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Cagey match all-around with teams spending much of the time between the two 18s.  Louisville had much of the possession for the game but SLU seemed determined to keep the lines together, keep Louisville in front of them, and push them wide, and just prevent any breakdown down the middle.  They executed well but it did make for a slightly boring game.

SLU started strong with a CK goal off Becher.  Match was stagnant for most the first half, just trading possession.  Kalish brought on first half subs and Louisville gained the upper hand in possession and position on the field.  The subs were able to get SLU out of the half though so credit to them.  Second half saw Louisville hit an unstoppable shot from just right of the center D on the 18; truly a well-hit shot to make it 1-1.  SLU had more dangerous chances between the two though in the second half with Becher almost grabbing one after nifty work by Parker to beat several down the left and create a mess in front of goal.  Becher's shot was deflected away though.  Becher also was stymied on a 50/50 ball in the box where the goalie did great to close him down and affect his shot.  Klein almost busted through two defenders but was taken down hard outside the box which resulted in a yellow (Klein wanted a red because he thought he was clear through).  So SLU had the the most of the chances, but Louisville did beat our keeper late in the game with another wicked shot but luckily the cross bar prevented them going up.  Overtime was more of the same and seemed to be headed to a draw but we got a free kick which Klein hammered a ball to near side and Becher did enough to glance it in.  

There is more to say for sure and Courtside will have more.  Quick thoughts:  SLU seemed lacking in a dynamic center midfielder but this may have been reflective of how they wanted to play; Parker will be a handful as he grows into the game; I wish we were able to slot Mason more down the right as that kid has serious speed to burn; Becher was active and dangerous; Klein was ok but his stature made it tough to play against Louisville's backline; Freshman Anderson had good minutes; 

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5 hours ago, SLUBALLS said:

Cagey match all-around with teams spending much of the time between the two 18s.  Louisville had much of the possession for the game but SLU seemed determined to keep the lines together, keep Louisville in front of them, and push them wide, and just prevent any breakdown down the middle.  They executed well but it did make for a slightly boring game.

SLU started strong with a CK goal off Becher.  Match was stagnant for most the first half, just trading possession.  Kalish brought on first half subs and Louisville gained the upper hand in possession and position on the field.  The subs were able to get SLU out of the half though so credit to them.  Second half saw Louisville hit an unstoppable shot from just right of the center D on the 18; truly a well-hit shot to make it 1-1.  SLU had more dangerous chances between the two though in the second half with Becher almost grabbing one after nifty work by Parker to beat several down the left and create a mess in front of goal.  Becher's shot was deflected away though.  Becher also was stymied on a 50/50 ball in the box where the goalie did great to close him down and affect his shot.  Klein almost busted through two defenders but was taken down hard outside the box which resulted in a yellow (Klein wanted a red because he thought he was clear through).  So SLU had the the most of the chances, but Louisville did beat our keeper late in the game with another wicked shot but luckily the cross bar prevented them going up.  Overtime was more of the same and seemed to be headed to a draw but we got a free kick which Klein hammered a ball to near side and Becher did enough to glance it in.  

There is more to say for sure and Courtside will have more.  Quick thoughts:  SLU seemed lacking in a dynamic center midfielder but this may have been reflective of how they wanted to play; Parker will be a handful as he grows into the game; I wish we were able to slot Mason more down the right as that kid has serious speed to burn; Becher was active and dangerous; Klein was ok but his stature made it tough to play against Louisville's backline; Freshman Anderson had good minutes; 

Celebrate success. A 2-1 OT win for SLU over Louisville to open the season against an ACC team that’s going to win some games this season. Becher showed why he’s one of the best offensive U23 players nationally. 

SLU was rewarded early for beginning the game with a sense of urgency, creating pressure and opportunity. Set piece corner Becher from Parker, near post run, far post goal. That allowed SLU to play the first half differently. 

Essentially, you had Schulte behind Keller and Palozzolo inside, Vaughn and Murana outside. Buendia and Wilkinson played deeper in the central midfield w/Parker and Leeth very wide on the outside. Becher and Klein up top. SLU was content to give space, keeping Becher and Klein inside passing lanes, while having Leeth not allow the width of the field. So we saw some pedestrian long balls, which isn’t how Lousiville likes to play. I would agree Klein was quiet for the most part, but quiet included winning free kicks and corners in the final 3rd, and providing service on the game winner. 

It wasn’t a style of play Louisville wanted to play. They prefer a more wide open game. 

SLU pushed and pressed for a two goal lead the entire 2nd half up until the Louisville goal. The mentioned Pedro Fonseca receives a target pass 25 yards out, takes two steps right and delivers too left corner. That’s all it takes for UL to strike. Just prior SLU had a corner, UL tried to counter, a bit of an errant SLU distribution pass from the back to mid, and a nice width ball over the top for 1v1 vs Vaughn, Nice help and clear, but it was still a bit of an extended counter, losing a bit of shape, mids a bit deep, and Fonseca created space 1v1 v Wilkinson, and hit a screamer. Perhaps forcing left was an option there. 

And after Louisville’s goal the game had a bit more of the middle of the field feel until OT where things opened up a bit, especially for SLU. Score, tired legs, different things can affect style of play throughout the game. 

SLU likes to push Parker on the left side, whereas the Leeth and Murana offer box runs and back post runs. Both of those two had a few chances later first half as well as later in the game. (Murana scored one v MSU last week)

Buendia is who you are looking for in the central midfield. Very capable two way player. He sat a bit deeper in last night’s game.

Idealistically, Anderson is going to pair up top with Parker in future seasons. Parker adds the speed component, good in tight spaces, attacks 1v1. Seth is less Parker flash, and more worker bee who can create for others or finish himself in a variety of ways. SLU was able to get solid minutes from Komodi (UMKC transfe) up top. 

Bruch and Mika had some minutes wide and Johnson tucked inside the defensive midfield. Townsend can play there or the back the line (more natural for him back there). Townsend 

Free kicks, corners, counters are strengths for SLU, building from the back with a good, veteran defense. Louisville added a 2nd dangerous 25 yard strike late from Sander Roed, but otherwise, pretty stalwart defending from SLU not allowing anything over the top, closing inside passing lanes, and not allowing UL to get wide either. 

If SLU gets a 2nd in the first half of the 2nd half, then it’s a possible tack on situation. 

SLU has just two Seniors, despite a lot of experience, and a lot of promising newer players.

 

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Three decade rival Creighton visits SLU Sunday, and a familiar face will be at the helm. Two time national player of the year, leading Creighton to its first College Cup Final Four, Johnny Torres is now Head Coach after assisting three great ones, Bob Warming, Jamie Clark, and Elmar Bolowich, over 12 seasons. 

In his 3rd season in charge, Torres seeks to put Creighton back to the top of the Big East and making waves in the NCAA’s.

From 1991-2021, Creighton has made the NCAA’s 23 times in the past 30 seasons. However, 5 of those misses have happened in the past 5 seasons, after making it 23/25 seasons. That includes 5 College Cup Final Fours, and 6 other Elite 8’s. They are expected to be among the Big East’s elite this season. We’ll see.

Forward Diego Gutierrez is a player of the year candidate in the Big East, and paired with Freshman Manu Toledano, they make a dynamic pair up top. He came back for a bonus 5th year after being drafted by Portland MLS 3rd round. Their offense runs through him. Mark O’Neill is solid in the midfield, and much of the back are long time veteran defenders, as one of the better keepers nationally, when healthy, 6’5 Paul Kruse. A bit of a slow start for Creighton early. 

All time series record is 8-8-2 between the two schools. Always a fun one. 

 

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Only word you need for today’s win versus Creighton is domination.  SLU was just pulsating all through-out on the attack and kept Creighton’s offense in complete check.  Exciting game to watch even in the heat.  Nice way to round out the weekend.  Courtside can provide the quality color he is known for about the game.  

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12 minutes ago, SLUBALLS said:

Only word you need for today’s win versus Creighton is domination.  SLU was just pulsating all through-out on the attack and kept Creighton’s offense in complete check.  Exciting game to watch even in the heat.  Nice way to round out the weekend.  Courtside can provide the quality color he is known for about the game.  

SLU 4 Creighton 0 (It could have been worse)

Small sided games and triangles. Turning the game into small sided triangles with first touch, pace, and purpose, staying organized.

A bit of a different opponent and approach, but principles within what you want to do remain similar. 

Formation and lineup was mostly similar but a little tweeking. Remember when we discussed wide mids playing very wide and deeper, especially Leeth, as well as central midfielder Buendia vs an explosive Louisville team that likes to go wide, well, that was tweaked a bit. Leeth was set wide and a bit deeper, making a few dangerous back post runs last game. Kalish went with Shterneberg there on the right side, and he was positioned a bit higher and a bit more inside. The other lineup change was Johnson at defensive mid for Wilkinson. Otherwise you are the same two up top pairing Klein and Becher. Parker wide left, Buendia up a bit centrally, and the same back four, playing a bit more of a higher line.

It was the same ready to play pressure that nearly yielded Becher a quick first minutes goal in on goal again. 

You also had a few other tweaks as the game went on as Anderson, who has played some wide mid, moved up too and immediately scored when he did. Vaughn wins a head ball throw in to Komodi, one touch volley to Wilkinson, who sends it over the top and Anderson wins 1v1 left foot, right side netting. That play sums up the game. First touch, pace, triangles, small sided games. Attractive soccer. Anderson’s little brother Tanner is every bit as good, and even faster than Seth. 2023 SLU target. They played together on the 19’s USYS National Semifinalist team this summer with SLU Freshmen Brogan Townsend and Donny Ross. 

We talked a bit about depth. We talked  before how SLU wants to be able roll out a 2nd 11. The bench was cleared minus a few injured players . But even with a closer game, SLU is going to go a deeper than before. 8 first half subs alone, 14 subs all with double digit minutes on a warm breezy sunny day. (There are 3 players who are good that we haven’t even seen play yet.)

Becher and Klein relentlessly playing the passing lanes, allowing wide and defensive mids to take space and mark tight, moving the backline up higher. Creighton struggled a lot with distribution and connecting out of the back and midfield. 

Multiple set piece goals again, Palazzolo off of a pin ball corner, settles inside the box, low, far side netting. Moore, near post run, back post header from Alwang’s corner. Same thing we saw twice with Becher game one. 

Becher missed a few, Buendia missed a few, or it could have been more a bit earlier in the game.

Using one of the two forwards, a wide mid and a defensive mid to form triangles, cut off passing lanes, anticipate, step in front, with first touch, one touch precision and we’re going the other way. Still have the same formation and principles, at times it looks like two stacks of four, at times it looks like two in the back with backs like Murana or Ross on the right side getting forward because they have the pace and ability to do so and recover. 

There will be other times when Parker plays up top instead of wide mid. He can play both. (Anderson did it today) Lots of options along with Becher, Klein (how about that pair trading passes so Klein could get on the board? It’s the little things.)

On the flip side of offensive versatility, there is plenty in back too. If Palazzolo looked calm and collected finishing, it’s because he can and he has played several positions. Townsend who has mostly played defensive mid can play on the back line. Ross can play any back line position, and so on. 

SLU had a terrific defense last year, best in the league. They needed more help in the attacking 3rd, more depth there and elsewhere, a 2nd 11. 22 shots to 6. Corners were 13 to 2. 

Preseason picks aren’t everything. But SLU has opened the year with a win over ACC preseason #3 Louisville, and a win over Big East preseason #3 Creighton.  Good start. Celebrate success. Long way to go.

It’s pretty fun when it starts to click a little bit. 

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SLU ranked #25 by top drawar soccer:

https://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-national-rankings/men

Of note (past and future opponents and A-10):

Missouri State is ranked #9

SMU is ranked #13

Davidson is ranked #22

VCU is ranked #24

- Also interesting, Fordham was ranked #24 in their week 1 rankings. 

*** I did not realize how good the A-10 is at soccer this year.

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2 hours ago, SLUMedBilliken15 said:

SLU ranked #25 by top drawar soccer:

https://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-national-rankings/men

Of note (past and future opponents and A-10):

Missouri State is ranked #9

SMU is ranked #13

Davidson is ranked #22

VCU is ranked #24

- Also interesting, Fordham was ranked #24 in their week 1 rankings. 

*** I did not realize how good the A-10 is at soccer this year.

Early season rankings are often a combination of part carryover from the previous season’s finish, part adding early current season results, part what you return/bring in new.

VCU had a 2-0 at Wake Forest, and, a 1-1 draw at North Carolina. Both were top 10 teams. Their 12th year Head Coach, Dave Giffard, is from St. Louis. 

Davidson had 3-1 wins over both High Point (top 25 team) and Campbell. Their head coach Mike Babst is in his 3rd season He built U Chicago into a D-3 power after assisting Northwestern. He has region ties there as a five year South Carolina assistant. Would be good for the league to get it going there.

SMU opened its season with a top 10 win over Stanford, 3-1. Their 6th season Head Coach, Kevin Hudson, is also from St. Louis. Played for Schellas Hyndman. He made a College Cup Final Four as a player, he was an all Region player, and he was an Academic All American. SMU is one of the late 70’s/80’s to the present long time rivals of SLU along with Indiana. Creighton joined that group at the beginning of the 90’s.

Fordham has not looked good in either of its first two games, lopsided losses at Georgetown and at Providence.

Anything that helps SLU’s power rating is a good thing. 

 

 

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21 hours ago, courtside said:

SLU 4 Creighton 0 (It could have been worse)

Small sided games and triangles. Turning the game into small sided triangles with first touch, pace, and purpose, staying organized.

A bit of a different opponent and approach, but principles within what you want to do remain similar. 

Formation and lineup was mostly similar but a little tweeking. Remember when we discussed wide mids playing very wide and deeper, especially Leeth, as well as central midfielder Buendia vs an explosive Louisville team that likes to go wide, well, that was tweaked a bit. Leeth was set wide and a bit deeper, making a few dangerous back post runs last game. Kalish went with Shterneberg there on the right side, and he was positioned a bit higher and a bit more inside. The other lineup change was Johnson at defensive mid for Wilkinson. Otherwise you are the same two up top pairing Klein and Becher. Parker wide left, Buendia up a bit centrally, and the same back four, playing a bit more of a higher line.

It was the same ready to play pressure that nearly yielded Becher a quick first minutes goal in on goal again. 

You also had a few other tweaks as the game went on as Anderson, who has played some wide mid, moved up too and immediately scored when he did. Vaughn wins a head ball throw in to Komodi, one touch volley to Wilkinson, who sends it over the top and Anderson wins 1v1 left foot, right side netting. That play sums up the game. First touch, pace, triangles, small sided games. Attractive soccer. Anderson’s little brother Tanner is every bit as good, and even faster than Seth. 2023 SLU target. They played together on the 19’s USYS National Semifinalist team this summer with SLU Freshmen Brogan Townsend and Donny Ross. 

We talked a bit about depth. We talked  before how SLU wants to be able roll out a 2nd 11. The bench was cleared minus a few injured players . But even with a closer game, SLU is going to go a deeper than before. 8 first half subs alone, 14 subs all with double digit minutes on a warm breezy sunny day. (There are 3 players who are good that we haven’t even seen play yet.)

Becher and Klein relentlessly playing the passing lanes, allowing wide and defensive mids to take space and mark tight, moving the backline up higher. Creighton struggled a lot with distribution and connecting out of the back and midfield. 

Multiple set piece goals again, Palazzolo off of a pin ball corner, settles inside the box, low, far side netting. Moore, near post run, back post header from Alwang’s corner. Same thing we saw twice with Becher game one. 

Becher missed a few, Buendia missed a few, or it could have been more a bit earlier in the game.

Using one of the two forwards, a wide mid and a defensive mid to form triangles, cut off passing lanes, anticipate, step in front, with first touch, one touch precision and we’re going the other way. Still have the same formation and principles, at times it looks like two stacks of four, at times it looks like two in the back with backs like Murana or Ross on the right side getting forward because they have the pace and ability to do so and recover. 

There will be other times when Parker plays up top instead of wide mid. He can play both. (Anderson did it today) Lots of options along with Becher, Klein (how about that pair trading passes so Klein could get on the board? It’s the little things.)

On the flip side of offensive versatility, there is plenty in back too. If Palazzolo looked calm and collected finishing, it’s because he can and he has played several positions. Townsend who has mostly played defensive mid can play on the back line. Ross can play any back line position, and so on. 

SLU had a terrific defense last year, best in the league. They needed more help in the attacking 3rd, more depth there and elsewhere, a 2nd 11. 22 shots to 6. Corners were 13 to 2. 

Preseason picks aren’t everything. But SLU has opened the year with a win over ACC preseason #3 Louisville, and a win over Big East preseason #3 Creighton.  Good start. Celebrate success. Long way to go.

It’s pretty fun when it starts to click a little bit. 

If I’m an opposing coach, and I know I’m going to have Becher, Parker and #23 (I don’t know where this kid came from, but he is smooth) coming at me, with Klein playing the #10 position to the best of his abilities, I’m not getting much sleep the night before the game….

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1 hour ago, Gremio14 said:

If I’m an opposing coach, and I know I’m going to have Becher, Parker and #23 (I don’t know where this kid came from, but he is smooth) coming at me, with Klein playing the #10 position to the best of his abilities, I’m not getting much sleep the night before the game….

Some of the New England component to SLU’s team there.

Kalish spent two seasons playing at UConn before a coaching change, and he transferred to SLU. Assistant Coach Kris Bertsch spent 4 seasons on staff at UConn, and he also played in the Patriot League.

Simon Becher, from Brooklyn CT, near Hartford, a Holy Cross transfer. 

#23 is Alex Shterenberg, a Michigan St. transfer from Boston, played for Bryan Scales out there. (Michigan St. Head Coach Damon Rensing is from Alex started most of 2019, then came off of the bench more the next season. St. Louis, as is assistant Joe Ahearn. And former MSU assistant Caleb Wasserman is now SIUE’s Head Coach.)

Chris Alwang is a UConn transfer that played club ball with Simon Becher. 

SLU now has more depth at several positions.

They come from St. Louis (10) They come from the region, IL/KS/MO (8), they come from elsewhere in The Midwest (3), The South (3), New England (3) Mid-Atlantic (2), Other Countries (3). 7 are Transfers from other Colleges.

 

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Sean Phillips (another IU alum coaching opponent) bring in UIC. I’m sure it’s difficult for some to forget the SLU v UIC pk NCAA Tourney loss from 2007 under a different UIC (IU alum) coach John Trask. (SLU also scrimmaged Trask’s Wisconsin team in preseason) One can still recall their keeper’s pk.

Phillips was around as an assistant for those 3 straight NCAA Tourney teams, and, he’s gotten them back there 3 more times since with a few other near miss regular season teams. So, UIC will be ready to go. 

Jacob Graiber is their star on  back line. Multiple player of the Year Awards in the Horizon and an All American (both for his play and academics). Roberto Alonso is just two seasons removed from being conference Freshman of the year and makes things happen in the offense third for others and himself. 

Younes Dayekh and Alwin Seitz have been their most consistent attacking players with Seitz finishing well. UIC has annice mix of new and returning players in their 11, as well as International and local Chicago club players. Lots of Fire Academy, FC United etc…SLU’s Isaiah Parker is an FC United Academy player. And, Seth Anderson, Brogan Townsend, Donny Ross all were in the USYS National Semifinals with Chicago FC United. 

UIC is vulnerable in transition to counters. They can’t match Louisville’s fire power and style, so I would expect the positioning to look a little more like it did vs Creighton as opposed to Louisville. 

It’s a shame the game couldn’t be played on campus at UIC in University Village. It would have been a nice experience for SLU. But it’s nice to get an additional home game. 

 

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Re the SLU Soccer team, #26 is Freshman Seth Anderson, from my fellow Alma Mater, Quincy Notre Dame, where he was the all-time leading goal scorer.  I was very pleased to see he scored his first collegiate goal in SLU's 4-0 whitewash of Creighton of Omaha, which as some know I claim occupies SLU's Big East seat.

As Courtside notes, Seth Anderson has a younger brother, who is a Junior on this year's QND Soccer team, another budding potential star, who has stepped right into his older brother's striker role.  Courtside says SLU is recruiting the younger brother too.  That is good news.

By memory, the last QND soccer player to play for SLU was the current QND Soccer Coach, Greg Reis, a two time Parade All-American, who played for the Billikens in the 1980's.

Also, the box score of that Creighton game indicates the (2nd) Asst. Referee was Don Huber.  Query if that Don Huber is the same Don Huber (#10) who was a star Senior forward on the '78 SLU team, with Larry Hulcer and Ty Keough at Center Halfback, when I was a SLU Freshman.  If so, we are talking progress.  It never hurts to have one of your own reffing the game, especially against Creighton ...  If not, he still has a good soccer name, from the SLU perspective, of course.

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