sirhope44 wrote:It's all about the ODAC now. The ODAC should be very entertaining once again this year. W&L and Lynchburg are going to be great games.
Got to beat Va. Wes first.
This comment says it all for me. But the games so far have provided a perfect example of what might be. A loss to a good Cabrini team (first home loss at Kerr Stadium), followed by a close win over a tough RIT team, and then a solid win over St. Mary's at their place - all helped to prove that this team is very talented, but inexperienced and lacking leadership.
The loss to Kenyon (mid-week, at home) was inexcusable. It seems to me that the coaching staff did its job in this one, but the kids have to win the games. As a consequence, the at-large bid is out the window. Now, as Sirhope correctly points out, its ODAC time...
Virginia Wesleyan has been knocking on the door for years and the ODAC season opens in Virginia Beach this Saturday. They must be thinking that this may be the year to break into the "Big 4" inasmuch as each of the leaders of the conference have stubbed theirs toes on the way into conference play. To say they have motivation to win this one would be an understatement. [VW is probably playing the tape of the last game played there, with the exception of the last 30 seconds (thank you, Chris Keating) to show their kids that beating NOKE at their place IS possible.]
The loss of Zach Thomas, on attack, is huge. His ability to see the field and distribute the ball to his mates was, in my view, one of his greatest strenghts. His goals will be missed, especially because he knew the value of shooting low, which is apparently an attribute the others haven't yet grasped. The kids who remain can certainly do the job-but will they?
How can anyone argue the value of Billy Cameron to this team? The fact that he has been overlooked in post-season accolades is one of the great misfortunes. And Josh Rhea is more than a capable understudy.
The midfield, as I have said before, is the true strength of this team. So long as each of them realize that disobeying team rules will hurt the team, this unit should be fine.
That leaves the defense. Losing the best best one-on-one defender I have seen this year is no picnic...but there it is. If Brennan, Burkhead,Pearson and the others do what they are capable of, and no more, things will be OK in Salem. Simmons is....Simmons. Great take-away up top, followed by a fast break and a goal. Then, a missed trail check, with a resulting goal by the other guys. Still, I say, let him play! It would be great if Phelps overcame his injury and returned to his play of prior years. The defense should let Dorsey make the saves he is cabaple of making by moving their feet, staying with their man and stop chasing sticks.
In a season where parity has reared its head, winning the conference is paramount. ODAC play begins in Virginia Beach on Saturday. All hands on deck.
They say I'm lazy, but it takes all my time.