, my current re-think of the defense agrees with you.

    How 'bout the back three as:

    R=Wood, Center=Hawkins, L=Givan

    Three tall, fast, aggresive players with great leadership potential in Hawkins.

    The midfield would have to soldier on without Ali, but there is all kinds of talent there. -3 starters from 2009 [Books, Kling, Bronze(?)], and a strong 4th would surely emerge from either the outstanding frosh (Dunn, Morris, Ohai, or Burchenal), or from the host other players who came off the bench in 2009.
  8. jbs01

    jbs01 Member

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    Because you want someone there with experience and who is a leader. She is the one who sets and moves the defense. Playing from the middle, she would also be in position to provide cover for the two "new" outside backs, whoever they turn out to be, at least until they settle into those positions.
  9. tarheelblue31

    tarheelblue31 New Member

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    Ali would be a terrible choice for CB. She is most definitely not fast. As much as I love her, she is definitely one of the slowest on the team, and she knows it. She would never fit in in the back 3 that of all things, needs to be quick. And from what I know, the lineup everyone is thinking of is completely wrong...it's going to be a huge surprise to everyone, if what I've been told happens
  10. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    tarheelblue, you are clearly more plugged into real data than I. I agree that speed is absolutely necessary in Dorance's three back system, but I was thinking that Ali was pretty fast.

    OK now, you appear to be saying that you have inside information regarding who may be playing in the back for UNC next season. Any reason it'd be top secret speculation? (It wouldn't involve Jess, would it?)
  11. AndyMead

    AndyMead BjgSoccer Muderator

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    But it's not her position. Yeah, players can - and have - moved, but just to say "let's put the most senior player in the middle" isn't really what I'd call deep analysis.

    At this point, I'd leave Givan on the wing. She uses her pace (and past life as a forward) to push up the side to support the attack and race back with recovery speed. She's not particularly tall, and frankly I (not being a UNC fan, but if I were one) am not sure from what I've seen that I'd like her to be in the center. She does make mistakes. She still over-commits too much for my taste. And if she does that as a center back, the only one behind her will be a, more or less, rookie goalkeeper.

    It's nice to look at the field as a chess board where you remove the seniors and then rearrange the returning players. But it doesn't really work that way. For every Whitney Engen that moves from striker to center back, there's a graveyard full of failed changes.

    Maybe Anson will move her, maybe not. But "leadership" alone isn't a good reason to do it.

    And I'm not sure we won't see a bit of a four back experiment next season just to provide additional cover with the abject lack of experience the team will have in defense. With all of Anson's legion of subbing, my guess is that Eveland, Engen, and Givan were at the top of the minutes played stat for field players. Throw in Harris, and that's a huge gaping hole with 3 of the 4 gone.
  12. jbs01

    jbs01 Member

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    can somebody bring us uptodate on Rachel Wood? Did she redshirt last year? if so, voluntarirly or injury? if i recall right, she was very highly rated when she came in in 2008. how do people see her fitting into next year's lineup?

    really off the wall idea: Given at center back, Bartok and Jones as outside backs -- both big, fast, and neither has developed yet as a finisher up top. both could function as a Alves/Cole on thier respective sides.
  13. jbs01

    jbs01 Member

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    here's an article from the
    Guardian re. tactics and strategy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/dec/23/the-question-football-tactics-develop-decade. It's particularly applicable to English and European football, but might be interesting to think about in relation to our favorite US college women's tean.

    Over the past 10 years, Anson has not chnaged in his basic committment to the 3-4-3 "system." But, it seems to me, it has evolved. For years he has been criticized for relying on the athleticism of his players and the use of a long ball/direct style of play. I think that was true "in the old days" and you can also see it appear still from time to time. But over the past "x" number of years, he has put in much more of a passing game. As this has happened he has often been quoted as saying that Arsene Wenger is the coach he most admires and that he has tried to incorporate a good deal of the Arsenal control game into UNC's strategy.

    If this has been a developing pattern, how might it continue over the next few years?

    A natural progression would be for Anson to include in his admiration Barca -- a team that shares a good many traits with Arsenal but is on another plane with respect to success and competence. Asked another way, the question could be "What if Anson thought of Pep as his most admired coach instead of Arsene?"

    For one thing, it could lead to experiementing with a 4-3-3 alignment. (i know, UNC will never change from its beloved 3-4-3 so long as Anson's here, but considered the possibility . . .) One of the characteristics of the Barca 4-3-3 is that the backs become much more dynamic and much more heavily involoved in the offense. So, think about the off-the-wall possiblities of Jones and Bartok as outside backs. Both are tall and fast, so that's to the good for defensive coverage, but both are also, obviously, offense oriented. The left back could take on the role of an Ashley Cole and the right, Dani Alves. That would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Put Given as a center back and look for the fourth. That gives you plenty of coverage while opening up whole new lines of attack.

    The midfield could include Ali in the middle, Kling on one flank, and a to-be-found third player on the other flank. They support their own runs as well as overlapping runs with the outside backs. And, Hawkins functions as playmaker.

    The front line could include McDonald as a big central target, Rich on one side, Ohai(?) on the other.

    This could be a much more dynamic attack than the current 3-4-3, which is all pressure orieinted. A big question would be whether a college team could pull it off with players at their skills level, rather than the technical skills of some of the best players in the world, like Barca has. I don't think parity has arrived, as witnessed by UNC's 3 out of 4 championships in the last four years, but the games are getting closer and UNC could easily have lost any number of them. Since I think Anson pulled off a pretty significant change over this decade, probably in response to increased competition, might he be considering some further change to stay ahead in the next decade?
  14. P.J.B.

    P.J.B. Member

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    Interesting analysis... Don't forget Brooks in the central positions...has been playing central defender for youth national teams for awhile now and did well in central midfield this year. She factors into that role next year for sure.

    Have been curious as to why there haven't been any new signings for the class of 2011. Our 2010 class is second to none. Perhaps Dorrance is gambling again and sees more promise in the '12 class, meaning he only takes Satara Murray, our lone signee thus far. I had been hoping to see Morgan Brian sign with us, but after early clues she might become a Tar Heel, we weren't even listed in her top 6 on TopDrawer, before she signed with University of Georgia.

    Anyone else have news on the recruiting front?
  15. cbg2004

    cbg2004 New Member

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    Kat Nigro, a U-17 NT pool player, committed to UNC a couple of days ago. I will update the spreadsheet with the commitment tomorrow night.
  16. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Other than scanning cbg's fabulous spreadsheet, there doesn't seem to be much recruiting news yet over the holidays.

    It is a bit worrisome that the Tarheels seem to be so far behind in the 2011 recruiting race. UCLA has already amassed a huge and talented class (6 NT players) while UCSB and Santa Clara are not far behind. Many of the prime players have committed, most notably Mewis, Brian, and Parchinski. But there are some good picks out there and we have to have faith that AD is working real hard to snag a few.

    It would be great if the Tar Heels could get a commitment from Chioma Ubogagu. She would do well at Carolina.

    Alex Doll would be next on my list. She would be very similar to Kling (even the same height.)

    Which raises the issue of height. Many of the 2011 remaining players seem to be coming in at 5'3" or less. Exceptions would be midfielders Kaili Torres at 5'7", Olivia Shultz at 5'5", and Kylie McCarthy at 5'9".

    In any case, I'll cross my fingers that AD will pull some rabbits out of the hat and surprise us Tar Heel fans with a solid class for 2011.
  17. P.J.B.

    P.J.B. Member

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    Thanks guys! The Kate Nigro news is certainly exciting. I had been looking into the players you mentioned SoccerHunter, with no leads either. I got the feel that Chioma is more influenced by the academic prestige factor, since she listed several ivy league schools as targets on TopDrawer...we'll see, while UNC wasn't on her target list, public forums such as those aren't always the most up-to-date or accurate indicators of the recruiting process. Look forward to hearing more!
  18. tobinheathfan13

    tobinheathfan13 New Member

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    IMO both Daly and Sieloff have the skill to start, being at around the same level. I think the major factor will be the experience of Daly and Sieloff's ability to work into the 3-4-3 system as a GK. In any case, Sieloff is a threat for the starting spot, but I feel like AD will start Daly the season opener and the first few games and work Sieloff in there, then make a decision.
    ++ both I believe have national team experience? just to throw that in there, i think we're solid at GK for the next couple of years :D

    anyways, here's my starting line up

    GK: Sieloff (Daly at first)
    Backs: Bronze, Givan, Wood
    Mids: Kling, Hawk, Brooks, Lubrano/Pfankuch
    Forwards: Mcdonald, Jones, Bartok/Ohai

    but somehow I feel like AD is going to pull out something crazy, maybe something like

    GK: Sieloff
    Backs: Brooks, Givan, KLING??
    Mids: Mcdonald, Hawk, Brooks, Lubrano
    Forwards: Ohai, Jones, Bartok
    i dunno...i said crazy

    and
    i think we'd all like to know this big surprise :D any news you'd like to share tarheelblue?
  19. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    I believe that it is obvious to just about everyone, and certainly to AD and his staff, that the Tar Heel defense is absolutely vital to the success of the team assuming that the tried and true midfield pressure style is continued. Consequently, by mid season I look for AD to arrive at a solid defense in the mold of 2009's. This means fast, tall aggressive backs.

    I think that Givan and Wood are logically two of the backs and only a third will have to be groomed for the starting lineup. Who knows who will end up there, but nothing should be ruled out. This includes the incredible heresy of possibly including Jess.

    New forward recruit Burchenal has the athleticism and size to go in the back, even though she apparently is an accomplished goal scorer. I do not believe that the 5'1" Dunn will be put in the back no matter how good she a defender she has proven to be with the U-17 NT. She will probably end up in the midfield (and, I dare say, make Tar Heel fans happy!).

    Bottom line, we'll just have to wait and see how it all works out.
  20. New Engalnd Nellie

    New Engalnd Nellie Member

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    My daughter (5'9" and 145 lbs) has played with Crystal Dunn for years. She has come home sore from camps where she had to come up against Dunn on defense in training and intrasquad scrimmages. Dunn is a great tackler with a low center of gravity and very strong legs. I have no idea how well she will stack up against the players in the ACC but I'm just saying you can't judge everything by the size of the package. I have seen her play an attacking role in club and she was quite good there as well. Very nice kid. UNC is lucky to have her.

    P.S. Since it was the perceived physical match match you were commenting on, that's all I commented on. I did not say anything about tactics as I'm not qualified to do so.
  21. UNC4EVER

    UNC4EVER Member

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    Thanks for these very informative insights about Dunn. I look forward to watching her play for the Heels!

    I think the point some of us are making is: With a flat back three and a very high line the defenders and holding mid need to win balls in the air. However well Dunn marks and tackles, if she can't get into the air, teams will just serve her mark who will nod the balls along into a wide open back. For that reason, the Heels back line have traditionally had the height (or jump) to contest balls in the air.

    Additionally, with the Heels high pressure and high line of confrontation, smaller players with good speed, high work rates, and excellent defensive skills have often been very happy in the midfield, where they can "defend" around midline and then push into attack.

    I don't know how Dunn will fit into the existing chemistry, but I do know we are pleased to have her and looking forward to watching her play!

    On another topic: Central Defender and Givan

    So much of the Heels success is about chemistry and team culture. No one on the current squad can fail to understand how much Whit Engen redefined the team between 2007 and 2008 by her contribution in central defense, or how much she contributed to the 2009 Championship win. In addition to her personal performance, she has certainly raised the stature of that position in the awareness of the current squad. I think it would be an easy sell for Anson to put anyone in that slot, since everyone is aware how critical it is. IMO, Amber Brooks is the best player on the roster to fill that role in 2010. She is doing a great job in the midfield, but I don't see how anyone other than McDonald could do as well in central defense, and I think Brooks has the better defensive mentality.

    As for Givan, I agree (in part) with AndyMead...

    IMO, Givan is doing a great job on the left. I'd leave her there. Its a better position for her than the center.

    Also, I believe the Heels will play a flat three until several teams demonstrate that they have figured out how to consistently solve it. I predict that next year we will play three back and they will play for 90 unless they get hurt. When we start messing with that, we will also need to change the dynamic of the other seven field players, and with three National Championships in the last four years, I don't think Anson feels much need for reinvention. If Brooks moves to the middle and Wood (who has good size and great ability) can fill Eveland's slot, I disagree with others that the back line is a vulnerability.
  22. Rohbino

    Rohbino Member

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    I could see Burch doing well in the back and her size and athleticism would serve her well there but what makes her such a threat in the front is her ability to routinely take on, and beat, 2 or 3 defenders. Additionally, even when she may not be scoring, because of the attention she attracts from opposing defenders, she is freeing up another goal scorer. Even though Liz is an accomplished scorer/finisher, her offensive contribution is not always seen in the stats.

    With all of this being said, I am fully aware that ACC soccer is a whole 'nother ball of wax where the tactics of the opposition and the quality of the players will exceed what Liz has faced with her club team. But, again, Liz has routinely faced the strongest players at her age level, and even a bit older, and has done quite well.

    I agree that things probably will work out much differently from what most here will envision them to.
  23. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Like many other Tar Heel fans, I am eager to see the new recruits play next fall. This class is quite unusual in several ways.

    One of those ways is signing a player who has largely made a name for herself in the high school and club arena who has much of a chance of much playing time at UNC. Liz Burchenal looks like a possible exception here.

    Heretofore, high school standouts (All Americans, and state POYs) have usually only been able to keep the bench warm and gotten game time only when the score is safely in hand. How many times have we seen seen it thus? But the Ohio media reports would have us believe that, this time with Liz, it is going to be different. And certainly the way she was recruited by UNC would indicate that the Tar Heel staff expects so too.

    But such recruited players not panning out is not limited to high school standouts. There have been plenty of cases where a "top 25" recruit did not work out as expected at Carolina. IMO, it has always been about the mental game, not the physical skills. Beyond effort, skills, and work rate, it is the speed and quality of decision making that gets the PT.
  24. New Engalnd Nellie

    New Engalnd Nellie Member

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    UNC fans should be pleased to hear 2010 recruit Kealia Ohai has been named the NSCAA high school player of the year.
  25. P.J.B.

    P.J.B. Member

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    Yes and on another high note - Enzo Martinez, a freshmen on on this year's men's squad, was named men's high school player of the year by the NSCAA. GO HEELS!

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