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    Roland Gray

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Listener of the Streets

Listener of the Streets (6/7)

  1. SLU non-conference opponents: For the 2nd time in 3 seasons, Xavier has won the regular season Big East Title. (3 local starters) (Georgetown, Butler etc some good teams) Xavier and SLU opponent Purdue (in the Big 10) have had strong top 20 caliber seasons. All 5 of SLU’s Power 5 opponents have been RPI Top 100. KU has had some big ranked wins, combined with some disappointing results. Louisville was top 40 much of the season before fading a bit in the rugged ACC. Iowa piled up a strong early season record and had some heartbreaking close losses.
  2. Rhode Island 1 SLU 0 OT SLU controlled the game and had several chances. Rhode Island had few, but made a great shot off of a couple of mistakes in OT. Caroline Kelly had a strong first half on the wing. She made several good passes, including this one to Hannah Friedrich who would like the finish back: SLU had several chances dominating the final 15 minutes but couldn’t find a goal. Here Abbie Miller heads a Friedrich corner off of the crossbar that almost bounced over the line: Another cross for Miller was volleyed off of the near post. Kelly had a great chance but a good diving save and loose rebound was cleared. Rhode Island OT goal. A Heckel pass giveaway, (she had a couple of those today) turnover and pass ahead to top of box and Stram took a poor side angle, (earlier she did a nice job marking tight out to 25 yards) player and ball get behind. SLU is too slow to get to the ball for the clear and Claire Ross bends a perfect shot far side netting from 18 yards out for the winner. Stunning defeat. Earlier in the game, Rhode Island had another chance with a forced turnover at midfield from the wing. Miller, who won several midfield balls, didn’t make the play, doesn’t have the footspeed to get back, Kohl gets caught in between stopping ball and covering the open player in the middle. (Houck needs to slide over and she did) but Kohl was late to stop ball. The defense is split, Heckel drifts back too far inside the box. Shot from inside 18, nice save from Puricelli. That play happened way too many times early in the season. Friedrich had some chances she’d like back from the wing. SLU had several shots from distance just over the bar. Gaebe had some really deft touch passing around 18-25 yards. Shots were 16-6 for SLU. Corners were 8-2 for SLU. Previously SLU had gone to a mid game lineup of Friedrich inside of Kelly and Sawyer with Gaebe up top. SLU dis not try that this game. With the loss SLU loses the #2 seed to Dayton. (VCU won. the regular season title Thursday night). Puricelli Houck, Stram, Heckel, Halverson Miller, Kohl Kelly, Preusser, Friedrich, Gaebe Lots of Beach outside back rotation with Houck and Halverson (who both played good games.).
  3. 2022 SLU commit Lauren Hiatt scored the game winning goal (2-0) in the Tennessee AAA large school Sectional Finals, to send her Ravenwood (Nashville) team to the State Quarterfinals. Lauren was recently named to the All District Team. She has made a nice comeback from her serious knee injury last year. She has been a big factor in both the defensive midfield and backline since her return this Spring. She will return to TSC ECNL club ball after the High School Season.
  4. SLU 4 George Washington 0 SLU clinches the Regular Season A-10 Title. Both John Klein and Simon Becher are forwards who are very good at two way play, coming back to defend and to show as a target, to create offense. Becher set up SLU's 4th goal from a pass in SLU's 3rd of the field to Klein to Leeth. SLU's backline, and defensive midfield, does a good job of breaking up plays before they develop and stepping into the offense. Niece, Keller, etc... No Palazzolo for SLU, but he did travel and dress. He was kicked in the knee on a slide tackle last game. John Klein keeps moving up the all time single season assist list for SLU. According to SLU, he surpassed Brad Davis' 2001 14 assist season. Klein has 15. (Matt Mckeon had 20 in 1995) Becher scored his 10th. Heading into the weekend, 5 players Nationally had more than 10. Mason Leeth had two goals for SLU. Goals: Schulte Murana, Keller, Niece, Vaughn Leeth Wilkinson Buendia Parker Becher Klein
  5. All of SLU’s Seniors took part in some Senior day photos. The only one not expected back next year is Hatfield, who experienced the full Senior Day ceremonies.
  6. SLU 1 Richmond 0. 5 straight SLU wins, all by shutout. They will play Sunday at Rhode Island to secure the number 2 seed in the conference tourney. VCU won the regular season league title last night. SLU continued its recently successful lineup of moving Kelly to a wing, and, at times, they moved Friedrich to a central attacking midfield position from the wing. (Kelly and Sawyer wide, Friedrich in the middle and Gaebe up top) SLU had one of its best full 45 minutes, energy attacking, 2nd halves of the season. Emily Gaebe continued pressuring defenses and scoring goals in a variety of ways. Gaebe forced a turnover from a trio of the Richmond defense, beat her defender 1v1, left foot, far post: Later, multiple Billikens had a nice combination play, from the back to Gaebe, with a no look back heel pass as a target to Miller who hammers one just over the goal. Gaebe also will several good, low, driving passes with pace to set up the offense. SLU was dangerous all game with set pieces and corners. Here, a Friedrich service, nice driving header far post from Stram was saved off of the line to Houck, who’s rebound bangs off of the post. Lots of similar plays to this for SLU: Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week Bri Halverson continues to provide the needed pace and flexibility on defense, while also providing box to box offensive support. 27 shots, 16 corners for SLU. Senior night for Brianna Hatfield. She almost had one cutting in from the right wing, just needed an extra dribble and a little more elevation for far post corner: Puricelli Houck, Stram, Heckel, Halverson Miller, Kohl Kelly, Preusser, Friedrich Gaebe
  7. By the way, Notre Dame likes being independent. They like the ACC for its Olympic Sports. (ACC is best conference for that.) They want a clear football playoff path. Securing their next tv deal. These are the things that matters to Notre Dame. They will continue to criss cross the country to try to schedule games all over the country, close enough for all of their alums and fans to attend.
  8. Boise St. and Memphis have been expected to eventually join the Big 12.
  9. Fans don’t make the decisions and fans don’t get it done. One can waste a lot of time discussing the topic with Big East fans. They would want: Gonzaga Notre Dame Kansas. The last two they understand they are slim to no chance. It’s a wish list a dream list. Others may add an additional high profile team or two. Gonzaga is the main discussion. Can the Big East double the money with its new tv deal etc…? Unfortunately the teams already in the Big East, are already in the Big East regardless of how they are doing or have been doing. SLU can help itself by winning more games. More inside the bubble than outside of the bubble. SLU needs to win more than they do and have. Relationships. Those needed to have been building for some time, and need to be strong. Facilities, budgets, coaching hires etc…. Gonzaga is first in line. They may or may not get an invite. I think they’d accept if they do. They may not get invited. Will they expand beyond one team? That would help SLU’s chances. They would still have a chance if only one team expansion and Gonzaga is not in play. Until then win the A-10, make NCAA Tourneys. Do some damage.
  10. Right. I appreciate, and I understand what you were saying multiple times. SLU doesn’t have a past track record of committing to Athletics at the level required to win Big East Titles etc…and that’s the goal, along with NCAA Tourney appearances and mixing in deeper NCAA Tourney runs. …not just getting in or being an after thought in the league. It will keep taking more commitment. Takes $, budgets, facilities, good coaches, good players, good communication, admin, fans, etc…it takes a lot. Anything less and SLU won’t be competitive enough. But at some point you have to want to try to be more. What was the Biondi quote when Chaifetz opened? As of to say well the investment is finished. Nope, just the beginning. We’ll see.
  11. Example: In 3 years as Head Coach at Butler in the Big East, Chris Holtmann made 3 NCAA Tourneys, 1 Sweet 16, Two 2nd place regular season Big East finishes, all three years were top 5 in the league. Won at least one NCAA Tourney game all 3 years. He then became the head coach at Ohio St. Since? Lavall Jordan would have had Butler in 2 of 4 NCAA’s. One was canceled. Butler is preseason 6th in Big East. Example: Xavier. Chris Mack had Xavier in the NCAA Tourney all 5 Big East seasons. 3 of those 5 teams were top 3 league teams. One was an elite 8 team and one was a sweet 16 team. He then became Louisville Head Coach. (His wife is from there) Since? Travis Steele has finished 3rd, 6th, 7th. Xavier is picked 3rd in Big East Preseason this season, with 2 preseason first team players. If a coach doesn’t win enough, that coach will be replaced. (Wojo,’etc..) All of the newer Big East schools are very happy being in the Big East. If SLU gets an opportunity to join, I hope they do. I hope they have a commitment to win many Big East Championships in many sports over many years.
  12. Hotel/Hospitality Management. Union Station.
  13. SLU dropped from 11th to 12th in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. (Similar to Simon Becher not being in the Midseason Top Drawer Soccer top 100, I had to look at it a few times.)
  14. This brings up another subtopic. Chris Mack left Xavier for Louisville. Chris Holtmann left Butler for Ohio St. Both were successful at Xavier and Butler. Buzz Williams left Marquette for Virginia Tech and Texas A&M. (Circumstances are more individually specific.) Coaches matter. Coaching hires matter. Coaching stability matters. Jay Wright of course is on the other end of that spectrum at Villanova. I’m all for SLU trying to get into the Big East, and, getting into the Big East. But if they want to be successful in it, they will have to step it up on and off of the field/court in several areas, and, maintain it over time. I’m all for doing that. But that is part of what it takes.
  15. SLU “could” do well in the Big East. It has to continue to increase its basketball commitment on and off of the floor. There’s no reason SLU couldn’t do welp and be competitive in the Big East. Some of the team examples show how fast things can and do change positively and negatively. For example, Boston College was very competitive for 13 years in two leagues under Al Skinner once he got things going. They were not competitive for 6 plus years under Jim Christian. Vandy was an every other year NCAA team for 3 decades prior to the last two seasons of Bryce Drew and first two under Stackhouse. They do have practice facility upgrades, as well as a brand new building being built next door. $$$ And they have a top 15 recruiting class for 2022 (4 players). Xavier and Butler have fared better when changing coaching hires over the years. Most of the teams in the Big East are competitive. SLU will need to step it up to get to the upper tiers. There’s no reason they can’t, but it isn’t a guarantee or given.
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