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Messages - EnmoreCat

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1
Men's soccer / Re: Spring Practices
« on: January 17, 2023, 01:44:21 pm »
I hear what you are saying Kuiper, but I do think in terms of the extra practices I can't imagine the prospect of extra ones, particularly without more games involved, would be that big a deal.  At my son's former D1 school, they are well and truly back into training now and he described what he experienced last Spring as super tough, as they are working very hard every day.  Whilst that's great if you have aspirations, it comes at the expense of academics.  He is looking forward to a more relaxed spring. 

I do like SC's idea of elongating the Fall season and think it has great merit, but I am less convinced about the real benefits of more spring time.

2
Men's soccer / Re: D3 Recruiting
« on: January 01, 2023, 08:40:54 am »
It's probably a little off topic, but I wasn't sure it merited its own subject, but on The Athletic I was just reading an analysis on how TCU made the CFP final and could see some threads of interest to our universe.  TCU relative to the Michigan team it defeated, was "ranked" a fair way lower, but what it has done, was bring in.a large number of transfers, ostensibly to fill gaps.  So, a little different to straight HS recruiting as these players have more of a visible college record and of course film and stats can be devoured to extreme levels to facilitate decisions.  I guess, but don't know, that the team's success this year may assist in recruiting, others will have better ideas on TCU as a destination.

It got me thinking about D3 soccer and how it's quite a different landscape where as has been identified, a potential recruit's academic performance is almost more important than their actual playing given the hoops a coach has to jump through to bring someone in.  I know D1 soccer teams are already well down the transfer path, but am curious as to how that gets balanced out by freshmen recruiting, it feels pretty tricky to me.  I know there will be instances of D3 teams having larger freshmen classes as part of a rebuild, but the nature of the division makes me think that whilst there will be targeted transfers, I can't imagine more wholesale ones like TCU has done.

3
Men's soccer / Re: The D3 soccer vs D1 soccer debate
« on: December 28, 2022, 05:15:12 pm »
That 1/10th is definitely important!  Possession is important, but it's also about effective possession, there are enough professional teams that know how to win with much less than 50pct.  When they get the ball, they use it.  I watched Chelsea's game against Bournemouth and they kept the ball, but also moved it amazingly quickly, but with a forward emphasis and they back themselves to win it back.  It does require an athletic player, I reckon you might be able to carry one maybe, but they need to be doing something pretty special to not derail the team, whether it's passing, scoring or winning the ball.

I would say that Amherst can pass and do like to get behind defences, but will try and get the ball in the box quickly, which does make sense if you want to try and avoid having to contend with too many defenders in the box.  It can also give teams a chance to break, which means working hard to win the ball back.


4
Men's soccer / Re: National POTY
« on: December 14, 2022, 10:21:34 pm »
I know D3 is a less regular conduit to the professional game, but have any of that 20 played professionally?

5
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance 2022 - Let's Go!
« on: December 09, 2022, 01:25:55 am »
https://sports.yahoo.com/can-a-woman-coach-men-to-be-champions-u-chicagos-julianne-sitch-proved-it-can-be-done-205421962.html

Nice article, but Amherst fans might be interested to know that in an alternate universe, Chicago, not Amherst, apparently won in the semis in 2021 and lost in the finals.

Also, as with most soccer stories in mainstream sports sites it’s best to avoid the comments.  D3 soccer is barely at the level of intramural sports according to some of the esteemed contributors.

It could be ultimate Amhate, the Orwellian history re-write, but we can move on.  Already thinking about 2023 and getting to see more games at the billiard table, that is Hitchcock Field.

6
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance 2022 - Let's Go!
« on: December 08, 2022, 01:34:00 am »
100pct Kuiper and the Ammirers are getting ready for 2023 too.

7
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance 2022 - Let's Go!
« on: December 07, 2022, 06:06:32 pm »
You mean there's a "Newcomer Of The Year" award?  My posts would have been completely different had I known that...

I am gonna focus on Sophomore Of The Year for 2023.

8
Men's soccer / Re: WC 2022
« on: December 03, 2022, 06:50:04 pm »
I think of the two teams that lost today, the US got beaten by the better team, but Australia lost to the team with the best player, sometimes that's enough.  I did think the build up to the first Dutch goal was super impressive, the amazing confidence they displayed was quite something.  I definitely wouldn't be disheartened as a US supporter, that team has the capacity to improve and be better for the experience.

As for Australia, I was pessimistic going in and to win two games was a massive overachievement, but says a lot for the spirit in the squad.  We don't have anywhere near the calibre of leagues being played in that the US does, but there is a decent cohort in the sub 22 bracket emerging, so that might have changed by 2026. 

9
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance 2022 - Let's Go!
« on: December 01, 2022, 04:50:07 am »
Anyone have any thoughts about how some teams, including a weaker team like Salisbury, have given them fits, but they look so good against others?  Are there types of teams that are more difficult for them? 

I've been thinking about this a bit Kuiper, I think it's the nature of D3.  The game is that less mechanical at this level and that's not a criticism, but is about the difference between D1 which practices all year round and D3 where the balance means that game plans are exercised with that bit less precision, which means that no matter how good we might think some teams are and whatever the rankings say, in one off games, anyone can lose, especially if a game goes to penalties.  I reckon that we may be (about to get controversial here) ascribe much greater powers to teams than what they actually possess in reality.  If the final four had been instead all the teams that lost in the elite eight, we would have been discussing them in similar terms, three of those games were a one goal margin and one went to penalties.  If it had been Gustavus Adolphus, Kenyon, Johns Hopkins and Bowdoin that have won instead, we would probably be waxing lyrically about the powers they possess and possible senses of destiny etc.   I think this division is much more even than we give it credit for.  That's the real thrill of it for me...

(modified by GS for formatting)

10
Men's soccer / Re: 2022 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: December 01, 2022, 04:34:59 am »
I do find these goalkeeper stats spurious at best in terms of helping judge who the better keeper might be.  In all my time here, I have never once seen similar data being recorded, let alone referred to.  I have heard the callers in several games this year nominating a keeper catching a directionless cross, as a "save", when it's nothing of the sort and even the reference to "shots" taken is pretty unhelpful I think.  There seems to be no filter for "proper saves", where actual proper goal scoring situations are denied, in the manner in which xG gets calculated.  In Amherst's Sweet 16 game (Like PN I am not yet over it) the box score reported 20 shots by the two teams shared equally and 8 saves each.  There's no way in the world that even half of those 20 shots were actual proper chances.

The stats referred to also tell us nothing about how good a keeper is with his feet, his role in organizing a defence etc  I love stats, but don't think these ones serve much of a purpose.
 

11
Men's soccer / Re: WC 2022
« on: November 30, 2022, 07:31:04 pm »
Happy to declare my bias up front, but Leckie's goal for Australia today was one of the best I have seen an Australian score, particularly when you take into account the game and the keeper he beat.  His skill in the box was mesmerising.

12
Men's soccer / Re: The D3 soccer vs D1 soccer debate
« on: November 25, 2022, 07:06:36 pm »
I did recently see a few highlights from some NCAA D1 Tournament games and whilst it's not rocket science (but I do suspect at some of the colleges I saw, rocket science probably isn't offered) it becomes pretty obvious, quite quickly that the pace, skill and efficiency which the ball moves at is different to the top end of D3.  Equally, that shouldn't surprise, D1 coaches get access to their players all year round and whether it's playing soccer or learning the violin, it's difficult not to improve and to see a general higher quality, given those circumstances. 

I share the misery PN, fortunately the Socceroos have taken things to another level...

13
Men's soccer / Re: WC 2022
« on: November 25, 2022, 06:49:08 pm »
I know that for a fair few in here, draws are not something that are easily embraced, but having watched USA draw with England this morning, if I were American, I would be feeling pretty proud of what was achieved.  Certainly some of the stuff I read/listened to after the Wales games suggested that the US had been a little fortunate and that England would be too powerful, but the reality was that the US played a mature game today, often at high pace and gave England genuine headaches.  In truth, the times England looked most dangerous was when a pass out of defence was misplaced and they could counter.  As a neutral, it didn't feel like they were really threatening.  As an Australian supporter, I felt pretty jealous, we are light years away from that...

14
Men's soccer / Re: WC 2022
« on: November 22, 2022, 03:02:23 pm »
@enmorecat must be happy! It's a closer game than anyone expected, I would think. 24 minutes left in the 1st half . . .

ETA: Ugh, @enmorecat, huge apologies for jinxing your team.

It's okay Another Mom, we had our moment of glory.  Mbappe is sooo fast.. 

15
Men's soccer / Re: WC 2022
« on: November 21, 2022, 06:16:16 pm »
USA first half was pretty impressive and I can tell you right now, Australia can't play anywhere near as good as that.  Did think Wales' response tactically after halftime was pretty effective, although the referee seemed to find it harder to book their players.  Not a bad start, but teams that progress in these tournaments find ways of winning those games.

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