Sunday and Soccer. Sounds right! 2:00 at Regal Soccer Complex.

#1

StrangeVol

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#1
Unfortunately, the game is being televised on ESPNU, so several folks likely won't be able to watch it on TV. WatchESPN stream is available.

So, game two of the condensed soccer season is set for Sunday @ 2:00 and I'll be anxious to see how much we have improved from our opening match. Who are we playing you ask? It's Vandy, maybe my least favorite school in the SEC.

Look, I know it's wrong to have really strong negative feelings about a group of people much less an institution, but I confess it, I do have them for Vandy and their hapless fans. Why? I think it's the smugness...yeah that's it….it's the smugness that just seems to ooze from Vandy fans. But I digress.

The Vandy side will show up Sunday and I really want to see our young ladies kick the crap out them. Or the smugness. Either one. Both would be better.

That may be a tall order for several reasons.

First, they are ranked 10th nationally, were picked 4th preseason in the SEC coaches poll and won their opening match against 13th ranked Kentucky, 3-2. They did have to rally from 2 goals down and score 3 unanswered goals in the second half. Not what you'd expect to see happen but it did and Vandy pulled out the win on their home pitch. Their scoring was done by two people, #7, pre-season All American Forward Haley Hopkins, a senior, scored twice and #11, Blue Ellis, another senior who is a Midfielder, scored the other goal. Seniors are a big part of their side as they have 10 of them, so lots of experience.

Beyond that, I don't know much about Vandy other than I really dislike them. I mean REALLY dislike.

As to our side, I still haven't heard anything about Brooke Wilson's injury so we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for #32 on the pitch. I hope she's okay as I think she can be a real difference-maker.

Beyond that, I'd like to see improvement in a couple of areas. First, our Midfielders have to do a better defensive job generally and specifically in supporting our defenders when they are being pressured. I really don't want to see a lot of our defenders going 1 on 1 against an attacker. That's going to happen for brief periods from time to time but when you see a defender being pressed for several seconds and getting no help, you can be sure there is a problem.

Second, on my list is pretty simple actually, it's getting more shots on goal. We outshot Bama but had fewer shots on goal than they did. Our shot selection and accuracy need to improve considerably. One player took 7 shots but only had 4 on goal.

I hope we are over our first match jitters and can settle down and play soccer. Having Coach Pensky back on the side-line should help to steady the girls down. We are a pretty young team in terms of match experience so there will be rough edges, that's expected. On the other hand, this is their time to shine. Our less experienced players need to step their games up if we are going to defeat (dare I hope humiliate) Vandy.


GO LADY VOLS!!!
 
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#4

StrangeVol

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#4
Well...there's good news, bad news, and worse news.

First, the good news. We played a pretty decent 1st half...midfield play is MUCH improved and our defenders are getting the job done.

The bad news is that we lack offensive firepower. Vandy seems to have taken Erin Gilroy away, #31 MacKenzie George is working hard but missed a wide-open teammate in the box all alone on her shot which was easily captured by the Vandy keeper.

The worse news, #32 Brooke Wilson is done for the season. That is a serious blow to our offense.

Maybe we can do some damage in the 2nd half. :)
 
#5

StrangeVol

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#5
Well, it wasn't humiliation, but it was a WIN and I'll take it!!! Bite me Vandy!

First, our midfield both offense and defense was outstanding!!! What an improvement. We were aggressive and contested every possession we could get near. Way to go girls!

My MVP has got to be #2 Jaida Thomas not so much for her game-winning goal but for her tireless work in giving us multiple scoring chances. Of course, the winning goal doesn't hurt either. ;)

My Defensive MVP is #3 Abbey (tough as nails) Burdette. She wondered during the week if she was tough enough. No worries Abby you're "Tuff Enough" as Stevie Ray and the Fabulous Thunderbirds would say. :) Wrenne French played really well, too.

That's a sweet overtime win, particularly considering the way we have been victimize by Vandy in the past. Revenge is SWEET!

Onward to Friday night (10/2) in Athens to get our second win of the season! :)
 
#6

kregman

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#6
I admit my soccer knowledge is limited but in watching replay (not knowing score or ending) that Thomas was standing out. We still do a lot of just kicking the ball with seemingly little purpose, but we kept getting better as the game when on and we deserved that win.
 
#7

sccshortstop

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#7
Yep i had to watch replay without knowing the score as well. We were more fluid and worked harder that last week from top to bottom. I kept watching Jaida Thomas #2 and thinking i dont remember anyone like her last week but she was on fire especially the second half. The match. goal was icing on the cake for a much deserved win. I Strange like you hate Vandy from the first to the last student and alum! If you are not wealthy and a minority they snub their nose at you. I know because my daughter did a medical fellowship there and she hated it as well as i. have always. Great education if you can take all the krap but we would not do it again. Way to elitist thinking for us poor folks.
I hope they lose every athletic event they play. Back to soccer , Seemed to have way more fight than last week and this may help us next match but i as you stated dont know how our offense is going to score. May be a lot of 1 goal matches win or lose. Great win for Pensky!
 
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