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Messages - PaulNewman

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1
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 Game Notes
« on: Today at 06:19:54 pm »
   No way Montclair#11 should be playing Division 3.  He is seriously way too good.  Probably one of the best in the country.  Best left footed striker I have seen, for sure.

Again, this is freshman Amer Lukovic who was a HS AA committed to Rutgers.  Wonder if it was an academic thing that kept him from enrolling?  Will also be interesting to see if he sticks around to run roughshod over D3 for the next four years, or if he transfers. Also interesting that he's playing striker since he played as a CDM in HS/club.

I see #19 was 2020 NJAC Offensive POY.  And #10 was 2020 1st team All-NJAC.

Montclair really is hard to figure.  They could storm through to the Final Four or lose in the 1st or 2nd round.  No one they can't beat but also vulnerable to a surprise loss or an implosion against another very good to top team.  The dud performance vs Tufts in 2018 has been talked about quite a bit.  They had a player or two on that team considered among the very best in the country...maybe not at the level of Lukovic but very highly rated...and esp for an Elite 8 game the whole team looked disinterested.  Montclair had only lost one game that year, a 5-1 shellacking by Messiah and they did survive two PK games in the NCAA tourney leading up to the Tufts loss.  A better gauge might be 2015 when they hosted and in a round of 32 game led Tufts 2-1 with 7 minutes left before the Jumbos scored twice late.  In 2019 they snuck by Kenyon at Kenyon in the Sweet 16 in 2OT, only to followup the next day with an OT loss to Centre (who had their own superstar player Garuba).

2
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Today at 02:23:52 pm »
I've been watching some of Colorado Coll at St Thomas in Houston that headed into OT 1-1.  Impressive, huge field with apparently room for 3200 and sometimes USMNT and USWNT maybe train there, and they use another facility that is the training ground for Houston MLS and NWLS teams.  Anyway, game like some other West Coast and Trinity games seems very wide open with multiple scoring chances on both ends.  Both teams should have scored several times.  Wonder if the more open, offensive playing style hurts these West region teams when they get to NCAA.  There's clearly a lot of skill and offensive prowess out there.

St Thomas misses on a PK in 1st OT.  Didn't see foul but St T player down in box for long time which maybe froze the PK taker. CC comes down and almost immediately scores on other end.

And finally after like 5th breakaway that CC kept giving up repeatedly St Thomas gets one to go in.  So many chances both ways, but more to St Thomas.

Good passing, some good skill, but overall feel of the game was more like a good pickup, full-court bball game compared to what many of us are used to.

3
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Yesterday at 08:26:19 pm »
Montclair vs Rowan is getting super chippy.  Ref trying to maintain control but it's slipping away.  Rowan already down to 10 men and Montclair just scored to go up 1-0 after a great save by GK just 45 secs before. 

2-0.

4
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Yesterday at 07:59:03 pm »
And here comes Calvin.  Classic Knights....up 2-0 at half on Hope on only 3 shots while Hope had 5 shots.

5
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Yesterday at 03:06:31 pm »
I was very impressed by both Wesleyan and MIT in their losses to Tufts. MIT was opening night so I was kind of writing off the game. NESCAC teams can struggle in their openers given it is usually their opponents third game of the season. But MIT has backed up that performance the rest of the season to prove it was not a fluke.

In the Wesleyan game Tufts scored two goals in like 3 minutes early in the second half and I thought they were going to open the flood gates. But Wesleyan recovered, scored a goal to cut the deficit, and played really well the final 25 minutes. They never really threatened to equalize but it was a solid performance that showed a very strong mentality.

I'm happy to see Wesleyan turn it around after a few down years. Coach Wheeler was one of the nicest coaches I interacted with. My first game back from an injury my sophomore year was against Wes and as I subbed in he checked in to see how I was doing and to wish me luck. I was impressed that he knew about this and reached out considering he had never recruited me or spoken to me before.

I second that on Wheeler.  Way past the normal recruiting window in late December or January of my son's senior year he sent a dozen or so coaches an email and a 10 minute tape he put together himself, and Wheeler responded right away, clearly had watched the tape and was very complimentary, and just was classy especially since he wasn't going to pursue my kid that late but invited him to tryout if he went there.  Pilger at Trinity was funny because his main focus was an interest in the music in the video.  The Union coach just freaked because my son was very upfront with everyone about being gene positive (but disease negative) for a cardiac condition I have associated with sudden death in young athletes, and as I've noted before the Colby coach was very engaging, maintained contact, and after son accepted offered to him go thru preseason but wouldn't commit to a spot.

6
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: Yesterday at 02:04:42 pm »
Is it just me, or does it seem like Midd always (often?) finds a way to disappoint.  The Panthers give Trinity the Bantams' first point in the NESCAC, and failed to score in a 0-0 draw.  They weren't short on fouls, though, winning that duel by a whopping 26 to 10 margin.

7
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Yesterday at 01:43:30 pm »
In the you don't know much about them but should category...

Unusual for a NESCAC to need/deserve more media attention, and Mr.Right certainly does his part, but I don't know anyone who saw this Wesleyan season coming.  Prospects of course can unravel quickly, but the Cardinals are 9-2-2 (4-2-2) and regionally ranked.  If selections were being made today I'd guess Wesleyan would earn a Pool C.  They have two regular season game left, both at home...today with Hamilton and then Conn Coll.  They need to win at least one of those.  They may end up short on ranked wins, unless Bowdoin can snare a ranking and in that sense a win over Conn would be far more valuable than one over Hamilton.  They do have the draw with Amherst.  It's possible Wes will benefit on RvR from a weak Region II but who knows if Springfield and Coast Guard will hold on to a regional ranking.  A first round win in the NESCAC tourney almost might be vital (and perhaps another chance for a ranked win).

Anybody got the low-down on Ithaca?  Only 7-4-4 overall but 5-0-1 in the topsy-turvy Liberty League. 

MIT seems too unknown for a 12-2-1 team that is regionally ranked and as of today holds ranked wins over Wheaton (MA), Springfield and Coast Guard.  Thye're playing a good Babson team now and close with a tough WPI before the NEWMAC tourney.  Some are still questioning if MIT is legit, but they showed well in a 1-0 loss to Tufts early in the season.

Other little advertised, under the radar teams from my pov are Vassar, amazingly still St Olaf, C-M-S, Redlands, Dubuque, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Gettysburg, UW-Platteville, St Joseph's (ME), and surprisingly, frequent NJAC front-runners, Rowan and Rutgers-Newark.


8
Men's soccer / Re: Great Lakes Region Navigation Channel
« on: Yesterday at 01:17:11 pm »
Update...

Rose-Hulman (RHIT) took commanding control of the HCAC with a narrow 1-0 win this week over perennial challenger Hanover.  Hanover was regionally ranked and RHIT wasn't, but that is likely to flip unless RHIT's SoS is even worse than I think (since Hanover's was only borderline around .529).  Neither is likely to snare a Pool C so the HCAC tourney will be almost certainly be determinative for both.

The often less heralded OAC has been one of more interesting conferences in the country in 2021.  There appears to be a clear top 4 with Otterbein, John Carroll, Capital, and fresh face Wilmington.  Otterbein and JCU both are 5-0-1, with the draws against each other.  Schedule-wise, Ottrerbein would appear to have a slight advantage with Muskingum, ONU, and Capital left while JCU has Marietta, Heidelberg, and Wilmington.  Capital at 4-1-1 is staring at a gauntlet...ONU, Wilmington, Otterbein.  And Wilmington at 3-1-2 closes with Baldwin-Wallace, Capital, and John Carroll.  One would think Otterbein and JCU are near-locks for Pool C bids if needed.  Capital, although regionally ranked, seems like a longshot for Pool C, and Wilmington despite their stellar season so far didn't even get a regional ranking which strongly suggests the Quakers need to win the OAC tourney.  Even Mt. Union got ranked, despite sitting at 1-4-1 in-conference.

Kenyon with the H2H advantage over OWU has a pretty firm stranglehold on the NCAC regular season crown and home field for the NCAC tourney, only needing a win at home today vs Hiram and then another vs either Oberlin or DePauw.  The latter two are on the road, but I doubt those games will involve a playoff spot for the Yeoman or Tigers.  No one is going to catch OWU in 2nd place, as OWU already has the H2Hs with Denison and Wabash.  And 3rd place is right there for Denison to grab as the Big Red own the H2H against 4th place Wabash.  Denison has three very winnable games left, and I wouldn't be surprised if Bianco wins COY for the NCAC over Brown if Denison reaches 7-2 in-conference.  And who knows, if Denison can pull off a semifinal win over OWU (or Kenyon) then maybe the Big Red can sneak into Pool C contention.  Denison notably was regionally ranked this week and Wabash wasn't, and I'm sure that was all about SoS more so than the H2H.


9
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« on: Yesterday at 12:50:52 pm »
A PN "under the hood" segment...

The Dubuque Spartans 11-3-1 (7-0-0)

Dubuque entered the 2021 campaign with very high expectations, coming off a 2020 "I didn't know they even played" Covid Spring season that saw the Spartans take the American Rivers Conference (ARC) crown with a 6-1-1 record.  Dubuque sputtered out of the gate and after a 9/22 2-1 loss to UW-Platteville the Spartans were sitting at a pedestrian 3-3-1 (with a pair of 1-0 losses to North Central and Grinnell and an earlier draw with Milwaukee School of Engineering.  However, since then, Dubuque has ripped off 8 straight wins and is unblemished in the ARC.  A solid 2-0 victory over Luther a few days ago cemented the regular season title for the Spartans.  There are no other truly signature wins so far given Loras' retreat to mediocrity, but a end of the regular match with a bipolarish Carthage squad on 10/23 may be informative.

Dubuque is led by Brad Johnson, a Loras grad who still holds the Duhawks records for goals and points, and that's saying something because at least up to 2015 Loras had been one of the top 5 programs in the country and a frequent guest of the Final Four for nearly a decade.  Loras also of course happens to be in Dubuque, literally .7 of a mile away in the Key City.  The Spartans have waited quite a while for town bragging rights.  If my quick review was accurate, Dubuque as recently as 2018 was a paltry 4-12, and the only NCAA appearance was a brief one in 2016 when the Spartans were unceremoniously bounced in the first round by Westminster (I'm assuming MO).

A rapid scan of the Dubuque roster shows at least 12 Swedes (with likely more given a handful of players with no origin listed), and players from Italy, Germany, England, and Ireland.  How some schools attract so many internationals, including for example North Carolina Wesleyan and other under the radar programs, and how all that works is worthy of a feature article and/or thread in itself, but I digress...

Dubuque is led in goals by senior Luwara and junior Skog-Johansson, and in assists by table-setter sophs Niyibizi and Gray as well as frosh Wooldridge.


10
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: Yesterday at 11:03:30 am »
And then there were none....

Trinity (TX) held to a 1-1 draw in San Antonio last night, and now there are zero unbeaten, untied teams in D3.  St Thomas (TX) leveled in the 75th minute via a PK.  St Thomas had 7 cards compared to 1 for Trinity.

As an aside, is there a reason there isn't a link that works on the site for St. Thomas?  Are they provisional D3?  Or now NAIA?

Same questions for UW-Platteville that comes up blank when you click on the link, and I can't find UW-Platteville affiliated with any conference or listed with Independents.


11
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 Game Notes
« on: Yesterday at 10:47:33 am »
SC, you are incredibly accommodating.  You keep getting requests to do more, to add this or that, etc...the Karl Malone of D3 soccer...always deliver.  I'm half-expecting to wake up one morning and someone's asked you if you would mind picking up their dry cleaning lol.

So, I'm assuming it's strategic or simply pragmatic, but your protocol seems to be watching 1st halves and then moving on to the next tilt, and so many of the higher profile, more competitive games are often 0-0 at the break.  Wonder what would happen if you watched more 2nd halves as opposed to first halves.

12
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 Game Notes
« on: Yesterday at 10:01:39 am »
Not sure how you can watch so many, so please consider optional or pick a couple out of these...

Western CT vs UMass-Boston 12:00

MIT- Babson 1:00

Hobart-Vassar 3:00

Montclair-Rowan (classic Jersey streetfight) 7:00

Wabash-OWU 7:00

Calvin-Hope 7:00

Carthage-Dubuque 7:00 (Dubuque most of us know little about and they are surging)

13
Men's soccer / Re: 2021 Game Notes
« on: October 22, 2021, 07:32:06 pm »
Yeah, as a last clarification for anyone who may be following this (as you're seizing on things I wrote ancillary to my primary points), I'm not one of the posters focused on recruitment and retention.  I'm on record (at my own risk) of not being a fan of super-large rosters.  I only included that because I know a number of others find that important in terms of the solvency of the schools they love.  Not unsympathetic but not my issue.  I was going to Davidson (or W&L) whether I played tennis or not.  My kid was going to Kenyon or Colby whether he played soccer or not.  Apparently we just very strongly disagree about whether D3 soccer does or should play any significant role in the state of soccer at large and in the USA.  If D3 soccer reflects progress in the quality of youth soccer and training and is a beneficiary therein, that's great, but I don't believe that D3 soccer has any responsibility at all for being an originator or source of that progress.  And we disagree about whether sub rules have any significant impact on the state of play in D3 or otherwise, or whether the impact, even if there is one, is substantial enough to override the high negatives of limiting the # of subs allowed and getting rid of one re-entry.  I do care about students having as rich a college experience as possible, including athletics if they so choose, and not as a sideshow but as an elective, yet valuable part of the experience, and I see no compelling argument for professionalizing D3 athletics or for making D3 an extension of the professionalization in the Academy model.  I don't care much about what soccer does for the school.  I care about what being part of it does for the person (and selfishly whether I'm happy at the end of the season).  With extremely rare exceptions, if you're choosing D3 you're choosing a terminal career with soccer. The idea that Bates College with a typical roster of 25-28 players would have to limit itself to 3 subs, and only on a very limited basis given a lack of re-entry, is appalling to me.  Imo that's a recipe for program failure and not just a few unhappy kids.  I see in a quick google search that there is extensive pressure to make a move to 5 subs (from 3) permanent at the highest professional levels across Europe and England.  All that said, I will totally concede that the state of soccer and its future in the USA are not things I spend a second worrying about, and that is tangential to the fact that I do wholeheartedly appreciate "good soccer." 

14
Men's soccer / Re: UAA soccer 2021
« on: October 22, 2021, 05:41:06 pm »
Brutal and damaging loss for CWRU, especially when up 2-1 in 87th minute.  Chance to pick up what maybe would have been a ranked win, and now 6-5-2 instead of 7-4-2. 

15
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: October 22, 2021, 04:26:53 pm »
Here is #9's Goal v WPI.......unreal

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTMPR9pcre/

Wow...as nice a free kick as we'll see. 

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