Saturday, October 18, 2014

Northeastern 18Oct2014

Number 3 in the Region 1 Power Rankings, we expected Northeastern to be strong, physical and motivated to see this as their warm-up for Regionals next weekend. Although they stand 3rd in New England East and we are first in New England West, we have had great difficulty beating them in the past.

The rain stopped! It was a nice 65F/18C or so. We LOVED seeing so many fans! Allison's mother, Mel's parents, Lindsay's mother, brother and grandfather, Christine's mother, Christyn's whole family including Courtney, Claire's grandmother Lillian, Sophie's sister Mila Sheeline, Liz Niehaus, Molly Grimes, Natalie Salmanowitz, Katherine Cima, Jenn O'Donnell, spring indoor player and US Ski Team skier Nolan Kasper, and even a bunch of Alpha Phi's supporting Lindsay!

We spoke about being quick with good passes to feet rather than launching long passes. The field was still wet from rain, so we expected the ball to skip and be fast on bounces. We expected Northeastern to put us under a lot of pressure.

They did, and Hannah saved Northeastern's shot in the first minute!

In the 6th minute, Claire's shot was saved. Our passing was GOOD, and we looked like we would be able to score first, but Northeastern got a rebound from their corner in the 15th minute for their first goal.

Leah got off a shot in the 19th minute, and Christine had a free kick saved four minutes later. Claire had a breakaway in the 27th minute, but the Northeastern goalkeeper grabbed it.

Northeastern scored again in the 38th minute with a shot in front of our goal.

At half-time we spoke about making good passes to feet rather than launching hopeful long air passes and to build passes through the mid-field rather than sending long balls out of the back line. Julia S said, rightly, that we could come from behind, just as we did at UMass the previous Saturday.

Amanda W almost got a result from Christine's corner in the 46th minute. Hannah saved us again in the 48th minute. Julia S got off a shot in the 55th minute.

After Northeastern got a yellow card for an infraction in the 58th minute, they slotted a low shot into the left side of our goal from about 18 yards. Immediately after that Hannah saved another of their shots.

Claire's shot was saved in the 47th minute, and right after that another shot she made was blocked for a corner. Caroline V made a shot on target from a long distance, but it was saved. 

Claire got another breakaway in the 79th minute, but the Northeastern keeper saved her shot again! A minute later she took the corner, and Caroline V got her head on the ball but it sailed over the crossbar. 

After a Northeastern free kick Hannah saved and a shot Northeastern sent wide, Claire got off another shot that was saved in the 88th minute. Northeastern made another shot wide before Elise made a shot over the crossbar.

With so many great scoring chances, we didn't deserve a 0:3 result, but that paled in importance to the huge benefit of seeing so many family and alumnae! We were happy to have a chance to play a really good team and to see so many friends again!

G: Hannah
CD: Lindsay+Tessa, Amanda FC, Julia S
OD: Annie+Christine, Julia C, Natalie, Rose
CM: Julia S+Shelby, Caroline V+Elise
OM: Christyn+Sophie, Leah+Caroline G, Julia D, Natalie, Mel, Summer
F: Claire+Allison, Rose, Summer, Amanda W, Mel

Shots 13:14  Saves 4:8

1 Northeastern shot saved
4 Dartmouth corner
6 Claire shot saved
Northeastern shot wide
9 Claire corner
13 Northeastern shot wide
15 Northeastern corner, put rebound in --> 0:1
19 Leah shot over
23 Christine free kick saved
25 Northeastern shot wide
27 Claire breakaway shot saved
38 Northeastern shot almost saved --> 0:2
44 Northeastern shot wide
46 Christine corner, Amanda W shot wide
48 Northeastern shot saved
55 Julia S shot wide
58 Northeastern yellow card, Dartmouth free kick
61 Northeastern low, driven shot from 18 yards --> 0:3
62 Northeastern shot saved
67 Claire shot saved
68 Claire shot blocked for a corner
73 Caroline V long shot saved
76 Northeastern shot over
79 Claire breakaway shot saved
80 Claire corner, Caroline V header over
83 Northeastern free kick saved
86 Northeastern shot wide
88 Claire shot saved
89 Northeastern shot wide
90 Elise shot over

Saturday, October 11, 2014

at UMass 11Oct2014

Cloudy with some rain on our way south to Amherst, it felt bone-chilling ~10C/50F when we arrived at Boyden field by the high-rise dorms. Christyn's parents were there, and I heard maybe Joe Nolan was there, but I couldn't spot the microbus or the Corvette. Christyn's dad said he met a Dartmouth '82 parent of a UMass player unsure which team to support (HA!).

We played at UMass in April 2010, losing 1:2, they beat us 0:1 in Hanover in September 2011 and we tied 1:1 in October 2013 thanks to Katherine Cima's cross to Amanda FC. They are usually strong, so we braced ourselves and talked about making the simple, close passes since the field was still wet. 

Although we got an early corner and had shots by Allison, Christyn, Claire and later Amanda W, UMass seemed to dominate play by putting on immense pressure. We had trouble getting the ball into the UMass half.

Hannah kept us in the game with key saves in the 17th, 18th, 25th and 32nd minutes. Tessa also made at least three key clearances. But UMass broke through our defense in the 26th minute to slot a shot into the left corner of our goal. 

At the 40-minute half time we spoke about better, quicker passes -- that the ball moves faster than the opposition -- and to find feet with our passes (not long passes that can come right back at us).

In the 42nd minute, Claire set up Caroline V whose shot went over and a minute later Claire got all the way to the UMass end line to make a cross that was blocked. 

Hannah prevented a UMass chance in the 47th minute, Julia S had a shot wide, then Hannah made another save before Claire got off a shot that was blocked in the 50th minute. Right after that UMass had a free kick opportunity that looked threatening but rolled wide.

We seemed to turn a corner at the hour mark: Claire had a shot wide then another shot blocked for a corner, and Julia (who, with Shelby, ran the whole game without a sub!) was rewarded for her never-ending work-rate by a foul in the UMass box. Claire converted the PK to even the score in the 61st minute.

Five minutes later Shelby and Julia S had shots saved. UMass responded by sending the ball to the right corner of our half for a cross that was easily tapped in to put them ahead in the 66th minute.

Then we seemed to get MORE energy! Claire had two corners, Leah had a shot that went wide and Claire had another threatening cross blocked. In the 72nd minute, Caroline V sent in a cross from the far right of the field perfectly placed in front of the UMass goal to create a melee in which Julia D capitalized to bring us even again. 

At the end of the game, Claire broke away from three UMass defenders and slotted home our game-winner. She got another breakaway in the last minute, but her shot went over.

This was a tribute to the incredibly hard work from the team! This is what Gary Neville (best man in David Beckham's wedding and Manchester United teammate) said is required if you want to win games -- teams have to work hard the WHOLE game! We did that, most of the team without a sub the entire game!

It is very difficult to come back from being down a goal, but the team's calm demeanor and self-confidence paid off surprisingly well. We owe a lot to Hannah and the back four, also, for keeping us in the game!

Wow, another incredible season -- this time all victories in league games and the one non-league game with Middlebury. It will be huge if we can keep that record vs Northeastern over homecoming!

GK: Hannah
CD: Lindsay+Tessa
OD: Annie+Caroline V, Amanda W
CM: Julia+Shelby
OM: Christyn+Sophie, Leah, Julia D
F: Claire+Allison, Mel, Amanda W

Shots 14:12  Saves 6:3

5 Claire corner
10 UMass shot wide
13 Allison shot saved
16 Christyn shot wide
17 UMass shot saved
18 UMass shot saved
22 Claire shot wide
25 UMass ball cleared for a corner
25 UMass shot saved
26 UMass shot to left corner of our goal --> 0:1
29 Tessa cleared a UMass attempt -- UMass corner
30 UMass shot blocked for a corner
31 Tessa cleared a UMass attempt -- corner
32 Tessa cleared another UMass attempt
32 UMass shot saved
39 Amanda W shot wide

40 half time
42 Claire pass to Caroline V shot over
43 Claire cross blocked for a corner
45 UMass shot wide
    UMass corner
47 UMass shot saved
48 Julia S shot wide
49 UMass shot saved -- corner
50 Claire shot blocked -- corner
58 UMass free kick wide
60 Claire shot wide
    Claire cross blocked -- corner
61 Julia fouled in the box for PK
    Claire converted --> 1:1
65 Shelby shot saved
    Julia shot saved
66 UMass cross tapped in --> 1:2
67 Claire corner (2)
    Leah shot wide
70 Claire cross blocked -- corner
72 Caroline V sent in a cross from the right side
     Julia D converted --> 2:2
78 UMass cross blocked -- corner
79 Claire breakaway --> 3:2
80 Claire another breakaway, shot over

Saturday, October 4, 2014

at UVM 4Oct2014

Setting out for UVM on a very rainy day with only 3 subs seemed crazy. UVM is usually our strongest competitor. The driving was even intense because of the rain -- perhaps an omen about how intense UVM would be. 

The turf field we usually play on at UVM was allocated to a different team, so we were instructed via email to find Centennial Field. Tessa did well as navigator -- even with some circular driving we still had an hour to get ready and warm up.

The UVM coach, whose son, Deejae Johnson, coached my son at Green Mtn Valley School, told me that the field had seen a lot of use by his team, the boy's club team and some local club teams. It was pretty cut up and bumpy.

After keep-away, stretching, shooting on Hannah and some passing drills, we were ready. We spoke about making the easy passes to feet in order to try to keep possession under pressure. The rain was fairly light and the temperature around 15C/60F, but both teams had agreed on 40-minute halves due to expected heavier rain later.

Neither team could keep the ball very long because of the immense pressure both teams put on each other. The field condition and weather also contributed to making the ball do crazy things.

UVM created more chances than we did, but we had HANNAH in goal! They out-shot us 9:5 in the first half, but a few minutes after Christine and Claire both took free kicks, Christyn set up Claire for the first goal, in the 21st minute.

Christyn and Claire both had chances later, and we had a succession of good passes as we seemed more confident after our goal. We looked fit and able to withstand their pressure even with very little subbing. UVM seemed frustrated by being down a goal and were getting more physical in their play. One UVM forward who seemed to put a great deal of pressure on herself committed a foul that gave her a yellow card -- unusual for us to see. She was very upset by being unable to score! Credit to our defense and Hannah!!

At half-time we spoke about being quicker to pass in order to avoid having our legs kicked! 

After a few shots by UVM, Annie got a free kick, Claire had a corner kick, and Caroline V and Allison got shots off before Christyn made one of her trademark dribbles down the left side of the pitch, changing speed and finally cutting the ball back to make a perfect cross to meet Claire's run down the middle for a tap-in goal in the 57th minute. 

After that, UVM peppered our goal over and over. Hannah saved us over an over! Elise got a shot off, but mostly we were defending and trying to keep the ball. UVM seemed to get more energy as the game went on! But we continued to defend well and finished with a clean sheet.

Sophie and Mila Sheeline were with us at the sidelines! Sadly they were in town for a grandparent's funeral, but it was wonderful to see them and their mom. 

Elise's parents from CA were there, too! It was impressive to have fans for an away game in such poor weather!

GK: Hannah
CD: Lindsay+Tessa, Caroline V
OD: Annie+Christine, Julia C
CM: Julia S+Caroline V, Claire
OM: Christyn+Elise, Natalie
F: Allison+Claire, Rose

Shots 9:17  Saves 10:1

1 UVM shot wide
5 Christine corner
10 UVM corner
10 UVM shot over
11 UVM shot saved
14 Christine free kick
18 Claire free kick
20 UVM shot saved
21 Christyn set up Claire --> 1:0
26 UVM free kick saved
27 Claire shot wide
29 UVM shot saved
30 UVM shot saved
33 Claire shot wide
34 Christyn shot blocked
38 UVM shot over
39 UVM shot saved
40 Claire shot wide

41 UVM shot wide
42 UVM shot saved, UVM corner
43 UVM shot wide
44 Annie free kick
46 Claire corner
48 Caroline V shot wide
51 UVM shot wide
54 Allison shot over
57 Christyn dribble + cross to Claire --> 2:0
59 UVM corner
60 UVM corner
61 UVM corner, shot saved
66 Elise shot wide
70 UVM shot saved
73 UVM shot saved
73 UVM corner
73 UVM shot wide

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Middlebury 1Oct2014

Busy with so many women's club league games on the weekends, it was difficult  for us to schedule a game with Middlebury, but they were very congenial and willing to travel to us during the week. 

Cloudy but warm 15C/60F with our field in excellent condition, we were delighted to see Christine's mom and dad and Claire's grandmother! Several players had late classes and arrived with only a few minutes to prepare. 

We spoke about making good passes -- our focus in training this week.

Middlebury's team, one of the few remaining JV teams, was fired up (their first game!) and pressured us intensely, but Claire got off the first shot of the game in the first minute. A minute later, Middlebury almost scored with an open net with an errant shot wide.

Caroline V had a shot wide in the third minute, followed by another wide Middlebury shot. Mel had shots wide and on target, as did Middlebury, before she set up Shelby in the 20th minute for our first goal.

We recovered from looking a little dazed and shaky from Middlebury's intensity, and began to take control of the game. In the 25th minute Rose had a shot over then soon after that a shot wide.

In the 35th minute, Claire's shot was blocked for a corner that she took; Leah got her head on Claire's cross but it was saved. A minute later Claire set up Rose with a brilliantly placed rolling cross for Rose to tap into the net for our second goal. 

In the 40th minute, Claire had another shot saved for a corner, followed by a Middlebury shot wide and Christyn's shot that was blocked just before the half.

At half-time we spoke about being quicker with our passes, since Middlebury had not let up their pressure whatsoever. We also noted their use of long, diagonal air passes in behind our defense, who dealt well with those tactics. And we thanked Hannah for her bold movement out onto the field to prevent a few key plays Middlebury made.

In the first minute of the 2nd half, Allison had a very solid shot saved, followed by the same for Christyn. Julia S had a good chance in the 54th minute but her shot was saved. 

Six minutes after Middlebury's shot in the 60th minute, Caroline V made a sweet diagonal dribble to elude a few Middlebury players and put a long air ball into the space just under the crossbar that might just have snuck into the net if their keeper hadn't jumped just enough to prevent it. On its way off her gloves it hit the crossbar and then fell to Leah who rammed it into the net for our third goal. 

Soon after that Julia Dressel pounded a shot toward the near post that forced a save for a corner. After the 70th minute Natalie, Claire, Rose and Leah all had shots prevented, and Hannah saved a shot from Middlebury in the 80th minute.

After another shot from Julia D that went wide, Claire made a blistering dribble past several Middlebury defenders and fired an extremely firm shot into the far side of their net for our 4th goal. Right after that she almost repeated that experience but her shot went wide.

We were delighted to have a strong opponent on such a nice day for playing soccer. Both sides showed good respect for each other by playing very cleanly, with few fouls called. 

Shots  Saves 

G: Hannah
CD: FC+Tessa, Lindsay
OD: Annie+Christine, Julia C+Elise
CM: Caroline V+Claire, Shelby+Julia S
OM: Christyn+Sophie, Leah+Natalie, Amanda W
F: Allison+Mel, Rose+Julia D, Claire

1 Claire shot wide
2 Middlebury shot wide 
3 Caroline V shot wide
Middlebury shot wide
8 Christine corner
10 Mel shot wide
12 Mel shot saved
13 Middlebury shot over
16 Middlebury shot wide
20 Mel pass to Shelby --> 1:0
22 Christine corner
28 Rose shot over
29 Rose shot wide
35 Claire shot blocked for a corner
     Claire corner to Leah header saved
36 Claire cross to Rose for a tap in --> 2:0
40 Claire shot saved for a corner
     Claire corner
41 Middlebury shot wide
42 Christyn shot blocked
44 Middlebury free kick
46 Allison shot saved
47 Christyn shot saved
49 Middlebury corner
54 Julia S shot saved
55 Christine corner
60 Middlebury shot saved
66 Caroline V shot saved, fell to Leah -->3:0
69 Julia D shot saved for a corner taken by Rose
70 Natalie shot blocked 
75 Claire shot saved
76 Rose shot saved
77 Leah shot saved
80 Middlebury shot saved
81 Julia D shot wide
85 Claire long dribble + shot --> 4:0
86 Claire shot wide
88 Middlebury shot wide