Author Topic: UAA 2018  (Read 13432 times)

Online Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 03:52:34 pm »
I'll be surprised if you can still buy that t-shirt at the bookstore.

I haven't been there lately, so it could be a discontinued item. But I still see that t-shirt on campus. U of C students seem to take a perverse pleasure in the sentiment.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Falconer

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 11:18:50 pm »

When I was running high school cross-country, there was a girl in my area who was really talented — like, 4th in the nation her senior year in high school. Touted as perhaps the most talented female runner to come out of Maine since Joan Benoit Samuelson (who, incidentally, helped coach my high school track team for a season). Anyway, she was being recruited by Oregon and Princeton. For those who don't know, Oregon is the granddaddy of NCAA Track and Field: Oregon X-C and track is like Alabama football or Duke basketball in terms of prestige. For the reasons above, I personally wondered why she didn't go to Princeton, thinking "at least if she gets injured she has a degree from Princeton!" Ultimately, I think she ran into (no pun intended) some injuries, but she seems to be happy with her experience, and helped the Oregon women win a cross-country title her freshman year, running in the NCAA meet (only 7 runners on each team can run in the NCAA championship), and is now a teacher. If she was happy with her experience — and it seems she was — who am I to scrutinize her decision? Ultimately the goal is to be happy with the experience, wherever and whatever that is.

Blooter, you're referring to Abby Leonardi, who was indeed a great high school runner here in Maine.  Hopefully she is happy with her choice of Oregon over Princeton in retrospect.  To tie this story back to soccer, her twin sister was a very good high school soccer player who went on to play D1 at Fairfield or some place like that...

Abby apparently ran 4:38 plus for 1500 meters; don't know whether that's a HS or collegiate time, but it's roughly equivalent to a 4:55 mile. As a former track and XC runner (HS and college), I follow PA track closely. A sophomore girl from the HS nearest to Messiah, Marlee Starliper, has already run the mile in 4:43 indoors and also won the mile at the Penn Realys. She got only third in the state final this spring, but won the 3200 easily earlier the same day. No hints yet of a college preference, but I assume she's already good enough for Oregon if that is on the table.

Incidentally, the consensus top PA soccer player this year accepted a scholarship to UMBC--a big surprise to me, at least. That's the school that made a big splash in basketball this year, but soccer is also big there: they were final four a few years ago. I thought he might go somewhere like Stanford or Indiana or UNC, but I don't know anyone close to him so I'm not really entitled to an opinion on that one.

Offline truenorth

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2018, 07:54:44 am »
Falconer, yes a 4:43 indoor mile for a HS girl would put her on the radar of all of the leading D1 track & field and cross country programs (including Oregon, Stanford, Colorado, Wisconsin, etc.).  It will be interesting to hear where she lands.

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2018, 10:41:31 am »
A sophomore girl from the HS nearest to Messiah, Marlee Starliper, has already run the mile in 4:43 indoors and also won the mile at the Penn Realys. She got only third in the state final this spring, but won the 3200 easily earlier the same day. No hints yet of a college preference, but I assume she's already good enough for Oregon if that is on the table.

According to Athletic.net she had the second-fastest high school indoor mile in the country this year. Incidentally, the only girl who ran faster is also from PA (a senior at Friends' Central, a private school outside of Philly). Anyway, I think it's pretty clear she's fast enough for any program in D1, particularly considering she ran those times as a sophomore — well before the official recruitment window opens on 9/1 of an athlete's junior year.

Back to the UAA (I take responsibility for getting us off track), any other Brandeis folks know if the Judges will be getting Sam Vinson back for another year? I said earlier this spring that I think — despite losing Woodhouse — Brandeis won't be impacted much defensively, as Irwin seems to be a competent replacement in goal and the Judges return DePietto (who did his ACL halfway through this past season), Handler, and Hennessy, so whether or not you include Alex Walter (who deputized for DePietto at CB after the injury) that's at least 3 of the back 4. The question will be whether they can replace the goals they'll lose as well as re-stock the midfield after losing Ocel and Hernandez — any word on whether Miskin is back for another year of eligibility (he has missed significant amounts of times the past few years)?

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2018, 04:19:19 pm »
I'll be surprised if you can still buy that t-shirt at the bookstore.

I haven't been there lately, so it could be a discontinued item. But I still see that t-shirt on campus. U of C students seem to take a perverse pleasure in the sentiment.

Let me offer a correction...

I am 100% sure they still say it, but today, based on everything I have heard, it is said more in jest than as an acknowledgment of institutional culture. 

That fact that nerds are on the ascendancy makes this phrase too easy to keep around.

Otherwise, I am looking forward to this season.  Washington University plays Ohio Wesleyan this season, but unfortunately, that game is on the road.  Washington University gets to play host to Emory, Brandeis and Chicago, but will have to travel to Rochester and Carnegie Mellon.

Offline deutschfan

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2018, 08:38:23 pm »
It is still part of the institutional culture despite the school's effort to downplay the intensity of the intellectual challenge exacerbated by the school's belief in grade deflation versus the grade inflation of the Stanfords and Ivies of the world where the median gpa is well above 3.  Here is my take on UC's ascendancy in the soccer ranks starting with the turn of the century.  In 2000 UC was the No. 10 U.S. News ranked school with a 37% acceptance rate (due to self-selection by masochists who enjoyed three sets of brutal midterms and finals a year).  It competed for players mainly with Wash U, ranked in the mid-teens academically, and a weak NU D1 program also in the mid teens.  In the past decade and a half NU had greater success in the Big Ten raising its recruiting standards and also raising the quality of rejected players who would look at UC.  Wash U has declined in the US News Ranks and UC has soared to Number 3 with a seven percent acceptance rate.  The allure of attending one of the best schools in the world, now with an excellent tactician and recruiter as a coach, has caused UC's soccer star to rise.  O'Connor was a nice guy who didn't push his players.  Wiercinski was a grinder in a school where students already were being ground.  As with baby bear's, Babst's porridge is just right.  In comparison, Brandeis was a UAA doormat in 2000 and its rise has to be attributed primarily to its very experienced coach.  It has stayed relatively static in the academic rankings and has always had to compete with the top NESCAC schools in MA for players.     

Offline Falconer

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2018, 09:48:44 pm »
It is still part of the institutional culture despite the school's effort to downplay the intensity of the intellectual challenge exacerbated by the school's belief in grade deflation versus the grade inflation of the Stanfords and Ivies of the world where the median gpa is well above 3.  Here is my take on UC's ascendancy in the soccer ranks starting with the turn of the century.  In 2000 UC was the No. 10 U.S. News ranked school with a 37% acceptance rate (due to self-selection by masochists who enjoyed three sets of brutal midterms and finals a year).  It competed for players mainly with Wash U, ranked in the mid-teens academically, and a weak NU D1 program also in the mid teens.  In the past decade and a half NU had greater success in the Big Ten raising its recruiting standards and also raising the quality of rejected players who would look at UC.  Wash U has declined in the US News Ranks and UC has soared to Number 3 with a seven percent acceptance rate.  The allure of attending one of the best schools in the world, now with an excellent tactician and recruiter as a coach, has caused UC's soccer star to rise.  O'Connor was a nice guy who didn't push his players.  Wiercinski was a grinder in a school where students already were being ground.  As with baby bear's, Babst's porridge is just right.  In comparison, Brandeis was a UAA doormat in 2000 and its rise has to be attributed primarily to its very experienced coach.  It has stayed relatively static in the academic rankings and has always had to compete with the top NESCAC schools in MA for players.     

National rankings of this type aren't meaningless, but I'm always at least a bit skeptical of their overall accuracy. Faculties and programs don't change very much in the short term, yet rankings can change quite a bit in just a few years. Acceptance rates ("selectivity") are a major factor in calculating the numbers, and those depend mainly on how many students actually apply (since the number who are admitted is relatively fixed by dormitory capacities). That number in turn depends on the perceptions of HS students and guidance counselors, the latter of whom tend to tell certain students (the ones likely to be applying to places like UAA schools) what they want to hear, not necessarily what they need to hear.

I put much more credence on objective numbers than on subjective ratings. An example of one such number is scores on national examinations, such as the LSAT or the MCAT or the CPA exam. That last number is made public indirectly, in a book published by the relevant professional organization. Finding every school on the internet, even if possible, would take longer than a week of soccer games. I know a few people who teach or did teach (retired) accounting at Messiah (including someone whose services I have used), and from them I know that the accounting major at Messiah is absolutely always ranked very high in PA and usually also nationally--as determined by the pass rate on the CPA exam. With that in mind, I found this on their web site:

"Our students regularly exceed the national average pass rate for first-time test takers. In 2016, our pass rate was 83.8%. In comparison, the national average was only 55.4%. Messiah ranked #1 in Pennsylvania (out of 74 programs); #1 for medium-sized accounting programs in the nation (out of 294 programs); and #10 in the nation overall (out of 858 programs)." https://www.messiah.edu/accounting-major-pennsylvania

Now I gather they didn't do quite that well in 2017, since they pass over it without comment, but I know that in the years before the current PA licensing requirement of completing 150 credit hours was instituted, students often took the exam before or just after graduating. In those days, Messiah and the Wharton School at Penn often finished 1-2, in either order depending on the year. Many of the Penn students, however, were MBA students, so it wasn't exactly apples and apples. After the change, undergraduates almost never take the exam for obvious reasons. Despite numbers like this, some web sites that list top schools for studying accounting in PA consistently rank Messiah well down the list. Why? Partly b/c it's not a very "selective" college; a large percentage of applicants are admitted. That's true, but more than a little misleading in this context. Penn is typically ranked #1 on those lists, which is fair enough given the objective numbers. But then, Messiah should be #2, if not #1.

So, if a soccer player wants to study accounting, ... you can do the math. Why go to a UAA school or a NESCAC, if you can get a top 10 accounting education and play in a Final Four at Messiah?  :o
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 11:27:00 pm by Falconer »

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 10:24:37 pm »
So if a soccer player wants to study accounting, ... you can do the math. Why go to a UAA school or a NESCAC, if you can get a top 10 accounting education and play in a Final Four at Messiah?  :o

Just want to make sure we get on record that your email ends with @messiah.edu. Not that you shouldn’t be proud of your school — I personally know of a number of non-soccer kids who have gone to Messiah, loved their experience, and done very well post-graduation — but so we all know where we stand.  ;)

In terms of certain programs being strong at certain schools, you are absolutely correct. I spent a year at Roger Williams, where they have one of the best architecture programs in the country.  Can’t remember the ranking exactly, and I’m too lazy to look it up, but I believe it is in the top 10 nationally.  So for a soccer player who is dead set on accounting and wants to compete at a high level, they would be absolutely silly to not consider Messiah.

That being said, for students with either A. Less sense of what they want to do OR B. An eye on  preprofessional tracks, such as for law school or med school, a NESCAC or UAA can be beneficial. 

A: Many of the schools have very strong liberal arts curriculum, which – cliche as it sounds – does well to prepare many students who are either looking for jobs following graduation in terms of gaining a well-rounded background. And, shallow as it may be, many employers will look at a Chicago or a Williams on a resume and go “wow! To the top of the pile!” Or an alumni part of a school’s network may lend a hand. Of course, I am not condoning that line of thinking and I do not think it lands you the job in and of itself, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

B: For pre-professional programs, or at least the undergraduate studies to get into those programs, the high admit rates of applicants from NESCACs and UAAs to those types of graduate school may play a role in an undergraduate applicant’s thinking. I believe Brandeis has about 75% of kids applying to med schools accepted, and while I fully recognize that they weed out a ton of kids who think they might want to study medicine on the first day of their freshman year, that is still a pretty high figure. Is some of it due to reputation? Sure it is, and I would agree that is unfortunate. However, many of the schools also have a very accomplished faculty who are experts in their fields, and there is a certain amount of objectivity that goes into graduate school admission, whether it’s the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT.  So, evidently the schools have done a decent enough job preparing these kids for admission to graduate school, or else the secret of going to a reputable undergrad institute (and absolutely bombing in class but having the name on the diploma) would have been found out a long time ago.

This is not to slight any non-NESCAC or UAA school. There are many great schools in D3, and there are many schools that have fantastic feeder programs into a particular field. All I’m trying to do is just give some justification for why a student may choose a NESCAC or UAA.

Offline Falconer

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 12:26:15 am »
So if a soccer player wants to study accounting, ... you can do the math. Why go to a UAA school or a NESCAC, if you can get a top 10 accounting education and play in a Final Four at Messiah?  :o

Just want to make sure we get on record that your email ends with @messiah.edu. Not that you shouldn’t be proud of your school — I personally know of a number of non-soccer kids who have gone to Messiah, loved their experience, and done very well post-graduation — but so we all know where we stand.  ;)


Yes, I spent most of my working life drawing paychecks from various institutions of higher learning, including Messiah. The others were all D1, including an Ivy, two Big Tens, an SEC, and a CAA school. I have degrees from two of those places (not Messiah), both of which have won national titles in men's soccer (he says cryptically but truthfully), but none of my kids went to any of them. I never had any connection with the athletic departments anywhere (including Messiah), but I still follow all of them in certain sports.

Because of that experience and a certain skill set, I've also cashed the odd check or two from dozens of institutions around the world. Keeping the list within the UAA, last fall I happened to pass by the soccer field at Wash U, and on previous visits I needed to see some documents in the university archives; I've visited the U of C at least four times (and have used Regenstein Library); twice I've been to CMU, and once to NYU. Haven't had a similar reason to go to the other four UAAs, though I've seen parts of CWRU just out of curiosity.

If I talk too much here about higher ed (usually in relation to soccer or other sports), it's only b/c I've been around that block--a lot of blocks, actually. Anytime it bothers anyone, just tell me to give it a rest.  :-\

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2018, 08:38:49 am »
Yes, I spent most of my working life drawing paychecks from various institutions of higher learning, including Messiah. The others were all D1, including an Ivy, two Big Tens, an SEC, and a CAA school. I have degrees from two of those places (not Messiah), both of which have won national titles in men's soccer (he says cryptically but truthfully), but none of my kids went to any of them. I never had any connection with the athletic departments anywhere (including Messiah), but I still follow all of them in certain sports.

Because of that experience and a certain skill set, I've also cashed the odd check or two from dozens of institutions around the world. Keeping the list within the UAA, last fall I happened to pass by the soccer field at Wash U, and on previous visits I needed to see some documents in the university archives; I've visited the U of C at least four times (and have used Regenstein Library); twice I've been to CMU, and once to NYU. Haven't had a similar reason to go to the other four UAAs, though I've seen parts of CWRU just out of curiosity.

If I talk too much here about higher ed (usually in relation to soccer or other sports), it's only b/c I've been around that block--a lot of blocks, actually. Anytime it bothers anyone, just tell me to give it a rest.  :-\

Certainly I didn’t find it boring; quite the contrary! I appreciated your perspective and thought you raised a number of good points, including the bit about how actual admit numbers are driven by capacity (a point I have made myself on these boards). There is absolutely nothing wrong with being on the faculty (whether tenured or adjunct) at an institution while fervently supporting its athletics; I think it is great if faculty do so. That being said, while I believe that you may work for a bunch of higher education institutions, I did find it a bit humorous that – and I guess it’s not a surprise considering your username – you have an email address publicly viewable tying you to the school you speak about most on the boards. All I was saying by highlighting that is that it would appear that not all schools are created equal, or at least reflected upon that way on these boards. ;)

I did find the comment about guidance counselors essentially driving the application rates because they allegedly mislead students by “telling them what they want to hear” to be a bit interesting and a bit of a slight against some of the schools they are allegedly pushing. I am not denying that happens, or that it is done free of any kind of nefarious intention, but I am not sure it’s ubiquitous, either. Could be wrong. Moreover, while Messiah did get to the Final 4 and win it all this year, they had not done so the preceding three years before that. As such, I would hope the primary reason that a soccer player would choose Messiah is that he or she feels happy at the school and feels that he or she is set up for success in the future, whether that be through CPA preparation or anything else.

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2018, 10:55:01 am »
It is still part of the institutional culture despite the school's effort to downplay the intensity of the intellectual challenge exacerbated by the school's belief in grade deflation versus the grade inflation of the Stanfords and Ivies of the world where the median GPA is well above 3.  Here is my take on UC's ascendancy in the soccer ranks starting with the turn of the century.  In 2000 UC was the No. 10 U.S. News ranked school with a 37% acceptance rate (due to self-selection by masochists who enjoyed three sets of brutal midterms and finals a year).  It competed for players mainly with Wash U, ranked in the mid-teens academically, and a weak NU D1 program also in the mid teens.  In the past decade and a half NU had greater success in the Big Ten raising its recruiting standards and also raising the quality of rejected players who would look at UC.  Wash U has declined in the US News Ranks and UC has soared to Number 3 with a seven percent acceptance rate.  The allure of attending one of the best schools in the world, now with an excellent tactician and recruiter as a coach, has caused UC's soccer star to rise.  O'Connor was a nice guy who didn't push his players. 

I am going to have to think about this a little more, but my initial reaction is that I do not buy the academic side of your explanation.  I would offer Washington University Women's Soccer as my close enough counterfactual.  But, I'll have to think about that.

Washington University and Chicago still compete for the same students and the same players.

Offline deutschfan

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2018, 11:04:31 am »
UC didn't get its ranking due to overzealous or unjustified touting by guidance counsellors.  Many will counsel students contemplating UC to consider Stanford, Harvard or Duke for a more well rounded college experience (translation--less onerous).  UC's ranking is based on a faculty that ranks in the top 6 in Nobel Prize winners, and a student population with an average 1500 SAT score.  Messian has built a soccer juggernaut based on legacy and admissions flexibility.  With a 79% acceptance rate and an average SAT of less than 1200 Messiah can offer admission to almost any high school graduate, and can offer full academic rides to most players considering playing at a NESCAC or UAA school.  That is a huge advantage in the recruiting process.  The disadvantage is that there are many schools in Messiah's position.  Thus it is the banners that will cinch the deal for Messiah against a Lycoming, or North Park, or Ohio Wesleyan.  William Smith, and of course Messiah, is the same way in women's soccer although William Smith is a tad more academically competitive than Messiah.

Offline deutschfan

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2018, 11:13:02 am »
UC didn't get its ranking due to overzealous or unjustified touting by guidance counsellors.  Many will counsel students contemplating UC to consider Stanford, Harvard or Duke for a more well rounded college experience (translation--less onerous).  UC's ranking is based on a faculty that ranks in the top 6 in Nobel Prize winners, and a student population with an average 1500 SAT score.  Messian has built a soccer juggernaut based on legacy and admissions flexibility.  With a 79% acceptance rate and an average SAT of less than 1200 Messiah can offer admission to almost any high school graduate, and can offer full academic rides to most players considering playing at a NESCAC or UAA school.  That is a huge advantage in the recruiting process.  The disadvantage is that there are many schools in Messiah's position.  Thus it is the banners that will cinch the deal for Messiah against a Lycoming, or North Park, or Ohio Wesleyan.  William Smith, and of course Messiah, is the same way in women's soccer although William Smith is a tad more academically competitive than Messiah.
  The difference on the women's side is that Wash U has banners and a history of being in the National Championship mix which overcomes the relatively minor academic disparity with UC.  After UC, Wash U is the next highest ranked academic school in the UAA.

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2018, 11:15:04 am »
National rankings of this type aren't meaningless, but I'm always at least a bit skeptical of their overall accuracy. Faculties and programs don't change very much in the short term, yet rankings can change quite a bit in just a few years.

At least two of the major national highered rankings also rely on a survey of college and university presidents and provosts.

I have no proof of this, but I have a theory that the 2012 Chicago statement of principles of free expression was a game changer as for executive opinion goes.  I am sure I am not alone in that.  UChicago was ranked No. 9 by US News and World Reports prior to that statement.

I would be very surprised if high school guidance counselors are advising students against applying to UChicago and the application part is the only part that matters as far as the rankings are concerned.  Not yield.

Offline deutschfan

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2018, 12:19:58 pm »
I think UC's dropping of a standardized test requirement is to aid its soccer recruiting efforts.  :)  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/university-of-chicago-eliminates-sat-act-requirement/ar-AAyDpUA?ocid=spartandhp