Virginia 2020

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Val1, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Crazyhorse repped this.
  2. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I have no idea what's going on. Alexa Spaanstra is listed as starting, so that's good, but Laurel Ivory is not starting, nor is Claire Constant.

    We gotta be quarantining for coronavirus.
     
  3. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    6 1st-half goals surrendered to a not-very-good Virginia Tech team. They are certainly making the case for worst ever.
     
  4. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    The demands on players this season are unique. All the teams get something of a pass from me. Most of us have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. UVA may try and play the same, but that is a reflection on the coach and his philosophy. They are nowhere near full strength.

    UVa out shot Louisville 24-2, thats about the same as UNC outshot Syracuse last night. Not necessarily a great measure as im not looking at shot quality. Ill be interested to see the advanced metrics from the game, but dominating like that vs a team that has 2 first team all ACC players with a starting lineup that has one - a half fit Spaanstra in her first game back, says something.
     
  5. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    HoosPlace writeup: https://hoosplace.com/2020/10/16/wsoccer/3209/

    Virginia Sends Louisville Packing



    A week after Virginia’s game with North Carolina was canceled due to an abundance of injuries and unspecified coronavirus concerns, the Cavaliers hosted Louisville at Klockner. Welcomed back to the fold were Alexa Spaanstra, Ashlynn Serepca, and Diana Ordonez. But in this two-step-forward one-step-back season, Virginia was without defender Claire Constant and keeper Laurel Ivory. Would Steve Swanson’s seventh different starting lineup be up to the task?

    Virginia 2
    Louisville 0


    Well, the easy storyline would be that UVa was carried by Spaanstra, who would score both goals for the Cavaliers. Both teams came in on plenty of rest: Virginia with 10 days and Louisville with 11 days. And Louisville, a team that has never beaten UVa, came into the game with sitting third in the ACC standings and with a 3 – 1 record that might have seemed overly gaudy to the casual fan. In this case, I admit to having been a casual fan, and I was concerned about a suddenly stronger foe in Louisville, especially after seeing our starting lineup without Constant and Ivory. I don’t think anyone should have worried, though, as all three Cardinals victories came over the very bottom of the ACC – Miami, Syracuse and Boston College – teams that have combined for nary a win to with 13 total losses.

    Louisville was simply no match for Virginia. The Cardinals did open brightly enough and controlled the run of play for the first five minutes. That was about as long as it took for Virginia to find freshman Lia Godfrey and feed her the ball. Godfrey has come out of the gate this season on fire: she is an exceptional dribbler, is actually a fine on-ball defender, moves into space well, and may be faster with the ball at her feet than Rebecca Jarrett. She has a great shot from long range, and if not for one fortuitous Louisville block, she would probably would have added her name to the score sheet. Although I very much want to see how Florida State defends her, for the rest of the ACC, the word is out: give her a huge cushion and try to stiffen up at the edge of the penalty box. I fail to see how giving Godfrey more space is advantageous to the defense because she will ruthlessly take what you give her.

    Virginia pressed the attack for the next 20 minutes as the Cavs were simply faster to the ball all across the pitch. Godfrey had a steal upon which she drove for a now-patented shot; Rebecca Jarrett took an audacious shot from wide right, and there were a couple of profligate moments in front of the goal. But in the 24th minute, Alyssa Gorzak found a wide open Spaanstra who was coolly able to convert from top of the box. Ten minutes later Serepca drove into the box from the right side, was tugged in the box (she sold it well) and the PK was awarded. Spaanstra took the penalty and hit it perfectly – Manuel Neuer couldn’t have saved it – but I still cringed. Four inches higher and Spaanstra’s shot would have been clanging off the crossbar.

    2 – 0 and the game was effectively over at that point. Louisville would actually get a shot in the last five minutes of the first half, but at the half, I wrote in my notes, “Does it matter that Emina Ekich is even in the game?” Ekich is Louisville’s best player but she was completely shut down by Sarah Clark and Anna Sumpter. Over the past two seasons, Louisville is 10 – 0 when she scores or records an assist, and now 2-7-1 when she doesn’t.

    The second half was more of the same. Virginia overwhelmed Louisville and looked like they’d applied the icing on the cake when HoosPlace Fave™ Sarah Clark had another wonderful cross which found the head of Ordonez for the third goal. The linesman signaled that Ordonez was offsides, but the cross was just another piece of evidence that Swanson found a real gem when he lured Clark back to the East Coast. I’m still waiting to see Clark perform against top-flight competition, and the Cavs’ next game is Sunday against the visiting Florida State Seminoles. We should have a better idea of just what we have in Clark after FSU comes to Charlottesville.

    But we should have a better idea of how good the entire defense is against FSU. With our two starting central defenders out – Talia Staude (3 games) and Claire Constant (1 game) – Lizzie Sieracki and Lacey McCormack looked quite comfortable filling in for them. McCormack plays like the midfielder she really is and Sieracki has adds deep distribution to the Virginia arsenal. This is a resilient defense. Ivory has now missed three games, starter Samar Guidry missed two, and now Laney Rouse has missed her second. Only one goal has been scored against the Cavaliers from open play. Three came from penalties and one from a free kick. All goals count, of course, but this is team is proving difficult to score against. But as I’ve said, the biggest test of the season awaits on Sunday. It should be a doozy.



    Streaming notes:
    I am looking forward to viewing FSU on ESPN2 because, to be frank, the streaming quality from the ACC Network the past couple of weeks has been crap. It was so bad I was getting flashbacks from the horrible days of soccer viewing from the turn of the century when one had to rely on bittorrent or Asian streams. The streaming was worse for Virginia’s two goals. And the replays. And even the halftime highlights replays. The buffering was like this scene from the movie Amelie. And I was the guy sobbing in the chair.

     
  6. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    Is this a resilient defence? Or is it a defence that has not had to defend much in its last 4 games? Did any particular player shut down Louisville? Or did Louisville defending really deep to prevent what their coach thought the danger was led to an inability to actually get any real number forward to threaten UVA? You talk about individual players offense, but I would rather see UVA make the extra pass on the edge of the box and work for much better shots that the 25 yarders they are settling for. I only recall one going in and spectacular though it may be, the reason UVA are deceiving is the lack of presence inside the box. You wont beat the better teams without it.I will be interesting to see how FSU try to defend UVA as a team.
     
  7. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I dunno. We were certainly robbed of a marquee game vs UNC and no one else in the ACC is on the par with Carolina and FSU. Louisville had to defend deeper all game simply because they were slower across the pitch than we were. We got to more 50/50 balls and even when Louisville got to them, our guys had more takeaways than they did. They looked like we did when we travelled to Clemson. As you've said all along, the travel is even more of a burden this year, so that could have been a major factor. As for shutting down Louisville? It's a team game of course, but I do think that Clark had a major role in shutting down their best player, so i'd give her credit for stamping her will on the game.

    As for shooting, yeah, too many long distance shots, esp with a wall of defenders at the edge of the box. I think I counted 12 blocks for Pitt, most of them shutting down long range shots. Only person I want taking 'em from distance would be Godfrey. The shot she had that was deflected looked like she properly picked out the left corner and it would have gone in. We did a better job against the Cardinals, looking to make that extra pass, and Gorzak was successful with her crosses. Of course, I don't expect her to be so successful against FSU. It is of course, a balancing act. We have all seen teams that break down trying to make that one last great pass and never even getting the shot off. Starting three different players as center forward doesn't help either.
     
  8. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    If I look at Clarks heat map, she occupied the position of a RM/RW most of the game. Ekic was not an attacking threat in those areas at all. If anything the CBs did that.



    Look at her position on the field.

    Louisville coach made tactical adjustments for which the trade off was less numbers in attack. Every team UVA have played this season has done exactly the same thing. I dont blame them. UVA are far more dangerous team when they are getting to the endline and cutting back than they are taking 25 yard shots from central areas. If i were a coach, I would rather the CAM scores a world class strike from 25 yds, than allow tap ins from cutbacks. We have scored once from what I call distance. Bad return no matter who takes them. far, UVA have not punished teams for sitting back.

    I cant wait to see who Krikorain thinks UVAs threats are.
     
    Val1 repped this.
  9. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    With FSU vs UVA, you'll see what you always see. Two highly skilled teams that want to stay on the ball. They'll both play aggressive defense meaning there will be multiple counter-attacking opportunities.
    Who converts those opportunities will win the day most likely.
     
  10. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    UVA will try to do what they always do. Dont think they have the players to do it at a high level right now. Reserves are manning pivotal roles.
     
  11. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Val1, you mentioned doing a piece with Prince previewing the game.
    Can you link it here?
     
  12. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Having trouble cutting and pasting on my phone, but Prince's piece is at HoosPlace.com.
     
  13. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    Wait. What?

    Longtime readers know that I do not do previews — I just do postmortems — but for the second year, I am happy to invite Tomahawk Nation‘s Prince Akeem Joffer to answer a few questions about the Seminoles ahead of this Sunday’s matchup at Klockner.



    What have been the biggest challenges or changes to the program playing in this pandemic season?

    The biggest change has been the lack of games. FSU was only able to schedule the eight conference games so it is fair to wonder whether the team can get rusty during the season. It hasn’t been a problem so far however. Another issue is that they weren’t able to play their usual challenging non-conference schedule. This makes it a little hard to gauge just how good this team is because the schedule hasn’t been the toughest. But that is more an issue for us as observers not for them.

    I must confess that I have not seen FSU yet this season. How is this team different from last year’s?

    Last year’s team was beset by injuries (I’m sure you guys don’t know anything about that) and this year’s team is completely healthy. That is the biggest difference as the team is much more versatile and there aren’t many players playing out of position as there were last year.

    Getting players healthy like Emily Madril, Kristina Lynch and LeiLanni Nesbeth has made a huge difference. This team is very deep and talented.

    The freshmen class has also made an immediate impact. Cristina Roque and Kaitlyn Zipay are starting while Jody Brown and Ran Iwai are making significant impacts off the bench. Brown has two goals and an assist in only five games.

    Stylistically, the possession tactics are still in effect but because of the increased athleticism that this year’s team has there are also times when they will be more direct. FSU is also getting better service out of the back. Madril has been especially important in this area.

    I understand you will be without Jaelin Howell for the game. Congrats to her by the way for receiving a call up to the US Women’s National Team. I’m a big fan. Last year in my ACC preview I wrote that by the time she was a senior she would be ACC Player of the Year. Who’s going to replace her for this game?

    It’s tough to say for sure because head coach Mark Krikorian has so many options with such a deep roster. However, my guess is that he moves Clara Robbins to Howell’s usual holding midfield spot and he inserts either Yujie Zhao or Jenna Nighswonger in Robbins’ usual midfield position.

    Howell is a significant loss by the way. FSU probably has enough talent to compensate especially for a short time but she is one of the most irreplaceable players on the roster.

    I understand you’ve been bringing Yujie Zhao off the bench this season? How has that changed the team?

    Krikorian is essentially trading Zhao’s playmaking for Nesbeth’s attacking ability and athleticism. Both players are playing a lot however. Even though Zhao (and Nighswonger) aren’t starting they are actually playing more minutes than a couple of the players (Nesbeth and Zipay) who are in the starting midfield lineup. Therefore, the team hasn’t really changed all that much from Zhao and Nighswonger coming off the bench.

    Who’s your most impactful newcomer to date?

    Probably Cristina Roque since she has earned the starting keeper job. She is a Puerto Rico international player and she has been solid in goal this year. The sky is the limit for her. She honestly hasn’t had a ton of work since the defense in front of her has been so good but she has made a couple of good saves and has helped to steady things in the back.



    Thanks so much for your contributions, Prince. This is the first big test for both our teams, and this is always the game I anticipate the most.

    I return the favor at TomahawkNation
     
    Val1 repped this.
  14. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I'm not seeing your article at TN. Can you post it here?
     
  15. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I really respect Prince and his insights.
    That said, let me add a couple of items that may be slightly
    different.
    1. I don't know how good, or not good, Roque is. The GK coach
    has her playing so conservative rarely coming out to intercept crosses or
    corner kicks. I think UVA and UNC may well take advantage of that.
    2. While we are improved vs last year, I'm still not sold on our Corner Kick defense. Think we are susceptible.
    Offensively, I agree with pretty much everything he said. I am really beginning to like Kaitlyn Zipay at WMF. She continues to grow in confidence and competence.
    I also really like Heather Payne an Irish NTer who played out of position at CB last year. She is dangerous and creative in the attack.
    Game could go either way IMO.
     
  16. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I'm not seeing it either. Prince is slower than I am about these things, it seems.
     
  17. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    UNC certainly will, UVA probably will not. The only UVA real aerial threat is Sieracki. Corner defense is attitude. You either have players like that or you dont. If UVA have an equal shot of winning vs the best FSU team of all time with some third stringers playing 70+ minutes, then we need to revisit a few things. Im guessing Howell plays, then gets on a flight.
     
  18. sweepsit

    sweepsit Member

    Oct 25, 2016
    SF, California
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    FSU is definitely talented and looking more dangerous in the attack than last year. The defense looks good but realllly have not been tested much at all with excellent disruption and possession in front of them. I’ll be curious to see how they hold up against a team who can possess and attack. I’d look to attack down the pavlisko/Madril side personally. P can get pulled out of position and Madril can occasionally (she gave up a free cross without challenging for the goal on sat) as she’s still learning the position. She’s really good, but going to be some learning pains as she’s only faced a few developed sequences of attack in that position ever in a game.... a nice problem to have for sure.
     
    Crazyhorse repped this.
  19. Crazyhorse

    Crazyhorse Member

    Dec 29, 2007
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am looking forward to the game today. I've always liked UVA and Coach Swanson. Also, kindly stop taking the best players out of Florida ;)
     
  20. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    Looking at potential line ups, FSU has far more athleticism and power in the middle of the field. I cant think of many key matchups that favor UVA physically. The areas of the field that UVA has exploited in its last 4 games will not be there. Will be interesting to see if the adjust. They will have to move the ball a lot quicker centrally to create space.
     
  21. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Brazil
    Aug 29, 2018
    My point was, until we know the lineups, its hard to say.
     
  22. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Not to be too nitpicky, but it is way too early to say best FSU team of all time. Mark did allow it was his most talented team, especially given the depth.
    Time will tell on best of all time.
     
  23. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    HoosPlace writeup (sans highlights, which will just have to wait): https://hoosplace.com/2020/10/18/wsoccer/3248/

    Adventures in Corner Kicks

    Florida State scored two goals off corner kicks while Virginia scored once. That was pretty much the margin of defeat as the Seminoles held off the Cavaliers to claim the win in the only game all fall featuring two of the ACC’s Big Three: North Carolina, Florida State, or Virginia.

    Virginia 3
    Florida State 4


    The good news for the Cavaliers could be seen on the team sheet with both Talia Staude and Taryn Torres available for this oh-so-critical matchup with a squad FSU head coach Mark Krikorien has called maybe his most talented team. Torres started, and played, her first game of the season and Staude came in as a sub after missing four games. While this was Virginia’s 8th different starting lineup, FSU was able to field the same lineup for the sixth consecutive game.

    And that was the bad news for Virginia. Florida State’s Jaelin Howell was supposed to miss this game due to national team tryouts, but she was flown in for the game and then flown right back to Commerce City, Colorado. Howell is strong, fast and incredibly disruptive, and to be frank, we needed her to be to gone. FSU is already faster and more physical than a full strength Virginia team and when Torres and Alexa Spaanstra are not match fit, the chasm between the two teams was too much for Virginia to overcome.

    Florida State opened the scoring in the 11th minute as Malia Berkeley played a deep ball to Kaitlyn Zipay who crossed it perfectly first time to an unmarked LeiLanni Nesbith who ripped the ball into the roof of the net. In football, the unit that needs the most repetition is the offensive line; in soccer it is the back four. Injuries and coronavirus have ravaged Virginia’s back line and the communication is lacking. Our guys have been robbed of the reps they need and Florida State made them pay.

    Two minutes later, Virginia was victimized again. A hard cross, again from behind the defensive line, was deflected by Claire Constant straight into the path of Clara Robbins, who was also open, and she one-timed her shot perfectly. UVa keeper Laurel Ivory simply had no chance on either of these and it looked like the rout was on. Florida State was winning most of the 50/50 balls and easily dispossessing Virginia on the balls that they didn’t win outright. Torres was looking sluggish; FSU was bodying Lia Godfrey every time she got the ball; Sarah Clark was beaten repeatedly; FSU’s offsides trap was clicking; and the back four were looking surprisingly nonchalant with the ball.

    But here’s the thing about a Steve Swanson coached team: these women never give up. We saw this last year as the Cavaliers ripped the hearts out of Penn State and Wake Forest fans when they scored, literally within seconds, as Penn State equalized (late) and Wake went up (late), to secure the win and tie respectively.

    Rebecca Jarrett was especially dialed-in all game and she put in her best defensive effort in a Cavalier jersey. On one of the few times Godfrey was able to dribble free, she found Jarrett cutting in and Jarrett went for the near corner and was just wide. And then just as I had written in my notebook – Spaanstra: still a step slow – Alexa hit a beautiful cross to Jarrett who took the ball into the penalty box ahead of the FSU defense. She never got the shot off as she was taken down by Gabby Carle. Now in the professional game, Carle could easily have received a straight red card for denial of a goal scoring opportunity. This has not trickled down to the women’s game as too many refs feel that the women are playing a more genteel game.

    Nevertheless, the penalty was awarded and Spaanstra strode to the spot to take the kick. Seminole keeper Cristina Roque had obviously seen Spaanstra’s PK versus Louisville. As Spaanstra approached the ball – exactly as she had vs the Cardinals – Roque went left (and she didn’t even dive) while Spaanstra went right. Virginia was back in the match…

    For all of 8 minutes. Florida State got a corner with 3 minutes remaining in the half and a wickedly dipping Yujie Zhao ball caught Staude by surprise and the ball caromed off her hip into the goal. It was an egregious mistake but this is what happens when your two central defenders haven’t played together in 5 matches. It was rust, pure and simple.

    In the second half, Swanson mixed it up a little, replacing Sarah Clark with Lizzie Sieracki. Clark, by her own standards in her brief UVa tenure, had played a poor first half and Sieracki was the spark the team needed. She got forward aggressively – more than I’ve ever seen her – and 13 minutes into the half, Sieracki found Diana Ordonez between a pair of Seminoles. Ordonez easily won the aerial battle and headed home. Virginia was once again in the game.

    Five minutes later, Jarrett tried to return the favor to Spaanstra on a great through ball that was defended out for a corner. On Godfrey’s corner, both Ordenez and Sieracki made contact with the ball, it went towards Zhao — guarding the post — who knocked the ball into Emily Madril and Florida State had conceded an own-goal corner to match Virginia’s. UVa had clawed back from 2 – 0 and 3 – 1 deficits, but the team may have been spent.

    Florida State was just faster and stronger on the ball, they started winning more of the 50/50 balls again and over the next 15 minutes they forced a couple of last second blocks, won three corners, and had a penalty shout-out. The corners were ominous and it was an adventure to clear them. With each successive corner I was feeling greater and greater dread, until the 81st minute when I was put out of my misery by a misplayed corner. A deep corner was headed back into the face of the goal, the ball ping-ponged a bit as two Cavaliers failed to clear and Clara Robbins was again Johnny-on-the-spot as she scored the game winner. Robbins, it should be noted, is a fifth year senior who had never scored for the Seminoles in her career, and on this night she nabbed a pair.

    Virginia needed this test. After cakewalks versus Miami and Louisville, and sans a meeting with the Tar Heels, this team needed a game that would be fought tooth and nail. A “most talented [Florida State] team ever” is a frightening prospect. Doubly so when Taryn Torres is nowhere near match fit, Talia Staude and Claire Constant are together after missing a combined five games, and Alexa Spaanstra is still ¾ speed. This game constitutes a moral victory and puts us in line to challenge for the ACC tournament title. We obviously still have players quarantining and hopefully they can return as the Cavaliers finish their regular season schedule against ACC patsies Boston College and Syracuse.
     
  24. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    UVA is just getting back to full strength, so better games ahead.
    UVA and FSU often get lulled into thinking their defenses are great, because the other team only gets a miniscule # of shots a game against them. That possession masks potential defensive weaknesses.
    Both teams IMO were exposed as having less than stellar defenses. The problem is there is a limited # of teams in college soccer that can expose those. You almost always have UNC, FSU and UVA from the ACC, and Stanford, UCLA and USC from the PAC 12. Occasionally a Penn State, South Carolina or Georgetown steps into the fray, but not to stay.
    Speaking for FSU (not approved or sanctioned by Mark), this could be our best offensive team ever, but certainly not our best defensive team!
    FSU has been healthy. UVA has not been. Consequently IMO, UVA has greater room for improvement than does FSU. We'll see! I'm sure both coaches will make adjustments! I predict another FSU/UVA game will not have 7 goals. Really going out on a limb there;)
     
    Val1 repped this.
  25. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    You got that right. Sigh.
     

Share This Page