Author Topic: New England Soccer Discussion  (Read 326295 times)

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2514
  • Karma: +105/-14
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #540 on: October 21, 2015, 06:18:36 pm »
Endicott has a sub .500 SOS at .487.  I'm not convinced anything else matters so long as a team's SOS is under .500 which seems to be a deal breaker.

EDIT:  I notice that MIT got in with a sub .500 SOS at .497.  So, there is no .500 SOS threshhold, but it is extremely hard to overcome.

Still don't understand why MIT took Tufts off the schedule. Automatic boost to their SOS and they have a surprisingly good record against the Jumbos - away win in '12, home win in '13, away draw last year. Obviously they made it in to the RRs this week but still they're living on the edge with such a weak SOS.

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2514
  • Karma: +105/-14
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #541 on: October 21, 2015, 07:35:12 pm »
MIT - UMass-Boston still 0-0. Good game between two teams that have taken a lot of flak from many - including myself - on these boards for their various perceived shortcomings. Interestingly enough, it's MIT who has looked to attack consistently, while UMB has been compact at the back, playing 10 behind the ball. Ironically, they're pretty much playing each other's game.

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
  • Karma: +209/-135
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #542 on: October 22, 2015, 05:16:18 pm »
It will be very interesting to see next week's rankings because with that defeat UMAASS Boston even with all those road games will HAVE to DROP...There Record v Ranked is 1-2-0 but now Wentworth is going to drop out so it will be 0-2-0....They will drop to #10 at best IMO....Also, lets watch MIT who I think with that SOS is in serious trouble even though they are deserving of a NCAA bid. With the win v UMASS Boston and games against Springfield and Stevens left their SOS will rise considerably and OWP also...That MIT v Stevens game is very interesting..The winner could knock the other one out of the NCAA's.

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
  • Karma: +209/-135
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #543 on: October 24, 2015, 12:36:29 pm »
Babson up 2-0 at WPI....Looks like they want to avoid that #4 v #5 seed Newmac playoff match-up...Do not look now but since WPI played that magnificent game and loss in 2OT to Amherst they have fallen off the cliff. Wondering if they had maybe some injuries that we do not know about? We have few if any Newmac posters so I have no idea bout injuries.

Offline ECSUalum

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2574
  • Karma: +161/-51
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #544 on: October 24, 2015, 09:05:02 pm »
Xavier Doran header with 1:50 left in 2 OT to defeat RIC this afternoon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaaCUcbUYR8
Eastern really did not play well today, however the D kept RIC off the scoreboard again and Ryan Murphy made some critical saves for his 9th clean sheet!!

Offline Off Pitch

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +23/-16
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #545 on: October 24, 2015, 10:06:57 pm »
updated spreadsheet New England rankings thru 10/24 (using real SOS)

1   Amherst
2   Brandeis
3   Tufts
4   Middlebury
5   MIT
6   ECSU
7   MassBoston
8   Gordon
9   Conn
10   Bridgewater St.
11   Endicott
12   Williams
13   Wheaton
14   Bowdoin
15   Babson
16   Wesleyan
17   Wentworth
18   Bates
19   Springfield
20   Plymouth St.

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2514
  • Karma: +105/-14
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #546 on: October 26, 2015, 11:21:45 am »
Blooter's Beliefs

This week was a big week for the NESCAC, not just in terms of matchups but also jostling for playoff spots - hence the disproportionate amount of coverage.

Amherst continued to roll, this time home to Wesleyan, pounding the Cardinals 5-0. If any team had a chance of getting points off the Jeffs, you had to feel that - besides Williams (for historical reasons) or Tufts (for being the 2nd- best team in the NESCAC IMHO) - it would be Wesleyan. Well, that theory was blown out of the water just a few minutes in, and Amherst . Like I said last week, I really like that the Jeffs are starting to play the ball on the ground, using the speed of Martin and the skill of NPL. Of course, they're still threatening from set pieces and crosses, but the fact that they've learned to keep the ball on the ground instead of primarily playing long balls suggests that they've added a new element to their game. They're the consensus number one team for a reason, and I'm becoming more and more convinced every week that they have what it takes to go all the way - just three weeks ago, I said that I thought there was little chance that they could win a national title, but as they continue to roll and the rest of the nation's teams continue to pick up blemishes, you have to think that they might just be better than the rest. I can't make comparisons to the 2012 Amherst team that infamously didn't make it to the Final Four, but this one is certainly up there, that's for sure.*

Every year, there are always a couple of cases where teams are perhaps one result away from achieving self-belief and taking that next step, only to fall in a crucial time and start their downward spirals. In my book, those teams are WPI and UMass-Boston. WPI was less than four minutes from something that no one has been able to do thus far this year - take points off of Amherst. As it were, Singer scored in 2OT and Amherst picked up yet another road victory, while WPI hasn't been the same since, going 2-3-1, the most recent of which was a home loss to Babson. Before losing to Babson, UMass-Boston was on a hot streak, winning 10 straight. Since that loss, they're 3-3, and were thumped by an enigmatic MIT side last week 3-0. It's worth mentioning that WPI lost at Brandeis in 2OT prior to the Amherst game, so it wasn't like they were unbeaten, but had they been able to hold the consensus No. 1 team to a draw - something that no team has been able to do this year - it would have likely galvanized them with further self-belief. Still, records of 13-3 and 10-5-2 are by no means the end of the world, and both teams are fully capable of winning their respective conference tournaments, but you have to wonder how much better they could have then had they managed to come out unbeaten from both of those big tests.

Next, MIT. The Engineers passed two big tests this week, winning away to Springfield 3-2 and home against UMB 3-0. Their defense is admittedly stingy, only allowing 7 goals the entire season. Still, the worrying trend for "Tech" is that, when they give up goals, they tend to give up two or three at a time. While Saturday's concession of two goals included the first goal of the game and a tally when the score was already 3-1, it does suggest that MIT is prone to a lack of concentration. And though they are the clear favorites in the NEWMAC, history tells us to be wary. Last year, Wheaton - who was a seemingly unassailable 16-2-2 entering last year's NEWMAC tournament - was the clear favorite, only to fall at home to Babson in the semis. Additionally, MIT's home field is not necessarily a sanctuary for the Engineers, as they fell to Wheaton in the 2013 conference final, while its 2012 conference win came on the road. Their test at home against WPI will be huge, and if WPI were to steal a victory it would turn the whole season on its head - right before the NEWMAC tourney. Will this be the year that the Engineers turn the tables and make a run? Personally, I don't see them going beyond the second round of the NCAA tourney, but that's why they play the games and if the Engineers were to go on a run I'd be the first to admit that I was wrong.

Tufts winning 3-0 at Williams has to go down as one of the legendary scorelines of the season. I predicted a draw, but once Tufts went 1-0 up you had a feeling that there would be more goals. Majumder showed up for this one, getting himself a brace, and Kayne capped the scoring with an excellent finish. Since its 0-1-3 stretch in the middle of the season, Tufts has rebounded nicely with big wins over Middlebury and now Williams - the only blemish was a 0-0 tie at Bates, which just leaves a sliver of doubt about which Tufts team is going to show up each game. Williams is now 2-4-1 at home, significantly better on the road, and you have to feel that the pressure of playing at home has gotten to them. I also don't think that Rashid is the same player that he was before the injury - he seems to have lost a step of pace, but then again he also doesn't have the talent of Ebobisse and co that he had in 2012. When you're coming in as the new guy and other good players can often make space for you, there's a lot of opportunity, but when you become a marked man it gets a whole lot tougher. I think the Jumbos are in for another good postseason, and I certainly don't think they'll get knocked out in the first round of the NESCAC like they did last year. That said, I don't think they'll be bringing home title #2, because as much as their miracle run was down to form, it was also down to the fact that they had some very special players. This year, while the Jumbos are an incredibly functional and effective side, they're missing their virtuoso in Santos, their defensive leadership and composure in Williams, their physical presence and set piece weapon in Lee-Kramer, and their target man in Hoppenot. And while the latter's presence up top has been replaced - and exceeded in the goals department - by Majumder, I don't think there's the same element of magic and steeliness that there was last year.

Saturday brought me to give Middlebury credit, something I haven't done much of this season. I've continually said that the Panthers are a hot-and-cold, set-piece reliant side that has a penchant of getting lucky when they're being outplayed. And while they went down 1-0 to Bates on Saturday, they responded in great fashion, scoring four unanswered second-half goals to win 4-1 on the road. Their victory at Wesleyan was certainly fortunate, and I think they were fortunate to get out of last weekend's Trinity game with a win, but the fact that the Panthers not only beat but smoked the Bobcats after going 1-0 down suggests that they have a steeliness to them and are perhaps a better side than I thought. Conrad has come through in the big moments, and suggests that he is rated for a reason - again proving me wrong from a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but I was impressed by the way they responded to adversity in emphatic fashion. Well done, Middlebury, you've got my attention.

Towards the end of September, we were talking about Bates as a possible Pool C candidate. Now, they're in grave danger of missing out on the NESCAC playoffs. Sure, the Bobcats will likely finish with a winning season for the first time since 2008, but they have remained much like their predecessors in a number of ways - mainly, their lack of consistency. I think the hype started when they won at Hamilton, which - despite the Continentals' form - is never an easy place to go. Then they tied Bowdoin, last year's NESCAC champion, and picked up a win at Williams for the first time in who knows how long. But for all the big wins, Bates has also been less competitive than you'd expect - losing by five goals at Wesleyan, falling at home to Trinity the week after beating Williams, and going 1-3-1 in their last five. And while they had the luxury (questionable word choice) of playing the three toughest teams - Tufts, Amherst, and Midd - at home, I said that the most I thought Bates would get out of any of those games was a point (I was right - a solitary point from Tufts.) The Bobcats have some solid players in Knoth, Merchant, and Murphy, but none of those three are 1st Team All-NESCAC material IMHO, although Knoth was a 2nd Team selection last year. Ultimately, Bates has shown promise in flashes, but they need to be much more consistent if they are to worry the powers of the NESCAC.

Bowdoin and Conn. Next to Tufts' big win, this was the shock of the weekend for me. Conn hadn't lost a home game all year - all of its blemishes had come on the road - while Bowdoin has been inconsistent offensively. And while I feel like Conn is the better team, Bowdoin came and pulled a smash-and-grab raid. We were talking last week about how Conn is the feel-good story of this year, and they certainly have some great players - Devlin needs no introduction, and I really like the workrate of Bitchell. That said, in order to be a top team in the NESCAC, you've got to win (the vast majority of) your games at home, particularly against sides #4-11: a close home loss to an Amherst, Tufts, or Midd is understandable, but you've got to take care of business against the lesser teams at home. Bowdoin probably would have been happy with a point on the road, but they were opportunistic and took their chances. The Polar Bears are 7-3-3 and are coming into good form, and while I doubt they'll repeat their Cinderella run of last year I think that they could surprise some teams. Barring a run to the NESCAC final, Conn is pretty much done in terms of Pool C chances, and even then they're probably on the wrong side of the bubble. I think the NESCAC has become a three-bid league, as the potential fourth teams - Conn and Wesleyan - have too many blemishes at this point. But hey, who knows?

CCC watch: Endicott is still the clear favorite in my book, even though it picked up a tie this weekend at Salve Regina in a game that will feel like two points dropped. However, Gordon could well change our minds when the two teams play tomorrow night in what should be a great game. Endicott was not in this week's RRs due to its .487 SOS, whereas Gordon (.528) and Wentworth (.512) were, but if the Gulls win the CCC as they are very well set up to then that could all be proved irrelevant. Remember, Endicott picked up ties against Williams and Calvin, and its only loss this season was to Tufts, so even if they're not a threat to an Amherst or a Tufts they could well pose a challenge to other more highly-touted sides in the postseason. Provided they make NCAAs, I think they're a solid Round of 32 team, which if I'm not mistaken is the furthest a CCC team has ever made it, but if there is a team to buck that trend and get to the Sweet 16 then this year's Endicott has as good of a chance as any IMHO.

* Side note: I'm tired of hearing about Amherst's physical play - both the Amherst homers defending the Jeffs' style, and opposing fans continually implying that the Jeffs are the root of all evil. (I myself am by no means exempt of guilt, but I dropped it a while ago.) We all know that Amherst is an aggressive, physical team, and pointing out the # of yellow cards that they get or anything else like that isn't going to change it. That said, arguing that "Amherst games are extremely intense, so they're often refereed differently than most other NESCAC games" is laughable, and is an incredibly weak attempted defense of the Jeffs' aggressive style of play. Additionally, calling the cards "laughable" can only take away credibility. But regardless of whether you think their style of play is excessive, if Amherst goes and wins a national title, you absolutely can't say the Jeffs won't have deserved it based on their excellent form. Come on, guys - we're better than this. ;)

Offline Off Pitch

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +23/-16
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #547 on: October 26, 2015, 04:52:58 pm »
Has anyone seen Bridgewater St. play?  They sit 13-2-1 (SOS 0.505) with losses only to Brandeis (0-1) and Mass-Boston (0-1).  They also won at Wheaton 2-0, so they must be pretty decent.  Their only remaining test is Wednesday hosting Babson.   Are they legit?

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2514
  • Karma: +105/-14
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #548 on: October 26, 2015, 04:58:26 pm »
Has anyone seen Bridgewater St. play?  They sit 13-2-1 (SOS 0.505) with losses only to Brandeis (0-1) and Mass-Boston (0-1).  They also won at Wheaton 2-0, so they must be pretty decent.  Their only remaining test is Wednesday hosting Babson.   Are they legit?

I saw them when they played Brandeis, but the Wheaton result was what caught my eye. I wouldn't say "legit" in the way you might describe an NSCAA Top 25 team, but I think they're a good, solid team that is capable of pulling an upset on their day. From my observations, they're well-organized side and have their moments offensively. My guess is that - assuming they make it to NCAAs - they get an unfavorable draw due to SOS/etc., but I think they'd be tough to beat and would pose a threat to most tournament teams.

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
  • Karma: +209/-135
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #549 on: October 26, 2015, 05:02:01 pm »
They are a decent team that is athletic, organized defensively and physical. I think they will easily win their league the MASCAC but Bloots is correct they will get a bad draw. Most likely one of the 2 mid-week "play-in" games with the winner going to Amherst.

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
  • Karma: +209/-135
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #550 on: October 26, 2015, 05:08:25 pm »
updated spreadsheet New England rankings thru 10/24 (using real SOS)

1   Amherst
2   Brandeis
3   Tufts
4   Middlebury
5   MIT
6   ECSU
7   MassBoston
8   Gordon
9   Conn
10   Bridgewater St.
11   Endicott
12   Williams
13   Wheaton
14   Bowdoin
15   Babson
16   Wesleyan
17   Wentworth
18   Bates
19   Springfield
20   Plymouth St.



My Regional Ranking Projections based on years of seeing these things. No actual numbers have been computed.

1. Amherst
2. Brandeis
3. Tufts

Those top 3 are easy but I am telling you the next 9 are very difficult because of varying SOS and Record v Ranked

4. MIT
5. MIDD
6. ECONN
7. UMASS Boston
8. Gordon
9. Conn
10. Williams
11. Bridgewater St
12. Bowdoin

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
  • Karma: +209/-135
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #551 on: October 26, 2015, 05:11:08 pm »
Now I know you all will say NO WAY to Williams but they had the same records last year and were ranked #9 the 2nd week I believe.

For New England I believe the whole region is DOWN this year and they will not go below #5 or #6 depending on AQ's.

The East and South Atlantic could benefit from this or even the West

Offline Off Pitch

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +23/-16
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #552 on: October 27, 2015, 01:17:03 pm »
Oct 27 NSCAA NE rankings:

1.  Amherst
2.  Brandeis
3.  MIT
4.  ECSU
5.  Tufts
6.  Endicott
7.  Gordon
8.  Middlebury
9.  Mass-Boston
10. Bridgewater St.

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2514
  • Karma: +105/-14
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #553 on: October 27, 2015, 09:10:35 pm »
Brandeis squeaks by a 3-12 Lasell 1-0. That's the 10th 1-0 win and 12th one-goal win for the Judges this season - I genuinely think that might be a record for 1-0 or one-goal wins - any stats mavens want to check it out? The Judges played a couple of reserves from the start but many starters were in the majority of the game. Poor offensive showing - the team didn't connect passed well and they needed a 73rd minute goal to get by. The one positive was the Judges were much more threatening - one of the reasons Brandeis has struggled to score is because they just don't shoot enough. Once they started shooting in the second half, it was only a matter of time. Can't see them winning the UAA, although I couldn't see them beating Tufts or Case on the road, so who knows. However, they'll need to be much better if they hope to get a result against Emory or Rochester this weekend.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 09:35:17 pm by blooter442 »

Offline PaulNewman

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3349
  • Karma: +201/-124
    • View Profile
Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #554 on: October 27, 2015, 09:28:46 pm »
Brandeis squeaks by a 3-12 Lasell 1-0. That's the 10th 1-0 win and 12th 1-0 win for the Judges this season - I genuinely think that might be a record for 1-0 or one-goal wins - any stats mavens want to check it out? The Judges played a couple of reserves from the start but many starters were in the majority of the game. Poor offensive showing - the team didn't connect passed well and they needed a 73rd minute goal to get by. The one positive was the Judges were much more threatening - one of the reasons Brandeis has struggled to score is because they just don't shoot enough. Once they started shooting in the second half, it was only a matter of time. Can't see them winning the UAA, although I couldn't see them beating Tufts or Case on the road, so who knows. However, they'll need to be much better if they hope to get a result against Emory or Rochester this weekend.

Blooter, I thought the exact same thing when they didn't score until 2nd half to beat Mt Ida 1-0 last year, and then they went on to the Elite 8.  Seems like a dangerous way to keep winning but apparently they just know how to win games.

I was impressed with Endicott and Gordon also.  Looked at Endicott's roster and they have several foreign players, including two from Mexico who linked up together for the goal, and a kid from Bahrain whose club team is listed as "Manchester United Soccer School" or something like that.  Also a bunch of players from strong New England club teams.  Endicott's only loss was to Tufts and they drew with Calvin and Williams.  Will not be an easy team to beat in a 1st or 2nd round NCAA game IF they get in.  Currently 13-1-3, would be a shame if they don't make the tournament.  Will not be easy to win their conference tourney, especially if there is a re-match with Gordon.