Women's Soccer 2018



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The AAC women's soccer preseason poll is out. UConn is picked to finish 6th, and received no first place votes.

2018 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Place School Points (1st Place Votes)
1. UCF 76 (6)
2. USF 73 (3)
3. Memphis 68 (1)
4. Cincinnati 54
5. SMU 53
6. UConn 39
7. Houston 34
8. ECU 24
9. Tulsa 18
10. Temple 11

UConn senior Vivien Beil was named to the preseason all conference team.

UCF Tabbed American Favorite in Preseason Coaches’ Poll
 
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UConn women's soccer had their first exhibition game tonight. Very annoying that I could not find either a video feed through All Access or Gametracker covering the game on the website. Both those items have been very useful in the past in following UConn Olympic sports. Hope these things will be back for the regular season. No roster sheet at the game as well, which was annoying as I had neglected to print out a roster in advance of the game.

UConn did beat Sacred Heart tonight 4-1 in a game that lasted about 65 minutes. At least for this exhibition game, UConn dominated a team that they should dominate, it was something that didn't happen much last season. Lightning (but no rain) delayed the game by about 45 minutes at the beginning, and then more lightning caused the game to be called early.

A few regulars from last year, including Vivien Beil and Kess Elmore, did not play. I don't know if it was due to injury or what.

The most noticeable change in team play was on offense. In the last years of Lenny Tsantiris run as coach, the UConn offense relied very heavily on the long ball, hoping a forward would run up on the ball and beat the defender for a goal strike. This style of play drove me crazy, since it often just lead to giving up the ball to the other side. While this Husky team tonight would lob the occasional ball downfield, it seemed that they were much more content to connect on shorter passes to advance the ball. To me this is a very welcome change.
 
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Agree on the strategy, though it was more along the lines of relying in a single player's skill and/or speed to them convert the long-ball opportunities and over the last decade or so, UConn does not have that level of a player anymore due in part to the expansion of college women's soccer across the country. The new possession focus, which relies less on a single player and more on a team approach, should help.

Nevertheless, I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that I am old enough that my former classmate is the head coach...
 
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Agree on the strategy, though it was more along the lines of relying in a single player's skill and/or speed to them convert the long-ball opportunities and over the last decade or so, UConn does not have that level of a player anymore due in part to the expansion of college women's soccer across the country. The new possession focus, which relies less on a single player and more on a team approach, should help.

Nevertheless, I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that I am old enough that my former classmate is the head coach...
I haven't seen a post by @Mr. Conehead for quite some time. Glad to see you back, at least for the time being.
 
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I haven't seen a post by @Mr. Conehead for quite some time. Glad to see you back, at least for the time being.
Thanks. Had to take some time off as I was just too busy with life in general. Bu, I have some forced downtime, so may was well catch-up on a few things, such as the Boneyard, my waste-line, and my kids before they become teens and veer talk to me again (no necessarily in that order).
 
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The UConn Blog posted a story on UConn's exhibition game on Tuesday against Sacred Heart. Among other things, it answered my question on why some players did not appear in the game:

>>The Huskies attack suffered a hit before the season even began. The team’s top two scorers from a year ago, Vivien Beil and Kess Elmore, both suffered knee injuries in the offseason and will likely miss the entire season. On top of that, sophomore forwards Yamilee Eveillard and Zoe Steck were both held out of the game due to a conditioning issue.<<

Beil, of course, was the only UConn player named to the AAC preseason all conference team. On a team short on big time talented players last season, these look to be big losses for the first season of head coach Margaret Rodriguez.

UConn Women’s Soccer Notebook: Huskies Dominant in First Exhibition Game
 
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Life in college soccer is so much easier for a team when they have a consistent go to goal scorer. UConn women’s soccer lacked this type of player for a number of years until Rachel Hill arrived on campus to play four years of soccer for the team. Last season, with both Hill and Stephanie Ribeiro having graduated, the UConn women’s soccer team was once again back in the same boat of wondering where the goal scoring was going to come from. Partly as a result, UConn did not make the NCAA tournament.

Sophomore Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky (DK for short) is making a preseason bid to become the go to goal scorer. Last year, Danyko-Kulchycky played in 13 games and got two starts, but in the end got limited playing time, a bit over 200 minutes on the season. I saw a number of games, and she did not leave much of an impression on me This year in the preseason at least, DK has suddenly emerged and definitely left an impression, scoring 5 goals in two exhibition games. That sounds like the possible makings of a consistent goal scorer to me, even if the games were against Sacred Heart and New Hampshire. With UConn’s two leading goal scorers from last season possibly out for the season, the Huskies could definitely use the goal production. UConn’s regular season starts on Friday, August 17 at Northeastern, and continues with the home opener against Syracuse on Monday, August 20. We’ll see if Danyko-Kulchycky can continue to put the ball in the net as the regular season commences and the competition toughens up.
 
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gtcam

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Margaret T Rod will be a good coach for the Huskies. She has seen what has and hasn't worked under Lenny and she is definitely her own person which is a good thing. She has recruited the area of NY from where she and Jen cut their teeth and brought in some nice players. They have shown during the 1st 2 preseason matches that they can score
 
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When history is written, the women's soccer program will be the first known UConn casualty of conference realignment. Heavy heavy dramatic drop off after 2007. The program is simply unrecognizable. And you see the same symptoms in recent years in regards to other flagship sports like Men's soccer, men's hoops, and football.
 
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When history is written, the women's soccer program will be the first known UConn casualty of conference realignment. Heavy heavy dramatic drop off after 2007. The program is simply unrecognizable. And you see the same symptoms in recent years in regards to other flagship sports like Men's soccer, men's hoops, and football.
I feel that there is more than just conference realignment going on when talking about the decline of UConn women’s soccer on the national level. However, first off from what I’ve seen there are certain NCAA sports than others that are more dominated by schools in the power conferences. From what I have seen, women’s soccer is definitely one of the sports that that is more dominated by the power conferences. Long time women soccer powers like Santa Clara (which is still a good women’s soccer school) and Portland are not on the level that they were once on as well.

However, while conference realignment is no doubt a factor in the decline of UConn women’s soccer, it should not be used as a one size fits all type of explanation for the programs decline. UConn women’s soccer was in a national decline throughout the first decade of the 21st century, long before the breakup of the Big East. The problem with laying all the blame at conference realignment is that it while UConn women's was declining on a national stage, the program was also declining both in relation to other schools in the Big East and later in the AAC as well. Some may wish to place additional blame for this on former coach Tsantiris, but I’m more inclined to place the decline phase of UConn women’s soccer on the slow motion pace that it has taken to replace the badly outdated soccer facility that the school has in Morrone Stadium. Honestly, UConn should have replaced Morrone Stadium roughly around the time that outdoor lighting was installed for night time soccer around 1999.

To my eyes, the decline of UConn women’s soccer can be traced to not only more power conference schools getting involved in the sport in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but the fact that when these schools really started to get serious about women’s soccer, they did so with bright shiny soccer facilities that offered more than their fair share of amenities. These schools with their new soccer facilities were certainly more attractive to incoming recruits than what UConn had to offer with Morrone Stadium, a soccer facility that pretty much offered no frills to potential recruits. The time for UConn to protect what it had in women’s soccer was 15 to 20 years ago. That is when UConn needed a modern facility to help protect itself against all the big time schools that were beginning to compete in women’s soccer. Well, that part is now a bit late in protecting the wonderful national reputation that UConn women’s soccer used to have.

I am hoping now that when the new soccer facility comes into use in the next couple of years, UConn women’s soccer will at least become consistently one the top programs in the AAC. Where conference realignment comes into play is that it will make it much more difficult for UConn women’s soccer to reassert itself on a national level, no question about it.

I’m inclined to think that with the new soccer facility, UConn men’s soccer is more likely to become competitive nationally than the women’s team. For one, NCAA men’s soccer is not dominated to the same degree that women’s soccer is by teams in the power conferences. There are a number of examples of non power conference schools in men’s soccer making deep runs into the NCAA tournament. It seems to be a rare season when the NCAA tournament Final Four in men's soccer does not contain a school from a non power conference. My thinking is that if a school like Akron can be a consistent top 20 program, and one that got into the Final Four last season, there is no reason why UConn men’s soccer, with its history, success, and fan interest in the program, can’t do the same.
 
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UConn Women's Soccer‏ @UConnWSOC 24m 24 minutes ago
Final: #UConn 1, Syracuse 2 Huskies drop tightly contest home opener to fall to 0-2 on the season. #UConn faces CCSU at Morrone Stadium on Thursday at 7 p.m. #IAmWeAre
I was at the game. Too many defensive breakdowns for the Huskies, this is something that definitely needs to get cleaned up. UConn offense was ok in the first half, but Syracuse started to dominate ball more in the second half. Still, overall on offense UConn still needs to complete more passes. Second half problems were exasperated by an injury to Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky, who left the game early in the second half and did not return. Danyko-Kulchycky did score in the first half to tie the game at that point. UConn offense no doubt hurt by her loss, as well as the apparent season ending injuries to Kess Elmore and Vivien Beil, the leading goal scorers on the team last season.
 
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Three players named to ALL-USA Preseason Girls Soccer Team

>>Three state girls soccer players were named to The American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Girls Soccer Team last week.

Allie Augur, North Branford, goalkeeper, senior (committed to Boston College)

Kacey Lawrence, Masuk
, forward, junior (committed to Michigan)

Jessica Mazo, St. Joseph, midfielder, senior (committed to UConn)<<
The following story from the Connecticut Post was written after Mazo's sophomore year. She sounds like the type of player that UConn could really use.

Hearst Connecticut Media Girls Soccer MVP: Mazo’s breakout season ends in Class L title
 
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I feel that there is more than just conference realignment going on when talking about the decline of UConn women’s soccer on the national level. However, first off from what I’ve seen there are certain NCAA sports than others that are more dominated by schools in the power conferences. From what I have seen, women’s soccer is definitely one of the sports that that is more dominated by the power conferences. Long time women soccer powers like Santa Clara (which is still a good women’s soccer school) and Portland are not on the level that they were once on as well.

However, while conference realignment is no doubt a factor in the decline of UConn women’s soccer, it should not be used as a one size fits all type of explanation for the programs decline. UConn women’s soccer was in a national decline throughout the first decade of the 21st century, long before the breakup of the Big East. The problem with laying all the blame at conference realignment is that it while UConn women's was declining on a national stage, the program was also declining both in relation to other schools in the Big East and later in the AAC as well. Some may wish to place additional blame for this on former coach Tsantiris, but I’m more inclined to place the decline phase of UConn women’s soccer on the slow motion pace that it has taken to replace the badly outdated soccer facility that the school has in Morrone Stadium. Honestly, UConn should have replaced Morrone Stadium roughly around the time that outdoor lighting was installed for night time soccer around 1999.

To my eyes, the decline of UConn women’s soccer can be traced to not only more power conference schools getting involved in the sport in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but the fact that when these schools really started to get serious about women’s soccer, they did so with bright shiny soccer facilities that offered more than their fair share of amenities. These schools with their new soccer facilities were certainly more attractive to incoming recruits than what UConn had to offer with Morrone Stadium, a soccer facility that pretty much offered no frills to potential recruits. The time for UConn to protect what it had in women’s soccer was 15 to 20 years ago. That is when UConn needed a modern facility to help protect itself against all the big time schools that were beginning to compete in women’s soccer. Well, that part is now a bit late in protecting the wonderful national reputation that UConn women’s soccer used to have.

I am hoping now that when the new soccer facility comes into use in the next couple of years, UConn women’s soccer will at least become consistently one the top programs in the AAC. Where conference realignment comes into play is that it will make it much more difficult for UConn women’s soccer to reassert itself on a national level, no question about it.

I’m inclined to think that with the new soccer facility, UConn men’s soccer is more likely to become competitive nationally than the women’s team. For one, NCAA men’s soccer is not dominated to the same degree that women’s soccer is by teams in the power conferences. There are a number of examples of non power conference schools in men’s soccer making deep runs into the NCAA tournament. It seems to be a rare season when the NCAA tournament Final Four in men's soccer does not contain a school from a non power conference. My thinking is that if a school like Akron can be a consistent top 20 program, and one that got into the Final Four last season, there is no reason why UConn men’s soccer, with its history, success, and fan interest in the program, can’t do the same.
Most college soccer stadiums are the equivalent of a high school football field. I went to UNC for a wedding 10 years ago and their soccer field looked like my high school football field. I really don't think college soccer programs are pulling in recruits over their stadium. Maybe practice facilities. But Morrone Stadium at night when filled is as good an atmosphere as there is in college soccer.

I don't think the UConn women's soccer program went from a top 5 program in the sport to a team consistently missing the NCAA Tournament due to Morrone Stadium. Conference realignment and the coach possibly coasting at the end of his career are far more likely reasons. We'll see how Rodriguez is as a coach. She was sitting right next to Lenny T these past years when the program fell off a cliff.
 
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Another difficult game for the Huskies on Thursday night against a quality Rutgers club that lost only two games last season.
Rutgers and Penn State is turning into a serious women's soccer rivalry down here in Jersey, even the high school girls talk about it now.
 
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Rutgers has a 3-0 first half lead over UConn. Things are definitely not looking good for this UConn team. I don't know if it will happen, but just got to hope that with a new soccer stadium on the horizon that it helps provide something of a talent infusion in terms of recruiting in the coming seasons.
 
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Rutgers has a 3-0 first half lead over UConn. Things are definitely not looking good for this UConn team. I don't know if it will happen, but just got to hope that with a new soccer stadium on the horizon that it helps provide something of a talent infusion in terms of recruiting in the coming seasons.
What I don't get is that Randy Waldrum (won 2 National Titles at Notre Dame) made his return to college soccer this off season and was available. He ended up at Pitt. We just beat out Pitt for a men's hoops coach. Waldrum is from Texas and we have Texas schools in our league. Why didn't we make a move for him? Either way this program looks done for the rest of my lifetime. Just terrible job at the end by Len T. When a program falls off the map like this it doesn't usually return and there are too many uphill headwinds its facing anyways.
 
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