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rkomar

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rkomar last won the day on April 10 2014

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  1. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    UCLA cruise to another 5-0 victory, this time over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Again, it's hard to say just how good UCLA are, except that they are good enough to dominate this opponent. Fleming had another effective game, helping UCLA to control the midfield. I didn't see anything from her that concerned me, except for the few times _she_ made the physical tackles on her opponents. Maybe she wants to balance the books in that respect, for her own peace of mind. Kennedy Faulknor scored a goal, but I didn't find her as effective as in previous games. I suspect she wasn't playing like she really meant it, since the game was already out of reach. Perhaps she needs to learn how to be more ruthless. On a different note, I was sad to see the West Virginia Mountaineers go out in a penalty shootout, especially as it was Nadya Gill who muffed her shot and tipped the balance in favour of Wake Forest. She had an excellent game before that, setting up the tying goal that forced the overtime. Unfortunately, four Canadians bow out of the NCAA championships with WVU.
  2. I had in my mind that France was a U17 powerhouse, but I must have been mostly remembering their 2012 win. I guess they didn't fall as far as I thought.
  3. I've only seen the FIFA highlight video, but it looked to be a closer affair than the final score indicated. Still, we put it in the net and Costa Rica didn't. In the end, that's all that counts. Just ask Mexico, that blew chance after chance to end up 0-0 even though dominating play. It's been a long time since I was that age, but I'm guessing that the players aren't the hardened pros that many expect them to be. Emotions and momentum figure highly in performance. Wilkinson is right to not put too much emphasis on opening play, and to try to grow the players into confident performances. We're not going to learn much from nervous play. P.S. Holy crap! I just noticed that France is not in the competition. How did they fall behind Finland? Is the women's game losing steam?
  4. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    I think "Golden Gaels" is also unique to Queen's.
  5. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    On a totally different topic, when I was in university 30 years ago, we would chant "What the f**k's a Gee-Gee?" Is that chant still a thing? This is probably the wrong thread to get an answer to that.
  6. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    That's good to know. I have a lot of hope for her to make the national team, because she's good in so many ways (strong yet with a good touch, big but deceptively quick, understands how to play in all parts of the field,...). The only knock I have against her is that she still thinks the game a bit too slowly, which would be disastrous in international matches. But she's young, and if she can develop her thinking speed (perhaps with training from the national program), I think she can play a valuable role on the national squad. Fingers crossed...
  7. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    I don't have a lot to report on the UCLA vs SJSU game myself. It looked pretty one-sided in the first half, and I gave most of my attention to the Leafs game instead. I watched the second half a little more closely, and SJSU wasn't as bad as the 5-0 loss made them out to be. They weren't very effective on attack, but they were fit and physical when defending. It seems that for most teams not near the top of the table, a lot of training goes into defending. Perhaps that's analytics rearing its ugly head. It would be nice to see them try to string some passes together in a structured attack, rather than just boot and chase. Fleming had a goal and two assists, and was very effective in the midfield. Faulknor got to play forward towards the end of the game. With her size, strength and skill on the ball, she wasn't bad at holding the ball with back to goal, and waiting for support. Maybe Forgedias can finally give UCLA the thumb's up for that, wherever he may be. Hopefully someone who paid more attention in the first half can give a better summary than I did.
  8. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    This topic drifted into "Canadians in the NCAA", and then to college women's soccer in general a while ago. It seemed the same people were interested in it all, and the traffic was still low enough not to mask the Fleming chat too much. Personally, I like the convenience of it.
  9. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    Here are the brackets for the NCAA championships: brackets. I don't much about teams outside of the Pac-12 and ACC, but I'm guessing that UCLA doesn't have any really difficult opponents until UNC in the quarter finals. As long as they don't get too complacent, I think they have a good chance of getting to that game. Edit: Looks like I was wrong. Santa Clara is ranked 12th in the nation, so UCLA does have stiff competition before North Carolina.
  10. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    Yowza! What a game between UCLA and USC! UCLA had some luck to win this one. USC dominated in the first half, leading 1-0 at halftime, but UCLA came back and played like they meant it in the second half, tying the game soon after the kick-off. USC scored on the counter-attack with about 3 minutes to go, looking like they got their win to tie Stanford at the top of the PAC-12 conference. But Hailey Mace scores 6 seconds later with a long range cruise missile that the goalkeeper had no chance on. There were plenty of chances on both sides (including a missed penalty kick by USC), with defenders deflecting balls and goalkeepers making great saves. In the second half of extra time, Fleming bounces the ball into free space in the penalty area and Olivia Athens heads it in just ahead of the goalkeeper. UCLA wins 3-2, but it could have gone to either team. Fleming had a very good game. She was all over the field, collecting and distributing well. I think she ended up with two assists on the night. USC had DeMelo marking Fleming, and the play got pretty physical at times between them. DeMelo is USA national team material, and bosses the midfield for USC the way that Fleming does for UCLA. Both players accomplished a lot, which is a testament to how good they are in the big games. I was a bit worried that Fleming was a bit off after her injury a while ago, but she seems to be back on form. Not just her technique, but her fitness looks great, as well. Faulknor also had a good game. She kept her composure well under pressure, making good passes while the adrenaline was running high for both sides. She was guilty on the penalty shot, but she had to come in late to try to clean up after the defending midfielder got hoodwinked. It was just really good play by the forward, and I don't blame Faulknor much for the penalty. The shooter missed high on the penalty shot, so the transgression can be easily forgiven. I think that both teams are going to benefit from this game going into the playoffs. It gets them into full-on competitive mode, and they should be ready for the NCAA championships. I expect that the PAC-12 conference is going to do some damage again this year.
  11. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    UCLA squeaked by Utah today 2-1. Like many other teams, UCLA seem to be getting used to winning, only putting in the effort when absolutely required. They are trusting the soccer gods to give them the win as they deserve, rather than working to earn it. Mostly you get away with that, but sometimes the soccer gods laugh and leave you disillusioned. That said, Fleming was working well all over the pitch in this game. Utah seemed to go for the win and not just try to bunker down, leaving all sorts of space on the pitch. That made me rethink my past comment about Fleming not being as dominant anymore. Maybe part of that is teams bunkering down in their 18 yard box, compressing play into a small area that Fleming can't work her magic in. When she was dominant in the past, it was in the middle of the field going one-on-one with other players. The lesser teams don't even seem to bother to contest that space anymore. They fall back, and defend in numbers just outside of easy shooting range. If Fleming was more two-footed, it still wouldn't be easy cutting through that. That said, it couldn't hurt Fleming to be more comfortable on her left foot. That also goes for Sanchez, as well.
  12. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    Two games where UCLA outscored their opponents handily. It's hard to say how good the team is, but they limited their opponents to very few scoring opportunities, so that's a good sign. I have to say that Fleming hasn't been as dominant as I remember her being before. Part of it may be that teams are getting better defensively against UCLA. They are committed to putting in the effort and maintaining defensive structure under persistent attack. I have to say that I am impressed with the coaching and players in that way. But more importantly to this thread, it's been noticed that Fleming uses her right foot the majority of the time. She has a great right foot, but defenders can limit her more effectively if they know that she's going to use it. Maybe it's time for Fleming to broaden her repertoire.
  13. rkomar

    Jessie Fleming

    No Fleming or Mace or Rodriguez in the game against Oregon, but I thought I'd watch anyway. I'm glad I did, because it was a pretty good game. Oregon did not just bunker down, but pressed UCLA hard through the whole game, taking the attack into UCLA's half. There was a lot of short passing in tight quarters by both sides. The game ended up 2-1 for UCLA, but remained suspenseful right to the final second. One of the center backs for Oregon was Hannah Taylor, who has been playing recently for the Canada Uxx teams. She looked good out there, handling UCLA's pressure well. I'm thinking that she's in a very good program for developing towards the senior Canadian team.
  14. Morgan looked offside on her goal. It didn't affect the outcome of the game, but it sucks that she won the golden boot with that goal.
  15. Yeah, we have a big hole in our team's age distribution. We didn't seem to get much new blood in those years just before Herdman arrived. Thanks goodness he made changing that a priority.
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