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What’s the over under on how many Fire Ford posts will show up after Wich. St. runs us? Also, Congrats to Women’s Soccer on a great season. 

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57 minutes ago, laker119 said:

Hannah Larson is unstoppable.  If we score in OT it will be her

Larson was second team A10….tell me one player, let alone 11, who are better than she is in the A10.  She was the best player on the field today…including the PSU players.  

And not taking anything away from PSU.  They are the best team the Bills have played since the Rutgers team who scorched us in the second round a couple of years ago.

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43 minutes ago, Lord Elrond said:

There would have been thousands at Hermann Stadium, we pulled in 2700 for the first round game. Oh well

I have no idea what the attendance was but you were looking at the sun side much like we see at Herman. You could tell by the shadows. I guess most people were seated behind the benches. 

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2 minutes ago, willie said:

I have no idea what the attendance was but you were looking at the sun side much like we see at Herman. You could tell by the shadows. I guess most people were seated behind the benches. 

I guess the box score, when it comes out, will say an attendance number. I hadn’t seen it posted yet as I write this.

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1 minute ago, Lord Elrond said:

I guess the box score, when it comes out, will say an attendance number. I hadn’t seen it posted yet as I write this.

According to the box score on the Billiken website, attendance was 822 officially.  It was not on the NCAA website. I must say the format of how the NCAA does live stats in these games isn’t very good, the format most teams use during the season is much more user friendly.

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On 11/19/2023 at 12:46 AM, courtside said:

 

Penn State for Elite 8:

Penn State will change formations at times from 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3, 5-3-2 even within a game. They will change personnel from less common positions during a game by moving a holding midfielder to center back. () And, they are the only team SLU has faced that will at times play 5 in back, which is 3 center backs and 2 outside backs at the same time. (This is when drops back to center back, they bring in Gleason for dmid, and they keep their back line. Otherwise will move back and they will sub out Agresti and play with 4.
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In their 4-2-3-1, plays holding mid with Alonso. The back 4 is the same The front 4 is similar but moved around.
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Against Santa Clara, Penn State opened in a 4-2-3-1 but the twist was moving to center back and moving their left back Wiesner up to LW but playing deeper. So they only started 3 attacking players. They can and do tweak that to look like a 4-4-2, a 3-4-3, and even 5 across the back Part of that is because two of their holding mids are former center backs. (Alonso was also a center back but she is less likely to move to there from holding mid)
 
Penn State was content to defend the 18 with overloaded numbers, 8 behind the ball,
and play long counters and transition vs Santa Clara. And it was successful for them. It’s interesting because while usually a strong attacking team, this year’s Santa Clara team was more of a defensive team. 
…………..
vs Michigan State, of an attacking team, they played a 4-2-3-1 and they moved back to Center back when they had a lead. They do that often. Michigan State had a lot of success with pressure. But they lost because they made 2 bad mistakes in their own end, and they were given a bad call for another. Cannot make own third mistakes vs Penn State.
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I’ve seen them play a variety of different ways with different formations. I even saw them outplay a decent team most of a game  with only 10 players and outscore them They play very differently vs attacking teams and defensive teams. 
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The strength of their team is their 2 defensive holding midfielders, and Alonso, as well as their 2 outside backs, Wiesner and Wheeler. All 4 are very athletic, technically sound, they defend, and they get forward with pace. High energy. This is complemented with 3 capable attacking players and solid center backs. 
 
is their best player. #10. And she will play two different positions depending on the formation and situation. In a 4-4-2 she will playing holding midfield. In a 3-4-3 or 5-3-2 she gets moved to center back. Everyone else has a set position in the back 6 or 7. 
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Their attacking players can and have rotated a bit from wing to up top to central attacking mid. They seem to have much more spark when they play Borgen (33) in the middle. She’s a length and pace technical player who makes long middle of the field runs. Started out as a wing. But her pace and length in the middle has been a difference maker for them two ways. 
……….,…
Linnehan (12) is their pacey forward that gets behind the defense, makes diagonal runs, and finishes. She’ll also play on the wing. Her best asset is her pace. Have to keep her in front. She is also effective in tight spaces inside the 18.
……………
MacBean offers, physicality, size and shots from distance where she often cuts inside and doesn’t go outside. She’ll play up top and wing. Not as much of a pace player. Deceptive. Strong on the ball. Has scored some big goals, as has the other two.
……………
Wilson and White provide depth in the attacking group. White is less experienced, Wilson is undersized but capable. (Borgen, Linnehan, MacBean are their primary attacking threats.) Penn State gets a lot of mileage offensively from its defenders.Alonso, , etc…and those two are more pacey and technical players for the position. 
 
Lapi will rotate in at holding mid depth. Wolfe at outside back if needed, but a drop off from Wiesner and Wheeler. Cooke, Raich, Kershner will bring later half depth. 
…………..
Schiemann (25) is a stay at home center back with size, much improved. She also anset piece aerial target. Agresti is a grad transfer from Boston College who has had some injuries. Isolating her in space would be ideal for SLU’s attackers. Same for Schiemann. 
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Wiesner and Wheeler are high level outside backs, who get forward, defend the flank well 1v1 with good pace and tackling. They are a bit better than Georgetown at that position. But their center backs aren’t any better than Georgetown’s center backs if you don’t include . But they would be better at holding mid. Borgen and Linnehan (lacks size) have a little more pace than the Hoyas. is their elite defender.
……………
Asman is a very good athletic keeper with size and range, in her 6th season. Very experienced.
……………
2 Penn State starters and good players are Internationals, from Berlin (Schiemann) Madrid (Alonso).
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Borgen, Alonso, , Linnehan all have the ability to build quickly in the middle of the field. This has been at times a defensive issue for SLU with personnel, pace, and shape. Have to force them wide. 
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SLU has to plays its game. Speed up the back 6 of Penn State, force turnovers, mark tightly. Close the middle and get help and doubles  Penn State is an elite defensive team. Gotta make them move East West in the final 25 by still playing direct but overlaps, switch fields, diagonal balls. Gotta spread them out and isolate players. Don’t let them stay compact. Be ready to defend occasional quick counters. Find Borgen and in the middle as well as keep Linnehan in front. Those 2 are their pace players. MacBean gets involved too. 
 
SLU should be able to play straight up in its 4-2-3-1. If it has trouble defending the middle, they can move Larson there. And if they get down a goal in the 2nd half, they can switch to a 4-1-3-2 by moving Kelly up too w Gaebe and having Larson and  Sawyer on the wings. Rotate 1 holding mid. 
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Similar to Georgetown, Penn State doesn’t give up many set pieces and corners. Need efficiency there.
…………….
No final 3rd mistakes defensively. SLU has been rock solid the first two games. 2 fouls v Indiana and 1 v Georgetown in their own third. Limit Penn State set pieces and corners which is part or how they score. Limit long transition, set pieces, capitalizing on mistakes. Force them to build. An early goal or two would force Penn State to play a way they don’t prefer to play. They are talented enough. 90 minutes and beyond. Penn State has scored late several times. 
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In a recent game, Iowa recognized that Penn State was overloading its midfield so the Hawkeyes switched to a 3-6-1 formation to counter it successfully and win the defensive slog game. SLU won’t be doing that. A more effective approach for SLU would be to make overlapping runs and switch fields while still playing direct, in addition to the other usual aspects to the attack up the line, diagonal runs.
…………..
Erica Dambach: 17 seasons at Penn State. 1 National Title. 2 College Cup Final Fours. 10 Seeet 16’s. 16 straight NCAA Tourneys. 11 Regular Season Big Ten Titles. 5 Conference Tourney Titles.
 
Dambach coached Harvard the year after Katie Shields graduated. And she has been a long time coach and fixture with the U.S. Women’s National Team at various levels and age groups. She is an FOP, friend of the program. 
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Penn State is a veteran experienced team filled with Seniors and 5th year players. They can start as many as 8 or 9 Seniors or beyond. At least 5 5th year players. Their transfers haven’t been quite as impactful as Georgetown’s transfers. Bench players mostly. 
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Penn State occasionally overlaps SLU in recruiting, not annually, and only for some select players. Every few years they will recruit the top few players in St. Louis, mostly without success. Tim Wassell does the bulk of their recruiting. PA/DMV/NE/NY/NJ/SoCal etc but also the Upper Midwest. Anywhere nationally and even nationally. 
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If SLU can play the same way as they did against Georgetown, slight elevation, they will have a good chance to win the game. (Relentless pressure and pace. limit mistakes, make a few plays, 90 minutes, SLU is most certainly good enough)
…………….
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Penn State 4 SLU 3 2OT

 
It’s that time, to play Game vs Scout. 
…………….
Another fun game. Two of the country’s best gave it a go. It’s never fun to lose. But only one team can win its last game. SLU was 3 minutes and 20 seconds from the Elite 8. And they played well and did many good things for long stretches of the game. SLU did many things well. Penn State did many things well. A close high level game between two top level teams was decided by a few great plays, and a few mistakes.
……………….
Formations and lineups.
 
 SLU played the same 4-2-3-1 formation with the same lineup for the final 12 straight games of the season. No surprises. 
 
Penn State chose to play the exact same lineup and formation as they did vs Santa Clara. It’s essentially a 3-6-1. 
 
It’s 3 center backs across the back. Two outside backs, one on each side playing next to the 2 central/holding/defensive midfielders in the middle. Borgen at central attacking midfielder, Linnehan wide right, MacBean up top. They let Wiesner roam the left flank. 
………………
Tactics:
 
A SLU strength is putting high pressure on opposing center backs and defenses. This game SLU instead chose to sit back much deeper early in the game, gave more time and space and played contain. And it wasn’t bad for the most part. But there were a few challenging stretches.
 
High pressure is high risk, high reward. But if you are not strong with containment, you can get picked apart by elite teams.After giving up its 2nd goal, SLU changed tactics to its more familiar style. And they were able to get back in the game. 
…………..
Penn State uses its 3 center backs to play up the middle through its 2 holding mids, wide to its high outside backs. They switch fields and they play the ball over SLU’s wings, and in front of SLU’s outside backs. It led to 2 Penn State goals.
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Goals:
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22nd minute:
 
First Penn State goal was Wheeler their right outside back who played up in the group of 6 wide. She was able to cut in from the sideline to her left, and she made a nice cross in the middle of SLU’s 18. It appeared to be a relatively routine header clear for Miller who missed the ball entirely. Heckel and Schreiber were fine near side marking. But Stram, Lawler and Houck allowed MacBean to find space alone in the middle of the 3 of them. Stram and Lawler almost ran into one another and neither cleared. MacBean quickly settled with poise and she placed it low right side corner. 0-1 Nice play from Penn State. Poor marking in the 18 SLU.
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A minute later:
 
Agresti played a ball wide to Wiesner in behind Kelly but in front of a sprinting Houck. Wiesner quickly played it up the line to MacBean who found herself alone 1v1 wit Stram 25 yards wide of the goal. MacBean maneuvered around Stram and walked in near post. You want your outside back, Houck there. And you’d rather have your center back Stram offering support closer to the wide edge of the 18. No help D from left side of back line, or holding mids, or wings etc….0-2 Nice build up play by Penn State with pace. Can’t have a center back isolated 25 yards wide of goal. If no help, have to slide back and contain. One or the other. 
 
2 ways to challenge that are 1) Attacking front 4 needs to play higher and pressure center backs. Speed them up in back. They were way too comfortable in back until SLU played higher. Then the wings pinching the middle can better defend the wide pass. And finally outside backs can then mark attackers instead of defenders. 2) SLU’s center back gives some space and contains and waits for support as MacBean makes a run at goal from the wing. 
………………..
31st minute:
 
SLU’s first goal was giving Penn State a little taste of its own medicine. Houck stepped forward to take.a square pass from Simon who forced a turnover. She played it up to Gaebe who played it up to Sawyer. Houck never stopped running the entire play. She ran all the way to the deep right corner. She received a pass up the line from Sawyer. She made a move on 1v1, and she crossed it near post for Larson who ran onto it completely unmarked, and, she headed it home. 1-2. Quality run and combo play by 3 SLU players, and poor marking inside the 18 by Penn State. 
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65th minute:
 
Larson and Simon forced a turnover on the right side of the midfield. Larson slots a pass up to Gaebe, who made a short tun past Gleason and Agresti. She took on inside the right side of the 18, left footed shot. blocked a piece but the strength allows the shot to still go into the lower right corner for a goal. 2-2 Larson made another play. Good midfield play from SLU and great individual effort from Gaebe.
 
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71st minute:
 
Houck won a header up to Lawler, who placed a through ball up to Larson. She weaved around Lapi and Agresti and earns a  foul by Lapi.  (one of her many endless runs from both the left and right sides.) Free kick from 20 yards. And, she buried it far post, upper 90, top bins,  3-2
………………..:
87th minute:
 
Kelly fouled Wheeler from behind as she was making a run 35 yards out towards SLU’s goal. It was unfortunate because she was going 1 on 4 and it would have been a harmless play and likely turnover. Ensuing free kick, SLU had Lawler on Schiemann but she cut inside, help wasn’t good enough. And Puricelli was slow to come out and punch it away. Instead of flatrening Schuemann, Wmily flattened her own player Lawler who had to come out of the game after the play. Nice finish from the 5’11 German, Schiemann. I think Emily would like that one back and stay in goal for the save. 3-3
……………….
98th minute:
 
SLU dominated much of the 2nd half and much of the first OT. But against the run of play, a defensive clear 50/50 ball and Wiesner beat a sprinting Houck and she sent it harmlessly high middle of the field. Kelly missed it entirely. Stram chested it but couldn’t control it. Bockius couldn’t get there. And somehow Borgen gets it and she’s off to the races. As she gets about 25 yards out or more, she played it on the ground straight ahead for Linnehan who raced over from the right wing, and she beat both Heckel and Schreiber to the ball in behind and she roofed the finish past Puricelli. 3-4  Final. Small margins. 
…………..,..
The other tactical issue besides early in the game, was killing clock with double digit minutes left in the game, with a 3-2 lead. It was fine for the most part. Again this is not a team strength. They also did it successfully vs Indiana and with a 2 goal lead. But this was a 1 goal lead against a team that was producing more offense in the game. It seemed a few minutes too early. This an sitting a little too deep early in the game, are more conservative approaches. 3 of 4 PSU goals were during these parts of the game. 
………………
The PK against SLU was obviously a bad call. Not much to say about it other than it’s a good thing Puricelli made a great save and it didn’t affect the outcome. 
 
Notice how Linnehan lined up wide right edge of the box. And she still beat 4 SLU players to the rebound including Sawyer. She was unmarked.
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Penn State tactics:
 
Penn State believes heavily in its defense, especially its holding mids and outside backs. And they also believe in long counters and transition with MacBean, Borgen, Linnehan. So they played 5 back line defenders with 2 holding mids in two rows. (Hard to beliebe MacBean didn’t start earlier in the seaon and Borgen played mostly wing)
 
They move Wiesner high on the left side. Borgen in the middle with MacBean up top and Linnehan wide right. They do not play a left wing because they let Wiesner fly up and down that side two ways. Defend and counter.
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SLU formation change:
 
After Penn State took the lead 4-3 late in 1st OT, SLU switched to a 3-5-2 for the first time all season. They subbed out the left back, and they subbed in an extra central attacking midfielder. (Simon was having a good game.) SLU subbed out Sawyer in the 79th minute.
……………….
Unsurprisingly super high level of two way play in al 3 NCAA Games from SLU’s Hannah Larson. Another strong game from Gaebe.  Strong games v PSU also for Houck and Simon and some others too. 
………………
Penn State’s Season;
 
came into the season as a National Title Contender. They had an RPI of #1 for part of the year. They finished the season 5th in the Coaches poll and 4th in RPI. Veteran team that has played together a while. Their only two losses this season were 1-0 games vs very defensive oriented teams. Both goals in those losses came late in the game, including one in OT. 
 
Iowa a very good defensive team, played a 3-6-1 formation and kept the game mostly in the middle of the field. 1-0 OT win on a rebound off of a 20 yard shot off of the cross bar. Tired legs.
 
Wisconsin, another good defensive team, played a 4-3-3. They scored in the 83rd minute on a box to box counter 1v1 inside of 10 yards. This was also a bad weather game.
 
SLU was able to eventually get the game they wanted vs Penn State.
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SLU’s 3 goals (and several other chances) were the most given up by Penn State this season. In fact, only one other time this season did Penn State give up 2 goals in a game. And in that game, Penn State played almost 67 minutes of it down a player. SLU is a high powered attacking team. 
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Schiemann at center back, is one of the most improved players in the Big 10 this season. Wheeler and Wiesner are considered to be the premier outside back tandom nationally. has been a star player for years MacBean, Linnehan, Borgen all came up with big moments. Believe it or not, MacBean was a bench substitute in the earlier parts of the season. And Borgen played mostly wing for much of the season. Wolfe gave them some good minutes too.
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Other notes within the game:
 
1st and 2nd minutes: A few beginning of the game chances for SLU. Combo play Groark and Kelly, service back to edge of the 5. Cleared. Gaebe takes a long ball Puricelli punt and gets around Schiemann, rips a left footed shot too close to Ausman. 
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7th minute: Gleason wide to Wiesner, left footed cross near post run for Linnehan, shot it wide 1v1 with Heckel. 
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9th minute: Larson made a long run left side, cuts inside the 18 1v1 v Schiemann, and she poked it away. 
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11th minute: Penn State wins a 50/50 ball up to Borgen. She plays a give and go with  Linnehaplayed a through ball up to Borgen, full stride right side. Shot low left corner wide. 
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11th  minute: Gaebe draws a foul from Wiesner. Houck free kick punched out by Ausman. Ensuing clear knocked back in by Luebbert header flicked on in front but no one there. 
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Linnehan and MacBean put on some pressure in the 13th minute.
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15th minute Larson free kick to Lawler who headed it wide. Luebbert corner and Lawler headed it wide again.
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23rd minute Houck made a run up to Simon square to Larson who laid it off to Miller. Her cross was slightly bobbled by Ausman with Gaebe right in front of her. 
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24th minute through ball from Angresti to Borgen who gets there first and turns and makes a run down the middle shot partially blocked at the 18. 
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26th minute: Another Larson run from Miller down the left flank, walks around Schiemann. Shot high over the goal. 
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27th minute: Larson forced another turnover to Gaebe edge of the 18. but poked away by . Ensuing long ball up to MacBean and she flicks it in space to Linnehan who ran onto it shot and save Puricelli. 
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33rd minute. Wheeler left foot over the top in space for MacBean 1v1 w/Stram again. She took it the end line short pass to Alonso but Heckel blocks the  few yard shot and it’s cleared.
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36th minute: Simon heads a PSU clear ahead to Gary who volleys to Sawyer edge of 18. Her shot was well wide.
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39th minute: Houck hustles to clear but it deflects high off of Wolfe into the air and Wolfe collects it. She makes a diagonal run from the left side. Rips a shot off of far post and out. Another follow up chance shortly after that from Wheeler. Save Puricelli.
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Wheeler made 2 more runs late first half. 
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Halftime
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Winds shifted from sideways to in the face of SLU in the 2nd.
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50th minute: Miller on the flank centers for Gaebe, who shot it well wide right. 
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53rd minute: Gaebe made a run in space with a pass from Miller. She gets around Schiemann and she cuts left i side the 18. But blocks the shot.
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55th minute: Linnehan forces a turnover from Kelly. Her left side of the box run and left footed shot was blocked by Stram. 
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60th minute: Noce diagonal pass from Houck to Larson, who makes her own diagonal run through defenders. She lays it off to Kelly. But her shot inside the 18 is blocked by .
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68th minute: Houck with another run towards the 28. Lays it off to Gaebe but two efforts were blocked by a group of defenders.
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After swarming Penn State most of the 2nd half, the Larson free kick goal put SLU 19:38 from the Elite 8. 
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73rd minute. Maczbean along the far oeft sideline snd end line. Ball goes out of bounds. No call. SLU players hesitated for a second and MacBean walks in from the side and she rios a shot off of the far post. Rebound shot by Wilson was headed away by Heckel. There was also a handball not called on Borgen just before her pass to MacBean in the flank. Ensuing corner from to Schiemman was headed wide. 
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80th minute. Kelly on the right side, gets tripped, play on, she kept gong no call, and she walks around the defense alone right side of the box but she got called for a foul. If anything that’s a SLU free kick along the sideline.
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79th minute:
MacBean cuts in from the left side of the box, around Stram but Miller made a nice sliding clear. Stunning PK called against SLU even after video review. shot save  Puricelli. Thankfully it amounted to nothing. 
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80th minute, MacBean weaved in again from the left side. SLU clears and Kelly plays it up to Gaebe in space 1v1 with Schiemann but Gaebe took the ball to the far corner to kill clock. And that is an example of when to kill clock or attack. Gaebe and Kelly killed clock in the same corner for the next few minutes.
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83rd minute: Another long central run from Borgen. Good group defending. Linnehan from the right side, more solid group defending.
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88th minute: Kelly makes a left side run and draws a free kick for Houck. Punched away by Ausman.
 
Larson right side of the box receives a pass from Stram, and she cuts in left but her shot was slightly deflected and save Ausman.
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Scoring summary:
How did Penn State score?
Wide service, back post service. Side of the box run. Free kick. Middle of the field space run and pass behind the defense.
 
How did SLU score?
Wide service, near post run. Diagonal run edge of the 18. Free kick. 
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94th minute Linnehan right flank run and back post service to Alonso, headed wide. Larson then made a run down the middle of the field and played it to Gaebe inside the box but Schiemann poked it away. 
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Overtime:
96th minute: Larson another long run on the left side. Left footed shot far post over the bar.
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96th minute: Another Larson run down the left side weaved through defenders. Top of the box pass to Bockius, played wide right to Houck for service in the middle of the 18. Gaebe wins and turned and fired from the penalty spot just over the cross bar.
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102nd minute, Gaebe right side of the box took on defenders, left footed chip to Larson from 8 yards, and she couldn’t get enough on it. 
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SLU put on heavy pressure again in the 2nd OT. Penn State defended with 20 keeping MacBean out high. Houck launched a few crosses deep i to the box, but Ausman punched them out.
…………,.
 

 

 

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On 11/13/2023 at 11:39 AM, courtside said:

SLU in the polls:

Top Drawer Soccer: 5

College Soccer News:

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TDS:

SLU 5

BYU 7

Brown 15

Georgetown 17

Penn State 19

Nebraska 21

Santa Clara 24

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CSN doesn’t usually do a poll in between the end of conference tourneys and the end of the NCAA Tourney. Last week:

Georgetown 8

BYU 9

Penn State 15

SLU 16

Brown 19

Xavier 20

Santa Clara 23

Nebraska 24

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United Soccer Coaches doesn’t usually do a poll in between end of regular season and end of NCAA Tourney:

That poll prior to conference tourneys was:

Penn State 5

BYU 6

Brown 14

Nebraska 15

Xavier 17

SLU 21

Santa Clara 23

(Georgetown received the most votes of any non ranked team)

 

SLU in the polls:

Top Drawer Soccer: 10

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TDS:

BYU 4

Penn State 7

Nebraska 8

SLU 10

Brown 20

Georgetown 22

……………..

Every remaining Elite 8 team is ranked in the top 8. Only Memphis at 9, is ahead of SLU of teams not remaining. 

……………..

 

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20 hours ago, slufanskip said:

I thought it was a good call. Lots of weak ones so far but imo that was the right call

I didn't go back & watch the replay & don't know how egregious it was or the players involved, but it looked like they could have called a foul on Penn State right before the foul on SLU that lead to the game tying goal.  I remember it like this: SLU player has the ball facing SLU's goal, Penn State player contests / bumps / pushes her from behind & she goes down, Penn State player gets the ball & move up field, SLU player running beside her bumps her & she goes down leading to the foul call.  Credit to Penn State for executing the set piece & getting the goal after the call went their way.

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23 hours ago, Pistol said:

Houck came way up on that possession and it didn't pay off. No one in the neighborhood for Borgen going the other way. Also thought Puricelli was going to get to it before Linnehan did.

Actually 4 players were in the neighborhood. That’s a good play from Houck to step up and through.  She had a strong game. 

What happened is SLU (multiple players) won a 50/50 midfield ball. Kelly then lofted the ball over the top for Gaebe. cleared it while back pedaling, out to Wiesner.

Houck didn’t get there first but her hustle forced a soft straight up in the air harmless clear from Wiesner at the edge of the circle on Penn State’s side of the field. There were 4 other SLU players there. That ends Houck’s involvement on the play. 

Then it was a combination of a few things that went Penn State’s way and against SLU:

1) Kelly missed the settle entirely from the clear. She had time and space. It went right through her. Borgen was in front of her a few steps as a distraction but she just simply missed the ball.

2) Stram beat MacBean to the ensuing bouncing ball. And full stride, she half chested the ball down but right to the foot of Borgen. (unlucky) Borgen reflexes a half volley touch pass off of Stram’s ball, to MacBean on a quick give and go. Bockius stepped in to defend MacBean but she was unable to block the quick return pass that went through her legs back to a running Borgen. Nice combo play and fortune there for PSU.

Miller, the 4th SLU player stayed adjacent wide left because presumably 1 of those 3 SLU players would win the ball. They didn’t. 

Then Borgen was off to the races, with 3 to 4 SLU players behind her and 2 in front of her. Borgen played an unexpected early through ball straight ahead on the ground from 30 plus yards out for Linnehan. It was unexpected because she still had time and space to keep her dribble run.

This early pass seemed to surprise Heckel, Schreiber, and Puricelli a little bit. Heckel turned her head back and forth between Linnehan cutting and Borgen with the ball. It slowed her down just a  bit while both Borgen and Linnehan were running full speed straight ahead and not sideways or backwards.

Linnehan was able to get on the inside of Schreiber when Schreiber needed to take the inside there. 

 Puricelli came out but her first step was backwards and to her right to stay back and cut the angle on Borgen running all the way in with a left footed shot. Once Borgen played the early ball on the ground inside the 18, Linnehan was already at the 18 in full stride, as were Heckel and Schreiber. Puricelli had made it only just beyond the 6 yard box when Linnehan touched the ball first.

Linnehan ran all the way from the right wing, and she split Schreiber and Heckel who were defending. Linnehan got to the ball first amongst those 3 and Puricelli who didn’t get there in time. Full stride, Linnehan pushed the ball to the side of Puricelli and up and in the goal before Schreiber could get there to block it.  Heckel went to the middle of the goal.

The 5 to 6 players defending for SLU were not SLU’s pace players. And Borgen and Linnehan are the two fastest players on Penn State’s team.

Several things had to go just right for Penn State on that play combined with several things on SLU’s end.

Sometimes margins are small. 

Earlier in the game, when Borgen was off to the races down the middle, Heckel ran over to get in front of Borgen and run right at her to force a harmless well wide shot from 22 yards. Sprinting to a spot directly in front would have possibly intercepted the Borgen to Linnehan pass.

………………….

On Penn State’s first goal. Wheeler cut in on Larson right side, and she served a ball in the middle of the box. Miller was all alone for the routine clear header but she missed the ball entirely. And so did Stram as it flew past Miller. Stram was expecting Miller to head it out. She stuck her foot out. Missed it. MacBean found the space the ball found her.

On the play, Lawler was running towards goal to get inside of Borgen. Stram was at the PK spot almost colliding with Lawler as the ball goes past Miller and it splits the two of them and lands at the feet of MacBean. MacBean one hop settles and places it right corner just past the diving fingertips of Puricelli who almost made a spectacular save. Houck was over by the back post as Wiesner was top of the box there. It’s another play where SLU had 3 defenders involved in the play and a 4th adjacent to them.

Again small margins with several things happening and needing to go certain ways.

……………..

On the 2nd Penn State goal, SLU was too deep with its pressure earlier in the game. Agresti uncontested, played it wide left over Kelly to the feet of Wiesner along the sideline. She settles it out of the air and pushes the ball immediately down the end line, as Houck runs at her. Stram overruns the play and marks too close and allows MacBean to cut inside instead of forcing her outside. No help D there so MacBean walked in to the 6 yard box. Puricelli went down to force a high shot and MacBean did just that for the finish.

……………..

On SLU’s first goal, it was Houck’s run and pressure that made the play. She took a square ball and she played it ahead to Gaebe and Sawyer  who played it deep into the corner to Houck who never stopped running forward. Houck 1v1 wide with . Larson and Simon both ran right by Schiemann for the finish. Wheeler played the Houck role of taking back side runners, in this case it was Miller. Neithe Wheeler nor Schiemann ran with Larson or Simon. And Asman never stepped forward to go get the cross. She watched the ball the entire time and never saw SLU’s runners.

Small margins.

……………..

OT goal free kick. Schiemann faked outside on Lawler,’and she went inside. Perfect pass. Puricelli was a step slow to get to the spot. You either have to get there or stay back. And when she punched the ball out and knocked down a player, it was Lawler instead of Schiemann (who headed in the goal) while Lawler was injured and taken out of the game on the play. 

Small margins.

……………

Gaebe’s goal was a food individual effort, a good bounce, and a shot that went through just enough to find the corner.

…………..

Larson’s goal, she earned herself a free kick and she needed a perfect shot from there to score and she did it.

…………

And those are just the goals scored let alone many near misses, and free kicks etc…and so forth in the game. 

 

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3 hours ago, RUBillsFan said:

I didn't go back & watch the replay & don't know how egregious it was or the players involved, but it looked like they could have called a foul on Penn State right before the foul on SLU that lead to the game tying goal.  I remember it like this: SLU player has the ball facing SLU's goal, Penn State player contests / bumps / pushes her from behind & she goes down, Penn State player gets the ball & move up field, SLU player running beside her bumps her & she goes down leading to the foul call.  Credit to Penn State for executing the set piece & getting the goal after the call went their way.

I know the play. 

Alonso slotted a ground pass up the middle for Schiemann. Miller slid in front to knock it away. There was some shoulder to contact from behind from Schiemann on Miller that could have been called and wasn’t. 

Miller poked it away to Wheeler who beat Kelly to the ball and Kelly fouled her from behind. One was called one wasn’t. Unfortunately, that foul wasn’t necessary because SLU had several players in position to defend. That play wasn’t likely going anywhere.

One minute later Kelly took a pass from Miller and she made a run down the left flank and the same player she fouled a minute earlier, fouled her from behind and knocked her down. Houck free kick was punched out by the PSU keeper. 

Kelly forced a few more fouls which were also called and free kicks were taken by SLU.

With about 15 minutes left in the game, Kelly was fouled deep on the far right side line. Alonso was on th ground and tripped Kelly. No call. Kelly keeps the ball and she tries to go around Agresti and she does for a good scoring chance side of the box but they called a foul on Kelly for knocking down Agresti from behind, which she did. 

So many of these plays happen during a game, let alone a fast paced end to end game with two great teams.

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23 hours ago, BrettJollyComedyHour said:

I feel like we got screwed.

It's really a funny feeling on this game for me. I really don't feel screwed or hard done, but like the officiating was actually embarrassing. The strangest part was that no matter how bad this ref sucked, none of her bad calls really directly affected the outcome. Just off the top of my head.

Two straight baffling free throw direction mistakes early. 

Multiple times the foul was given the wrong way on 50/50 balls.

There were two straight contact plays. A foul wasn't called benefiting PSU and then was called benefiting PSU. 

The phantom PK

PSU lost the ball over the endline and the missed it. 

I know there were misses both ways the entire game, but as a homer the SLU one's stick out. 

I thought both fouls for the free kick goals were fair. 

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22 hours ago, Gremio14 said:

Larson was second team A10….tell me one player, let alone 11, who are better than she is in the A10.  She was the best player on the field today…including the PSU players.  

And not taking anything away from PSU.  They are the best team the Bills have played since the Rutgers team who scorched us in the second round a couple of years ago.

Agreed on Larson. I don't get too worked up over individual awards. And if I did A10 would be way down my list of people that know better. I have privately lobbied for Larson and Gaebe to be named All Americans this season. Both are deserving. 

As for other teams? SLU has played a few in recent years. Arkansas and Notre Dame last year were that level. BYU this year. And there were others that were just below that level. Nebraska, Brown, Memphis, Xavier, etc...

And remember in 2021 Gaebe was just a Freshman, and Larson didn't play. So SLU wasn't as good as they are now either.

SLU will continue to try to schedule good to great teams non-conference. And they will continhe to play some top teams as they advance in the NCAA tourney.

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13 minutes ago, courtside said:

I know the play. 

Alonso slotted a ground pass up the middle for Schiemann. Miller slid in front to knock it away. There was some shoulder to contact from behind from Schiemann on Miller that could have been called and wasn’t. 

Miller poked it away to Wheeler who beat Kelly to the ball and Kelly fouled her from behind. One was called one wasn’t. Unfortunately, that foul wasn’t necessary because SLU had several players in position to defend. That play wasn’t likely going anywhere.

One minute later Kelly took a pass from Miller and she made a run down the left flank and the same player she fouled a minute earlier, fouled her from behind and knocked her down. Houck free kick was punched out by the PSU keeper. 

Kelly forced a few more fouls which were also called and free kicks were taken by SLU.

With about 15 minutes left in the game, Kelly was fouled deep on the far right side line. Alonso was on th ground and tripped Kelly. No call. Kelly keeps the ball and she tries to go around Agresti and she does for a good scoring chance side of the box but they called a foul on Kelly for knocking down Agresti from behind, which she did. 

So many of these plays happen during a game, let alone a fast paced end to end game with two great teams.

One thing I would add is players are taught to play strong on the ball, to play through contact regardless of the ref.

Larson scored on a free kick that she earned herself. And she made sure she flopped pretty good to get that call too. It was a legut foul. She did something similar earning the PK goal vs Indiana. Legit trip but some sell better than others, and/or get those calls. And even then it's uneven. 

One play MacBean dribbled out of bounds on the far side near the end line. No call and she walked in from the side as a few SLU players hesitated. Have to keep playing.

There were a mix of good and bad calls in the game. It happens. 

Obviously the PK was bad and PK's change games. The ref called it on Stram saying that she reached out while on the ground for MacBean even though she didn't make any contact. Many refs would not call that because nothing actually happened, and it didn't impede a goal as Miller came over to slide and clear without making contact with anyone. 

And on the PK, somehow Linnehan was allowed to get to the rebound first, sprinting from wide right all by herself unmarked. 

The free kick goal was a little lucky for Penn State that Miller's clear landed at the feet of Wheeler running forward before Kelly fouled her. And they had a little luck on the OT goal chain of events. And Puricelli and Lawler collide onnthe free kick goal.

But you create your own luck by hustle plays and putting yourself in position for those things to happen.

And the refs didn't decide this game. Calls went both ways. 

 

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46 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

It's really a funny feeling on this game for me. I really don't feel screwed or hard done, but like the officiating was actually embarrassing. The strangest part was that no matter how bad this ref sucked, none of her bad calls really directly affected the outcome. Just off the top of my head.

Two straight baffling free throw direction mistakes early. 

Multiple times the foul was given the wrong way on 50/50 balls.

There were two straight contact plays. A foul wasn't called benefiting PSU and then was called benefiting PSU. 

The phantom PK

PSU lost the ball over the endline and the missed it. 

I know there were misses both ways the entire game, but as a homer the SLU one's stick out. 

I thought both fouls for the free kick goals were fair. 

I really wanted to blame the refs but just couldn't in the end. It cut both ways. Puricelli made up for the most egregious mistake. Frustrating to be that close in a poorly officiated game but it ultimately wasn't what decided the outcome.

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Elite 8:

Stanford 2 Nebraska 1 2OT

Florida State 3 Pittsburgh 0

BYU 4 North Carolina 3

Clemson 2 Penn State 1

…………….

Nebraska’s Eleanor Dale finished with 28 goals. (Gaebe finished tied for 5th in goals nationally, tied with Nebraska’’s Weber with 16.)

……………

BYU returns to the Final Four for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. They had to shovel snow off of the field before their game with North Carolina.

BYU trailed at home, in the 30 degree snow, to UNC, 3-0 at the half. But the Cougars completed the 4 goal 2nd half comeback. Electric is not a strong enough adjective. An all timer. Goals in the 61st, 81st, 82nd, and 89th minutes. (5 BYU players have double digit goals and a 6th has 9.)

…………..

Tough one for Penn State. Good game and well earned by Clemson. 6-7 very good first half opportunities tor PSU, and a few high level early 2nd half opportunities for Penn State to get a couple of goal lead. Mostly Linnehan and MacBean. (who had their goal from top of the box low far post off of the post and in) Linnehan came close a few times as did MacBean. Damico Missed a wide open goal from 8 yards.

Penn State had the better chances in the game. Both Clemson goals were scored by defenders which is often how they score. Morris had a long outside back run from inside of midfield, after a 50/50 ball. Ripped a nice shot on the run from 18 far post. White played a nice long over the top diagonal ball over Schiemann, and Conti ran onto it, great save made but Wiesner overran it and she accidentally knocked it into their own goal full stride on the rebound.

Clemson was a little more efficient. Not the best game from PSU’s holding mids and distribution from the back with them up the middle. Agresti didn’t play, so they played a more traditional 4-2–3-1.

Clemson neutralized the middle of the field. And they had good enough help in back with Linnehan and MacBean. (Morris, White, Hersehfelt, Conti, Lyles, were good) MacBean ripped one off of the post in the final minute from 15. PSU seemed a little fatigued late 

…………..

College Cup Final Four:

Florida State vs Clemson

BYU vs Stanford

……………

14 of 16 2nd round games were decided by 1 goal, and the other two were 2 goals. Clemson needed an 88th minute equalizer and PK’s in Sweet 16 to advance. BYU needed 4 2nd half goals. Stanford needed OT against Nebraska. 

Margins are small.

……………

Clemson became the 36th different school to make a College Cup Final Four. 

……………

Bedlam moment for BYU:

https://x.com/byusoccer_w/status/1728250666630656328?s=46&t=TsCCkuE48YmnkWfoKqc_Ng

https://x.com/byusoccer_w/status/1728275039060111360?s=46&t=TsCCkuE48YmnkWfoKqc_Ng

…………….

SLU will host BYU and Penn State next season. And they will travel to Xavier. And there will be a few more good ones added. 

…………..

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