Wednesday, September 5, 2007

VT vs. Adelphia (5-1 W)

The only blemish in this game was the goal we gave up. We tried so hard to have a clean sheet, and we still gave up a goal in the last few minutes of the game just as we did in our exhibition against High Point. That clearly signals a lack of concentration and leadership to me. Granted, we made several substitutions at that time, but, still, players need to become responsible to not let their guard down if we want to get better quickly. We played well, the game plan of being patient and waiting for our chances after Adelphi built their attack against us worked well. We finished well. I think it was 3 goals on 5 shots in the first half.
That's excellent. We still have to work on being better on the ball and not give it away without pressure. That has to be the #1 goal to improve between now and our Clemson game. Careless give aways in our backfield, just because...I cannot explain it nor want to right now b/c it has to just stop. One way of doing it by limiting player's freedom of what they can do with the ball. Another way it to substitute players. The message was clear, we have a lot of work ahead with a team that is talented, but has not found it's soul yet. We have 16 games left to do it.

VT vs. VCU (0-4 L)

Well, it's a bit of a shocker, but that's part of college soccer and coaching young adults in a very competitive environment. We knew VCU would be tough to crack based on their pre-season form and our slow and non-challenging preseason schedule. What we did not know was that we would make many individual mistakes in our backfield that would lead to easy goals for VCU right off the bat in each half. I think if we had marked up on both restarts (throw in in 1st half and corner in 2nd half), the game would have been a very tight affair. I am still not sure how we would have scored a goal that night since our offense was uninspiring while their forwards seemed dangerous all the time. Sometimes you just can't explain certain lapses of players, but overall we made errors that we've never done before. For example, we had trouble clearing a ball when under pressure. What? That was hard to believe...
This led directly to the first 2 goals. We talked with the guys about it, showed them some video and appealed to them to take responsibility for their mistakes and improve. I think, then when you do improve, as we did on Sunday, you know we stepped in the right direction and we just have to work so much harder now to win more games b/c we dropped our opener. I give VCU a lot of credit for being an excellent defensive team on the night and they did deserve this victory and everything that comes with it.