Author Topic: NESCAC  (Read 920470 times)

LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2011, 09:49:14 am »
Was at the Williams v Bowdoin game and thought for the most part Williams played with more energy and skill.  As I have said earlier Bowdoinís goalkeeping will ruin their season this year.  They were definitely an extremely tired bunch and do not have the depth of Williams and Amherst. Williams had chances to score more goals but did not and Bowdoin also had a few clear chances but could not finish.  I give Eddie Jones credit, as I learned from a parent he has a torn ACL and is playing on it b/c itís his senior season. He didnít do much in the game however. Bowdoin was just gassed by the middle of the 2nd half and Williams used that to their advantage as #7 Morrisroe was given a solid thru ball up the middle of the field and calmly finished it.  I did see Williams backline was banged up as their captain #5 Ratajchuk and #2 Weinrib, who has the long throw, were not playing.  However, the CMís that I was so critical of earlier played extremely well.  The other captain #8 Pugliese played well and two frosh #11 and #21 were skilled in the midfield.
All my Saturday predictions came true 4-1, except for a late Wes goal made my predicted TIE a win for Wes.  Good start for Wesleyan as they are playing well right now.  They still have away games at Amh and Midd and WNEC but other than that the rest of their schedule is weak. I do worry about them because they do not have great depth either, however they do sub a lot. Amherst is still the team to beat with Williams and Bowdoin right behind them.

LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2011, 10:54:36 am »
Sat Prediction for 10/1

Midd vs Wes    0-2       Wes undefeated runs ends here. I believe they won up at Midd 2 years ago but caught them on a back to back Sun game.  The teams are fairly even, but I will give Midd the edge because of the home field and desperation to win their first Nescac game.  Also, Wes finally playing away from that high school JV field.  You would think Nescac ADís or coaches would complain about that field as being unplayable and dangerous for players. With Macnee back they are a better threat to score goals and Pitney is a solid player in CM. Cahill an experienced keeper and Middís backline while not as good as it has been, is good enough to keep Wes off the board.  I like Wes starting 11, there backs are a bit slow and Purdy seems to be regressing a little  back to last year where he made some great saves but also some questionable decisions on crosses.  Still he is  my favorite Nescac keeper.  I just donít feel Wes can win up there. Just a hunch.

Trinity vs Colby   2-0    Donít look now but Trinity has gone 5 straight w/o a loss and seem to be picking up steam.  Good thing because they finish off the year with the toughest schedule of any team.  If there backline stays steady and goalkeeping remains ok, they have enough talent to certainly win this game at home but also get some results against the top 4.  Maynerick a legit force up front now and #10 El-Hachem and #6 Buckley turning into pretty solid CMís.  #8 Updike and #26 Reilly are good athletes.Honestly after seeing Trinity a couple times this year if Trinity plays hard and focused for 90 minutes they are a little more talented than Wes. There best players are all seniors and are athletic. Have not seen Colby yet but can imagine like I said before solid defensively and offensively challenged.  That being said, all the praise I have heaped on Trinity they are very capable of putting up a stinker and Colby winning this match.

Conn vs Bowdoin  0-3  I feel Bowdoin is going to really bounce back in this game. They are extremely hungry for a nescac win and Conn stands in the way.  They were gassed by the time they got to Williamstown and really didnít play with any energy against Williams.  I suspect they will come out guns a blazing against Conn.  Conn doesnít have the talent to keep up and I am betting the ball is in the air more than on the ground in this one.  Probably will be a really ugly game to watch.

Bates vs Hamilton  1-0  Bates gets first conf win. This will be Hamiltonís first of two trips to Maine in the next 2 weeks. Welcome to NESCAC. Murphy bends a free kick to win this game late.

Amh  vs Tufts     2-0   I thought about this as a possible trap game with Williams looming for Amherst next week but just couldnít get myself to ride Tufts on this one. Tufts vastly improved but just not quite there yet and Amherst plays very well at home.  Heo continues his rampant scoring pace with 2 more in this one

Offline Jim Matson

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2011, 07:58:09 pm »
The Amherst prediction is a solid one. The highlight reel on the Amherst win over Middlebury was impressive.

Wesleyan will defeat Middlebury...I think. The NESCAC loves to produce those 0-0 draws especially when you least expect it.
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Offline NEsoccer

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2011, 12:24:50 pm »
I don't know if its bad or not, but the scheduling for this season is really odd (beyond the tough home/away weekends some teams have).  After this weekend Wesleyan will have played seven league games while Amherst and Bowdoin will have played just four.  It's fortunate for Wesleyan to have gotten so many intra-conference games while they are playing as well as they are.  Of they're five renaming games I think there is a good chance they only come away with 2 wins.  I think their perfect record will end this weekend in Middlebury (not sure if they will lose or draw, but I dont think they are going to win in Vermont).  I do think that they'll beat Colby on Sunday.

Of all the teams, Bowdoin has the most important weekend.  They must beat Conn College.  They've had the most difficult schedule thus far having only played Williams, Wesleyan, and Midd.  The backside of their schedule this is relatively easy, with Amherst (home) and Trinity (away) as the only games that should be tough.  Bowdoin has to turn it around at some point though, and if doesn't happen this weekend, it might not happen at all.

The other three games are not as interesting I dont think.  Amherst should beat Tufts at home and Trinity should do the same with Colby at home (even though neither could do it last year).  Bates and Hamilton each have probably their best, and maybe only chance, to get put up a league win.  No idea who will grab the opportunity, or if either will.

Sunday, I think Midd and Wesleyan win, while Trinity and Tufts draw.

Outside of the NESCAC, I expect Williams to get a little revenge on Babson for knocking them out of the NCAA last year.  They should also be able to handle MIT easily.

Offline NEsoccer

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 05:52:26 pm »
The biggest story of the weekend has to be Bowdoin.  The reality might just be that they have fallen off a good deal from last year's final four squad.  Sure, not having Jones hurts them, but I dont think that is the whole story there.  I know LaPaz is saying their goalie is lackluster, and their goals against might be a reflection of that.

Midd gets four points out of the weekend, pretty good. I think Midd is going to rattle off a couple wins down the stretch.  Seem unlucky to have not beaten Weslyan, but that is what playing the Cardinals is like.  They get more points from games they dont belong in than anyone else.  Important for Midd to come back today and beat Conn College.

Just as Trinity seemed to be rolling, they go ahead and drop one to Tufts.  To me Conn College and Tufts are in the same boat.  Relatively new coaches who seem to have their teams trending upward, just not quite there yet.  Conn's win over Bowdoin isn't as impressive as I would have thought at the start of the season, given their struggles.

Meanwhile Amherst continues to roll along.  Another goal for Heo and Noon each this weekend.  10 goals in 4 leagues games is good, but I'm sure their coach is making it clear to them that they've got a lot more work to do.

Finally, Hamilton jumps up to 8th with their first ever NESCAC win.  I have no idea how Bates got two goals against Amherst when they managed 1 against Williams, Trinity, and Hamilton combined.



LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2011, 12:56:55 pm »
NE Soccer-good pionts on Wesleyan, Conn and Tufts.  Bates got 2 goals aganist Amherst that 2nd week I believe off of a penalty kick and another off a restart. Trinity with a disappointing loss to Tufts but I noticed they had some injuries on their backline and upfront. No Binnie, Reilly, etc. Still should have come away with a draw. Williams with a demoralizing loss to Babson that will no doubt hurt there Pool C chances with losses to Wes and Babson.  It makes the Amherst game this weekend a MUST win for Williams, and that is to much pressure for a young team this early in season.  The commitee looks at 2 things obviously the final 3 regional rankings(not the coaches polls) and how many wins you got aganist NCAA tournament teams. You figure Wes and Babson should be in with Bowdoin out. So now Williams' 4 wins aganist Bates, Hamilton, Bowdoin and MIT do not look so strong. You could make the same argument for Amherst and their schedule but they are 7-0-0  and do not need to worry about it, for now.  Still to early to get this going and all stirred up but you can see the pressure these teams can put on themselves early if u drop a couple games.

Offline amh63

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2011, 08:56:23 pm »
In a 7PM game at Amherst, Amherst 4-Lesly 0.  The Lord Jeffs scored 2 in the first half...last 15 min. and 2 in the 2nd half early.  Jeffs had a number of freshmen in the latter portions of the second half...putting a great deal of pressure and shots on Lesly, but no goals.  Most of Amherst's starters in the first half were kept out of the 2nd half.....resting for the Williams game at Williams on Sunday.

LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2011, 02:43:15 pm »
A couple great games this weekend and a couple ho-hum games. Hereís what I think:

Williams v Amherst   0-2
It is tough to go against Williams at home but I just feel like Amherst will win this game.  Williams is talented but young.  They have had some injuries to the backline and have had some issues scoring goals.  They just do not have a dominant scoring threat like Amherst does in Heo and Noon.  Both teams will be plenty rested but I wonder if the frosh Burbank-Crump can defend Heo all game w/o any mistakes. One mistake and he can burn you.  Williams will have there chances to score but can they finish them?  If anything Amherst is a bit weak at wingback and Williams does have plenty of team speed. I believe Williams cannot lose this game and still hope to get an at-large, at the very least they need a draw. Wonít happen this year.

Bowdoin v Colby     2-0
Colby has scored 2 league goals in 5 games and havenít even played Williams, Amherst  and Bowdoin yet. Does anyone even remember the last time Colby beat Bowdoin? I would like to see Bowdoin break out and show New England that they are ready to go on a late season tear. To get an at-large now, they will have to win out, which wouldnít be as difficult as it sounds as 5 of last 6 games are at home.

Wesleyan v Bates     1-1
My upset of the week-end. Bates always plays Wes and Midd tough even getting late season wins against these teams in years past when they have had no right to.  Wes could be way over confident in this one and the Batesí keeper will have to come up with some BIG saves.  Bates going to have to get a result soon or they will be on outside looking in for Nescac tournament, also I would imagine these teams want to avoid 8th place so as to avoid Amherst in first round.

Hamilton v Midd     0-2
Midd hasnít lost in 5 games and hasnít given up a goal in 4 games. Their defense andgoaltending is playing solid and they do have goal scoring threats in Pitney and a healthy Macnee. Nice win for Hamilton at Bates last week, but they do not have the talent to win this game.

Tufts v Conn      1-1
Looking forward to this game.  These two improved sides are right in the middle of the pack in Nescac.  They have had some predicatable and not so predictable results. Tufts has a little more flair offensively and Conn has some more structure defensively than in years past. The frosh Santos for Tufts has been a great story this year and quite possibly Nescac rookie of  the year.

Offline NEsoccer

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2011, 07:56:46 pm »
I dont understand why the Amherst Williams game is on Sunday instead of Saturday.  Neither is playing on Saturday, Williams hasn't played since last weekend and Amherst since Monday, and both play the following Tuesday.  Can anyone come up with a possible explanation?

Anyways, this game is clearly the top matchup of the week, just because it is Amherst/Williams.  There isn't much impressive about Williams season thus far, as LaPaz alluded to they aren't headed toward as Pool C bid as things are now.  They've raked up some goals against bad teams, but haven't found results against the better teams (Bowdoin may finish strong, but were certainly were not playing well when they faced Williams).  Their top scorer got two against Bates, one against Hamilton and hasn't found the net since.  The defense is strong though, that combined with the fact, that a win against Amherst can make their season, makes them scary coming into this game.  However, I think the reality is that Amherst's defense is just as strong.  I dont agree with LaPaz that Amherst has week defensive backs, maybe just because the rest of the team is so strong and they dont have the same depth at that position (though barring injuries, you dont really expect to sub backs anyways).  With Heo and Noon (and maybe with the addition Mooney who saw his first action of the season on Monday) leading charge, Amherst's offense if far better than Williams'.  I think they will create more chances and control possession, but Williams strong defense will limit the amount of times they can capitalize.  In the end I think Amherst wins this one by a goal (1-0).

The second most interesting game is Tufts and Conn College.  As I mentioned in my last post, I view this teams similarly and the stats seem to back that up.  They both score a little under 1.3 goals/game and give up about .8.  Conn College started out strong, but haven't been able to play up with some of the better teams in the league.  A similar argument could be made for Tufts, although I was impressed with their ability to rebound against Trinity after being drubbed by Amherst.  With all of this in mind, I guess it makes sense the two teams are next to each other in the standings, at 5 & 6 respectively.  All in all, Conn is a little better, and Tufts doesn't really have much of a home field advantage as some of the other teams in the league do. (1-0).

The other three games conference games strike me as a little more lopsided.  If LaPaz is correct in predicting a Bates/Wesleyan draw I would be pretty shocked.  If Bates sits in I think it is possible, but I just don't see Bates getting any points in this game.  (2-0).

Midd and Bowdoin should also handle their games easily, and begin to position themselves for the tournament.  Not that there is any reason the games are linked but I think those two teams win on an aggregate score of 5-1.

Truthfully, aside from Amherst Williams, what really interests me this weekend is Bowdoin and Babson.  The NESCAC is dominating the top of the regional rankings this year like they normally do (I know the NSCAA regional rankings mean nothing, but still).  Babson beat Williams, can they effectively end any hope Bowdoin has at a pool C bid (is that hope isn't already dead).

LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2011, 09:54:32 am »
While I feel Amherst is the best team in Nescac I cannot agree with NEsoccer on some of his points. If anything Amherst has racked up some goals aganist "bad" teams. they are 7-0-0 and have beaten Colby-Sawyer, Bridgewater St, Gordon, Lesley, Bates and Hamilton. Tufts is ok. That is a relatively "Soft" schedule and I have no idea why the coach with such a great team has to schedule such "cupcake" non-league games. I didnt say Amherst has weak defensive backs. I like the two CB's as Kaplan is a good player. He holds and pushes a little to much for my liking but he is very solid.  I said if there is a weakness on Amherst it is their wingbacks. #6 Aoyama is a very skilled and fast player but last year I liked him more on the wing midfield, so I am not sure how good of a defender he is. While I like #20 Lerner's energy and leadership I feel he is a weakness at back and can be broken down by good teams. We will see. I'm not saying they are bad players but if there is any suspect issues on Amherst squad it could be there. As far as controlling possesion NEsoccer thinks Amherst will create more chances and "control" possession.  If you have been watching NESCAC for years like myself you would know that Williams always out possesses its opponenets and will create chances off that possesion. Amherst the past few years have had so much talent but sometimes they waste it by sitting back and countering and hitting long balls instead of playing a capable possession game.  You are right that Amherst will create more chances and win this game but I doubt they will out possess Williams, especially on Williams' wide field. I just don't believe Williams has the same talent as Amherst and they do not have  a goal scoring threat like Amherst, that is why they will lose the game.

Offline amh63

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2011, 11:38:29 am »
NESoccer......One possible reason for the Amherst vs Williams game being played on Sunday is the damage to particular playing fields by the recent storms.  The women's fields may not be available....hence the scheduling of games to a turf field in North Adams.  The men's field maybe ok.  The women's game is on Sat.....probably on the men's field.  Hence the men's game is moved to Sunday.  Can't have such an important game played on field that was used only a few hours earlier.  Other than that who knows what the scheduling "bigs" reasons are.   Webcasts?  crowds?

Offline NEsoccer

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2011, 11:41:16 am »
LaPaz, concerning the outside backs I think we're roughly on the same page.  Your point is mostly the same thing as what I said.

Concerning possession, Williams always traditionally out possessed their opponents because they have almost always had superior talent.  Past tendency can only carry so much weight on Sunday's game. 

We clearly agree that talent wise Williams isn't superior this year, but we seemingly differ on the extent to which the tide has swung.  Amherst has in recent years certainly had talent, but in the last two years especially (and even when they won the NESCAC and made the national semis) the one thing that was lacking was a central midfielder who could control the pace of the game.  I think the duo of #15 Tsatsimpe can do that.  Last year Tsatsimpe played in the middle, but he was often dropped in behind Rothkopf, whose style Amherst coach deferred to.  Rothkopf didn't have the same technical abilities as Tsatsimpe, and so Amherst played a certain way.  Without him as the face of the team I think they have been freed a little bit.  Beyond that, Noon is very adept at holding the ball up top and keeping possession.  I know Williams would like to play a certain way, but has anyone stepped into the roles of Kelly and Romero from last year as a midfielder who can dictate tempo and a forward who can hold the ball, respectively?  Obviously these roles aren't sufficient to control possession, but I do think they're necessary. Across the board Williams isn't as strong has they're were last year, and certainly not as good as two years ago or when they were entrenched at the top of the league during the early 2000s.  The only way that I think Williams is able keep possession in the game at 50/50 is if Amherst scores some early goals and decides to just sit in during the second half (as they did against Midd, a 3-0 game you left off your list).  Since I can't make it to the game, Im going to try and tune into the webcast to see how it all pans out (aside, why does Williams charge for the webcast? Does it come in HD?).  If this year Williams still dominates possession, then I will agree that will be the case forever and on forward.

About Amherst's schedule. I agree that their non-conference schedule is a joke and I would like to see at least one good team on it.  The difference for me so far between Amherst and Williams as far as racking up goals against bad teams is concerned is that while they have both scored against inferior teams, Amherst also put up 3 on Midd and Tufts, the most respectable teams on their schedule thus far.  The real test will be, as I mentioned somewhere in an earlier post,  Amherst's stretch from the 9th-16th.  That is the hardest I've four games in a row ive seen in recent memory.  That week will reveal if Amherst is really as good as we both think they might be.

I saw the field damage had shifted some the girl's games, wasn't sure about how if impacted the men.  Your theory seems good.

Offline NEsoccer

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2011, 11:42:36 am »
Didn't mean to say the duo, I know #15 is Tsatsimpe.

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2011, 02:13:27 pm »
Hamilton will beat Midd.

Hamilton is having a rough time in the new conference, but word to the wise; they always start slow.

This team will knock off a few others before 2011 is all said and done.

mark my words, Hamilton is playing well below its level so far this year.

LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2011, 04:16:42 pm »
I have seen Hamilton twice this year and they may be the worst team in NESCAC along with Bates. They have no scoring punch, no creativity in midfield, no goalkeeping and their defense is slow.   This is not the weak Liberty League where u can rattle off a couple wins in a row aganist Skidmore, Vassar and the like. They are in a much more competitive league in NESCAC and they have to deal with all the travel that goes along with it. 8 hour road trips to play teams in Maine 2 week-ends apart does not help their cause. Last year they went 9-3-3, this year I am prediciting 4-8-2.  A very mediocore team at best.