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    Roland Gray

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Listener of the Streets

Listener of the Streets (6/7)

  1. Belmont is a good program, strong backcourt with Wells, Jones, and recent add Harvey. Back to back 12/5 NCAA Upsets. 7 straight NCAA's, 5 under Brooks, the former 11 year DePaul assistant. They've played some strong teams close thus far. ............... Re: Harbison, Cancun All Tourney highlights. (With 3 starters out for the season with injury, she'll be asked to carry the scoring often. It was a big loss for SLU: https://twitter.com/VandyWBB/status/1596567209731506178?t=wipeP9CMgSd40AMpqJ5SUQ&s=19
  2. The U.S. ended up getting what they played for, a conservative result. There weren’t many surprises. Wales played a 5-3-2 shell for a half. The U.S.did fine, got a goal and instead of putting the foot on the gas, it appeases the possession, let’s knock it around the back a little bit crowd for 75 minutes. Wales changed alignment and personnel, plays more direct in the 2nd, (Moore) giving the U.S. exactly what they wanted. This means losing some possession (which is fine) and having to defend a little more at times, (which is also fine) But it also means the game opens up with numbers, counters, and space. Too many times the final connecting pass wasn’t there, or even more puzzling, the attempt at the final pass wasn’t there, and the midfield pulled back instead. Sometimes you get the result from which the way you play the game. The mindset and execution needed to be getting to 2 or 3 to zero first. The good news is the opportunity was there and much of the play was fine. Just need to change a few things.
  3. Some scores of note: Creighton 3 Washington 1 Blue Jays go on the road at top seed UDub and take it. (SLU won at Creighton 3-2 this year) Sweet 16. Field conditions were much better. https://twitter.com/creightonmsoc/status/1594504346041032704?s=21&t=y58bxvZiUyCbrLIh78oQww https://twitter.com/creightonmsoc/status/1594524936449585152?s=21&t=y58bxvZiUyCbrLIh78oQww https://twitter.com/creightonmsoc/status/1594526025735700485?s=21&t=y58bxvZiUyCbrLIh78oQww …………… Western Michigan 1 Lipscomb 0. (Lipscomb was a SLU opponent this year. And we recently discussed Western Michigan in soccer conference realignment this week. …………….. Vermont 3 SMU 2 (SMU was a SLU opponent) …………….
  4. Memphis 3 Arkansas 3 2OT Arkansas advances to the Elite 8. (3-2 in pk’s) Hard fought, fun game. Arkansas had some success early drawing final half final third fouls/set pieces as SLU did with Memphis. However, the Razorbacks were a little more efficient. De Filippo used her size to score twice on two similar set piece headers back post to far post. SLU was successful winning aerial challenges but couldn’t finish one. And service was more effective for Arkansas. Wyville is good coming out North South in the air. But is you can make her move East West in the air it can be effective. https://twitter.com/razorbacksoccer/status/1594470820092334081?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ https://twitter.com/razorbacksoccer/status/1594478798002524160?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ ……………… Memphis answered down 2 goals. Alonzo end swinger corner, loose ball buried by Huber. https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1594478974734053376?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ Stordy, who made great runs at outside back all game, cuts in and Alonzo gets the redirection finish. https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1594479988211785729?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ ……………… Arkansas took the lead off of a set piece throw, weak clear, ball touches 4 Razorbacks before finally being redirected for the goal. https://twitter.com/razorbacksoccer/status/1594495555211649024?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ After Arkansas took a 3-2 lead but once again, Memphis wouldn’t go away. Miller made a run, hit it off the far post and Mya Jones follows the rebound: https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1594497645279875073?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ ………………. Game winning stop by Grace Barbara on Mya Jones. Both keepers were good in pk’s: https://twitter.com/razorbacksoccer/status/1594507562786820096?s=21&t=SvAiASJObEYY1kOGuBgvNQ …………….. Strong NCAA Tourney for Memphis. And, SLU of course defeated Arkansas this season, and, twice in the past three seasons. Arkansas will play at Florida State, for a spot in the College Cup Final Four. …………….. Notre Dame 2 TCU 0 SLU opponent ND will host North Carolina for a spot in the College Cup Final Four.
  5. Indiana 1 SLU 0 Overall a good effort for SLU. One seemingly harmless clear turned into a goal for IU. Much of the lineups were as expected, Grady was back from concussion protocol and he had a good game. Buendia moved back to defensive midfield and was injured in the 2nd half. IU went with Goumballe on the RW and brought Endeley off of the bench. Blustery day. That factored into some positioning changes in the game. Lots of good pressure from SLU in the first, trapping the wings. Forcing turnovers. Good work from CJ. He even turned Munie inside out with a tough angle chance. SLU played very high, and they were active. Lane service for Easton header One early defensive play was Seth back tracking doubling Wittenbrink with Max along SLU’s right side. SLU started Seth on that side to go against Wittenbrink. And another play where Buendia gave support there. IU’s goal later was when Max was left 1v1 with Wittenbrink without support. Later in the game, SLU wasn’t as effective on the turnover to Wittenbrink and he made them pay for it. Talked pregame about how Wittenbrink has been a really nice find for IU on the left wing this season. Another red shirt player development success story. First half, IU had a good chance off of Wittenbrink winning the corner and taking a nice short one and centers to Wagoner and a great reflex save for Carlos. Shterenberg with a great shot far post past the keeper but a nice kick save stop for maher kept it even. CJ was a handful, and made the play. IU started having more success when they moved Goumballe to the middle and inserted Endeley at right wing. It gave them more pace and width in the 2nd. Set piece service wasn’t a strength for SLU much of the game. ………….. In the 2nd, an effective diagonal ball (needed a few more of those) from Alberto to Seth who started a play with Alex and Johnny. Johnny put it just over the bar. Lane throw, Max double header to Johnson who ripped it far post and once again Maher saved a goal. Mads later made a run in the box but slipped before he could get a shot off. IU goal was a SLU goal kick, 50/50 midfield IU sent it over the top, Suarez was on it with Goumballe chasing him. Alberto back to Goumballe, rushed and fanned a bit on the out of bounds clear. Wittenbrink ran onto it, and he kept going running downhill at Max, cutting in and hitting a perfect shot from 15 low far post. It was a simple play that quickly turned into a goal. Alex was a little late to get back, Max gave slightly extra space and Alberto was late to help close out for the double. Carlos a bit flat footed. Perfect shot. SLU didn’t press as high in the 2nd, and wasn’t forcing as many final third turnovers. However, much of Indiana’s build from the back East West possession where they were able to get a little closer to half field didn’t leas to a whole lot. Munie and Maher were rock solid at center back as expected. It’s a game of a few chances both ways and IU was able to finish one.
  6. Add Okpoye and Shternenberg, to your departing Seniors list, and, subtract Buendia. As I’ve shared with you more in depth away from the board, SLU has immediate impact caliber players up top, on the wing, in the midfield, center back and outside back in addition to what they return. SLU will also be working the transfer portal as well. It’s a record year for transfers.
  7. Probables: 4-4-2 v 4-2-3-1 Indiana is a balanced team, scoring by committee with its front four. Pratt and Harms have shared time in goal, and while solid, are less experienced and it’s not a settled position. Munie controls the defense and is a two time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at center back. Often plays left side next to Maher. (Bebej, Sessock) Wagoner/McDonald Front four, Wittenbrink and Endeley on the wings, Mihalic in the middle and speedy Sarver up top. Wittenbrink has been the big find for them season often on left wing. Mihalic combines well with him. Experienced Endeley is still very good. IU tinkers and adjusts their line based on how the game is going, their possession and pressure as well as their opponent. Balanced, good, a little inconsistent at times, playing up and down to opponents. Efficiency in the final third at both ends is a key for them.
  8. Another strong NCAA showing for UCF. Despite not being able to defeat conference foe Memphis in their last 6 h2h meetings the past few seasons, the Knights advanced past NC State, and, they took 1 seed UCLA to pk's in an entertaining hard fought round of 32 game.
  9. Memphis will play Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Arkansas 5 Ohio State 2. (Shots 27-13) Career 45th for Podojil, Tank, De Filippo, Franklin …………………. Another SLU opponent this year, Notre Dame, defeated Santa Clara 4-0 and outshot them 41-5. Korbin Albert’s 16th (14 goals in her past 10 games): https://twitter.com/ndsoccer/status/1593769677196591105?s=21&t=u37eqHrkia8kPssTZld_vw ……………. After defeating Tennessee 4-1, Xavier fell to Virginia in the snow, 3-1. …………….
  10. NCAA Soccer: Memphis 4 Mississippi State 0 It was all Memphis today (played at Arkansas.) Sweet 16 for the Tigers. Free kick for Saoria Miller: https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1593734890834792449?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ When in doubt, Mya Jones making a play on the right side: she https://twitter.com/ncaasoccer/status/1593749095717429252?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ Jones to Stordy to Miller, back to Stordy making a run from right back: https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1593749865900670978?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ Seto gets in on the fun: https://twitter.com/memphiswsoccer/status/1593756485816819712?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ Previously mentioned 8 starters from last year’s AAC Title Team, NCAA Rd of 32 team with 3-0 win over LSU and close loss to Duke. 5 straight NCAA’s. They can play when they put it together. ……………. I liked SLU’s draw when it came out because I liked the matchups. Mississippi State had a lot of injuries this year, missing some players. But they were resilient and hung in there as a defensive team, got some results especially earlier in the season. (Arkansas and Ohio State play direct, attacking styles.) …………………… Notre Dame regional was delayed to clear snow off of the field. https://twitter.com/ncaasoccer/status/1593700905785901057?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ This was the Penn State regional: https://twitter.com/ncaasoccer/status/1593723649160265728?s=21&t=iXQam4L-yPCJH1lXJqFUiQ ……………….. Strong showings for many 2023 and 2024 SLU Women’s Soccer commits at the ECNL Phoenix Showcase. 2023’s, Jordan Gary, Lucie Schwarz, Autumn Jackson, Alyssa Bockius had wins over San Diego Surf and Mustang SC, (CA) and a hard fought loss to one of the country’s best, Slammer HB Koge (CA). In addition, they sit at the top of the table in rugged Midwest Conference League play with two tough league games remaining. Strong defensive showing for Macy Lutz and her 3rd nationally ranked Michigan Hawks team yielding just 4 goals in 3 games against Beach (CA), Classics Elite (TX), and Sporting CA. Audrey Smith and her national champion, number 1 nationally ranked team, competed against a few of the best teams nationally. After a win over San Juan (CA), they had 3-3, 2-2 draws with the FC Dallas and Solar SC, two of the country’s best in that age group. Hope Kim’ and her SBV team were able to put up 8 goals in 3 games against San Diego Surf, MVLA (CA), and Dallas Texans. …………….
  11. 4-4-2 vs 4-2-3-1 With Easton out, Buendia moved to center back, and Townsend moved to defensive midfield, where he played last year. Rodrigues dos Santos was not available for Memphis, and, it hurt them in the middle of the field. SLU trapped the wings well, played diagonally through the middle, until Memphis was able to switch fields wide on a long ball and Christensen got past Lane and Alex, and he pulled it back for Primo trailing the middle. Not enough man marking in the box on transition. Numbers were fine. SLU likes to pinch the middle with its wings, long balls wide to force transition were an opportunity for Memphis, though seldom utilized. SLU used the width of the field and played the corners effectively throughout the game against Memphis’ outside backs. Floriani won the near post set piece header as he does every game to Okpoye who almost had one. And again later he does the same thing to Petersen, who hit one far post, Welsh made another diving stop. Another SLU forced turnover, Petersen diagonal run, draws several defenders for Anderson’s tap in finish. As the trapped wings continued and without Rodrigues dos Santos, the middle of the field opened up more and more as the game progressed. ……………….. In the 2nd, another set piece throw for Lane to CJ, cleared to Mads side of the box service back to CJ, header off of the bar. Mads give and go with Seth, and Mads draws 3, Seth plays to CJ 1v1 back to goal target and turns and hits it just wide. Mads has come a long way on the wing, going back and forth from up top. Memphis gave Suarez lots of space. (if they give you the space you take the space) and he sends Johnny in behind two defenders for the foul and Alberto PK goal. This is Memphis sitting deeper at times often. Memphis 2nd goal, defending the 18, set piece, SLU had 3 to 4 chances to clear, Memphis kept it alive and finally equalized. OT, Lane throw, Max near post off of defender to Okpoye far post heads it in off of the defender. So many times this season. Tired Memphis legs on the 4th goal. Long ball from Seth to Legut to Johnny to Seth, end line to Mika for the finish. Two SLU goals created from the wing position, (Mads and Seth) one goal via set piece final third, and one taking the space.
  12. Simon’s new MLS Deal: https://twitter.com/whitecapsfc/status/1593337113231392768?s=21&t=qU6-LUNh0Fjq67WqPkI8Vg https://twitter.com/whitecapsfc/status/1593333299040391168?s=21&t=qU6-LUNh0Fjq67WqPkI8Vg
  13. SLU will have a few injuries to sort out. Easton will not be available at center back. (concussion) Ross also dealing with an ankle injury along the back line. So a few pieces will move around, but the bulk of the SLU lineup will look familiar.
  14. SLU v Memphis. Likely 4-4-2 v 4-2-3-1 Memphis is a direct, not a possession team, that likes to play deep, absorb pressure, and counter through the middle with Rodrigues dos Santos through Cruz. Cruz will chase alone up top and force secondary traps. Solid defensively up the middle through to Weston. He is their primary scorer. SLU can be effective forcing Memphis to play higher than they’d like, using the width of the field, spreading them out, work the undersized wingbacks (Anderson a long thrower, and Giolo) and create set piece opportunities for Max and Alberto, making them move East West in their own final third. Welsh is a solid keeper. A draw with Lipscomb, wins over SMU and UCF, so they are very capable, even though most of their results were at home.
  15. The short answer is no. If I could I would add a team or two of what’s left if I could drop a team or two from the A10. West Virginia left last season for the Sun Belt, after their NCAA Quarterfinal team. But the few remaining are better programs than some think at first glance. West Michigan is a consistent solid strong RPI team year after year going back a dozen or more years under their current regime. Northern Illinois has newer leadership and had a strong year last year. Sometimes these teams will have a strong season but have trouble sustaining it. Akron of course is big time. 3 College Cup Final Fours in the past 7 seasons, and a national title and an additional final four shortly prior to that. 18 of 21 NCAA Tourneys.
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