Author Topic: NESCAC  (Read 76711 times)

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #285 on: November 20, 2012, 09:58:51 am »
Wow, Jump4Joy, bitter much?  Williams has had plenty of uber-talented teams who dominated shot opportunities in NCAA games (particularly during the Khari Stephenson / Alex Blake era), yet still lost.  It happens in soccer.  Amherst created more opportunities.  Williams had a few great ones that didn't come to fruition as well, but no doubt, Amherst (especially in the first half) created a lot more chances, and suffered from a lot of bad luck (although one of the five shots that hit the woodwork was first deflected by Than in one of his many tremendous saves).  Williams has been just an incredibly clutch team this year, mounting comeback win after comeback win, and keeping their composure in the pressure of OT and in PKs.  The Ephs earned their spot in the Final Four, and they will represent NESCAC with skill and class.  Amherst had a great year and was an extremely talented team.  They deserve credit for their tremendous season.  But so do the Ephs. 

As for Bull vs. Rashid, Rashid is clearly deserving.  Bull looks good, but it's hard to say how good considering how strong the Amherst defense was and how few clean chances ANY team seemed to get vs. them this year.  I think a lot of NESCAC goalies would have had similar stats playing with the same defense.  Rashid completed turned around what was a dormant Williams offense from last year.  He led the team in both goals and assists as a first year, and was a dynamic playmaker that every team had to account for.  With basically the same crew of attackers but without him last year, the Ephs created very, very little offense.  Take him away, they are an entirely different team, offensively. 

And sorry, but Serpone is no Russo.  First, there is the well-documented difference in, errr, demeanor (even watching the webcast of the last game, it was pretty annoying to watch Serpone waving his arms and going absolutely crazy complaining over every call / non-call, particularly on the several non-calls in which Amherst players obviously took dives, and particularly when two different Ephs were taken down in the box on borderline tackles, each time resulting in no-calls).  Serpone has had a very successful run over the past few years, no doubt.  Let's see if he can keep that run going once this year's great senior class and next year's great rising senior class are no longer with the team.  Russo has won a national title, sent a slew of players to the MLS and other professional leagues, and will now be coaching in his, I believe, sixth final four (would have almost certainly been more if the Eph powerhouses of the last 1980's were eligible for the NCAA tourney), and all while earning the uniform respect and admiration of his peers.  And he's replaced innumerable seemingly irreplaceable players, each time revitalizing the program with fresh blood.   

Offline jumpshot

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #286 on: November 20, 2012, 10:24:51 am »
Agree with nescac1 comments.

"Whether it's a soccer game or in life, sometimes things don't go your way." Justin Serpone, following last Sunday's game.

Certainly the case at Amherst.

Here is a detailed "fair and balanced" report ---everyone can draw their own conclusions:

http://williams.prestosports.com/sports/msoc/2012-13/releases/201211180051mm

Offline Jump4Joy

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #287 on: November 20, 2012, 03:31:59 pm »
Nescac1,
Well, yes! As a fan of soccer and a fan of Amherst, of course I'm feeling a bit bitter, though I'd say moreso disappointed. If you've been in the game long enough, you know what I feel because you have felt the same way at some point. After all, soccer is a game of passion and drama. But don't be so defensive: I'm not saying Williams is a bad team or Russo is a bad coach. (Didn't I claim the opposite, in fact?) Rather, I'm saying that Amherst is a good team and Serpone is a good coach. Russo has a wonderful record over his 34 years (a long time to amass such a record). Serpone, especially given his mere 6 years at Amherst, also has had wonderful "early years" record. Serpone's sideline demeanor is interesting, to be sure, but those 90-minute stints on the game-day sideline belies the grace of his daily positive impact upon his players. Summing up Serpone's coaching by looking only at his sideline fever is almost like judging a book by its cover. (Maybe Russo or one of his colleagues could mentor him a bit instead of turning their backs on him? As a long-time coach, I say that knowing it's really not a crazy idea.) Also, while I said some nice things about Williams, you must admit your post didn't say anything nice about Amherst, which seems either to be a mark of bitterness on your own part or simply an oversight.

JumpShot, thanks for posting that link. Much of what I mentioned is supported by the "fair and balanced" report there!

Again, good luck to Williams in Texas. It will be great for the league's cachet (including Amherst's) if they do very well. One thing's for certain: The Amherst/Williams rivalry will remain healthy well after this year's campaign becomes old news and well after any of us stop paying attention.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 03:38:25 pm by Jump4Joy »

Offline jumpshot

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #288 on: November 20, 2012, 03:56:56 pm »
Jump4Joy, you are welcome. As a final word on this matter, it is important to remember that in NESCAC (and much of Division III) "the game is for the players." Often out-of bounds comments are made by secondary participants ---alumni, parents, fans, administrators, even coaches, etc.--- that momentarily set aside this eternal truth.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #289 on: November 20, 2012, 04:28:29 pm »
Well-said, jumpshot.  And Jump4Joy, just as you, seemingly bedgrudgingly (although your second post was far more gracious) said some good things about Williams mixed in with some less-than-flattering commentary, I did say plenty of good things about Amherst, both in my latest post, and my other commentary during and right after the game ... they are an immensely talented team, and I was very impressed with the play of virtually all the guys on the Amherst side, in particular Aoyama, Noon, Rico, Lerner, Heo, and a few others whose names I did not catch.  It's good for NESCAC as a whole when any team does well, and Williams and Amherst will both be very strong again next year.  Middlebury is one of the few teams to break the recent near-monopoly by Messiah, Williams will need to be at the very top of its game and will need more good fortune to have a similar break through in San Antonio, but I would not sleep on this very gutty Ephs team even if the other three Final Four teams are more highly-regarded. 

Offline Jump4Joy

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #290 on: November 20, 2012, 06:12:40 pm »
Nescac1,
My apologies. You have said nice things about Amherst. I misspoke: It was JumpShot whose omission I noticed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I'm sure next year's league season will be as fun and exciting as ever.

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #291 on: November 21, 2012, 01:43:49 pm »
Thanks Jump4JOy, appreciate. 

Offline dacac

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #292 on: November 21, 2012, 08:41:54 pm »
I'm just glad to see the better brand of soccer won.  Can't argue with Amherst's results, but there's a reason no one likes to watch Stoke City.

Offline Jump4Joy

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #293 on: November 25, 2012, 08:34:08 am »
Sorry to grind away here. But, understandably, I couldn't let dacac's comment hang there until September...
This year, I've had a hard time hearing people dis Amherst's style. Yes, they are most often direct out of the back, but there's nothing Stoke about them in the attack half of the field. Perhaps Williams played dreamy soccer against other opponents during the season, but, Dacac, I'm not convinced you actually saw Williams play Amherst this season. In all three games (with the exception of about 7 mins in the first OT of NCAAs), Williams had NO style of play and looked rather like QPR, to extend your analogy ( ;)), including playing with 9 or 10 behind the ball and sending clearances out of the back to both relieve pressure and to feed the dangerous speedsters up top for counterattacks.
Again: Good luck to the Ephs in Texas. May they play beautiful and effective soccer. May they win it all. Go NESCAC!

Offline soccer121285

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #294 on: November 25, 2012, 10:47:37 am »
Thoughts on the NCAA tournament teams from the NESCAC:

Williams:
"Thumbs up" to Williams coach for changing style/tactics in the last game vs. Amherst.  They got everyone behind the ball, tried to counter quickly when they got it, and got some help from Lady Luck and got to another Final Four.  From the sounds of comments on this board this is not something that Williams likes to do but they knew they needed to do to advance and it worked out for them. That's good coaching.

Amherst:
Great season by Amherst. 56 Goals. 3 Goals Against. The best goal differential in NESCAC history (previous was +45 by the 2002 Williams team).  Undefeated season with back to back NESCAc championships something to be proud of. Many good players returning including 3 of their 4 backs and terrific freshman goalkeeper. 

Wesleyan:
Great team with a terrific senior class could have made made a tournament run (IMO) but PK's got in the way.  Is it just me or shouldn't OT be a bit longer before getting to PK's?  I watched some of the Wesleyan game and thought they were much better than Haverford. 

Tufts:
Another team that got unlucky in the NCAA's. Stats said they outplayed Vassar but game up a PK in OT.  Future is bright for the Jumbos!

As a side note, i expect improvement from all 3 Maine teams next season.  Bates, Colby and Bowdoin will all be better and helped by the experience of 2012. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Offline LaPaz

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #295 on: November 25, 2012, 07:43:44 pm »
Amhest puts good pressure on the ball and the only way Williams could deal woth it was to whack it out of the back and let there speedy forwrds run onto it. They didnt create much but tactical changes and a will to win put an end to some storied careers.

Amherst- 56 Gf 3 Ga is nice but there 4 non leagues were really weak, do not compare to 2002 Williams team or any team from williams from 2000-2004 because the Jamacian teams played a much tougher schedule but like these amherst seniors WON NOTHING. Amherst loses alot. Sure they return some key players but Heo and Aayoma will not be as effective without the other 5 starters taking some pressure off of them so YES they will be good and most likely 1st but will not dominate like this year.

Williams- Lose 4 key Seniors, one a keeper who can be replaced by another great keeper sitting on the bench. ratachuck will not be replaced right away. Ebo and Christman I believe are key leadership cogs and very clever players but can be replaced. Having said that these 4 seniors have provided so much leadership I look at Williams' rising seniors and I see besides the keeper and maybe Lima a very average if not below average class which can lead to bad leadership and / or lack of playing time for seniors which in turn leads to player bickering which in turn leads to losses. To be continued.

Wesleyan loses the absolute most and most definitly will fall to 6th, 7th or even 8th. They will need a recruiting class or 2 to rebuild.

Tufts will be int he top 3 easliy and a very strong side as they can replace easch and every senior they have.

Conn will improve as I hear they have a Ghanain fred coming in that can score goals, which is one thing they have been lacking for a f ew years.

Midd will improve greatly with a highly regarded recruiting class coming in inclusding a 6'5 kid from Brooks who the Ivies missed on IMO.

Colby and Bates will be at rock bottom as usual ....Colby was anemic offensively and unless they get a true goal scorer, which they never do, they will be near the btm. Bates loses Murphy and will not replace him. Hamilton loses a trio of good seniors. Bowdoin will be in the middle of the pack.

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #296 on: November 28, 2012, 06:33:14 am »
Nice article on Eph frosh Jonathan Westling.  Pretty ballsy move for Russo to start a frosh new to playing defense for the first time against Amherst, born out of either desperation or genius, either way, it seems to have worked out pretty well:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2012/11/27/sudbury-jonathan-westling-steps-forward-defense-for-williams-soccer/28pzK1ozRw02rEXwqxYiuI/story.html

Williams started two frosh outside backs vs. Amherst, and if they do the same in the Final Four, I imagine teams will look to exploit the inexperience there. 

Offline frank uible

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #297 on: November 28, 2012, 08:58:49 am »
Ceteris paribus, talent generally trumps experience.

Offline amhfan

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #298 on: November 28, 2012, 02:14:47 pm »
The crossbar had more of an effect of shutting down the Amherst offense than the 9 guys Williams played behind the ball for 110 minutes...

Offline frank uible

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Re: NESCAC
« Reply #299 on: November 28, 2012, 04:25:57 pm »
And them damn crossbars kept moving around during play all to Williams' benefit!