Author Topic: New England Soccer Discussion  (Read 292114 times)

Offline 4231CenterBack

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #615 on: November 07, 2015, 04:39:57 pm »
Even has a Gordon supporter I have to feel a little bit bad for Endicott. They've beaten Gordon twice in 20 years but this was the year they scared me the most. This had to be the year for them. They're losing their three best attacking players and almost all of their goals. They return a solid back four and an excellent goalkeeper but unless they find goals somewhere they will fall back to the pack.

That being said, they should be very proud of their season. Great results against some very good teams. Tufts and Gordon are the only two teams that were able to open up their defense. 13 shutouts for their keeper and defense is impressive.

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #616 on: November 07, 2015, 05:40:32 pm »
At 16-1-1, MIT is definitely legit. My view of them has evolved significantly, and like NCAC said, they've been winning clutch games the Brandeis way - 1-0 and late (or in OT.) The way they came back against Stevens from 3-0 down to win 4-3 in OT was impressive, although part of that was due to Stevens' capitulation. Bingham will almost certainly be an All-American, and Freel and Itani have really come through. However, regardless of whether they beat Babson tomorrow (I think they will), the one thing that I would be concerned about if I were an MIT supporter is that - despite playing some close games - they aren't really battle-tested against top competition besides Stevens and Brandeis. Granted, they didn't lose to either, but the fact of the matter is that the quality of the teams in the NCAA Tournament is much greater than those in the NEWMAC - and the further you get into the tourney, the better the teams are, both offensively and defensively. That's where playing a tough schedule comes in; you're ready for those battles, both handling the situations mentally and knowing how to out-maneuver top teams in terms of gameplay. No doubt they've had a fantastic season, probably their best in school history, and they deserve their accolades, but I think their minimal preparation against top teams might hurt them.

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #617 on: November 07, 2015, 05:46:07 pm »
Endicott, I definitely feel for, and I've been a big supporter of them all year, but I kind of saw this coming. Granted, Gordon almost threw a bid away in 2013 when they were 18-1 and lost to Roger Williams, but they've grown since then and are a more experienced squad in those situations. Had a feeling that Gordon would handle the pressure better and once they got the early goal it was a tough road back for the Gulls. Unfortunate that they didn't have a stronger SOS, but c'est la vie. Ties against Calvin and Williams could definitely be cataclysmic in terms of belief for the future. Regardless, congrats Fighting Scots on your CCC title!

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #618 on: November 07, 2015, 07:07:34 pm »
UMASS Boston and RIC heading to OT..

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #619 on: November 07, 2015, 07:13:22 pm »
I learned today that unless Brandeis gets the bye they might not host any NCAA games. The Brandeis women are 14-2-3 and will likely host the first two rounds, and the Brandeis men have hosted the first two rounds the last three years, so it is quite plausible that they will be on the road for the whole thing. That said, as much as I feel the turf of Gordon Field is a home-field advantage, and a bye would be great, I'd almost rather they play on the road - it's less pressure in some ways, and they've proven they can go win big games away from home.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #620 on: November 07, 2015, 07:18:08 pm »
UMASS Boston wins it in OT 2-1 over RIC...They get the AQ and are heading to the NCAA's for the 2nd year in a row. Well done.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #621 on: November 07, 2015, 07:19:40 pm »
I learned today that unless Brandeis gets the bye they might not host any NCAA games. The Brandeis women are 14-2-3 and will likely host the first two rounds, and the Brandeis men have hosted the first two rounds the last three years, so it is quite plausible that they will be on the road for the whole thing. That said, as much as I feel the turf of Gordon Field is a home-field advantage, and a bye would be great, I'd almost rather they play on the road - it's less pressure in some ways, and they've proven they can go win big games away from home.




That would have to be a major letdown for Coven and Margolis. They play so well at home and to think they would be sent on the road aftre such a great season is disappointing and I promise you the players and coaches will not be happy about it

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #622 on: November 07, 2015, 07:23:27 pm »
That would have to be a major letdown for Coven and Margolis. They play so well at home and to think they would be sent on the road aftre such a great season is disappointing and I promise you the players and coaches will not be happy about it

Oh believe me, I know. Would be a slap in the face. But if they were to keep getting results then I don't mind either way.

Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #623 on: November 08, 2015, 06:19:57 pm »
WOW. MIT loses for the first time in 15 games. Tech scored first with 11 left, but it looks like Babson hit them in the mouth, then got them with a sucker punch while they were still bleeding with two goals in less than two minutes.

To be honest, I don't really know what to think of MIT. I said they were overrated for a while, but my impression of them got better as the season went on, and yesterday I even went as far as saying they're legit. However, what I also said is that I didn't think they were battle-tested enough in pressure situations for a team of their record, and so it proved - losing at home in a playoff final against a so-so team, after having not lost in a while, is sure to raise alarm bells. They were impressive against Brandeis and unlucky not to win, but they have been fortunate with several of their wins, were outplayed by Springfield, and they did today as they've done several times this season – conceded multiple goals in quick fashion. They'll get another crack in NCAAs, no doubt, but the teams are going to be better than Babson and Springfield, and that will prove an even bigger challenge for Tech.

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #624 on: November 08, 2015, 09:08:41 pm »
Hey, how about Bridgewater State?  Still don't really understand what happened there with giving up a bunch of wins but went on road for 3 games and won the MASCAC.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #625 on: November 09, 2015, 09:09:01 am »
What happened is they used an ineligible player. They should not be eligible for NCAA's. Major infraction.

Offline Interested Third Party

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #626 on: November 09, 2015, 12:36:27 pm »
Bridgewater State men's soccer team vacates four victories
http://www.wickedlocal.com/article/20151101/SPORTS/151109550

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference punished the Bears, who went 7-0 against conference foes, because a freshman player took part in two games with another amateur team during the BSU season, violating an NCAA rule.

•   By Jim Fenton
The Enterprise

Posted Nov. 1, 2015 at 8:56 PM
Updated Nov 1, 2015 at 9:01 PM


BRIDGEWATER – The Bridgewater State University men’s soccer team put together one of the program’s best regular seasons ever this fall.
The Bears went 14-3-1 and defeated all seven of their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents.
When the conference tournament begins on Tuesday night, though, BSU will be on the road as the No. 5 seed instead of the top seed in the six-team field.
Four of the Bears’ MASCAC victories have been vacated by the conference because a BSU player violated an NCAA rule (14.7.1) by taking part in two games in another amateur league during the college season.
The Bears reported the infraction to the NCAA in mid-October after learning that the freshman had played games on Sept. 13 and Oct. 11 for a team other than BSU.
The NCAA gave the player a two-game suspension, but the MASCAC added its own penalty and vacated the Bears’ wins over the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Framingham State and Salem State.
The 12 points from those wins were taken away from BSU in the conference standings, but its overall and MASCAC records remain the same.
By winning its final three conference games after the ruling, the Bears earned the fifth seed in the tournament and will play a quarterfinal-round game at Mass. Maritime on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
BSU coach Brendan Adams felt the punishment handed down by the MASCAC was too severe. The school appealed the executive board’s decision to the conference’s athletics directors, but lost in a 5-2 vote.
“We felt like it was the right thing to do to turn ourselves in to the NCAA,’’ said Adams, “not thinking it would be too big of a penalty to the school because this kid wasn’t paid or got any benefits. He was just playing in the league.
“We thought it was going to be a two-game suspension from the NCAA because that’s what they said they were good with and he’d regain his eligibility by being reinstated. Unfortunately, the MASCAC decided they wanted to add on to the penalty.’’
The player who violated the rule returned for the regular-season finale on Saturday after sitting out four conference games.
The league that he played the two Sunday games in during the college season is one he has been associated with while in high school and last summer as well.
“It’s an honest mistake,’’ said Adams. “The day before he played on those Sundays, he didn’t really get to play that much (for BSU). He wanted a little more playing (time). You learn from it and move on.
“It’s a tough penalty, but we’ll have to deal with it. I didn’t think it was going to be that serious. I thought maybe he’d sit out a few games. I thought individually, we’d get in trouble, not the team getting into trouble. That’s a lesson for me.’’
BSU lost in the conference championship game last season and had a strong nucleus returning this fall. The Bears bounced back from that defeat and put together an impressive regular season.
“It’s just kind of tough for seniors,’’ said Adams. “The guys worked very hard after they lost in the finals last year. They came back very motivated.
“A lot of them had a goal to go 7-0 in the conference and win the tournament title. Unfortunately, we just have to win the tournament title the hard way, I guess. We have to play one extra game and we don’t get to play at home. We’ve done very well on the road so far (8-1), and hopefully that continues.’’


Offline blooter442

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #627 on: November 09, 2015, 07:51:44 pm »
Blooter's Beliefs

This is super long, but that's only because this weekend and today's draw had plenty of talking points. I've already made my feelings known on Tufts being picked over Middlebury elsewhere, so I'll keep that to a minimum - more importantly, there's much more exciting news to talk about otherwise!

Let's start with the NEWMAC final. Just as it did last year, Babson won the crown seemingly out of nowhere, beating MIT in the final 2-1. In a wild game, MIT scored first to break a second-half deadlock, but Babson punched them in the mouth with an 83rd minute goal, and then hit them while they were still bleeding 93 seconds later to make it 2-1. The Beavers have been hot and cold this season, beating UMass-Boston and tying RPI while falling to Williams 7-2 and giving up a goal to Springfield with 10 seconds left in regulation in a 1-1 draw, but they played well when it mattered most and got a deserved victory. Jon Anderson is a great coach and a class act, and his interview after the game respected MIT but showed that they were up for the occasion. They have a daunting First Round matchup at No. 14 Franklin & Marshall, and despite losing to Dickinson in the Centennial Conference semifinals I think F&M will be a big challenge for Babson. However, if the Beavers were to win, they'd be pitted against either Carnegie Mellon or Gordon. And while Carnegie Mellon does ship goals (GAA 1.12), that is just slightly worse than Babson (GAA 1.05), and CMU boasts a far superior attack to Babson IMHO. Gordon, meanwhile, would be a great matchup I think, and despite having more "NCAA know-how" than Babson I think that the Fighting Scots could give Babson a real game - the team's only common opponent was ECSU, who Gordon beat 3-1 at home and Babson lost 3-0 to away. Either way, the Beavers will be happy after their - perhaps unexpected - run to the tourney. MIT, meanwhile, hadn't lost a game in 15 games, and had used a combination of impressive attacking and defensive solidity to win a bunch of close games, the most impressive of which was a 4-3 OT win over Stevens, where the hosts came back from 3-0 down in the first half. However, as much as I had come around to praising MIT, and predicted that they would end up hosting a pod for the first two rounds, I also said that I didn't think they were battle-tested enough for a 16-2-1 (then 15-1-1) team, and that it could come back to haunt them in pressure situations. Furthermore, while they have a great attacking talent in Sean Bingham, who has 19 goals this season, as well as Freel and Itani, as well as some decent backs and a good GK in Amereno, I don't find MIT a particularly skilled or deep team. I think MIT should be able to get past Bridgewater State, but assuming it wins against Plattsburgh State, Bowdoin will prove a test for them in the second round - they gave Brandeis a tough game in last year's Second Round before Brandeis prevailed 1-0. Much like its team last year, Bowdoin is big, athletic, and difficult to break down, and can get forward as well. MIT will likely have the ball a lot in that game, but the Engineers have shown a nasty habit of conceding multiple goals in quick fashion - perhaps none more famously than giving up two goals in 93 seconds against Babson - and Bowdoin would no doubt look to exploit that.

The NESCAC final featured another exciting conclusion. Having stayed 0-0 through regulation, Bowdoin and Wesleyan headed to OT, where it took just 2:36 for the Polar Bears' Andrew Jones to score. Great finish into the far corner from a Stevie Van Siclen set piece, and Bowdoin won it 1-0. I was a big fan of the way Wesleyan, the eighth seed, rebounded from a five-game losing streak by beating Amherst - then No. 1 in the country - on the road, as well as getting by highly-touted Middlebury in PKs (albeit in controversial circumstances.) But it seemed that the clock struck midnight for the Cardinals, and in the most brutal fashion. Still, for a team that was one Bates goal away from not making the NESCAC tournament, the way they rebounded - and, as I've said multiple times, credit must go to Wheeler - from a losing streak, and particularly the 5-0 Amherst defeat, to go on the road and beat the #1 team in the country was impressive. Bowdoin, meanwhile, is my favorite NESCAC school, and I was happy to see the Polar Bears get another NESCAC title, even if it was about as improbable as last year's triumph. Wiercinski has his teams set up hard to beat, but they can certainly score goals as well. Jones, Miller, and Keefe are all dangerous going forward, and form a dynamic attack in front of Van Siclen, who I think is one of the best goalkeepers in the NESCAC. Lightning struck twice against Conn. College on Saturday, as the Polar Bears had their way 2-0, before gutting out a victory on Sunday in the final. And unlike last year, they managed to score in both the semi-final and the final! Bowdoin will certainly have their hands full in the First Round against Plattsburgh State, who has regular-season victories over Oneonta, Skidmore, and Hobart on its resume, but I think that fate could repeat itself for the second year in a row and Bowdoin could emerge victorious against its SUNY opponent for the second year running. If it advances, it could face MIT, and even though it'd be away from home Bowdoin would fancy its chances in that potential matchup given its ability to stay tight at the back as well as score goals.

Brandeis beat NYU 3-0 at home on Saturday. Evan Jastremski opened the scoring in the first half, before Zach Vieira and Josh Ocel added late tallies to account for the final score. This was the first occasion this season that the Judges have scored more than once and simultaneously shut out the opposition - the win over Carnegie was 4-2, and while they did score twice in victories over Hardin-Simmons, Wheaton (MA), Case Western, and Rochester, all of those games ended 2-1. Brandeis seemed to be using the flanks much more effectively than before, and in my observation created more clear-cut opportunities than they have in a while. Thomas (ME) will be the Judges' first-round opponent, and while Thomas isn't coming in highly-touted they do have two very good freshmen in Adam LaBrie and DJ Nicholas leading the line, while Tre Ming pulls the strings from his midfield position. While Thomas has scored an average of 3.4 goals per game this season, that figure is inflated by their 15-1 victory over Green Mountain - excluding that, it equals out to 2.76; furthermore, Thomas has also given up an average of 1.3 goals per game. Brandeis won't take the Terriers lightly and the match could be close, but I'd expect the Judges to have most of the ball in this one and be the more threatening team. The other side of the pod features two very good programs - Stevens and RPI. Stevens has an excellent offense led by a 1-2 punch of Carson Pryor and Colin Phillips, who have scored impressive tallies of 16 and 14 goals this year, respectively. However, Stevens threw away a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 OT loss at MIT, and while the Engineers have to be commended for coming back that is horrible game mismanagement by Stevens, and their defense has a GAA of 0.9, so that is a potential weak spot for Stevens. RPI, meanwhile, started the season in great form, endured a six-game winless streak, failed to qualify for their conference tournament, but managed to snag an NCAA bid in controversial fashion - I personally would have taken this year's Middlebury over this year's RPI 99 times out of 100. Regardless, the Engineers are a good team, and I think their match with Stevens will be a great spectacle. As I said elsewhere, I'm personally glad that Brandeis doesn't have to face any of Babson, MIT, or Tufts in the first two rounds, or indeed before the Final Four potentially, as all three teams gave the Judges fits this season regardless of the final score. That said, no opponent can be taken lightly at this point in the year, and Brandeis will be ready.

Whether the label "defending national champion" was what got Tufts into the tournament or not, we'll never know. What we do know is that they have the know-how to get things done in NCAAs on the road. And they'll no doubt be tested, traveling to Montclair State to face Salisbury. While I'd expect them to win their First Round matchup, the Second Round would - in all likelihood - pit them against Montclair State. Make no mistake, Montclair State is legit. They lost this weekend on PKs to Rutgers-Camden, but I think the MSU offense could cause Tufts major problems. No doubt, Sullivan and Coleman have improved in the center of defense from their early-season wobbles, and Greenwood is a good goalkeeper, but Amherst and Brandeis aside Tufts hasn't faced a team like Montclair State. They're by no means perfect - they fell on PKs to Rutgers-Camden in the NJAC Final, and lost 3-0 at home to Kean last month - but they have a dynamic offense and incredible athleticism. Tufts, for its part, has Majumder up front scoring goals, and Kayne is an excellent central midfielder who I'd personally tab as an All-American, but they can be poor offensively at times - their draw at Bates was an example of this. Furthermore, despite its shutout streak, Tufts' defense can be a little shaky from time to time, and despite his excellent shot-stopping abilities Greenwood is poor on set pieces - he continuously looks unsure whether to come for the ball or stay home, and often results to just "slapping" the ball away instead of catching it - so MSU will look to exploit that. Furthermore, MSU will have the Jumbos on turf in front of a rowdy home crowd, so home-field advantage will be evident. That being said, Tufts has the best SOS in the country, won all its NCAA games on the road last year, and will be battle-tested coming into this one, but Montclair State will throw everything at them. No doubt that this one would be a great game.

You have to feel for Endicott. After so impressively going 14-1-3 throughout the regular season, they fell at the wrong time against Gordon, in the CCC final. The Gulls had already beaten the Scots this year, a 1-0 victory at home, but this time was different, as Gordon scored 3 minutes in and got another first-half tally for the 2-0 win. I had been a big Endicott supporter throughout the season, and their ties against Calvin and Williams were undoubtedly impressive, particularly the latter. But when Gordon scored early on Saturday, you had a feeling that Endicott didn't have the know-how of dealing with the pressure situation. Gordon, for its part, hasn't been too shabby, and the way that it dispatched WNE 3-0 on the road in the semis of the CCC tournament was impressive having lost to the same team earlier in the season at home. Endicott graduates a lot, but hopefully the Gulls returning can use the experience of getting to the conference final in the future. I'd love to see Endicott get a CCC crown.

Finally, Bridgewater State and UMass-Boston. The Bears made hard work of the MASCAC Tournament, winning 3-2 twice (once in overtime), but they got it done and all on the road after the whole "ineligible player" debacle. BSU will go to MIT for the First Round, and while the Bears are organized and athletic I think MIT has too much offensive firepower for them. That said, they've played well this season - 17-3-1 isn't an accident, regardless of your schedule - and they held Brandeis scoreless for 80+ minutes in their 1-0 away defeat the first game of the season. The Beacons, meanwhile, rebounded from a 1-0 loss against Plymouth State to beat the Panthers 2-0 on the road in the LEC semis. They then defeated a plucky RIC side, who had them facing a 1-0 deficit in the second half, 2-1 in overtime. UMB will have to go to St. Lawrence to face Scranton - who beat Elizabethtown for the Landmark Conference crown - and if they were to win that they'd in all likelihood have to face St. Lawrence on their home field, which is a daunting task for any side. That said, if UMB somehow gets out of that pod, I will eat a gallon of ice cream in one sitting. (Win-win for me. ;))

That's all, folks! Get excited for this weekend!

Nutmeg

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #628 on: November 09, 2015, 11:39:38 pm »
Blooter's Beliefs

This is super long, but that's only because this weekend and today's draw had plenty of talking points. I've already made my feelings known on Tufts being picked over Middlebury elsewhere, so I'll keep that to a minimum - more importantly, there's much more exciting news to talk about otherwise!

Let's start with the NEWMAC final. Just as it did last year, Babson won the crown seemingly out of nowhere, beating MIT in the final 2-1. In a wild game, MIT scored first to break a second-half deadlock, but Babson punched them in the mouth with an 83rd minute goal, and then hit them while they were still bleeding 93 seconds later to make it 2-1. The Beavers have been hot and cold this season, beating UMass-Boston and tying RPI while falling to Williams 7-2 and giving up a goal to Springfield with 10 seconds left in regulation in a 1-1 draw, but they played well when it mattered most and got a deserved victory. Jon Anderson is a great coach and a class act, and his interview after the game respected MIT but showed that they were up for the occasion. They have a daunting First Round matchup at No. 14 Franklin & Marshall, and despite losing to Dickinson in the Centennial Conference semifinals I think F&M will be a big challenge for Babson. However, if the Beavers were to win, they'd be pitted against either Carnegie Mellon or Gordon. And while Carnegie Mellon does ship goals (GAA 1.12), that is just slightly worse than Babson (GAA 1.05), and CMU boasts a far superior attack to Babson IMHO. Gordon, meanwhile, would be a great matchup I think, and despite having more "NCAA know-how" than Babson I think that the Fighting Scots could give Babson a real game - the team's only common opponent was ECSU, who Gordon beat 3-1 at home and Babson lost 3-0 to away. Either way, the Beavers will be happy after their - perhaps unexpected - run to the tourney. MIT, meanwhile, hadn't lost a game in 15 games, and had used a combination of impressive attacking and defensive solidity to win a bunch of close games, the most impressive of which was a 4-3 OT win over Stevens, where the hosts came back from 3-0 down in the first half. However, as much as I had come around to praising MIT, and predicted that they would end up hosting a pod for the first two rounds, I also said that I didn't think they were battle-tested enough for a 16-2-1 (then 15-1-1) team, and that it could come back to haunt them in pressure situations. Furthermore, while they have a great attacking talent in Sean Bingham, who has 19 goals this season, as well as Freel and Itani, as well as some decent backs and a good GK in Amereno, I don't find MIT a particularly skilled or deep team. I think MIT should be able to get past Bridgewater State, but assuming it wins against Plattsburgh State, Bowdoin will prove a test for them in the second round - they gave Brandeis a tough game in last year's Second Round before Brandeis prevailed 1-0. Much like its team last year, Bowdoin is big, athletic, and difficult to break down, and can get forward as well. MIT will likely have the ball a lot in that game, but the Engineers have shown a nasty habit of conceding multiple goals in quick fashion - perhaps none more famously than giving up two goals in 93 seconds against Babson - and Bowdoin would no doubt look to exploit that.

The NESCAC final featured another exciting conclusion. Having stayed 0-0 through regulation, Bowdoin and Wesleyan headed to OT, where it took just 2:36 for the Polar Bears' Andrew Jones to score. Great finish into the far corner from a Stevie Van Siclen set piece, and Bowdoin won it 1-0. I was a big fan of the way Wesleyan, the eighth seed, rebounded from a five-game losing streak by beating Amherst - then No. 1 in the country - on the road, as well as getting by highly-touted Middlebury in PKs (albeit in controversial circumstances.) But it seemed that the clock struck midnight for the Cardinals, and in the most brutal fashion. Still, for a team that was one Bates goal away from not making the NESCAC tournament, the way they rebounded - and, as I've said multiple times, credit must go to Wheeler - from a losing streak, and particularly the 5-0 Amherst defeat, to go on the road and beat the #1 team in the country was impressive. Bowdoin, meanwhile, is my favorite NESCAC school, and I was happy to see the Polar Bears get another NESCAC title, even if it was about as improbable as last year's triumph. Wiercinski has his teams set up hard to beat, but they can certainly score goals as well. Jones, Miller, and Keefe are all dangerous going forward, and form a dynamic attack in front of Van Siclen, who I think is one of the best goalkeepers in the NESCAC. Lightning struck twice against Conn. College on Saturday, as the Polar Bears had their way 2-0, before gutting out a victory on Sunday in the final. And unlike last year, they managed to score in both the semi-final and the final! Bowdoin will certainly have their hands full in the First Round against Plattsburgh State, who has regular-season victories over Oneonta, Skidmore, and Hobart on its resume, but I think that fate could repeat itself for the second year in a row and Bowdoin could emerge victorious against its SUNY opponent for the second year running. If it advances, it could face MIT, and even though it'd be away from home Bowdoin would fancy its chances in that potential matchup given its ability to stay tight at the back as well as score goals.

Brandeis beat NYU 3-0 at home on Saturday. Evan Jastremski opened the scoring in the first half, before Zach Vieira and Josh Ocel added late tallies to account for the final score. This was the first occasion this season that the Judges have scored more than once and simultaneously shut out the opposition - the win over Carnegie was 4-2, and while they did score twice in victories over Hardin-Simmons, Wheaton (MA), Case Western, and Rochester, all of those games ended 2-1. Brandeis seemed to be using the flanks much more effectively than before, and in my observation created more clear-cut opportunities than they have in a while. Thomas (ME) will be the Judges' first-round opponent, and while Thomas isn't coming in highly-touted they do have two very good freshmen in Adam LaBrie and DJ Nicholas leading the line, while Tre Ming pulls the strings from his midfield position. While Thomas has scored an average of 3.4 goals per game this season, that figure is inflated by their 15-1 victory over Green Mountain - excluding that, it equals out to 2.76; furthermore, Thomas has also given up an average of 1.3 goals per game. Brandeis won't take the Terriers lightly and the match could be close, but I'd expect the Judges to have most of the ball in this one and be the more threatening team. The other side of the pod features two very good programs - Stevens and RPI. Stevens has an excellent offense led by a 1-2 punch of Carson Pryor and Colin Phillips, who have scored impressive tallies of 16 and 14 goals this year, respectively. However, Stevens threw away a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 OT loss at MIT, and while the Engineers have to be commended for coming back that is horrible game mismanagement by Stevens, and their defense has a GAA of 0.9, so that is a potential weak spot for Stevens. RPI, meanwhile, started the season in great form, endured a six-game winless streak, failed to qualify for their conference tournament, but managed to snag an NCAA bid in controversial fashion - I personally would have taken this year's Middlebury over this year's RPI 99 times out of 100. Regardless, the Engineers are a good team, and I think their match with Stevens will be a great spectacle. As I said elsewhere, I'm personally glad that Brandeis doesn't have to face any of Babson, MIT, or Tufts in the first two rounds, or indeed before the Final Four potentially, as all three teams gave the Judges fits this season regardless of the final score. That said, no opponent can be taken lightly at this point in the year, and Brandeis will be ready.

Whether the label "defending national champion" was what got Tufts into the tournament or not, we'll never know. What we do know is that they have the know-how to get things done in NCAAs on the road. And they'll no doubt be tested, traveling to Montclair State to face Salisbury. While I'd expect them to win their First Round matchup, the Second Round would - in all likelihood - pit them against Montclair State. Make no mistake, Montclair State is legit. They lost this weekend on PKs to Rutgers-Camden, but I think the MSU offense could cause Tufts major problems. No doubt, Sullivan and Coleman have improved in the center of defense from their early-season wobbles, and Greenwood is a good goalkeeper, but Amherst and Brandeis aside Tufts hasn't faced a team like Montclair State. They're by no means perfect - they fell on PKs to Rutgers-Camden in the NJAC Final, and lost 3-0 at home to Kean last month - but they have a dynamic offense and incredible athleticism. Tufts, for its part, has Majumder up front scoring goals, and Kayne is an excellent central midfielder who I'd personally tab as an All-American, but they can be poor offensively at times - their draw at Bates was an example of this. Furthermore, despite its shutout streak, Tufts' defense can be a little shaky from time to time, and despite his excellent shot-stopping abilities Greenwood is poor on set pieces - he continuously looks unsure whether to come for the ball or stay home, and often results to just "slapping" the ball away instead of catching it - so MSU will look to exploit that. Furthermore, MSU will have the Jumbos on turf in front of a rowdy home crowd, so home-field advantage will be evident. That being said, Tufts has the best SOS in the country, won all its NCAA games on the road last year, and will be battle-tested coming into this one, but Montclair State will throw everything at them. No doubt that this one would be a great game.

You have to feel for Endicott. After so impressively going 14-1-3 throughout the regular season, they fell at the wrong time against Gordon, in the CCC final. The Gulls had already beaten the Scots this year, a 1-0 victory at home, but this time was different, as Gordon scored 3 minutes in and got another first-half tally for the 2-0 win. I had been a big Endicott supporter throughout the season, and their ties against Calvin and Williams were undoubtedly impressive, particularly the latter. But when Gordon scored early on Saturday, you had a feeling that Endicott didn't have the know-how of dealing with the pressure situation. Gordon, for its part, hasn't been too shabby, and the way that it dispatched WNE 3-0 on the road in the semis of the CCC tournament was impressive having lost to the same team earlier in the season at home. Endicott graduates a lot, but hopefully the Gulls returning can use the experience of getting to the conference final in the future. I'd love to see Endicott get a CCC crown.

Finally, Bridgewater State and UMass-Boston. The Bears made hard work of the MASCAC Tournament, winning 3-2 twice (once in overtime), but they got it done and all on the road after the whole "ineligible player" debacle. BSU will go to MIT for the First Round, and while the Bears are organized and athletic I think MIT has too much offensive firepower for them. That said, they've played well this season - 17-3-1 isn't an accident, regardless of your schedule - and they held Brandeis scoreless for 80+ minutes in their 1-0 away defeat the first game of the season. The Beacons, meanwhile, rebounded from a 1-0 loss against Plymouth State to beat the Panthers 2-0 on the road in the LEC semis. They then defeated a plucky RIC side, who had them facing a 1-0 deficit in the second half, 2-1 in overtime. UMB will have to go to St. Lawrence to face Scranton - who beat Elizabethtown for the Landmark Conference crown - and if they were to win that they'd in all likelihood have to face St. Lawrence on their home field, which is a daunting task for any side. That said, if UMB somehow gets out of that pod, I will eat a gallon of ice cream in one sitting. (Win-win for me. ;))

That's all, folks! Get excited for this weekend!

Nice work Bloots!!!

Offline Off Pitch

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Re: New England Soccer Discussion
« Reply #629 on: November 12, 2015, 03:54:41 pm »
NCAA first round predictions for the 13 NE teams:

Lycoming 3 - Johnson & Wales 1

J&W comes into this game on a 12 game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 46-6.  Unfortunately, Lycoming is not a GNAC caliber team.  Lycoming brushes the Wildcats aside.

Brandeis 2 - Thomas 0

Thomas is undefeated in their last 8 games and has outscored their opponents 34-7.  It should be noted that 15 of those goals came against Green Mountain in a classy display of Thomas dominance.  They will now be Judged by a superior foe, and I am doubting Thomas will score. 

Mass-Boston  2 - Scranton 1

Mass-Boston started the season like gangbusters but went 6-4 in their last 10 games.  Scranton won only 4 of their last 8.   The Beacons prevail in competitive match.

MIT 1 - Bridgewater St 0

Fun fact: the average SAT score for Bridgewater St (reading + math) is 990 and for MIT is 1515.  MIT will figure out a way to win.   Bridgewater State (17-3-1) is 0-3 versus NCAA tournament team (Brandeis, Babson, Mass-Boston).  It will be 0-4 after Saturday.   

Bowdoin 1 - Plattsburgh St 0

Plattsburgh stumbles into this contest just 2-3 in their last five and was shutout twice.  The Polar Bears score early and put this one on ice.

Montclair St. 5 - Daniel Webster 0

The good news -- Daniel Webster is on a 16-game winning streak.  The bad news -- the wins have been over the likes of Newbury, Wheelock, Becker and Elms.  This one is no contest.

Tufts 1 - Salisbury 0

The Jumbos avoid making a Salisbury mistake.

Franklin & Marshall 2 - Babson 0

The Diplomats have dropped 3 of their last 4, but Babson lacks the firepower to pull off the upset.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 04:02:31 pm by Off Pitch »