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Messages - Buck O.

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Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: Today at 04:38:59 pm »
Goals from Tufts 6-0 THRASHING of Wheaton. Is Wheaton that bad? I know Wheaton isn't as good as they were 4-5 years ago but 6-0 seems a bit outrageous. Anyone with intel on their program?

Third goal is a beauty - well worked, outside of the foot cross and a perfect header.

For any of us hoping for Tufts to get knocked down a couple of pegs (or 10) this video is very deflating.

From an opponent's view I think I'm most afraid of Tasker (with Van Brewer a close second)....and I swear Tasker has been at Tufts for 7 or 8 seasons.

Go Mules!

Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite:  I can't believe he's a senior already.   Of course, I've always paid a little more attention to him because he attended my son's middle school, so that may skew my perception of time.

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: September 17, 2019, 06:51:37 pm »
The UAA is not exactly off to a strong start this year.  Last year, the lowest ranked UAA team at the end of the season was Brandeis at #51 (all ratings per Massey); this year, three teams are currently ranked below #100.  Given that we're already better than halfway through the non-conference season, I've got to think this is going to affect the SoS that has gotten so many UAA teams into the tournament in the last couple of years.

Going through the teams, in order of their Massey ratings:

#9 Chicago (2-0-3):  Some things never change.  Highest rating in the league, despite the not-so-gaudy (but nevertheless undefeated) record.  That record is fortified by the fact that each of their opponents is a top-100 team.  The two teams they've beaten, #44 Hope and #46 North Park, are the two-highest rated teams to have been beaten by UAA teams this year.  As we all know, Chicago's Class of 2019 included every conference POY since the Eisenhower Administration, but they've responded well to those losses.

#25 Rochester (3-2): The wins were against teams outside the top 100, so they've won the games they should have won.  The losses were both against top-12 teams, but they were one-goal losses, one in OT, and the stats suggest that the games were pretty even.  So while a team with the U of R's level of success over the last couple of years could have reasonably expected a result against Cortland or John Carroll, they've still responded well to losing a lot of players.

#30 WashU (3-1-1):  A loss and a tie against top-100 opponents and three fairly comfortable wins against teams ranked between #132 and #148.  The loss to St. Thomas easily could have been a better result for the Bears, as WashU was the better team in the first half against St. Thomas, but then went a man down just before halftime.  All in all, a good performance.  Some people were asking where the goals would come from, and the answer seems to be "everyone," as only one player has more than one goal (and he has two).

#34 CWRU (3-1-2):  A bit of a disappointment to date, as more was expected from the pre-season favorites.  The strongest of the three wins is against #159 Heidelberg; they're 0-1-2 against top-50 opponents, none of whom are in the top 20.  While I invoked the Plexiglas principle with regard to NYU when I was making my preseason predictions, it may also apply (albeit less strongly) to CWRU.   Teams that outperform their expectations one year are the teams that are the most likely to take a step back the next season, and other than NYU, no team in the UAA outperformed its expectations in 2018 more than CWRU.

#43 Brandeis (3-2-1):  A solid start.  Losses to Tufts and W&L are certainly no cause for shame.  The rest of their schedule has also been pretty solid, as only one of their opponents is ranked below #102, and they've done reasonably well against it, with the only blemish in that part of the schedule being the tie against #85 WPI. 

#105 CMU (3-3): And now we get into the disappointments section.  CMU was doing all right--not fantastic, but all right.  The team they defeated in their season-opening win, #51 Salisbury, was the highest-ranked team beaten by any UAA team other than Chicago this year.  The two losses were against top-30 teams.  And then they lost to previously winless Allegheny last night.  Allegheny is now ranked #266, so they must have been close to #300 before that game.  Ouch.

#129 Emory (1-3-1): Three losses against top-40 teams and a win against a sub-200 team:  Both as expected.  A tie against #184 Birmingham-Southern (the college whose name sounds the most like a railroad)? Not so great.

#181 NYU (0-4-1):   My expectations were not as high as others, as I expected some regression to the mean, but they seem to have regressed right past the mean.  The opening 4-0 loss to #47 Ithaca?  Well, these things happen sometimes.  The next three losses?  Hobart's a good team (#20), but Drew and RUC are ranked in the mid-100s, so that was cause for concern.  And then they tied Baruch, which was ranked in the 300s (now #293, thanks to this result)?  Ick.

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: August 31, 2019, 07:47:45 am »
In other UAA action on opening day:
  • Brandeis defeated Roger Williams, 1-0.  Blooter covered this one in the New England soccer thread.  Deis's next game is tonight against Washington & Lee.
  • Chicago tied Macalester, 0-0, outshooting the Scots 20-8.  UC will next play at St. Thomas on Sunday afternoon, while Macalester will play WashU.
  • Case defeated Heidelberg 1-0, in a game that the Spartans seem to have dominated, given that they outshot their opponent 27-5.  Case's next game is against Mount Union on Monday.
  • CMU topped Salisbury 2-1.  CMU plays St. Mary's of MD today.
  • Ithaca beat NYU 4-0, in a game in which each team only took 6 shots, so Ithaca made its shots count!  Next up, NYU plays at Hobart this afternoon.
  • Rochester lost 3-2 in overtime to Cortland State, the team that ranks #2 nationally. UR's next game is against John Carroll on Sunday.
Emory didn't play.  They begin their season this afternoon against Pomona-Pitzer.

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: August 31, 2019, 06:56:00 am »
Washington University lost to No. 12 St. Thomas, 1-0.

The Tommies scored in the closing seconds of the first half on a penalty kick. The Bears were called for a handball in the box and had to play down a man for the second.  Lots of new guys played.

Notably, Matt Martin played the full 90 minutes.
Unfortunately, the video stream from UST didn't work, so I was unable to watch the game live.  Reports from the scene were that the Bears looked very good in the first half, when the teams were at even strength, and that's backed up by the fact that they outshot the Tommies 7-2 in the first half.  The video now has been posted to UST's web site (, so anyone who (lie me) wanted to watch the game, but couldn't, can watch it now.

Men's soccer / Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:07:34 pm »
A few thoughts:
  • I thought Williams would be lower.  But I don't think I saw Williams play last year, so that might just be me.
  • I thought Deis would be higher.  But I'll let Blooter weigh in on that.
  • Trinity got votes?

Men's soccer / Re: 2019 Schedules
« on: July 03, 2019, 07:42:43 pm »
What does "lower tier UAA school" mean vis-a-vis Brandeis?

The way I read it, I think he meant that they finished near the bottom of the UAA last year, which is a fair point.

That being said, if I was mistaken and it was intended to represent a more long-term view, I would hardly call six consecutive NCAA appearances, two Final 4s, and a UAA title in the last 7 years "lower tier."

Of course, we all know I'm not biased. ;)

That's how I took it as well, particularly since he said that Emory was at the bottom of the UAA.  Of course, they did finish last, but that doesn't mean that they weren't pretty good, since all the UAA teams were pretty good.  And that was jknezek's point:  when W&L is playing an OOC game against a team that wasn't at the top of its conference, it's usually a good team anyway because the conference it's in is strong.

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: June 07, 2019, 01:50:55 pm »
Interesting, though i think you're off on NYU, who were very impressive last season and who return almost all their impact players.

I have to agree on NYU.

The freshmen class was impressive and will surely get better over time.

My prediction regarding NYU is based on regression to the mean (or, as Bill James called it, the Plexiglas Principle).  They're the team that improved the most last season, relative to their past history, which suggests they're the team most likely to fall back some this season.

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: June 05, 2019, 04:46:28 pm »

Chicago is losing a lot in terms of quality--three different conference players of the year, not to mention the coach--but not a lot in terms of quantity.  Other than the Capotosto/Lopez/Koh trio, I believe that Josh Scofield was the only senior to start any games last year.  So they're returning eight starters, more or less.
While they might take a step back, I still think they'll be pretty good.   I'd put them in the upper third.

As far as who's losing the most--once more in terms of quantity--Rochester and CMU are both graduating about half their starting lineups, considerably more than any other team.  (See reply #250 in this thread.)

Great insight Buck O., but to play the game ya gotta put down your 1/3s amigo....

OK, here goes, with each group in alphabetical order:

Top three:  Case, Chicago, WashU
Second three:  Deis, Emory, Rochester
Last two:  CMU, NYU

Men's soccer / Re: UAA 2019
« on: June 04, 2019, 09:21:38 am »
Bold prediction: every UAA team will have to play 7 games against a quality and determined rival that won't give an inch of space on the field because of the name on the shirt or what last year's result was, and so nobody runs away with it and it'll go down to the final games where maybe the schedule helps/hurts things (i.e. who has to play on hot/humid day in Atlanta or on a frigid evening in Boston). 

OK maybe not so bold, that's been the pattern for the past 4 seasons that i've been paying attention, where the last place team still takes points off of those above, and no one at the top has won out.  Quality programs and schools mean that every year there will be talented newcomers and experienced upperclassmen who have been waiting for the All-American ahead of them to graduate so they can show their full potential. And long may it continue!

Hard then to bet on final places, but in the interest of debate here's a guess (in alpha order) at what the final 1/3 positions could be:
Top 3:   CWRU, NYU, ROC
Mid 3:   BRA, CHI, WAS
Lower 2:  CAR, EMR

But to be honest, i think the biggest surprise would be if even that fairly-broad prediction holds.

Chicago is losing a lot in terms of quality--three different conference players of the year, not to mention the coach--but not a lot in terms of quantity.  Other than the Capotosto/Lopez/Koh trio, I believe that Josh Scofield was the only senior to start any games last year.  So they're returning eight starters, more or less.
While they might take a step back, I still think they'll be pretty good.   I'd put them in the upper third.

As far as who's losing the most--once more in terms of quantity--Rochester and CMU are both graduating about half their starting lineups, considerably more than any other team.  (See reply #250 in this thread.)   

Men's soccer / Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« on: May 24, 2019, 11:20:01 pm »
I don't how many people inside or outside of the press are even aware of the Learfield Directors' Cup, though.

Just to be clear, I don't think that many people are familiar with it, either.  I just used it as an easily available proxy for how successful a school's athletic teams have been.

Men's soccer / Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« on: May 24, 2019, 10:40:45 am »
There are some leagues in which a single member comes close to the all-sports dominance that UST has had in the MIAC over the past 10-15 years in terms of men's side, women's side, and combined -- Wartburg in the ARC, Washington & Lee in the ODAC, and Johns Hopkins in the Centennial have all been mentioned on during this past week, as those schools win (real or imagined) all-sports trophies in their respective leagues on a regular basis. But UST beats them all for the sheer volume of conference titles won over that period.

While conference titles are one way of looking at this, another way is to look at points in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings.

Here are the top two schools in the Centennial, MIAC and NEWMAC over each of the last five years.


2014-15: Hopkins 1016.75, Haverford 322.5
2015-16: Hopkins 703, Haverford 400.5
2016-17: Hopkins 864.5, F&M 350
2017-18: Hopkins 883.25, F&M 306.5
2018-19 (to date): Hopkins 804.25, Haverford 238


2014-15: UST 628.5, St. Olaf 427.5
2015-16: UST 780, St. Olaf 447
2016-17: UST 588.5, GAC 339
2017-18: UST 650.25, GAC 384.5
2018-19 (to date): UST 596, Carleton 281


2014-15: MIT 961, Springfield 420
2015-16: MIT 843, Springfield 383
2016-17: MIT 667.25, Babson 519.5
2017-18: MIT 1001.5, Springfield 525
2018-19 (to date): MIT 573.25, Springfield 282.5

In four of the five years, Hopkins's margin over the second-place Centennial team was larger than UST's margin over the second-place MIAC team, and in three of the five years, MIT's margin over the second-place NEWMAC team was larger than UST's margin.  Yet I hear nothing about throwing Hopkins out of the Centennial or MIT out of the NEWMAC.

Men's soccer / Re: 2019 Schedules
« on: May 23, 2019, 05:26:33 pm »
WashU Menís Soccer 2019 Schedule

8/30 (Fri.) (A) St. Thomas (Minn.) (16-4-2, T3rd in MIAC, NCAA Sweet 16) (Massey #23)
9/1 (Sun.) (A) Macalester (11-6-3, T3rd in MIAC) (Massey #54)
9/6 (Fri.) (H) Pacific Lutheran (13-6-2, T1st in NWC, NCAA 1st Round) (Massey #121)
9/10 (Tues.) (A) Illinois Wesleyan (11-5, T4th in CCIW) (Massey #102)
9/13 (Fri.) (H) Dominican (Ill.) (15-6-1, T3rd in NACC, NCAA 2nd Round) (Massey #99)
9/20 (Fri.) (A) Wheaton (Ill.) (10-7-1, T3rd in CCIW) (Massey #85)
9/25 (Wed.) (A) Webster (14-4-2, T2nd in SLIAC) (Massey #212)
9/30 (Mon.) (H) Greenville (15-5-2, T2nd in SLIAC, NCAA 1st Round) (Massey #237)
10/6 (Sun.) (H) Rochester (N.Y.)* (16-3-2, T3rd in UAA, NCAA Final Four) (Massey #4)
10/12 (Sat.) (A) Emory*(9-7-2, 8th in UAA) (Massey #20)
10/18 (Fri.) (A) New York* (12-4-3, 5th in UAA, NCAA 2nd Round) (Massey #32)
10/20 (Sun.) (A) Brandeis* (7-9-2, 7th in UAA) (Massey #17)
10/27 (Sun.) (A) UW-Platteville (13-3-3, NCAA 2nd Round) (Massey #50)
11/1 (Fri.) (H) Carnegie Mellon* (11-5-3, 6th in UAA, NCAA 2nd Round) (Massey #10)
11/3 (Sun.) (H) Case* (16-4-2, 2nd in UAA, NCAA Elite Eight) (Massey #7)
11/9 (Sat.) (A) Chicago* (18-3-1, 1st in UAA, NCAA Final Four) (Massey #3)

* - UAA conference match

Non-Conference Schedule:
Retained: Wheaton (Ill.), Greenville
Dropped: Ohio Wesleyan, Benedictine (Ill.), DePauw, Wartburg, Fontbonne, Oglethorpe, UW-Whitewater
Added: St. Thomas (Minn.), Macalester, Pacific Lutheran, Illinois Wesleyan, Dominican (Ill.), Webster, UW-Platteville

Men's soccer / Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« on: April 12, 2019, 11:31:11 pm »
If St. Thomas is that large and looking to expand its national reach, and if the MIAC is successful in ousting STU, and if STU wants to continue to be a D3 school, perhaps the Tommies should consider petitioning to join the UAA.  There are a couple of schools in that conference that are relatively close to STU (Chicago and Wash U), so it might be a reasonable fit. 

The problem is football.  The UAA doesn't offer much in that regard. Many of the football playing UAA schools are affiliated with other conferences (for example, Chicago in the MWC and Wash U in the CCIW, etc.).  Perhaps they could join the UAA for other sports and play football as an independent or look to another more regional conference for affiliate membership in football.  Or perhaps they could join the UAA and persuade the other schools that play football as an affiliate member of a different conference to play within the UAA.

Realistically, the only other D3 schools that would be a fit for the UAA are Johns Hopkins, which used to be a UAA member before opting out, and perhaps MIT. (Caltech has the academic, research, and financial bona-fides, but Caltech wants no part of making its intercollegiate sports be as comprehensive and as competitive as those of the UAA schools.)

There's one more D3 school that would be a potential fit for the UAA:  Tufts, which as a relatively big school (by D3 standards) in an urban area has much more in common with the UAA schools than with the other NESCAC schools.  Not that I actually see Tufts going anywhere.

Men's soccer / Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« on: April 10, 2019, 06:34:47 pm »
A few thoughts here.  First, now I know a lot more about UST than I knew before.  I didn't realize it was so big, which does help to explain the issues it might face in finding a conference if it were expelled from the MIAC (assuming it doesn't try to join the Big East, which I think would be a bit of a jump).

With that said:  UST finished 16th among D3 schools in the Learfield Director's Cup last year; the next-highest finishing MIAC schools were GAC (43rd) and Carleton (68th).  The 15 schools that finished ahead of UST have the following numbers of undergraduates, according to Google:

Williams 2080
MIT 4602
CMS 1328 + 844 + 973 = 3145
Emory 8079
Midd 2561
WashU 7604
Hop 5615
Tufts 5541
Amherst 1836
Ithaca 6969
SUNY Geneseo 5494
Chicago 6286
W&L 1890
IWU 1893
CNU 5051

Several of these schools are in the 2000-3000 undergrad range that is typical of the non-UST schools in the MIAC, and if I go a little further down the Learfield list, Stevens in 17th has 2892 undergrads and Wartburg in 18th has 1600.  So it's certainly possible for schools of that size to compete with UST across the board.  The question they need to answer for themselves is whether they want to try (which I realize is essentially the same question that Mr. Sager posed).

Men's soccer / Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« on: April 09, 2019, 07:49:21 am »
For all who do not know St. Thomas may not be a D3 member much longer.  The MIAC conference to put to a vote the end of the month whether St. Thomas is to be ousted.  This is not coming from any illegal behavior but a disparity amongst student population vs academic success.  St. Thomas has roughly double to population of the next largest MIAC school.  This could be a sad exit for a program that just introduced itself into the national discussion as a quality program. Link below to a news report and more information.

Even if St. Thomas were to be thrown out of the MIAC, why would they cease being a D3 member?

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