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  #1  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:45 AM
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2019 Predictions

I looked at the three (3) matches that everyone has left and I have taken the approach of trying to predict final standings and playoff implications. Plenty of interesting matches remain, most notably SLU at GW for the conference title on the last game of the season. It does not get any better than that!


My predicted finish projecting 21 final matches as of 10/18/19:
1. SLU 3-0= 10-0
2. GW 2-1= 8-1-1
3. UMass 3-0 = 7-2-1
4. FLYERS 2-1 = 6-2-2

5. SJU 3-0 = 6-4
6. La Salle 1-2 = 5-5; owns tiebreaker over Duq, 3-2
7. Duquesne 2-1 = 5-5
8. Fordham 1-2 = 4-5-1

9. Richmond 1-2 = 4-6
10. Davidson 0-3 = 3-6-1
St. Bonaventure 1-2 = 3-6-1
VCU 2-1 = 3-6-1
13. George Mason 0-3 = 1-9
14. Rhode Island 0-3 = 0-8-2

Last edited by soccerflyer; 10-20-2019 at 06:41 PM..
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:22 PM
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Amazingly, the 13 and 14th place teams got big results today with George Mason tying St Louis and Rhode Island beating Richmond. This potentially spoils my predictions, although SLU's status as overall favorite doesn't change.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:55 PM
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There were some shockers mixed in but sadly this one wasn't a surprise to me as I had picked VCU to hold ground and they did. So I will take a 4-1-2 day. Rhody over Richmond was the one I picked totally wrong. Ties at George Mason and at SJU won't count against me.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:37 PM
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100% with you. Expected VCU to win..they are more athletic, physical, and have a much better work rate. All of those things showed up today. Dayton was a calamity into the wind and still got outplayed going with the wind. No pace from anyone not named Sheldon. We play like we're scared of running into the soccer ball.

Some of it is youth, but not all of it. Some of it is just lack of want-to. I would not want to face VCU again. They are too much for us...very much like UMass. The match I really want back is URI.

The issue with Dayton is too many players take too many days off and plays off. You might call me crazy, but I could tell in the first 45 seconds of today's match that we were going to get dominated physically and speed-wise. We had the kickoff and we immediately made four consecutive back-passes because we were so passive and not moving our feet or making room for passing lanes. Every pass kept having to go backwards because we were standing around. Meanwhile VCUs attacking players ran right at us in the first 45 seconds forcing our hand. We ended up committing a turnover from it.

Its like a boxer coming out of his corner in the 1st round and immediately pinning his opponent into his own corner before the opposing boxer can even get to the middle of the ring. Once I saw that, I pretty much knew the match was not going to be competitive today. They were ready to get things going and go out and win the day, while we were hoping to just mail it in and somehow eek out a result with the least possible effort.

Its amazing what the first 60-120 seconds in a match can dictate. Golz is not stupid. He probably saw the same thing in the first minute, leaned to an assistant and said, "I see..gonna be another one of these kind of days."

We took 14 corner kicks and maybe 2 were quality kicks and were pursued in the box well. At least 2-3 never even made it into the field of play, another 2-3 never made it past the first defender at the near post, another 2-3 sailed completely over the entire box and out of bounds, and the remaining 2-3 were about all we had in terms of decent ones. Our CKs are a complete exercise in futility. We could have taken 50 today and it wouldnt have mattered.

And our throw-ins? I think we had 10 turnovers alone on our throw-ins. When you throw the ball in you have ONE job: find someone's feet. If you can't throw it over the first defender, you must throw it short to your closest teammate. And if you plan to sail it over the first defender IT BETTER clear her head. I counted six throw-ins we had that we literally threw it to VCU. I have no idea what we were thinking. Thats a turnover. You cant have 2-3 of those a game let alone 8-10. Throw-ins are offensive weapons. We should be exploiting teams on throw-ins, not getting dispossessed on 80% of them. I am SO done with the 5yd throw-in directly down the sideline to a player that bounces once and is then muffed out of bounds. Can't someone put 15-20 yards on a throw-in? That's not very far....we should be throwing the ball into the central part of the field to open up the play and options to the receiving player. You cant do a thing with the ball standing on the sideline....you only have one place to go with the ball...back to the person who threw it -- and everybody knows it so its "pre-covered". We need to be launching throw-ins into Navarro Leon and others who are unmarked in the middle so they can switch the field. If I never see another throw-in down the sideline Ill be a happy camper....that is unless you can throw it 25 yards and over-throw the entire defense and spring a player like Sheldon. THAT I'm 100% for. But our throw-ins are just so weak and have no purpose. You should be killing teams with well-executed throw-ins....they are mini set pieces almost as dangerous as a free kick. Actually they are even more dangerous because you can use your hands for better precision and dont need to wait on the referee to set the ball....and you cant be offside either. Its a problem in all of college WSOC though....its like never practicing or getting a mastery of the kicking and punt return game in football. Its 1/3 of the game. Good throw-ins dont have anything to do with strength either. I was a pip-squeak and could throw balls 35yds on a rope. Its nothing but technique and practice. You just have to learn to be a rubberband and not a robotic stiff in your form. Id give free lessons if someone was willing to listen.

Jones kept us in this. She was very very good again in both halfs.

Defensively we were a hot mess. Clearances on the ground and right down the middle of the field. Thats the kind of thing that should be expunged from one's game early in HS.

We are way better than we played, but not sure we're better than VCU in a 10-game series either. Just a frustrating 90 minutes to watch. They pushed us around like rag dolls, stole the ball from our feet like lunch money, and made us look like our legs were set in quickcrete.

Today wasnt an execution problem it was an intensity problem. Which resulted in poor execution. Finesse rarely beats physicality. I realize we are so inexperienced and many of our starters dont yet have college bodies, but we just lacked pace too often vs VCU and pace is oftentimes nothing to do with size or muscles. Its just about getting there first.

We just didnt want to be there and it showed. Even in the first 45 seconds. Thats what annoys me...I can excuse bad execution. VCU's execution was not great. But they countered it with a great work ethic. They went guns blazing from the opening whistle to the last. While we had chances to put the ball in the net and almost did, VCU could have also had 4-5 goals..maybe should have were it not for some bad finishing and Jones' great saves. The elements were terrible for both sides....just an excuse.

Will be interesting to see how we look in the next game. When we compete like the 2nd half vs Davidson, we can play with anyone in the league not named Sloo. When we dont however, we can get beaten by the last place team.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris R View Post
we can play with anyone in the league not named Sloo. When we dont however, we can get beaten by the last place team.
The A10 is like that now. Key point, SLU tied George Mason today in 72 minutes. I do think the good teams have a way of looking past threats just based on their season records.

We all know VCU is a tough place to win especially in sloppy conditions. But did you mention the own goal? That sequence was quite horrendous. Kudos to VCU, they didn't make costly errors and kept pressing.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:33 AM
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Yeah the own goal was sloppy but the back line was asking for it for about an hour up to that point and had yet to pay the price for poor clearances, giveaways, and dispossessions in the defensive third. That UD lasted almost 80 minutes without giving up a goal was really pushing our luck. We needed to be cleaner and better and not simply fortunate. Jones probably saved 2-3 sure goals.

And to VCUs credit their GK saved a couple realllllly tough ones...Pauleys free kick then another one directly in front of her. But our quality chances around the box were just too few and far between. Fourteen corner kicks were largely ornamental.

Im shocked SLU tied GMU. They are in two completely different classes. Bad weather usually helps the team with less talent and I bet that happened. Youd think that would have helped us today but we didnt have the effort level there to leverage much.

At this point I think Sheldon is a shoo-in for All Rookie. She doesnt have a ton of stats but she has a weapon -- namely speed and crossing ability -- that few other attacking players in the A10 have in any class. And she goes really hard for the 55-60 minutes she plays.

We may get 1-2 more out of the Goins, Huber, Mertz, YNL group. Not sure Lutz and Steiert have done enough but I dont know much about the rest of the league's frosh defenders.

As for All-A10, we may get left out which is sort of by design if you start 7 frosh. Not many other places on the field to earn All A10.

On another note, 2020 commitment Diana Benigno from Beavercreek is leading them in scoring. They have won 41 straight and are #2 nationally. We are getting the best player on perhaps the best prep team in the country. She is a central midfielder with great vision and passing ability who likes to cut balls behind defenders for distribution...ala Nicole Waters. Shes not big but she is going to help immediately and I think will work well with YNL in there. Her Beavercreek teammate from last year who led the Beavers in scoring Marcella Cash elected not to play HS this year so its mostly been Benigno and a couple others running the show...impressive they may still run the table. Cash originally committed to Indiana but with that coaching change she re-opened her recruiting. Dayton went after her hard in the spring but she ended up choosing Miss. State.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:39 AM
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For this week I have predicted five home winners including the Flyers. In a must win situation at home, the Flyers should rise to the occasion. Ties are more frequent than you would expect, but I want this late in the season to just choose the "better team" according to the match-ups and so far this has been working fine.

I have long thought that VCU was better than its record and on the flip side, Davidson caught some good breaks early but is now in the midst of a prolonged scoring drought. So that's one of my road picks. The other one is GW winning at Mason.

Thursday 10/24 predictions:

FLYERS over Fordham
MASSACHUSETTS over La Salle
DUQUESNE over Bonaventure
George Washington over GEORGE MASON
SAINT JOSEPH'S over Rhode Island
Virginia Commonwealth over DAVIDSON
ST LOUIS over Richmond
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:54 PM
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I like all of those picks.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by soccerflyer View Post
Thursday 10/24 predictions:

FLYERS over Fordham
MASSACHUSETTS over La Salle
DUQUESNE over Bonaventure
George Washington over GEORGE MASON
SAINT JOSEPH'S over Rhode Island
Virginia Commonwealth over DAVIDSON
ST LOUIS over Richmond

Took a 5-0-2 day with my picks.

George Mason, what did they do? Just their second spoiler draw against an undefeated team in the past week. But at 1-6-2 this is small solace.

Updated standings 10/24/19:

Team W L T Pts
y1 SLU........ 8 0 1..... 25
y2 GW......... 7 0 2..... 23
y3 UMass..... 6 2 1..... 19
x4 FLYERS.... 5 2 2..... 17
x5 La Salle... 5 4 0..... 15
x6 SJU......... 4 4 1..... 13
7 Duquesne 4 5 0..... 12
8 Fordham.. 3 4 2..... 11
9 Davidson. 3 4 2..... 11
10 Richmond. 3 6 0..... 9
11 VCU...... 2 5 2..... 8 ELIMINATED
12 Bonaventure 2 6 1..... 7 ELIMINATED
13 GMason..... 1 6 2..... 5 ELIMINATED
14 Rhode Island 1 6 2..... 5 ELIMINATED


y-clinched first round home field
x-clinched playoff berth

Will post my unofficial outlook on playoff scenarios now as I think it is interesting to see what teams that are on the bubble need to happen.

First of all for our Flyers:
  • A Dayton win or tie secures a home game against either a-La Salle, b-St Joe's, c- Duquesne, d- winner of Fordham/Davidson.
  • If UMass loses to VCU, Dayton could still attain a #3 seed hosting the #6 seed on Nov 2 at Baujan in a day/night doubleheader, with the Flyer men also hosting GW at 7pm. Opponent would likely be a-none other than La Salle again (but only if St Joe's also wins), or b-Duquesne if Dukes win and St Joe's loses/ties, c- winner of Davidson/Fordham if Dukes lose/tie and SJU lose/tie or d- St Joe's, only if Richmond somehow beats/ties SJU, while Duquesne loses/ties and Davidson/Fordham both tie.
  • If UMass wins/ties over VCU, the Minutewomen would then secure the #3 seed, and the Flyers could still take the 4 spot with a win or tie. The 4-seed scenario means Dayton would host the better finisher of either La Salle/St Joe's, with St Joe's owning a head to head tiebreaker for the #5 slot if they were to both finish at 16 pts.
  • A Dayton loss secures a #5 seed and pits us at #4 La Salle. Bouncing back and forth between Dayton and Philly merely six days after the regular season finale and hoping to avenge that loss, is not the ideal scenario for the Flyers. At least it would allow an opportunity to scout La Salle and get accustomed to turf conditions then replay there a week later. Obviously Dayton will try to put La Salle away on Sunday to avoid this extra travel from occurring.

What other teams need:
  • SLU needs a tie or better at GW to secure the #1 seed.
  • Because of RPI and lack of signature wins, SLU and GW are not considered at large candidates but need to win the A10 tournament.
  • The Davidson at Fordham match will be sort of an 8/9 play-in game which is sort of fun, especially if it goes into OT where the next goal could determine a berth. The winner of this match secures a first round road game, whereas the loser of this game will be out.
  • If Davidson/Fordham tie each other, they are still going to need some help from a Richmond loss and/or a Duquesne loss. They could both be out if they tie while Richmond wins and Duquesne ties or better. They could be forced into a complicated 4-way tie breaker at 12 pts if they tie and Richmond wins and Duquesne loses. In that scenario, I have Richmond at #7, Davidson at #8, Fordham as out, and Duquesne as out. This assumption was based on common opponent SJU and then Richmond's result with UMass as a kicker, however this is almost unprecedented and would be subject to revalidation of my interpretation.
  • It would appear Richmond's only shred of hope at this point, in addition to having to win over St Joe's, is to have Davidson-Fordham end in a tie which could allow the Spiders to steal one of the last two remaining bids.

Last edited by soccerflyer; 10-25-2019 at 01:22 AM.. Reason: list tags
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:12 AM
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Its amazing VCU did not make the postseason. They are just a better team than Dayton. No ifs ands or buts. The unbalanced schedule may have done them in -- I have not bothered to look. Just glad we dont have to face them again because they are faster and more physical than we are.

I do not want to have to play LaSalle this weekend, then again on their home field a second time in the 1st rd. That's asking for two losses in a row. If this team wants to finish above .500 for the year, they gotta beat LaSalle this weekend. That would put us 2-up in the win column. A loss would put us even again and then a 1st round loss would sink us below the waterline. Thats not how this team wants to end things.

The league predicted UD to finish 6th and I predicted 7th. We will do better than both. That said, this might be the weakest year for the A10 I can ever remember -- I believe even last season was stronger. There have been past seasons where the 4th place team was at least being considered for NCAA at-large and we got three teams in. Those days are long gone and now our 4th/5th place teams are basically .500 teams that dont have a Top-100 win to their credit. So Im not chugging the bath water just yet. The A10 is an extremely weak league in the conference RPI.

We have a LONG way to go....but there are signs of improvement. Will take 2-3 more recruiting classes.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:17 AM
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The conference at the top is not what it once was, that's for sure. The better soccer has been on hiatus this year but hopefully it returns. I have heard the incoming classes for both Dayton and La Salle are pretty strong.

I watched VCU play twice this year and I'm as perplexed as you. Four of five losses of VCU's in conf were by 1 goal and they're being outscored 12 to 15 in A10 matches which does not really equate to their 2-5-2 record. Out of conf they had been 6-1-1 with a 21-7 goal differential so I was fairly certain they were going to make a run at St Louis. Then when St Louis came in and actually trounced them at SportsBackers Field with a 4-0 first half, it seems to have ruined their momentum and they could not get it back. Other teams like St Joe's and George Mason at least played St Louis competitively.

I'm mostly impressed with what GW has been able to accomplish. Whether they win the title or don't on Sunday, they had a great season with 11-1-3 record and a 95-ish RPI.

For Sunday, keep in mind, there is a 95% chance of rain. I heard La Salle for some reason does not invest in rain gear for all of its outdoor broadcasts, so this will likely be an old fashioned gametracker / twitter me situation! You would think they would have the wherewithal. You mentioned La Salle being a risk to sweep the Flyers. La Salle is not playing at full strength. It will be interesting to see if they can hold their own. Without their last year's assists leaders (O'Brien, Cox, Shanahan) in the line-up the offense has taken a hit. [Shanahan is the midfielder that as a sophomore scored the quick insurance goal, eventual game winner, two years ago to knock us out of the A10s. She's missed the latter part of the season with an injury.] Against UMass yesterday, La Salle was outshot 28-5! Despite this, La Salle had two leads but gave them up and lost.

The problem with the 4/5 game is that you're in St Louis bracket in the semifinal, assuming SLU takes care of business against GW, which is no certainty. Dayton would do well to clinch the 3 seed just in case, but will need help from none other than VCU, against UMass, for that to be a possibility.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:28 AM
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Predictions time...
  • Flyers over LA SALLE, DAYT takes #4 contingent on UMass win else #3 & LAS takes 6 contingent on SJU win, else #5
  • Saint Louis over GW, winner or SLU tie takes #1 & loser or a GW tie gets #2
  • St. Joe's over RICHMOND, SJU grabs #5 and eliminates Richmond
  • FORDHAM over Davidson, Fordham grabs #8 and eliminates Davidson
  • Duquesne over RHODE ISLAND, grabs #7 seed contingent on SJU's win
  • Massachusetts over VCU, grabs #3 seed, else #4
  • ST BONAVENTURE over George Mason, pick has no effect on postseason
I have five road teams winning which could either make for some sad senior days, or some surprises. A bit of what happens to Flyers seed depends on whether VCU plans to be #3 bid spoilers for UMass or to pack it in.

Last edited by soccerflyer; 10-25-2019 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris R View Post
Its amazing VCU did not make the postseason...The unbalanced schedule may have done them in -- I have not bothered to look.

Yes, by my account VCU had the third or fourth hardest schedule this year. They skipped #6 St Joe's, #12 St Bonaventure and #13 Rhode Island and had to play everyone else. They had #2 GW and #1 STL but both at home. (Managed to tie GW.)

I have Dayton as the tenth hardest schedule. #2 GW, #6 St Joe's and #10 Richmond and were the Flyer byes.

A difference was that VCU had to play 9 of the top 10 finishers while Dayton faced 6 of the 10. That could be good for a few games swing. And against the bottom three, Dayton went 2-0-1 while VCU went 1-0.

Some degree of schedule imbalance may be unavoidable. Even when the A10 used to play round robin, half of the teams got an extra home game which switched back every other year. I'm guessing that caused imbalances that were difficult to reconcile especially when only four or six teams made the tournament.
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