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  #1  
Old 04-11-2021, 08:57 PM
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2020 A10 season ends in sweep at SLU

I don't believe what I am seeing.

Last edited by soccerflyer; 04-11-2021 at 10:04 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2021, 10:25 PM
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A10 redefines "winning percentage" procedures, VCU gets all-time screwed by COVID protocols... Flyers' A10 streak remains... intact?

I am sorry that I am not more excited about a fourth chance to play SLU. But VCU's fate was the absolute worst.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:42 AM
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I dont feel too sorry for VCU. They clearly avoided two of the best teams in the A10 for the entire conference season while UD had to face SLU three times -- who is far and away the best team in the league. And UD and SLU were placed in the smallest division which made the ability to avoid one another even more difficult -- yet more difficult to climb the overall A10 standings because in a 4-team division you can only put two other teams behind you instead of three.

There's no question UD is one of the four best teams in the A10 by both results and the look test. Perhaps VCU might be, but that's speculation. SLU gave up 9 goals all year -- four to Dayton which were the only four surrendered in league play. And UD was the only team all season -- Arkansas and Okie State included -- to score twice in the same game vs SLU. Like you, I doubt UD beats SLU in the A10 Tourney but the half-baked Covid rehash of the conference/tourney rules were just that -- entirely untenable to even remotely reward the most deserving teams. They should have revamped mid-season and made it an 8-team tournament when they could clearly see the schematic they designed was a complete disaster.

UMass is also in the A10 Tourney as the #2 overall seed -- they were 5-2-1 in the A10 with the 2nd most overall points of any team in the conference. Yet they lost to 3-8-2 Saint Joseph's and tied 2-8-2 Rhode Island. A most ridiculous outcome for the A10 Tourney bracket. Meanwhile, VCU lost to 3-6-1 George Mason.

Other than a tie to Duquesne on their stupid carpet, Dayton basically ran roughshod in all other matches (as you should against those teams) and played SLU extremely competitive in two matches and somewhat competitive in the third. Lets put it this way: Sloo knows the A10 title game is pretty much the 4th meeting with UD and would have much rather played VCU. There's no way UMass or Davidson in the other half of the bracket has the offense to put 1-2 goals on Sloo and somehow win in OT or PKs.

Call it poetic justice. Had Dayton been left out, it would have been the most inexcusable outcome of all. Nobody else was gonna beat SLU either -- especially when 2 of the 3 were at Hermann. UD almost got SLU at home.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2021, 01:11 AM
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Every other conference in America erred the other (right) way. The A10 is sending the entirely wrong message by stacking the opponent's forfeit against VCU. That it is happening on the last day of the season, too is really a travesty. That VCU was eliminated from consideration after doing everything they could to play themselves in is the biggest farce.
VCU was looking forward to the experience, and had done everything right for themselves.
No, Chris we'll never know how a VCU and SLU would measure up, but we'll have recorded over 6 HOURS of getting beaten by SLU which is surely a new NCAA record.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:37 AM
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Coming into last week, I couldn't figure out how they were going to determine the last seed. And I still can't quite figure it out, as I've not read any kind of written explanation.

Having said that, I couldn't be more excited about a 4th opportunity against an NCAAt team in SLU.

As far as being deserving and any sympathy towards a VCU, it's unfortunate. It appears the A10 made a number of mistakes in the way they outlined this season and determined it's championship participants. They're a league that faced some ridiculous challenges re: COVID and geographic institutions. Thankfully and presumably, this is just a one year issue.

But make no mistake, the Flyers are clearly one of the best four teams in the A10 and deserve to compete for this championship. SLU is on another level than the rest of the A10. But this is soccer. It's a unique sport with so little scoring, where a team can clearly dominate for significant portions of the game and still come away with a loss. Look at SLU's game vs St. Bonaventure - SLU scored with 5 seconds remaining in 2OT - in a game they controlled overwhelmingly in its entirely.

The Flyers have shown an ability to compete with SLU. And it's got to be tough to beat a team 4 times. I'll be at the game this week and give Golz and the Flyers a chance.

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  #6  
Old 04-12-2021, 11:08 AM
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Sorry if my post seemed out of line toward other Flyer faithful. This is not a personal preference issue for me, nor who I think "deserves it more." The league was overly careless in representing the tiebreaker situation as something fluid rather than determined and announced procedures back in September. They had a whole year to plan for this.

For teams that played fewer games to get the short end of the stick is not the correct approach. Especially when on the last day of the season, VCU's opponent abandoned them. A10 counted that against them, something they can't control. It's not as though they were allowed to schedule somebody else.

Now half the field (Davidson and Dayton) are in because of forfeits, not because of merits. Rumors of a "coin toss" makes for a tainted end to what was otherwise considered a successful season.

I would have to agree with a decision like Dayton being seeded better than GW in a case of identical records. but why didn't they use goal differential and goals allowed, like every normal league in America? VCU got hosed.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:36 PM
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It was a terrible design from the beginning. A10 should have seen it coming weeks ago. Divisional play left some pods almost impossible to clear while others a cakewalk. Should have kept it at 8 teams. Or six with 2 first round byes.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:37 PM
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I see we're still going with the "impossible pod" argument, again, despite getting a bid. Whereas it's truly the 2 teams that had an outright no-show handed them that faced impossible climbs. Hard to get a point at Hermann? It's much harder to get a point when your team is not even allowed on the pitch for more than 25% of its season, as was the case for some. BTW, I guarantee you're singing a different song today if 4-3-1 GW had won the illegitimate coin toss and backed into this "wildcard."

Now VCU's RPI is actually superior to any of the other 4-2 considerations. I believe you'll find it was 3rd in the A10 overall behind only STL and Massachusetts. But I wasn't making the "best teams made it in" argument, you were.

Final seed tiebreakers are by their nature, a fun sort of chaotic when based on complete results. It is regular to see certain results weigh heavier than others based on the opponent's rank. However, to lose a tie-break off of no-contest such as COVID protocols and coin tosses is amateurish and has made the A10 the headscratcher of all this year. When the ADs signed off on these non-sensical "tie" breaker procedures, it's clear that they, as well as most coaches, did not understand all of the implications.

Chris, I still love this place as a sounding board, because no matter what the results on the pitch are, you are always so passionate about our Flyers winning by any means possible, and hopefully increasing the A10's profile as a conference. To me, this playing STL a fourth time doesn't accomplish any of what you'll want it to. It has called into question not only the integrity of the championship, but league officials that would count an unplayed game against a team after all the athletes already go through. Leaving out VCU is a monumental error which exposes their total lack of common sense. I'm glad you agree this could have been avoided or designed around, but I no longer have faith in the A10 officials to do what makes sense anymore. We know that the only reason Flyers got in is because not one, but two teams now sitting on their final approaches to 15-16 pts then got paused by a different opponent at the last possible moment, compounded by the A10's determination to hold it against their final records as if they had lost their remaining games. These are teams that had done everything else right, on and off the pitch with no positive tests.

I had said we were going to put an asterisk next to this season anyway, win lose or draw. Now we'll have to put two asterisks up, one of them for these challenging COVID protocols and unbalanced schedules that ALL teams have had their own struggles with, and one more for some fuzzy math protocols.

Good luck to Dayton and may the "best team" win. Except if it's SLU, of course. They've certainly had enough winning over the past 3 years at our expense.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:50 PM
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Im not really disagreeing with anything you said. However when you play in a 4-team division rather than 5 and there are no cross-over games, the most number of teams you can "dispatch" and put behind you in the overall A10 standings (the "things you can control") is 3 teams. In the other divisions that is 4 teams. That can be all the difference when splitting hairs -- and that's what we both agree happened. Someone was going to get screwed in this. To me UMass has no business in the tournament - they lost to SJU and tied URI for Gods sake. The RPI is irrelevant this year because the field is entirely un-linked and the A10 was sequestered into three distinct divisions without any crossover. The data by its definition is going to be messed up.

The A10 had good intentions when they chopped the league into 3 divisions to keep teams from co-mingling the Wu as much as possible, and then chopping the A10 tourney, but those actions could be seen to have been overzealous by March. It was obvious UD and SLU were going to beat on one another (on more precisely a team two steps above almost every team in the A10 pinning multiple losses on what might be the 2nd or 3rd best team a step below). Normally there's 14 teams and 8 make the tournament or 57%. This year it was 4 of 14 or 28% (half). Now all other things being equal in a normal season if the A10 decided to make a 4 team tourney instead of 8, it would still somewhat affect teams equally because of the larger A10 season (though there are never 13 league games and more like 10 so when you shrink the tourney it makes unbalanced schedules more pronounced). In this case however with basically 4- and 5-team mini leagues making up a 4-team larger postseason tourney, the results were just disastrous. It was all but guaranteed to screw someone -- heck probably more than just one. I have not looked at the mens bracket but Im guessing it may have happened there as well.

Its not the way I would have ever set things up -- especially knowing how far and beyond the competition SLU was and likely how that would unfairly punish West division teams in the smallest division. I would have either continued to play a full league schedule -- I mean whats the big difference in playing at home with SLU and away at SLU rather than home SLU and away at UMass? Anybody can get the virus at any time so the sequestration of divisions always struck me as window dressing and nothing more. I would have kept the tourney at 8 teams or even expanded it to 10 with top two teams getting byes -- knowing some teams were going to get games canceled and have fewer cracks as well.

At this point all I can find comfort in is UD is in the 4 team field and they are clearly one of the four best teams in the A10. Whether thats #2 or #3 or #4 who knows but the competitiveness vs SLU and simple eye test leaves no doubt that Saint Louis as a Top-20 team had to show up each time to beat UD -- and needed two set piece goals and 2 PKs in the process. In the run of play UD looked the part for long stretches.

Now can a case be made that UD had three cracks at SLU and someone else now deserves a shot? Yeah I can buy that argument. But that's where I think UD was the #2 or #3 team in the A10 and shouldnt even be playing SLU in the semifinals anyway. Someone else should be in that slot. Maybe VCU. Eventually one of two things is going to happen though -- UD is either going to beat SLU and show they were always close and knocking on the door vs the clear class of the league, or SLU makes the finals and someone gets their shot to show what they got.

I think someone else should be taking on SLU for them to get to the finals. They dont really deserve to play Dayton again either. Also unfair for them. But when the smoke clears I dont think anybody touches the Bills unless they hit the post 10 times and get two red cards. You will have to score at least 2 goals to beat them and I dont think anyone save UD and maybe one other team has the offense to do that -- LaSalle's offensive numbers were decent but they arent even in the tourney. Yet another reason things are hosed up because perhaps they should be. They were 4-2 and 7-2 overall.
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:38 AM
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You love to point out bad losses. UMass split with St Joe's, and outshot them 13-2 in their road loss. Just because UMass keeper went 0 for 1 in save attempts, they're by no means the weaker side. St Joe's is always formidable on their home turf, even in down years such as this one.

In a two game final series, seeding really does not matter as much as making it. You play the better team on freshest legs as possible and try to catch them sleeping on a game that they're maybe looking past as they probably expected to be in the championship as soon as they clinched the overall #1.

I have to give VCU's coach Martin the most credit. From reading what each team released, she is the only one that appeared to be privy to the A10s makeshift rules. Martin scheduled 2 make-up games in the final week, for a total of 4 games in 8 days. The other coaches might not have had similar flexibility, but were seen as waiting for the A10 to reevaluate.

There is zero relevancy to being seeded 5th this year but I will also point out the subtle hysterics of the A10's math: In a six team tournament, they'd apparently have put in GW 5, and VCU 6. Fordham would just miss the field by a point. And La Salle would apparently be seeded as low as #8?

That's how ridiculous the A10's "tie" breaking procedures were. The COVID no shows were counted as worse than ties which makes them losses. VCU's had good quality results against Davidson. They're not being kept home because of who they lost to. They're only being kept home because one of their opponents whose season was already over couldn't stay on the field.
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