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Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Val1, Jun 23, 2019.
Big ask to go undefeated. Game by game for me.
I must have missed this article on Ordonez when it came out last week. But nice enough profile of the woman...
I think this stuff is the biggest danger to UVAs season. Its too easy to write about the kid who scores but this really is a team effort. Players like Torres, Sumpter and Morse get little mention but without them none of this is possible.
Ivory has won the ACC DPoW 3x this year and yet none of her defenders have won it once. I dont recall her having to make a difficult same in any game outside of the Duke game .
I just hope that the team looks beyond this stuff at the bigger picture and stays on track.
Well, believing the hype is the biggest problem that all teams share. It's why it's even harder to repeat as champions, even at, especially at, the professional level. Look no further than the Chicago Cubs.
Repeat implies actually winning something to begin with. UVA have won nothing and the hype is not justified.I go get your point though
Hoos Place writeup: https://hoosplace.com/content.php?inc=2019102004
On Senior Night, the Seniors Shine
The Fighting Irish came to Klockner Stadium missing three midfielders and had to face the #1 Cavaliers’ possession offense. It wasn’t a fair fight, really.
Notre Dame 0
It was Senior Night and we honored three quarters of our back line – Phoebe McClernon, Courtney Petersen, and Zoe Morse – and striker Megan McCool. The festivities must have struck a chord because all four of them played superlative games.
Petersen set the tone all game long. I have never thought she was particularly fast, but I have been impressed with her speed the past half dozen games. It is like she has added another gear. For the first goal she simply blew by her defender before making her trademark cross, this time to Meg McCool who one-touched the ball past her marker before coolly – get it? – sliding the ball past the keeper.
Zoe Morse was her usual beast of herself, denying everything that came into her area, and Phoebe McClernon had her best game at right back. If there has been a disappointment to this season, it has been watching the degradation of McClernon’s game as she has lost her central spot to freshman Talia Staude.
The defense again came up big all game long. Three weeks ago, Notre Dame travelled to Chapel Hill to face UNC, and they dominated the first half before the depth of the Tar Heels overwhelmed the Irish. The 90+ weather may have also played a role. Today, on a cool, rainy day, the heat wasn’t going to be a factor, and for the first 15 minutes, Notre Dame attacked with numbers and pressed UVa as well as any team has all season. Though they may have controlled the run of play, Notre Dame wasn’t able to get a single shot, and their best-looking opportunity was snuffed out beautifully by Staude. For the game, the Irish would only have one shot on goal, and no, it wasn’t taken from within the box.
After McCool’s goal – her 10th on the season – Notre Dame wilted. At half time head coach Nate Norman said all the right things about his team coming out and playing with renewed energy, the game was still close, they just needed a better final ball. In other words, he said all the things that losing coaches say. This game wasn’t in doubt after McCool’s goal. The only real concern was that winger Becca Jarrett didn’t start the second half. She took a serious knock in the Florida State game last week, and she came up limping once in the first half. If she were to be really hurt, that would have put a damper to the Senior Night celebrations. But my worries were for nought as Jarrett re-entered the game and eventually scored the third goal. Freshman Diana Ordonez, breaking her 2-game drought, had a fine finish for her 13th goal of the season. Perhaps she wanted to show that she could be just as clinical as McCool.
Coach Steve Swanson has been very conservative this season, and has fielded pretty much the same lineup all year. One tweak of the lineup, that has always been available to him (if rarely used) is to insert Claire Constant as a holding midfielder to either give Taryn Torres a break (and she has to be the hardest running player on the team) or to allow her to play wide (which is where she started in her UVa career.) Constant got that assignment today in the second half. She’s a ball winner, but boy, does she reprise the Claude Makelele role in its entirety: she doesn’t advance the ball much. Moving Torres to left midfield allowed Alexa Spaanstra to play some right wing. I would like to see more of that because she has been a ghost of her former self the past half dozen games. Spaanstra has nice touch, an explosive change of pace, and she reads the game like Tom Brady. If Virginia is going to make a serious run to the College Cup, we will need more than we’ve been getting from Spaanstra. So if playing Constant as the holding mid is what it takes to give Spaanstra some time on the wing, count me in. I’m all for it.
Up Next: Louisville on Thursday. The Cardinals have risen to #14 in the country, and apart from one loss to UNC have performed solidly in the ACC: they’ve beaten Clemson while tying Duke and this same Notre Dame team. I thought McCool had her best game of the season against Louisville last year, but she’s been much more prolific this season. Hopefully her goal scoring streak will continue.
I thought Courtney Peterson played her best game of the season. Eventhough ND did have a worrisome spell at the beginning of the game (15-20minutes, there were no real solid chances let up. . .
It was great to see two seniors link up for the game winning goal. Spaanstra->McCool->Ordonez was an excellent play as well. And finally Jarrett did look a bit slower, but that was a great goal for her. She needs to either get that shot off or find someone for how dangerous she usually is. Its good to see a quality shot from her after a good run.
McCool is getting better and better. I'm really happy she got to score on Senior night (could have easily had a brace). And she is not playing in her natural preferred position and would literally be the starting 9 on any other team in college. But even with all of our wondering if we could play the two of them together, the two of them seem to be making this work very effectively.
I agree with you that Spaanstra has been a shadow of her first half self. So anything to help her out of that funk would be good.
I did see the Constant shift in to a marauding dmid. and I noticed the same thing - in that while she is excellent on the defensive side, she never looks to attack once she gains possession. and you could probably say the same of Makelel at Chelsea/France as well. .
I think Torres is/was excellent. She is a workhorse in midfield, and does an amazing job breaking up passes there. She also looks to get the ball upfield. Doesnt switch as fast as I would like, but does everything else and superbly. Coinstant could learn a lot from her on that front. But I think Torres may be the most important piece to the puzzle. She stops so many things in front of the back 4 (or 3 essentially) through the middle. You almost have no choice but to go wide with us with her, morse and staude.
The only thing I would disagree here is that I dont think Staude has pushed McClernon out wide. I think if Swanson wanted to start the best two center backs it would be Morse and McClernon, right now. I think that based on that we dont have a better option at right back, McClernon does a decent job out there and can play that position more so than say Morse or Staude. So getting all three of those players on the field means putting McClernon out wide. In terms of player development, it would be better if she was in the middle where Torres is, but you cant displace Torres there as she is too good.
Hoos Place writeup of Virginia's dismantling of the then #12 Louisville Cardinals: https://hoosplace.com/content.php?inc=2019102403
A year ago, in writing about the 1st round of the ACC playoffs, against this same Louisville team, I headlined my game report: Meghan McCool Makes Louisville Her Bitches. Well, I could write the same about this regular season game. McCool struck twice, Louisville wilted, and Virginia won their 3rd straight game and moved into second place in the ACC.
Louisville came out, much like Notre Dame last weekend, determined to press Virginia in midfield and shorten the field by playing a high line. For the second straight game, the opposition’s plans worked well. For 20 minutes. The problem is that the game is 90 minutes, and even with a shorter bench at coach Steve Swanson’s disposal, Virginia is still deeper than any team not wearing sky blue. Louisville’s wonderfully gifted Emina Ekic looked like she was going to have a decisive say in the outcome of the game. Again, for 20 minutes. Tracking and chasing the ball along Virginia’s back line of Phoebe McClernon, Zoe Morse, Talia Staude and Courtney Petersen (with Taryn Torres thrown in for good measure) saps all the energy of the attacking line and the Cardinals were simply out of gas by the 35 minute mark. When one team is able to truly run the other team off the pitch, it is usually the result of midfield dominance. Not so with this Cavaliers team: it’s the defense (and Torres) that runs the other team.
For the record, Virginia now has not conceded a goal in 707 minutes and keeper Laurel Ivory’s goals against average is a minuscule 0.19 goals allowed/game. In now six of the last nine games, the defense has allowed fewer than 6 shots. Today Louisville recorded just two shots. The did get one off within the penalty box, but it was a pretty easy save by Ivory.
The game could have started off really poorly for Louisville as McClernon made a great through ball in the box to a wide open Anna Sumpter, who coolly slotted home the shot. Of course, Sumpter was so wide open because she was offsides, and Virginia would have to wait awhile for their first goal. It only took til the 22 minute mark for McCool to net her first goal, receiving the ball from Becca Jarrett who made a nice turn to the center of the pitch and made a picture perfect pass. It looked like the flood gates were about to burst open when Ordonez had what was surely a goal barely deflected away for a corner. Five minutes after Ordonez’ shot, Jarrett had a great chance, and in the waning moments of the half, Alyssa Gorzak took a fine shot. Everyone was getting in on the action, and this might have been Gorzak’s best game of the year.
After the break, Louisville came out renewed, and tried to take the game at the Cavs – they were down only one after all, and they had weathered something of a storm to stay within striking distance – and even Ivory was called upon to rush to the top of the box to deny an Ekic breakaway. Again, it took all Louisville could muster to even make the game competitive for 10 minutes. And they were doing it against Virginia’s second string as both Torres and Alexa Spaanstra were taking well-deserved breaks. Just two minutes after Torres and Jarrett re-entered the game and helped UVa retake control of the game, McCool hit her second, coming into the box at a trot to receive a nifty pass from Ordonez.
As the announcer was counting down the final seconds, Gorzak fed Sydney Zandi, and the hero of the Penn State win, who converted a nifty shot from close range to secure the final score. At least twice during the telecast the announcers stated that Virginia and Louisville have met six times since the Cardinals entered the ACC. Virginia’s won all six of them, but the announcers were especially conscientious to mention that all six were decided by a single goal. Zandi obviously got the memo because her goal was the fitting exclamation to a game that the Cavaliers won handily.
Up Next: Virginia has two games remaining to finish the regular season: home on Sunday to face the decidedly mid-table Boston College, and away next Thursday to bottom-feeding Syracuse. We’re currently tied with Florida State for second in the ACC – we’re not catching UNC – but because we own the head-head with FSU we should be able to claim the second seed for the ACC tourney.
Val1, just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write these posts and even including video! I really enjoy getting to read the recap and see some highlights. I don't have time to watch every ACC game so this gives me a great idea of how they are doing and how they did it. Keep it up!
I will do so.
I am pretty sure I am the only person on the planet covering the women. Even UVa's student paper -- the Cavalier Daily -- doesn't cover anything that isn't a revenue sport. And I think it's become my mission to try an include other team's highlights, since every team only shows their own highlights. That you didn't see any from Louisville, or Notre Dame over the weekend, bespeaks to how dominant the UVa defense has become.
that 2nd goal with the nifty nutmeg drop off might be one of the prettiest goals of the year. . . its almost like the two of them have been playing together for years. . ..
Gorzak had her best game of the year as mentioned earlier, but still a far cry from her debut season in terms of making an impact.. I was really impressed with Torrest (again) but Staude had her best game of the year as well. and she is no longer as afraid to push forward when she isnt covered, nor to cover tighter when the backline is pushed forward. I saw her hovering around the midfield line for large portions of the game. . she also uses her physicality well. She will be a pretty good center back for a long time there. Spaanstra looks like she is back. Made a lot of impactful runs and her skill really came out eventhough there werent points to show for it.
Hoos Place writeup of Boston College v Virginia: https://hoosplace.com/content.php?inc=2019102702
Boston College Snaps Virginia's Scoreless Streak. Meh.
Virginia entered the contest sporting their 3rd-longest shutout streak, needing just one more scoreless game to record their second-longest such streak ever. Boston College snapped the streak with about 20 minutes to go.
Did it matter? Not so much, no.
Boston College 1
The game started out almost pass for pass as in this Simpson’s soccer parody.
Surely BC had seen the Notre Dame and Louisville front lines run themselves ragged chasing the ball betwixt and between the Virginia back five, and they were determined not to make the same mistake. The first two – three minutes did look the soccer equivalent of the old Dean Smith 4 Corners.
(I do want to single out solo announcer Jason Patterson for his work during this segment, and for the entire game. It is hard work to call a game all by oneself, and he did yeoman work on the day, especially making the first couple of minutes interesting.)
It didn’t take long for the Cavaliers to get on the score board, as it was once again senior Meg McCool who delivered a typical striker’s poached goal for the first. She has been on a terrific run of play, and if her scoring holds pace and Virginia plays in an as many postseason games as they ought to, she has a good chance to have the highest single season scoring record of any UVa player.
(Before my editor swoops in a deletes that last sentence, I say “Damn the jinx. Full speed ahead. These women are just this good.")
Over the next five minutes, the Cavs would record 5 shots, effectively ending the game as BS had to come out of their shell and play straight up. The Eagles managed to deny Virginia a second goal for most of the first half, but conceded in the 42nd minute when Ashlynn Serepca scored her fifth goal of the season.
Boston College was never going to be able to overcome that deficit. BC has started well each of the past two years, but they’ve feasted on a weak out-of-conference schedule both times, and when the ACC slate gets going, BS is ill-equipped to withstand the rigors. For the half, the Eagles did manage to get off a shot in the box, but it wasn’t on target.
You would have thought that they would have done better. Boston College entered the game as the fourth highest scoring team in the ACC, only trailing conference powerhouses UVa, UNC and FSU. They lost ACC player of year Sam Coffey who decamped to Penn State when BC changed coaches, but showing a depth that Coach Steve Swanson would love, they have had 11 different players score and they have been the first to score in 12 of their 16 games. But it turns out taking on the UMass Lowells and the Northeasterns of the world simply do not prepare you for the ACC.
Virginia’s next two goals came in a four-minute span midway through the second half as Serepca notched her second goal and Sydney Zandi scored for the second straight game, and it was 4 – 0. And the rout was on.
Swanson subbed in his green team of Emma Dawson (central midfielder), Cam Lexow (right wing) and McKenna Angotti (right defensive back). While all are capable – Dawson in particular is going to be good – BC was given a lifeline and they grabbed onto it. After 60 minutes of failing to get a single shot on goal, the Eagles got three, including the goal that snapped the scoreless streak on a fine shot by Gaby Correiro, and another that required a fine save from keeper Laurel Ivory. For five minutes, BC was in the game. It was too little, too late, and Swanson had seen enough. He quickly brought back Taryn Torres and Alexa Spaanstra who restored order in midfield and two minutes later, Courtney Petersen scored her first goal of the year. And two minutes later, Emma Dawson recorded the first goal of her UVa career.
The final score: Virginia 6 – 1. And we learned that Boston College is competitive with Virginia’s green team. That has to be a pretty dispiriting revelation for Syracuse, who host UVa on Halloween Night.
All that was left was for Swanson to sub out Laurel Ivory so that she could receive the applause of the 1800 in attendance. It’s been quite a month for the keeper. She’s been named ACC Defensive Player of the Week three times and she helped record UVa’s third longest scoreless streak in team history. Michaela Moran came right in and made a pair of really saves of her own. It was a good night for everyone.
Injury Notes: Claire Constant, who missed three games this season already for a twisted ankle (?) seemed to twist that same ankle again in the second half. She was helped off the field, in seemingly more pain than when she first incurred the injury vs Minnesota.
Freshman Talia Staude did not seem to hurt herself in the first half, but she did not play at all in the second. While it was a treat to see Phoebe McClernon back in the center of defense – she is simply a joy to watch – we’ll just have to hope that Staude was proactively held out. Losing two defenders in a 6 – 1 blowout could derail Virginia’s run to the College Cup.
You missed a trick Val. Morse did not play in 2h. I believe she was sick. That forced McL to CB. Staude played 71 minutes. Morse will be fine
Oh.... bad word.
Too late at night when I'm writing this. Thanks for the catch.
Well, Virginia v Syracuse has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
At least I'm not going crazy. I'd spent 30 minutes trying to find the game on ACCNX and been unable to do so.
Actually, at this point, I don't mind. I don't think we'd learn anything more about the team, and all that could happen would be that someone could get injured.
I call this a win.
Though I was looking forward to watching the game. Sigh.
Agree 100%. Player safety first. Do you know when it will be played?
Game was cancelled outright.
In one way, Virginia was screwed. Since we played one fewer game than FSU we have 3 fewer points and FSU got the second seed, Virginia third.
And in the.process, we don't play Clemson, who I wanted to play since we haven't played them before.
But... I can only hope for a thrashing vs Duke, because it's always fun to thrash Duke. And because we didn't first time around this season.
will not be made up.
I can't find the ACC rules on this anywhere on line (an ACC goof up, in my opinion), but I saw something suggesting that in a situation like this they look at points per conference game played. Based on that metric, FSU comes out ahead of Virginia. It's conceivable to me that Virginia made a calculated decision not to try to postpone the game and instead to agree to a cancelation.
Postpone it to when? Hardly a calculated decision. Given the forecast, the question is why was the game not played earlier? I would guess more likely a Syracuse issue around Senior night. Another example of poor planning by them - doing it at the last home game.
You are right. UVA had hardly anything to gain by playing Syracuse. Even if there was no issue with weather, they would’ve been happy not to play Syracuse for RPI consideration.
Excuse you, 'bout what?
That was to be Senior Night? Wow! Colossal cock-up.
How big of a loss will Peterson be? Assuming she won't be back. She wasn't bearing weight on the one leg coming off the field.
That is generally a bad sign.
FSU vs UVA.
Could be another classic. You have to favor UVA in this one, but...