Author Topic: New England Soccer Discussion  (Read 191960 times)

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1305 on: November 14, 2017, 11:34:43 am »
I have to say I am still quite confounded as to how Babson had such a poor season by its own high standards, and think it may be a culmination of a few years of structural issues within the squad going unaddressed. The Beavers won their opening two games against St. Lawrence (3-2) and Clarkson (3-1), and seemed to have found a way to remedy their offensive woes of the past two years. Even one-goal losses to Tufts (1-0 OT) and Brandeis (2-1) were excusable, as both were on the road, but Babson just could not score. They finished 9-9, .500, the worst winning percentage since Anderson's first season (.441). Even so, the fact that he has been at .500 or over for 30-some-odd years is incredibly impressive, and speaks to his longevity and impressive ability to build a program that is consistently contending.

While Iíve mentioned that the Beavers have been missing a dominant goalscorer since Anderson graduated several years ago, they have had others fill the void, including Laurenzo and Villari last year. Laurenzo was fairly dynamic and had a great senior year, but wasnít the same class as Anderson was, and Villari was an outside back-turned-striker who was a fairly good poacher but not much of a dynamic attacker. Scoring 7 goals in his lone season up top, Villari had 5 game winners in clutch situations, including two in the final minute of regulation and one with five seconds left in 2OT, but he wasnít the kind of guy youíd expect to put the team on his back Ė he was usually just finishing whatever came his way. Of course, itís important to be able to do that, but itís not the same as having people give you the ball at midfield and expect that youíre going to take it forward and make something happen.

The one thing that perhaps has hurt Babson is that Ė and this has been an issue for a few years now Ė it doesnít seem to have much team speed and theyíre not super dynamic. When the Babson of old used to attack with guys like Anderson (who wasnít the fastest, but was big and skilled), Iuwagwu, and Walker coming down the field, you really had the sense that they were going to make something happen, and that if you gave them any space theyíd punish you (and Anderson was deadly with headers, so you couldnít foul them in their attacking half of the field). When they get the ball now, you kind of expect them to keep it in tidy fashion, do some stuff down the wing maybe, and try to cross it into the box. They arenít going to get at you with pace down the side, or have a guy pull a couple of moves in the box, or try to spring the striker with a through ball. If theyíre going to score, itís going to be on a set piece or through a (generally preventable) passage of play.

They are also a different team home and away. On their grass surface, they seem pretty comfortable, but thatís because they can slow the ball down, although I have seen them under duress a few times there: Brandeis won there 2-0 in 2014, UMASS-Boston outplayed them in a 1-1 draw last year, and Williamsí 3-0 win there this year and 7-2 in 2015 were absolute domination. On turf, however, they seem like a fish out of water, and it seems that they are always a bit behind the speed of the ball. Couple that with a dearth of team speed as it is, and youíre going to have problems. Obviously, speed isnít the only way that you can win games. That said, the saying ďspeed killsĒ does have some merit, and it seems like Babson has been suffering from a lack of it lately, as well as a lack of offensive chemistry and playmaking talent.

Defensively, Abankroh was a very good defender, and was fairly physical for his size, but when you're playing a 5'8" kid at CB you might run into some trouble. He was able to compensate for that with his positional awareness, but struggled against bigger strikers. Still, he did well enough. I did kind of feel for their goalie Takami because I thought he was fairly good, particularly last year, but I donít think he got much help from his defenders this year. Even so, they havenít had a top, top goalkeeper since All-American Peter Crowley graduated in 2012: he was very quick, particularly for his size. Moreover, they're not giving up an alarming amount of goals -- eight of their nine losses were one-goal losses, but they went 0-3 in OT this year as opposed to 3-1-4 in OT last year, so maybe the loss of Abankroh and his leadership left the Beavers unable to deal with those situations successfully.

As a program, Babson has always been in and around the top teams in the region, but the last few years have had varying levels of success. The year after Anderson graduated, in 2013, they went 11-8-1, getting thumped by Wheaton in the NEWMAC semis (5-1). The next year, they had a solid, if unspectacular, regular season, before really turning it on in the NEWMAC tournament, beating Wheaton (who was hot at the time) at their place and WPI en route to the conference title. They probably wouldíve gotten an at-large bid anyway, but ended up getting the AQ. The next year, they had a pretty poor regular season (I think there were 6 or 7 losses) but derped their way into an NCAA bid with two goals in 90 seconds against MIT. And while that performance was impressive, particularly since MIT had taken the lead in the 80th minute or so, they got flattened by F&M 5-1 in the 1st Round of the Tourney. Last year, they had a solid regular season, pulling out some cliffhangers, but were poor in the NEWMAC semis and 1st Round of NCAAs, and while I think they deserved a bid given their regular season it did seem interesting that they went off the boil at the most crucial time. With three 1st Round games at home every other year ('12, '14, '16, albeit '14 was originally scheduled for Cortland), you think they'd win at least one of them, although I guess Colorado College, RUN, and SJC are tough 1st Round games. Still, a bit surprised that they didn't do more once getting to the tournament; it's been six years since Babson advanced past the 1st Round.

It seems to me like the fact that they got to the Tournament three years in a row (14-16) may have papered over the cracks a bit, even though the performances (and I have watched a number of Babo games over the years) weren't very good. Moreover, every program has its down years, so this doesn't mean the future is grim, and I think they will be back once again next year. Perhaps it took an aberration like this season -- one in which it had no chance at NCAAs and, for the first time ever, didn't make the NEWMAC tournament -- to expose long-standing structural problems.
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Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1306 on: November 14, 2017, 01:13:45 pm »
Just saw Brandeis 2nd goal v WCONN. That was a sweet header.

Offline OldNed

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1307 on: November 15, 2017, 02:31:50 pm »
Just out of curiosity, I checked HeroSports rankings to see where St. Joe's ended up (I know, I know there are still games going on...).

https://herosports.com/rankings/college-d3-mens-soccer

I knew their ranking formula was screwed up before this, but look at what tying Tufts has done for St. Joe's - it vaulted them 45 spots to #6, and meanwhile Tufts fell 7 spots to #12.  Completely ridiculous.

Offline firstplaceloser

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1308 on: November 15, 2017, 09:02:06 pm »
I have to say I am still quite confounded as to how Babson had such a poor season by its own high standards, and think it may be a culmination of a few years of structural issues within the squad going unaddressed. The Beavers won their opening two games against St. Lawrence (3-2) and Clarkson (3-1), and seemed to have found a way to remedy their offensive woes of the past two years. Even one-goal losses to Tufts (1-0 OT) and Brandeis (2-1) were excusable, as both were on the road, but Babson just could not score. They finished 9-9, .500, the worst winning percentage since Anderson's first season (.441). Even so, the fact that he has been at .500 or over for 30-some-odd years is incredibly impressive, and speaks to his longevity and impressive ability to build a program that is consistently contending.

While Iíve mentioned that the Beavers have been missing a dominant goalscorer since Anderson graduated several years ago, they have had others fill the void, including Laurenzo and Villari last year. Laurenzo was fairly dynamic and had a great senior year, but wasnít the same class as Anderson was, and Villari was an outside back-turned-striker who was a fairly good poacher but not much of a dynamic attacker. Scoring 7 goals in his lone season up top, Villari had 5 game winners in clutch situations, including two in the final minute of regulation and one with five seconds left in 2OT, but he wasnít the kind of guy youíd expect to put the team on his back Ė he was usually just finishing whatever came his way. Of course, itís important to be able to do that, but itís not the same as having people give you the ball at midfield and expect that youíre going to take it forward and make something happen.

The one thing that perhaps has hurt Babson is that Ė and this has been an issue for a few years now Ė it doesnít seem to have much team speed and theyíre not super dynamic. When the Babson of old used to attack with guys like Anderson (who wasnít the fastest, but was big and skilled), Iuwagwu, and Walker coming down the field, you really had the sense that they were going to make something happen, and that if you gave them any space theyíd punish you (and Anderson was deadly with headers, so you couldnít foul them in their attacking half of the field). When they get the ball now, you kind of expect them to keep it in tidy fashion, do some stuff down the wing maybe, and try to cross it into the box. They arenít going to get at you with pace down the side, or have a guy pull a couple of moves in the box, or try to spring the striker with a through ball. If theyíre going to score, itís going to be on a set piece or through a (generally preventable) passage of play.

They are also a different team home and away. On their grass surface, they seem pretty comfortable, but thatís because they can slow the ball down, although I have seen them under duress a few times there: Brandeis won there 2-0 in 2014, UMASS-Boston outplayed them in a 1-1 draw last year, and Williamsí 3-0 win there this year and 7-2 in 2015 were absolute domination. On turf, however, they seem like a fish out of water, and it seems that they are always a bit behind the speed of the ball. Couple that with a dearth of team speed as it is, and youíre going to have problems. Obviously, speed isnít the only way that you can win games. That said, the saying ďspeed killsĒ does have some merit, and it seems like Babson has been suffering from a lack of it lately, as well as a lack of offensive chemistry and playmaking talent.

Defensively, Abankroh was a very good defender, and was fairly physical for his size, but when you're playing a 5'8" kid at CB you might run into some trouble. He was able to compensate for that with his positional awareness, but struggled against bigger strikers. Still, he did well enough. I did kind of feel for their goalie Takami because I thought he was fairly good, particularly last year, but I donít think he got much help from his defenders this year. Even so, they havenít had a top, top goalkeeper since All-American Peter Crowley graduated in 2012: he was very quick, particularly for his size. Moreover, they're not giving up an alarming amount of goals -- eight of their nine losses were one-goal losses, but they went 0-3 in OT this year as opposed to 3-1-4 in OT last year, so maybe the loss of Abankroh and his leadership left the Beavers unable to deal with those situations successfully.

As a program, Babson has always been in and around the top teams in the region, but the last few years have had varying levels of success. The year after Anderson graduated, in 2013, they went 11-8-1, getting thumped by Wheaton in the NEWMAC semis (5-1). The next year, they had a solid, if unspectacular, regular season, before really turning it on in the NEWMAC tournament, beating Wheaton (who was hot at the time) at their place and WPI en route to the conference title. They probably wouldíve gotten an at-large bid anyway, but ended up getting the AQ. The next year, they had a pretty poor regular season (I think there were 6 or 7 losses) but derped their way into an NCAA bid with two goals in 90 seconds against MIT. And while that performance was impressive, particularly since MIT had taken the lead in the 80th minute or so, they got flattened by F&M 5-1 in the 1st Round of the Tourney. Last year, they had a solid regular season, pulling out some cliffhangers, but were poor in the NEWMAC semis and 1st Round of NCAAs, and while I think they deserved a bid given their regular season it did seem interesting that they went off the boil at the most crucial time. With three 1st Round games at home every other year ('12, '14, '16, albeit '14 was originally scheduled for Cortland), you think they'd win at least one of them, although I guess Colorado College, RUN, and SJC are tough 1st Round games. Still, a bit surprised that they didn't do more once getting to the tournament; it's been six years since Babson advanced past the 1st Round.

It seems to me like the fact that they got to the Tournament three years in a row (14-16) may have papered over the cracks a bit, even though the performances (and I have watched a number of Babo games over the years) weren't very good. Moreover, every program has its down years, so this doesn't mean the future is grim, and I think they will be back once again next year. Perhaps it took an aberration like this season -- one in which it had no chance at NCAAs and, for the first time ever, didn't make the NEWMAC tournament -- to expose long-standing structural problems.


iím giving you +++++++KKKKKK bc you just killed that with a 5 paragraph essay with very good supporting ideas lol

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1309 on: November 15, 2017, 10:04:06 pm »
iím giving you +++++++KKKKKK bc you just killed that with a 5 paragraph essay with very good supporting ideas lol

I appreciate it. It was a slow day at work. ;)
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Offline firstplaceloser

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1310 on: November 15, 2017, 11:11:51 pm »
iím giving you +++++++KKKKKK bc you just killed that with a 5 paragraph essay with very good supporting ideas lol

I appreciate it. It was a slow day at work. ;)


iím not looking too good at +19 -15 LOL. I mean I know my logic is sometimes flawed but I hope you guys donít take anything I say personally. you guys are all great peoples and I enjoy conversating with you all. so again itís all love here from jersey

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1311 on: November 16, 2017, 08:15:08 am »
iím not looking too good at +19 -15 LOL. I mean I know my logic is sometimes flawed but I hope you guys donít take anything I say personally. you guys are all great peoples and I enjoy conversating with you all. so again itís all love here from jersey

Nah man, all in good fun. ;D
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Offline NEFutbol90

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1312 on: November 28, 2017, 07:04:43 pm »
United Soccer Coaches released their coaching staffs of the year today, and it is great to see St.Joes (Maine) coaching staff recognized for the incredible season they put together. Seeing first hand as I'm sure is consistent among all our favorite programs is a head coach that is uniquely driven to create an environment that is supportive, competitive, and most importantly professional. The way Coach Adrian Dubois has flipped this program is incredible as seen in the dramatic increase in wins, accolades, etc., but what he's done to provide an incredible support system for his players goes unnoticed. It is truly a family environment that is set up to support every player academically, socially, and athletically and this award for the entire staff stretches far beyond their guidance on the field. Congrats Coach Dubois and the rest of the Monks coaching staff!


Here is the press release by the Monks SID: http://www.gomonks.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/releases/20171128q5dy9n

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1313 on: November 29, 2017, 09:52:04 am »
United Soccer Coaches released their coaching staffs of the year today, and it is great to see St.Joes (Maine) coaching staff recognized for the incredible season they put together. Seeing first hand as I'm sure is consistent among all our favorite programs is a head coach that is uniquely driven to create an environment that is supportive, competitive, and most importantly professional. The way Coach Adrian Dubois has flipped this program is incredible as seen in the dramatic increase in wins, accolades, etc., but what he's done to provide an incredible support system for his players goes unnoticed. It is truly a family environment that is set up to support every player academically, socially, and athletically and this award for the entire staff stretches far beyond their guidance on the field. Congrats Coach Dubois and the rest of the Monks coaching staff!


Here is the press release by the Monks SID: http://www.gomonks.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/releases/20171128q5dy9n

Certainly well-deserved, I think -- Dubois has done a fantastic job with that program. I was also happy to see Gaumer, Mattos, and Mullen get some recognition, Mullen in particular. I think taking Tufts to PKs proved -- if the deserved win over Bowdoin hadn't already -- that SJC is for real. If they can schedule some tough out-of-conference games next year, I think they'll continue to gain recognition.

(Just FYI, many of us read multiple threads, so one posting is usually fine. :))
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Offline NEFutbol90

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1314 on: November 29, 2017, 12:26:13 pm »
Blooter, Thanks for that haha Think I just got  little over excited  ;D Enjoy the final four I know I can't wait to watch some great soccer!

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1315 on: November 30, 2017, 09:47:46 pm »
United Soccer Coaches All-America Teams

First Team:
D Conor Coleman Sr. Tufts University Phoenix, Ariz.
M Josh Ocel ** Sr. Brandeis University North Attleboro, Mass.

Third Team:
D Dalton Gaumer Jr. Saint Joseph's College of Maine Corona, Calif.
M Tyler Kulcsar Sr. Tufts University Peabody, Mass.
F Troy Remillard Sr. Western New England University Palmer, Mass.

Congrats to all the All-America selections from New England. Particularly impressive that Ocel got the third USC (formerly NSCAA) honor of his career, and I am not surprised he was on the 1st Team after a year each on the 2nd team and 3rd teams the year before and last year, respectively. Also think Coleman was a deserved 1st Team honoree with Tufts' 2 GA this year.

Glad to see Kulcsar (Tufts' unsung hero this year IMHO), Gaumer (who led the SJC back line to new records this year), and Remillard (who I believe is 2nd in the nation in scoring) honored, as I didn't think any of those three got the accolades they deserved...until now.
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Offline Off Pitch

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1316 on: December 01, 2017, 04:32:48 pm »
I have to say I am still quite confounded as to how Babson had such a poor season by its own high standards, and think it may be a culmination of a few years of structural issues within the squad going unaddressed.

Blooter - I enjoyed reading your analysis of Babson.  They are one of a handful of New England teams that I have watched with particular interest over the past several years.  A couple of other factors to consider regarding Babson.  John O'Reilly was an assistant coach from 2009-2012 and was a talented recruiter.  When he moved on to Georgetown, he was replaced by Sam Groves (now an assistant at Brown).  Groves was a terrific training/practice coach, but he did not have the charisma of O'Reilly when it came to recruiting.   While Coach Anderson is a decent recruiter and a straight shooter, Babson did have better recruiting classes during O'Reilly's tenure.  With Groves' departure Babson has brought back Bill Lawlor, and I really don't have any idea whether he will be a recruiting asset.

Also, it was with Groves that Babson began to depart from their traditional 4-4-2 and experiment with other formations.  As an outside observer who has watched multiple Babson games in the last 10 years, I think they lost their identity a little. 

That being said, Babson should be improved next year.  They graduate only Takami, injury-prone Ventura and Wheaton transfer O'Rourke, and they return all of their top 8 scorers plus contributors Hilger, Araujo, and Holman.   The big questions are how much longer Coach Anderson stays on and who is the heir apparent?

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1317 on: December 01, 2017, 05:10:13 pm »
Blooter - I enjoyed reading your analysis of Babson.  They are one of a handful of New England teams that I have watched with particular interest over the past several years.  A couple of other factors to consider regarding Babson.  John O'Reilly was an assistant coach from 2009-2012 and was a talented recruiter.  When he moved on to Georgetown, he was replaced by Sam Groves (now an assistant at Brown).  Groves was a terrific training/practice coach, but he did not have the charisma of O'Reilly when it came to recruiting.   While Coach Anderson is a decent recruiter and a straight shooter, Babson did have better recruiting classes during O'Reilly's tenure.  With Groves' departure Babson has brought back Bill Lawlor, and I really don't have any idea whether he will be a recruiting asset.

Also, it was with Groves that Babson began to depart from their traditional 4-4-2 and experiment with other formations.  As an outside observer who has watched multiple Babson games in the last 10 years, I think they lost their identity a little. 

That being said, Babson should be improved next year.  They graduate only Takami, injury-prone Ventura and Wheaton transfer O'Rourke, and they return all of their top 8 scorers plus contributors Hilger, Araujo, and Holman.   The big questions are how much longer Coach Anderson stays on and who is the heir apparent?

Much appreciated, and I appreciate the unique insight -- definitely didn't know that. Babson is a rival of Brandeis but they are a proud program and I have great respect for them, so it was really quite surprising to see them go off the boil so much this past year. That said, I did feel that they had papered over the cracks the past few years, so perhaps this year was the result of all of those issues coming to the head.
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Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1318 on: December 05, 2017, 01:24:36 pm »
The Final USC Rankings are in, with 4 New England teams in the top 25. Special shout-out to St. Joseph's College of Maine, who finally got some long-awaited (and well-deserved IMHO) national recognition.
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Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #1319 on: December 11, 2017, 11:10:17 am »
A look at Babson's seniors. I have voiced my opinion on the Beavers' offensive shortcomings this year, but, at least on paper, they should be solid coming back next year. However, it is obvious that they will have to score more goals. Last year, they put together a solid-if-unspectacular campaign that got them a bid and hosting for the first two rounds, but only scored 29 goals in 20 games. This year, they looked to have rectified their scoring woes after putting three each past SLU and Clarkson on the first weekend, but that proved to be a red herring, as they scored 23 goals in their last 16 games and missed the NEWMAC tournament for the first time ever. They have some solid players -- Noah Parker in midfield is a handful, a good passer of the ball who can run for the full 90 minutes -- and we have seen some flashes of brilliance from Czarnecki and Ziad up top, but they will need more than just those three to be on-song in order to return to their old heights.

Takami: Solid goalkeeper even if not in the same class as Peter Crowley. The starter for the last two years, he had a good year last year, and his mid-season form certainly played a role in Babson getting the top seed in the NEWMAC and an at-large bid to the Tourney (I think most of his 7 shutouts came in the month of October). This year was a struggle for him. Last year, he made 75 saves (3.75/game) en route to 14 wins vs. 64 this year (3.5/game) en route to 6 wins. However, I don't think the team's defensive downturn was down to a Takami dip in form, as his other stats were relatively consistent with last year (.833 sv. pct. in 2016 vs. .790 this year). Ultimately, I think the Babson defense suffered from a depravity of leadership with the loss of Abankroh, who was quite undersized for a center back (5'8") but made up for it with his positional awareness. Eight of Babson's nine losses came by a goal -- the only exception being a 3-0 defeat at home to Williams -- so it wasn't like they were getting blown out. However, at least concerning the goals I saw them concede, Takami usually had very little chance. A tough ending to his career, but he did well in his two years in net.

Ventura: Much like his brother did, missed a significant amount of time (full year in '15) due to injury. Maybe he will do the same and come back for a fifth year. Solid performer at outside back, and I remember his game-winner against Bowdoin from 2014 when he beat something like three defenders en route to scoring an OT winner. One of the few Beavers on the roster whom I could see getting into the first XI of a NESCAC team.

O'Rourke: Started and played every game for the Beavers at midfield. Did well enough after transferring from Wheaton following his sophomore year, although I am not sure what was behind the move. Not the kind of guy to grab a game by the scruff of the neck, but could do a solid job.

Cicalis: Another player who could do a job in the defensive half of the field and get forward at times. Scored the game-winner against MIT when Babson stole the NEWMAC title from the clutch of the Engineers in 2015.

Jung: Was mostly a bit-part player who suffered from a number of injuries during his five (six?) year career in Wellesley. Did not see enough of him to have a comprehensive assessment, although he did look solid in his time on the pitch during the season opener against St. Lawrence.

McGuinness: Scored a few goals as a sophomore, but couldn't replicate that form as a senior despite starting the last seven matches. Got a nice goal against a solid RPI side in a 1-1 draw back in 2015.
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