Author Topic: New England Soccer Discussion  (Read 326294 times)

Offline Sandy

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #570 on: October 31, 2015, 06:03:44 pm »
Well ECSU and UMass-Boston just lost. ECSU wins the LEC. UMB comes in 3rd behind Plymouth St. who they played tonight and ahead of RIC.

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #571 on: October 31, 2015, 07:00:35 pm »
Well ECSU and UMass-Boston just lost. ECSU wins the LEC. UMB comes in 3rd behind Plymouth St. who they played tonight and ahead of RIC.

You have to wonder if that will cost ECSU a Pool C if they don't get AQ.  I'm guessing another loss does cost UMass-Bos.  Both are at 2-2 for RvR so a win against the other will get one of them to 3-2.

Then there's Endicott.  I assume the consensus is that Endicott if they fail on the AQ could not overtake ECSU or Tufts.  MIT might be a different story.

Of course I posted about MIT before checking their score.  They were in OT but just won over WPI.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 07:07:29 pm by NCAC New England »

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #572 on: November 02, 2015, 09:32:42 am »
Blooter's Beliefs

Wow! What a weekend. I wasn’t able to make it to any games since I was in D.C. visiting some friends, but kept tabs on the action as always. Three teams conceded tying goals with less than a minute left in regulation, the No. 1 team in the country suffered its first loss of the season, and a third team emerged from a difficult two-game road trip with its first outright conference crown. Tons to recap, but definitely the most exciting the weekend of the season so far.

Brandeis won the UAA for the second time in three years, beating Rochester 2-1 away on a late winner from center back Kyle Robinson, who scored his first collegiate goal in the process. This title was the Judges’ first outright championship – having tied with Carnegie, Emory, and WashU for the conference crown in 2012 – and it also means that the Judges clinched the UAA’s NCAA AQ bid, freeing up a Pool C slot for someone else. Playing Emory and Rochester away, who are two, proud, respectable sides, they went on a road trip that very well could have ended 0-2. Instead, they came up with two wins on the road, and that – combined with hard-fought wins over Carnegie, Case, and Chicago – means that they deserve the conference crown. Additionally, Brandeis would have been seeking revenge against Rochester yesterday, as they’ve had two tough losses to them in the last two years – the Judges led leads of 1-0 and 2-1 slip in the 3-2 home defeat in 2013, while the Yellowjackets scored fluke goals on a shanked cross and direct from a corner kick in last year’s match. This year, the Judges took a 1-0 lead, weathered the storm after Rochester tied it 1-1, and got the late winner they deserved. Brandeis has had well-documented trouble scoring this season, but they’ve won 14 one-goal matches and that’s no accident. I felt that they were robbed of a conference title last year, given Chicago’s non-conference play was nowhere near the same level as Brandeis, but this year makes up for it. This team might not be as talented as last year’s Elite Eight squad, or the 2012 team that also won the title, but Brandeis’ composure, defensive solidity, and overall play has been excellent, and has more than made up for a lack of offense, and it will be nice for them to play NYU at home next weekend having clinched the UAA title with a game to spare. Winning the UAA title in 2012 was nice, but winning the crown outright this year – in a very tough conference and with a game to spare, no less – will do wonders for their confidence, and has the potential to take them to the next level.

Holy cow. NESCAC playoffs. Where to start? Well, perhaps with the Wesleyan upset of Amherst. From what I understood in following the game, Wesleyan more than had their own, and given that they missed a PK probably deserved the victory anyway. The players should come in for major credit, as they worked their socks off and pulled off an upset over the No. 1 team in the nation. I have to say, though, that is an absolute masterclass of a coaching performance by Wheeler. His team was on a five-game losing skid, didn’t even look like it would make its conference tournament, and had to go to the same field and play the same opposition where his team lost by five goals the week before. Somehow, he got the guys to believe in themselves and beat the No. 1 team in the country on the road. That is absolutely unbelievable, and he deserves major kudos for that. Well done, Wheeler. A classy guy and an excellent coach who got his team to come through when it mattered. Granted they’ve “won nothing” yet in the sense of the NESCAC title, which seems to be their only shot at an NCAA bid, but given they had just been hammered by the No. 1 team in the nation yet beat them at their place the next weekend is incredible, and Wheeler deserves major credit for that. For Amherst, who also let a second-half lead slip in a 1-1 draw at Trinity midweek, it will be slightly concerning that their only two blemishes of the year have come in a one-week stretch. However, I still think the Lord Jeffs are the best team in the country, and are my bet to still go on to win NCAAs. Maybe – in reference to Tufts’ NESCAC quarters loss last year – this is their “Conn College at home” moment? Time will tell.

I had a sense that Williams would prove a tough out for Conn, and the game was an excellent spectacle. Conn went 2-0 up, Williams rallied to make it 3-2, and then Conn tied the game with six seconds left. You can’t concede a goal in the last minute of a game and win games, and while this has been a problem for Sullivan’s teams all year they were not alone this weekend. Regardless, Williams regrouped to take Conn to PKs, before DaCunha came up big and the Camels advanced to the NESCAC semis. Conn has rebounded nicely since losing to Bowdoin 2-0, and even though Middlebury, Wesleyan, and Bowdoin would be difficult opponents, the chance is as good as ever for them to go all the way with Tufts and Amherst out of the picture. Devlin is a great player, Bitchell has done well, Koval scored probably the biggest goal of his life this weekend, and DaCunha came up big in the shootout, so Conn will be ready for any team. I always maintain that – no matter Williams’ quality in any particular year – they’re a proud program that knows how to win, and I still maintain that Sullivan is an excellent coach with proven success who will no doubt come good at his alma mater. Don’t forget that last year Williams had a rough season, and Sullivan had nothing to do with that, so the program is perhaps in a time of transition, but they’ll rebound.

Bowdoin vs. Tufts. While predicting Tufts to win, I had a feeling that Bowdoin might well sneak this one at Kraft Field. In the end, Bowdoin made a first-half goal stand up and advanced to its third NESCAC semi-final in three years. Tufts has looked a good side all year, but there is cause for concern with their offensive inconsistency. In fact, I thought the opposite would be the problem this year, as Sullivan and Coleman looked pretty suspect in the middle of defense for a while, but they’ve grown into their roles and have done well in the latter part of the season. Greenwood, despite his well-documented weakness on set plays, has been excellent in net, making big saves for his team when games are in the balance. When Tufts is on, it is an impressive side – last year’s title run was incredible, and the 3-0 beating of Williams at Cole Field was as professional as it was unexpected – but then they go and fail to score against Bates and Bowdoin. Majumder is a better striker than Hoppnenot was IMHO, and certainly scores more goals, but his positional play is sometimes questionable. Should Tufts get another crack at NCAAs, which I think they will, they’ll be fired up, but I don’t think they have the same quality that they had as last year, with Santos and Williams in particular. Stay tuned.

Middlebury keeps on winning. I thought it was harsh that they missed NCAAs last year, especially considering they were bounced from the NESCAC tournament by Bowdoin on PKs, but although they’ve looked underwhelming at times this year they’ve managed to get results. Williams got caught with far too many men forward in midweek, and the Panthers punished them on the counter. There were grumblings about Midd’s schedule, criticisms of their playing style, and overall skepticism about the team in general, but the Panthers have begun to answer those questions. They were anemic against Tufts a few weeks back, but looked the opposite on Saturday: Conrad is coming into good form, Glaser is playing well, and Sydor provides an ever-solid last line of defense, so the Panthers are right where they would have wanted to be at this point in the year. Three days after holding then-perfect Amherst to a 1-1 draw, Trinity was flattened on the road. We’ve always wondered “what Trinity team will show up this year?” and the squad this weekend could not have been more different than the one that played the Lord Jeffs on Wednesday. An unfortunate end to the season for Trinity, who have some incredibly talented players but just can’t seem to get them on the same page.

Going into next week’s NEWMAC tournament, MIT has to be the clear favorite. I have been quite critical of the Engineers this year for their over-reliance on Bingham and weak schedule, but he came up huge for them with his team down 3-0 in the first half to Stevens; scoring one with 5 seconds left in the half to make it 3-1, before winning it with 5 seconds left in the first OT. Regardless of Stevens’ collapse, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 is absolutely commendable. However, there will be plenty of improvements that need to be made for the Engineers – particularly on defense. Carrying a 1-0 lead into the last minute against WPI, MIT did the same that Stevens did against them – conceded a goal with less than a minute left in regulation. Only this time, MIT did so with one second left on the clock. One second. I understand there was a corner, but given the probability that the attacking team scores on a corner (very low %), you have to do better than that. Again, with a 7-0 conference record, MIT is definitely the favorite, but the Engineers have conceded two or more goals on four occasions this year. With all that in mind, the team’s potential opponents – and I think particularly Wheaton and WPI - will definitely be smelling blood given the lapses in concentration MIT has suffered, and will believe that they can have a good crack at them.

Gordon exacted a major slice of revenge for 2013’s OT defeat against Roger Williams with a 2-1 2OT triumph of their own this year. That year, Roger Williams benefited from many fortunate bounces – perhaps none more famous than two goals that took serendipitous deflections off of then-No. 11 Gordon defenders and to the feet of Hawks attackers – and made a surprise run to the NCAA Round of 32 before falling to Brandeis. That year, Roger Williams had All-American Trevor Hoxsie finishing the chances; this year, they don’t have someone on that level. And while Roger Williams catapulted itself into an early lead, it couldn’t hold on, conceding a heartbreaking goal with 25 seconds to play before losing in 2OT. Again, you can’t concede in the last minute – easier said than done, I know, but still. Great win for Gordon and its fervent fans, who were out in droves at the field. The Scots now have to go to #2 WNE, who has won four straight since falling at Endicott. Either way, the road to the CCC title will go through Endicott, but as much as I think the Gulls have been dominant this year I think Gordon or WNE will prove a formidable opponent.

Thanks for reading, all. Next weekend is the conclusion of the NESCAC, NEWMAC, LEC, and CCC tournaments, among many others, so I hope we’re all excited for some fantastic matchups.

Offline Off Pitch

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #573 on: November 02, 2015, 10:08:27 am »
Updated spreadsheet rankings for games through 11/1:

1.   Brandeis               AQ
2.   Amherst               Pool C
3.   Middlebury
4.   MIT
5.   Tufts
6.   ECSU
7.   Conn
8.   Bowdoin
9.   Mass-Boston
10. Wentworth
11. Endicott
12. Gordon
13. Wheaton
14. Williams
15. Babson
16. Bridgewater St.
17. Wesleyan
18. Western NE
19. Bates
20. Plymouth St.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 03:41:17 pm by Off Pitch »

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #574 on: November 02, 2015, 12:21:30 pm »
hmm after that total debacle where Bridgewater St had to give up 4 wins for NCAA violations I do not think they will be in the picture. I am shocked they are not disqualified from NCAA participation this year. Mistakes happen but that mistake is very well known to coaches and players. Big NO NO. Coach should be disciplined as well

Offline Mid-Atlantic Fan

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #575 on: November 02, 2015, 01:52:56 pm »
Updated spreadsheet rankings for games through 11/1:

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

Pretty sure you can bold in Amherst as one of the 18 Pool C's....

Offline NEsoccerfan

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #576 on: November 02, 2015, 10:38:14 pm »
A couple weeks back Amherst seemed like a near lock for a first round bye. Given the last two games I think they've lost that opportunity. Do you all think any other NE team has a chance at a bye? In my opinion, the only two teams that have a chance would be MIT or Brandeis, assuming they both win out. What other teams (including outside of NE) do you think are deserving of a bye if they were to win out? (Tossing out a few guesses: Calvin, Haverford, Montclair St., Oneonta, Thomas Moore, Trinity)

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #577 on: November 02, 2015, 10:48:18 pm »
A couple weeks back Amherst seemed like a near lock for a first round bye. Given the last two games I think they've lost that opportunity. Do you all think any other NE team has a chance at a bye? In my opinion, the only two teams that have a chance would be MIT or Brandeis, assuming they both win out. What other teams (including outside of NE) do you think are deserving of a bye if they were to win out? (Tossing out a few guesses: Calvin, Haverford, Montclair St., Oneonta, Thomas Moore, Trinity)

Unless the first-round bye is based solely on momentum and not losing in your conference tournament, I would still say Amherst is in the best position at 14-1-1. Even if MIT or Brandeis were to win out, Amherst's one loss and one draw would still be equal to or better than both Brandeis and MIT. Add in the fact that Amherst will likely still be ranked higher than both Brandeis and MIT, and I can't see - other than the bye being based on your conference title - why they would lose it. And even if that is a criteria, I think Amherst is an exception, given their rank and the fact that they have one draw and one loss. MIT still has some work to do to climb, and could get into the top 10 if they win the NEWMAC, but with their weak SOS and having played just three ranked teams (2-0-1 record) it is debatable - none of their potential NEWMAC tourney opponents are ranked. Brandeis has perhaps a better chance with its big wins this weekend and six wins versus ranked opponents, but would still be surprised if they usurped Amherst for the first-round bye.

Put it this way: I would be very surprised if MIT with one loss and one draw got the bye over an Amherst side with one loss and one draw.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 11:29:30 pm by blooter442 »

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #578 on: November 02, 2015, 11:28:06 pm »
I would say it's really up for grabs.  Amherst had it but maybe gave it up.  Same with F&M.  Now there is no clear #1 and #2, so pretty wide open.  Calvin is the easiest answer.   Haverford?  Kenyon?  Montclair?  Brandeis?  We'll know a lot more by the end of next Saturday.  When you consider all the candidates Amherst still has as good as chance as anyone.

Offline NERevs127

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #579 on: November 03, 2015, 09:51:46 am »
You will also have to take into consideration of the fact that Brandeis plays 3 more games than Amherst. Also on paper the blemishes for Brandeis look much better than Amherst's.

Brandeis: two losses against #1 ranked regional teams in Wash U and Trinity TX. Then a tie against MIT.

Amherst: two blemishes against unranked regional opponents. A loss against a team they beat 5-0 prior

One or maybe both of the teams will host until the final 4 but if only 1 then it's a toss up for me. Both have great resumes and strong cases as to why they should host over the other

Offline NEsoccerfan

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #580 on: November 03, 2015, 12:19:54 pm »
You will also have to take into consideration of the fact that Brandeis plays 3 more games than Amherst. Also on paper the blemishes for Brandeis look much better than Amherst's.

Brandeis: two losses against #1 ranked regional teams in Wash U and Trinity TX. Then a tie against MIT.

Amherst: two blemishes against unranked regional opponents. A loss against a team they beat 5-0 prior

One or maybe both of the teams will host until the final 4 but if only 1 then it's a toss up for me. Both have great resumes and strong cases as to why they should host over the other

I couldn't agree more. After watching a good amount of the games both teams have played I am inclined to think that Amherst is the better and more dominating side. However comparing the two schedules is quite glaring. I give amherst all the credit in the world for utterly dominating up until their final two games, but when it comes to blemishes (as NERevs alluded to above), playing 3 more games, and quality wins, I think Brandeis has the edge:

Brandeis: 0.644 SOS, RvR 5-2-1 (wins over #3 tufts (away), #4 Chicago (home), #6 Carnegie Mellon (home) , #7 Emory (away), #8 Case Western Reserve (away)) (losses against #1 Wash U, #1 trinity) (Tie against #6 MIT)
Amherst: 0.573 SOS, RvR 4-0 (wins over #3 Tufts (home), #4 Middlebury (home), #8 Connecticut College (home), #10 Bowdowin (home))

Also, taking a look at the teams away schedules also sheds light on Brandeis' much more difficult path to achieving the record that they have, as everyone can agree that going on the road (and in brandeis' case all across the country) and getting wins against quality opponents is a huge testament to the quality of a team:

Amherst away: new england college (12-7-1), western new england (11-7), elms (8-10), williams (7-6-3), (WPI (11-6-2) Mount st. mary (5-10-4), Hamilton (6-9), Colby (3-8-4), bates (7-4-3), Trinity (6-6-4)

4 teams above 500, 4 teams below 500, 2 teams at 500..... not a single win against a ranked/tournament team with the best win coming against a mediocre williams squad

Brandeis away: hardin simmons (8-5-2), Trinity (17-2), Clark (6-10-1), Tufts (9-4-3), Wheaton (11-7), Case Western (12-4-1), Emory (8-6-2), Rochester (6-4-5)

7 teams above 500, 1 team below 500...... wins against ranked tufts, case, and emory. Although it is unsure whether any of those teams (or Wheaton) will make the tournament.

Overall on paper Brandeis seems to have a more impressive resume: much higher SOS, 4 more ranked opponents, more difficult away schedule, much better blemishes, 3 more overall games played

But as i said to begin with I think Amherst appears to be the better team when watching the two sides. If the committee decides byes and seeds objectively I think Brandeis deserves it, if the committee decides byes and seeds subjectively I think Amherst deserves it. Only time will tell. 


Offline Off Pitch

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #581 on: November 03, 2015, 01:48:52 pm »
Nov 3 NSCAA rankings for New England:

1.   Brandeis
2.   Amherst
3.   MIT
4.   Endicott
5.   Middlebury
6.   ECSU
7.   Tufts
8.   Gordon
9.   Bowdoin
10. Conn

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #582 on: November 03, 2015, 01:54:44 pm »
God that is so much worse than what the NSCAA did in the East region.

Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #583 on: November 03, 2015, 02:02:45 pm »
NEsoccerfan, you present a very thorough comparison.  One thing to keep in mind.  There's a good chance that Emory and Case Western are no longer ranked this week (we'll know for sure tomorrow afternoon), so Brandeis' RvR will likely lose 2 wins for the all important final unpublished rankings.  Amherst on the other hand shouldn't lose any of their wins.  So the RvR comparison might swing more in Amherst's favor when it counts most.

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #584 on: November 03, 2015, 02:04:00 pm »
Gordon up 1-0 on WNE at half.

Pretty odd that Gordon is at WNE, especially considering the consensus is that Gordon is the superior team and is 13-4 while WNE is 11-7. However, it appears that Gordon is 7-2 in the CCC while WNE is 8-1. Is WNE's non-conference schedule that much stronger?

Update: Gordon goes 2-0 up early second half, stole the ball in the WNE half and finished well.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 02:29:41 pm by blooter442 »