Author Topic: UAA 2018  (Read 25053 times)

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2018, 02:23:25 pm »
UC didn't get its ranking due to overzealous or unjustified touting by guidance counsellors.  Many will counsel students contemplating UC to consider Stanford, Harvard or Duke for a more well rounded college experience (translation--less onerous).  UC's ranking is based on a faculty that ranks in the top 6 in Nobel Prize winners, and a student population with an average 1500 SAT score.  Messian has built a soccer juggernaut based on legacy and admissions flexibility.  With a 79% acceptance rate and an average SAT of less than 1200 Messiah can offer admission to almost any high school graduate, and can offer full academic rides to most players considering playing at a NESCAC or UAA school.  That is a huge advantage in the recruiting process.  The disadvantage is that there are many schools in Messiah's position.  Thus it is the banners that will cinch the deal for Messiah against a Lycoming, or North Park, or Ohio Wesleyan.

Messiah isn't recruiting against North Park. It's probably recruiting against Lycoming to some degree (although, given the divergent missions of the two schools with regard to faith identity, there's probably a limit to that), and it may be recruiting against Ohio Wesleyan every now and then, although that's questionable. The Bishops have four Pennsylvanians on the roster, but they're all from the same high school, Gettysburg Area HS, which indicates some sort of special connection there. But Messiah's roster has always been built (to the best of my knowledge) upon Pennsylvanians, with most of the non-residents of the Keystone State coming from further to the northeast. Similar to Ohio Wesleyan, only one high school in Ohio seems to have consistently turned out Messiah soccer players over the years, and that's Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in the suburbs between Cleveland and Akron.

I understand that what you're doing is comparing like to like in terms of academic profiles. But that's not really how recruiting works. Academic profile is only one aspect of athletics recruiting. For the D3 institutions that constitute what you called the "many schools that are in Messiah's position", recruiting is more regional (if not local) than national. Messiah's reach is a little broader, because it has a specific and self-selective student profile with regard to faith identity that affects admissions and because the school's legacy of outstanding soccer allows it to extend its recruiting reach beyond that of its Commonwealth rivals. But it's not going to butt heads against schools of a similar academic profile that are too far away from Grantham, PA to have any recruiting-footprint crossover.

The other factor besides geography is mission identity. As an evangelical school, Messiah is targeting a different type of student than the type that traditionally leans towards a Lycoming or an Ohio Wesleyan. That plays out in terms of soccer recruiting as well. North Park is an evangelical school, too, but it has an enrollment policy that is not faith-based, so the school's evangelical mission identity is not particularly prominent in its typical student-athlete population. I'd have to ask NPU head coach John Born about this, but I'd be surprised if North Park has ever gone up against Messiah for a high-school prospect before.

Messiah recruits to some degree against North Park's CCIW rival, Wheaton, which is an evangelical school that requires a statement professing faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior on the part of all applicants. Wheaton recruits nationally, from a far broader footprint than Messiah's; its various sports rosters have as much of a Rand-McNally vibe as do any of the UAA schools. Nevertheless, because they're targeting the same sort of high-skill teenage evangelical soccer players, and because Messiah's recruiting footprint is the nation's most heavily-populated region, Wheaton and Messiah occasionally butt heads on the recruiting trail. Wheaton soccer people right now are blaming Wheaton's current decline in part upon faltering in the recruiting battles against Messiah, after a burst of major success on the pitch earlier in this decade that took Wheaton all the way to the national championship match back in 2014. Thing is, though, the 2014 Wheaton roster was as Illinoisian-heavy as the school's ever had for a successful sports team, to the best of my knowledge, and it's always seemed as though Wheaton's soccer players come from the Midwest, the South, and California, anyway (i.e., well outside of Messiah's recruiting range).

North Park has built is success upon two discrete recruiting sources: Chicagoland and Scandinavia (in particular, Sweden and Norway). In terms of the Chicagoland aspect, NPU's recruiting rivals are mainly such other local powers as Loras, Carthage, UWW, and Dominican (and, to a lesser degree, the other CCIW schools besides Carthage and Wheaton, none of which have ever had any protracted success in this sport). The Scandinavian aspect makes North Park more or less sui generis; other schools may have a Swede or a Norwegian or two, but nobody else in D3 traffics in the sort of volume, or program identity, that NPU has vis-a-vis Scandinavian soccer players. In that regard, NPU really isn't competing against anybody other than whatever stray D3 school around the country may have latched onto a Scandinavian prospect here or there via scouting services.

I get what you're saying about Messiah's banners, and, yeah, the more successful a program is the better it competes for recruits. But in terms of specifics, if you really want to paint a picture of who (and how) Messiah recruits, you have to look beyond the banners and the school's academic profile. You also have to look at location, recruiting reach, and general student profile with regard to faith identity.

(My apologies for posting something without a lot of UAA content to the UAA board.)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Buck O.

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2018, 10:17:37 am »
I put much more credence on objective numbers than on subjective ratings. An example of one such number is scores on national examinations, such as the LSAT or the MCAT or the CPA exam. That last number is made public indirectly, in a book published by the relevant professional organization. Finding every school on the internet, even if possible, would take longer than a week of soccer games. I know a few people who teach or did teach (retired) accounting at Messiah (including someone whose services I have used), and from them I know that the accounting major at Messiah is absolutely always ranked very high in PA and usually also nationally--as determined by the pass rate on the CPA exam. With that in mind, I found this on their web site:

"Our students regularly exceed the national average pass rate for first-time test takers. In 2016, our pass rate was 83.8%. In comparison, the national average was only 55.4%. Messiah ranked #1 in Pennsylvania (out of 74 programs); #1 for medium-sized accounting programs in the nation (out of 294 programs); and #10 in the nation overall (out of 858 programs)." https://www.messiah.edu/accounting-major-pennsylvania

Now I gather they didn't do quite that well in 2017, since they pass over it without comment, but I know that in the years before the current PA licensing requirement of completing 150 credit hours was instituted, students often took the exam before or just after graduating. In those days, Messiah and the Wharton School at Penn often finished 1-2, in either order depending on the year. Many of the Penn students, however, were MBA students, so it wasn't exactly apples and apples. After the change, undergraduates almost never take the exam for obvious reasons. Despite numbers like this, some web sites that list top schools for studying accounting in PA consistently rank Messiah well down the list. Why? Partly b/c it's not a very "selective" college; a large percentage of applicants are admitted. That's true, but more than a little misleading in this context. Penn is typically ranked #1 on those lists, which is fair enough given the objective numbers. But then, Messiah should be #2, if not #1.

So, if a soccer player wants to study accounting, ... you can do the math. Why go to a UAA school or a NESCAC, if you can get a top 10 accounting education and play in a Final Four at Messiah?  :o

With regard to the statement I've put in boldface:  I wonder where you got that info, because it seems unlikely to me, based on my personal experience.  I got my MBA from Wharton, and very, very few of my fellow MBA students majored in Accounting.  Even fewer, if any, were preparing for the CPA exam. 

More generally, this feeds into whether this is a valid metric for comparing schools.  If getting a CPA isn't an objective for very many students at one school (and I doubt that it is for most Wharton undergrads, much less the MBA students) while it is an objective for students at another school, then using pass rates on the CPA exams to compare those schools really is comparing apples and oranges.

(modified by GS for formatting)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 11:10:20 am by Gregory Sager »

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2018, 12:11:58 pm »
The Scandinavian aspect makes North Park more or less sui generis; other schools may have a Swede or a Norwegian or two, but nobody else in D3 traffics in the sort of volume, or program identity, that NPU has vis-a-vis Scandinavian soccer players.

Is this attributable to one particular coach or administrator, past or present? 

And does North Park just do Scandinavia better then every other US college or university with a Swedish heritage?

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2018, 06:35:33 pm »
The Scandinavian aspect makes North Park more or less sui generis; other schools may have a Swede or a Norwegian or two, but nobody else in D3 traffics in the sort of volume, or program identity, that NPU has vis-a-vis Scandinavian soccer players.

Is this attributable to one particular coach or administrator, past or present? 

Yes, current head coach John Born. The credit for what North Park soccer has become belongs to him, although his chief assistant Kris Grahn has become an instrumental part of bringing NPU to D3's highest echelon as well.

North Park has always had Swedish students, including four-year students and the students from NPU's sister school in the southern Swedish city of Jönköping, Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola, who take part in the annual exchange program between the two schools. And North Park occasionally had Swedish soccer players before the Born era, all of whom, to the best of my knowledge, were walk-ons. One of them, Magnus Ramstrom, was a four-time All-CCIW first-team selection in the early '90s, and a couple of others made the All-CCIW team in the '90s as well.

But it wasn't until John Born arrived in 1999 that the NPU soccer program got intentional about recruiting Swedes. A few years earlier NPU had decided to take advantage of Chicago's prominence as a major center of world trade by adding an international business major and then marketing it to Scandinavians by having the school's Center for Scandinavian Studies work in tandem with the admissions department. That dramatically increased the number of Scandinavian students on campus, and international business is still the most popular major among NPU's Scandinavian students (although a surprising number of current Swedish and Norwegian student-athletes are majoring in sports medicine).

John astutely deduced that an academic program designed to attract Scandinavian students to North Park could be used as a recruiting tool for the soccer program. Since Sweden in particular had a reputation for being a soccer-crazed country (six different levels of soccer -- the top two tiers are professional, and the middle two are mixed pro/am, and all in a country with a population of only a little over ten million people) with a reputation for turning out players who have high skill levels, and since North Park is a school of Swedish-American origin that still actively upholds its ethnic heritage in myriad ways, it was the logical place to start. So he began using Swedish scouting services, visited the country, and began to make contacts over there.

I need to emphatically state that John turned around the program -- NPU won only one match in 1998, the season before he arrived -- and built it into a regional power mostly with Americans. The early teams that finally broke Wheaton's hegemony over the CCIW and made the program's first inroads into the D3 tourney typically had anywhere from two to four Swedes on the team. They were difference-makers, to be sure, but the makeup of the Vikings was still essentially American.

That's changed within the past four or five years, as the international presence on the roster has really exploded. Part of that has to do with the addition of the Norwegian pipeline, which began with the arrival of midfielder Markus Fodstad early in this decade; since graduating, Markus has gone into scouting and has been instrumental in helping to establish that Norwegian presence on the NPU roster. Part of it is that the word's getting around about North Park in general among Europeans looking to come over and play here; last season's roster included an English player and a German player as well.

North Park soccer is where it is today because of both the Americans and the Scandinavians. But the Scandinavians have accounted for twenty All-CCIW players for North Park under John Born's tutelage, including three CCIW Player of the Year awards, four scoring titleists, and two All-Americans (fittingly, one Swede and one Norwegian). The All-American from Sweden, Kris Grahn, stayed on in Chicago after graduation, married an American, and is now the associate head coach of the Vikings.

And does North Park just do Scandinavia better then every other US college or university with a Swedish heritage?

I'm not in a position to say, one way or the other. North Park's ethnic sister schools all seem to have at least some sort of vestigial tie to the homeland:

https://www.augustana.edu/swenson

https://www.augustana.edu/academics/areas-of-study/scandinavian-studies

https://gustavus.edu/scand-studies/

https://www.bethanylb.edu/product-category/swedish-crafts/

I will say this, though -- North Park is the only Swedish-American school that has actively recruited Scandinavian student-athletes, let alone had any success with them. (NPU has had a number of outstanding golfers and track & field athletes from Scandinavia as well in recent years.)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline deutschfan

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2018, 06:41:05 pm »
To bring this back to UC recruiting and the merits of its academic ranking--here are examples of UC student athletes' lives after soccer.  UC won its first UAA title in 2001.  This is what became of some of that team's impact players:  Pat Barry-- UC Law School grad and University of Michigan Law School Professor; Pat Calleo--JP Morgan Investment Banker; Ben Johnson--Cyber security company founder and UC computer science masters level lecturer;  Dr. Micah Prochaska--Internist affiliated with the UC Hospital; Barret Van Sicklin--Wisconsin Super Lawyer and partner specializing in labor litigation; and Matt Wiechert--Activist short firm founder and co-star of "The China Hustle," a Mark Cuban film about outing fraudulent Chinese companies.  Not too shabby and a pretty strong testament to the value of the UC student athlete experience.  Coach Babst has a lot of material to work with for a recruiting pitch.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2018, 06:44:17 pm »
WUPHF, given this salvo by a supporter of your school's archrival, you're now on the clock to provide a list of the high-profile careers of selected Wash U soccer alumni. ;)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2018, 04:06:43 pm »
Hmmmm...I did not follow Washington University athletics prior to 2005 and I think the only season I followed Men's Soccer closely was 2011.  I know that team has a bunch of software engineers at least one entrepreneur who has had his share of successes with start-ups.

That team has a guy who plays professional indoor soccer locally for the St. Louis Ambush.

I'll have to call Joe Clarke on Monday.

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2018, 02:51:42 pm »
While there's been a decent amount of discussion about UAA sides in isolation, I figured it might be time for a solid preview. I have watched far more of Brandeis, Chicago, and Rochester than any of the other conference sides (hence the long paragraphs for those teams versus the other five), so bear with me. That being said, I've seen enough of each to have an idea of how they operate.

I think Chicago will be better than last year, and has to start as clear-cut favorites in the UAA. They absolutely bossed North Park in the semifinal last year — the fact that they didn't win that game was an absolute travesty. Don't get me wrong, North Park was/is a good side, but Chicago was well on top on the day, and I think would have given Messiah an equally tough time in the final. This is not to disparage North Park — to their credit, the Vikings did beat the Maroons during the regular season last year — but rather just to say that Chicago played with the swagger of a potential national champion in that game — and, without many graduation losses, could well find itself back at that stage. Aside from goal, they didn't really lose all that much, although I think four-year starter Reimann could leave behind a void in terms of leadership. We did not see much of Katsimpalis (aside from his deputizing in goal during the shootout against Emory, where he saved the crucial penalty that sent Chicago to the Final 4) so it will be interesting to see how he stacks up in comparison to Bonin. They will certainly score goals with Lopez, Koh, and Adeosun, among others, and the spine remains relatively intact with the return of Capotosto, impressive rookie Romero, and others. Babst has been building a machine of a program that has been in the tournament the last four years running, and I certainly expect that they'll make it five this year. And while the 2016 side was No. 1 for an extended period of time before their Sweet 16 upset at home to Redlands, I think this team is better than the one that Chicago fielded that year — Lopez has gone from strength to strength, and the spine has improved, as well. I'm not saying that Chicago for sure wins the national title this year, but it is tough to name a better team this side of Messiah.

With Brandeis, I am waiting for the season to start before drawing too many conclusions. That being said, they have a very solid back four returning (DePietto will likely slide into Vinson's position). Irwin, while not as imposing as Woodhouse, also impressed during his cameos last year. The real losses, however, will be in midfield and up top. Ocel was a once-in-a-decade talent in attacking midfield and Hernandez had incredible ability to motivate and rally the troops, in addition to serving as destroyer in midfield. Gans will have a big weight on his shoulders as the only returning starter in midfield — I do wonder if Margolis will draw upon returners to fill the other holes or use a new player, as the incoming class looks strong to me, and Evan Glass was the other freshman that really caught the eye last year. The forward line, meanwhile, lost Lynch and Flahive. Neither was banging in 15 goals a season but they were both big in clutch moments and were huge players for the Judges. I would perhaps expect to see Panarra (who played in a number of positions) fill one of the outside forward roles (the other one, I have no idea), while Allen plays through the middle. He bagged six goals last year and I think he has the potential to improve on that tally. I think they will probably play a variation of 4-3-3, but rather than having two No. 6s and one No. 8 they may have one No. 6 and two No. 8s. That being said, they'll set up to maximize strengths — they've been known to play a 3-5-2 at times — so we'll see. A brutal non-conference schedule which includes Endicott, Gordon, WPI, Springfield, Babson, and Amherst, as well as Tufts, who has to be considered one of Brandeis' biggest non-conference rivals (perhaps second to Babson, which has historically always been the Judges' pre-eminent rivalry). As far as talent goes, I would say Brandeis has lost a lot in the last two years, but talent alone doesn't win games — it's my opinion that the 2016 side, which scraped its way into the tournament, was more "talented" than last year's side, whose bid was always relatively safe, but both teams made it to the Final 4 — so while this side doesn't have a ton of household names yet, I think the team culture and system will see them through more games than not.

Rochester is much like Brandeis — not a ton of household names, but a cohesive culture and system. I expected them to struggle for goals last year after losing Ben Swanger and Greblick, but Rouin emerged from nowhere as a bit-part player during his first three years to bang in 14 goals and earn All-American honors. Di Perna also had a good season last year, and I think both will be big losses. I think this team will rely heavily on Ikeda for an offensive spark. He is a player for the big occasion and while I don't think he'll score 10+ goals I figure his experience will be big. Again, not sure how Rochester does aside from being "in" every game, but after Rouin's emergence last year it will be interesting to see if a new leader emerges for the Yellowjackets this season.

WashU is led by Sproule, who has been the Bears' target man for three years now. He really burst on to the scene as a freshman, and has maintained a solid level of productivity up top. He's a handful — tall, physical, and fast — and I think he has All-American potential if he can have a productive season. They got thumped 4-1 in an exhibition with D1 St. Louis University on Sunday, and have a very solid non-conference schedule including OWU, Benedictine, Wartburg, and Wheaton (IL), but the Bears are always a tough out and I think they will have a solid season.

Emory is my darkhorse for this year. The Eagles had a surprise run to the Elite 8 last year — they were down 2-1 and firmly on the bubble for NCAA selection with less than 10 minutes to go against Rochester — but came back to tie it 2-2 and win 3-2 in overtime. Even then, it was far from certain that they'd get a bid, but they managed to get in and make the most of their new lease on life. Khattab has really emerged as a star for Emory these last few years, and I think is in for a big senior season.

Case returns 83% of its goals this year. I was really impressed with Magruder as a freshman, and his dipping volley against Chicago seemed to be setting CWRU on course for a big win until Lopez equalized with five minutes left. The Spartans have the customary tough schedule as is the case with Bianco, playing non-conference tilts against John Carroll, Kenyon, and Capital, but if they can get a result in those two games and go .500 or better in UAA play I think they could be in with a shout for an NCAA bid.

2006 Final 4 participant NYU may still be at the basement of the UAA, but the Violets put together consecutive winning seasons in 2016 and 2017. Solid non-conference schedule includes Rutgers-Camden, Rowan, and Drew. Maxi Rodriguez (albeit not the guy who used to play for Liverpool/Argentina) had a great freshman season, scoring 7 goals (3 in conference) and providing two assists. He is certainly one to watch. NYU has a number of unique obstacles to get past in terms of recruiting/location/etc. in comparison to other UAA schools (the team doesn’t have a field on campus and has to travel to even practice) but — even if a return to NCAAs appear to be a bit off — I think they will finish above .500 again.

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2018, 04:16:22 pm »
Nice write-up.

I did not make it down for the exhibition, but the report I heard was that the Bears generally looked like a team that was playing after one day of practice.  SLU is not the 10 national championships program of yore, but they are the favorite to win the A-10 this season.

Very encouraged to see a freshman in Max Panagos get the goal.

Should be one to watch from what I was told.

Offline Ommadawn

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2018, 04:56:35 pm »
The forward line, meanwhile, lost Lynch and Flahive. Neither was banging in 15 goals a season but they were both big in clutch moments and were huge players for the Judges. I would perhaps expect to see Panarra (who played in a number of positions) fill one of the outside forward roles (the other one, I have no idea), while Allen plays through the middle. He bagged six goals last year and I think he has the potential to improve on that tally.

D1 transfer Nardizzi should be able to step in right away and pick up a big chunk of the scoring load for Brandeis.

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2018, 05:09:30 pm »
D1 transfer Nardizzi should be able to step in right away and pick up a big chunk of the scoring load for Brandeis.

I heard about Nardizzi's arrival and that he is apparently quite a talent, but wasn't sure if there would be a "bedding in" process like when Soboff arrived from Rutgers. Apparently he started out trying to do too much on his own but after some nurturing gelled in very well and was an excellent playmaker for Brandeis. Would be great if Nardizzi could hit the ground running.

Offline TyWebb

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2018, 05:16:52 pm »
Blooter, thanks for the great write up. Any reason Carnegie Mellon wasn't discussed?

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2018, 05:56:17 pm »
Blooter, thanks for the great write up. Any reason Carnegie Mellon wasn't discussed?

Oof, spaced on them!

The Tartans fell off towards the end of last year, which probably cost them an NCAA bid, as they had some great results in the first half of the season. The year prior, they got bounced by eventual runner-up Calvin in the 2nd Round; definitely a tough draw that year with OWU and Calvin in the first two rounds. That being said, they haven't made it past the first weekend of the tournament in quite some time, which I think they would agree is underachieving given how good some of those squads (2012-13 comes to mind, in particular) have been. Per usual, very tough start to the season with Kenyon and Lycoming in the first week or so. John Carroll is another difficult non-conference test. Masciopinto had yet another great year last year and definitely has All-American potential in my book. If they can go 2-0 against Kenyon and Lycoming at home I think they'll be off to a flier, regardless of how the Denison result on 8/31 goes. I am sure they will be solid in UAA play but can't say much beyond that — they dominated Brandeis last year on the road but lost 2-0 due to slack defending from corners and a blinder from Woodhouse in goal. Apparently there were some handbags after the game involving two players and the head coach snubbing handshakes, which is disappointing if true, and I'm sure that game in particular will be feisty again this year (albeit on CMU's field). Again, that is unverified information and I'm not trying to re-litigate it — just opining that game will be one to watch.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2018, 01:19:59 am »
Aside from goal, they didn't really lose all that much, although I think four-year starter Reimann could leave behind a void in terms of leadership. We did not see much of Katsimpalis (aside from his deputizing in goal during the shootout against Emory, where he saved the crucial penalty that sent Chicago to the Final 4)

Seriously? After going on and on about the NPU vs. U of C semifinal, you completely missed the fact that Katsimpalis replaced Bonin at keeper in the semifinal's shootout?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 01:23:26 am by Gregory Sager »
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Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2018, 08:16:13 am »
Seriously? After going on and on about the NPU vs. U of C semifinal, you completely missed the fact that Katsimpalis replaced Bonin at keeper in the semifinal's shootout?

Calm down. I knew he was involved in the Elite 8 shootout, but couldn't remember whether that was the case with the Final 4. Regardless, seeing him in one additional shootout doesn't really do that much more in terms of being able to evaluate him. And if we want to go after people for completely missing facts...

Setting aside sports that are sponsored by fewer than half of the UAA's schools (e.g., wrestling and women's golf), you have to go all the way back to the 2009-10 school year to find NYU winning a UAA title in anything (for the record, it was men's cross-country).

...which, as previously stated, is factually incorrect, since the Violets men's soccer team won the 2010-11 UAA title.