Sunday, December 9, 2007





It looks like Hope is still in darkness, but nothing metaphorical is meant by that - it's just my digital camera doesn't get great shots at night over any distance.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andrea
was this a night practice or just a really long day?

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Andrea!

C.

A.C. said...

It was an evening practice.

Jonathan Geissler said...

She's still lookin' hott, that Hope...;-)

Coach said...

Has Hope lost weight from the hell she's been through? :(

ghostwriter said...

coach:

If so, let's hope that's all she lost and not some confidence as well.

Coach said...

Ghostwriter,

I do believe her confidence will be just fine. She's so competitive and firey, very confident in her abilities, there's just NO WAY she'll let Ryan or anyone else for that matter bring her down!

Once you have that confidence, it's really difficult to strip it away. Young readers take note, sports can do that for you! Play everything you can!

Hope and her teammates just need a bit more time to put it all behind them and continue to focus on 2008. Busy times starting in January!

I sent Hope an e-mail suggesting she host an intimate team party. I'm sure she'll listen! lol

P.S. Recall that soccer365 article that made Hope's quote look like a Pia quote. Soccer365 corrected the article by removing that line. I sent them an e-mail asking them if they were trying to stir the pot!

:)

Meredith said...

I thought she looked a little leaner too. But knowing Hope (ok i dont really know her, but i do know her character via her play/comments/video etc.) She probably was conditioning like a madwomen over their time off. I'd bet my bottom dollar that she is in better shape then even prior to the WC. She has a whole lot of modivation to push that much harder.

Coach said...

M.,

It might just be that black has slimming qualities in itself, but I suspect you're right about the working out like a mad woman part during their down time.

She's already one motivated young lady, now it's likely through the roof!

It's hard to keep a good "woman" down!

:)

ghostwriter said...

C:

365soccer, in answer to mine, said their posting author slipped up there and they were glad for the heads up from many in order to straighten it out.

I suspect you guys are right about Hope's fitness level, but she's still not through her dad's death entirely, if the AP article is any indicator. I suspect she's still vulnerable there, although her perspective sounded better. She also sounded ready for a slow process of regaining (as least on the field) trust from her teammates.

Several folks on the team have said they need to move forward, even Abby. (If I recall M, you were disappointed in her after China, but I suspect she'll be OK. She's a warrior with a new general, a very positive new general. She'll take her cue from that, I suspect.)

Pia seems to be implacably upbeat, so that's in Hope's favor as well, but confidence can be tricky. Even trying too hard can get you in trouble.

Moreover, in soccer tending goal is not at all a solitary effort. A hockey goalie can be an island, but a soccer keeper is part of a community that needs to be healthy to get the job done. That's not to say everybody needs to sit around holding hands and singing koombya together, but a level of on the field mutual trust and confidence is necessary.

I'm with you guys here, but I'll keep my fingers crossed just the same.

Meredith said...

Yes, I was disappointed in Abby, if anything more than anyone else, because I felt like she of all people could/should relate to Hope’s disappointment not only being benched, but in being denied the opportunity she EARNED to play in the semi finals of the World Cup. Even before the game started, I just did not understand how the team could go along with a goalie change like that (I remember asking a friend, “are they trying to lose?”). And then when I saw Solo on TV, I felt SO INCREDIBLY BAD FOR HER. Anyone with an ounce of empathy could feel the pain in her eyes. I wanted to literally stick my arm through the TV and put it around her shoulders. Then the post match isolation and 3rd match ban only increased my confusion. They kept talking about “team” this and “team” that, and how they were so proud of how they came back in the 3rd place game. I was then and am still confused now on what this team was thinking. At the end of the day, I have to forgive them the way I asked that they forgive Solo, but I must say for me, I do not know I can ever look at the veterans of this team in the same exact light I once did. The wound may have healed but the scar is forever.
P.S I am indeed hopeful with Pia: She seems like the ray of light we need and I think she is our best opportunity to salvage this team.

Coach said...

G.W.,

All will be good! Fill up that glass. Go read the article at dailybreeze.com. Good, positive stuff!

Quick note re. soccer vs. hockey goalkeeping. I did both back in "the day". :) They are more similar then you might think. Both require significant communication with your defensive mates. Bottom line remains: STOP that ball and puck from crossing the line. On a personal note, the biggest problem I had making the transition to soccer, as I played hockey first, was learning to dive when necessary instead of trying to use my feet and legs to make the save as I would in hockey. Must admit though, diving wears you out in practice and it can also HURT! Didn’t much like it, I must say! Now my daughter also understands the pain so it’s hard to get her to dive in practice!


M.,

I couldn't agree more about the disappointment felt towards Abby (& Kristine & others too) post Hope comments, then the post WWC comments that they continued to make. The really strange part is, the hug Abby gave Hope after the game, before Hope’s comments, then the subsequent (over)-reaction to her words. I guess she felt she had to tow the line with Ryan & Lilly or be banished with Hope!?

I too wanted to reach through the T.V. to give Hope a hug. I could see & feel her pain. But I also wanted to reach through and get her to stop talking. "I know it’s hard to swallow right now Hope but EVERBODY is saying it for you, please stop talking. Only more pain will come from your words.” :(

Another thing that has really bugged me is the criticism Hope has taken for her supposed pouting on the bench during the Brazil game. All I saw was her sitting there watching, between two of her teammates who were also sitting there watching. Sure her shoulders were slouched and her head went down once or twice but what would you expect when there was NOTHING to cheer for and a dream is being imploded! What did people want her to do? Cartwheels? Also, slouched shoulders can be a natural thing for some when sitting (or standing for that matter). Not everyone has PERFECT posture! I suppose some wanted her to purposely hold back her shoulders while sticking out her chest. Then of course she would have been deemed arrogant!

Oh yeah, I’ve "moved on", but still slow burning a bit, so enough WWC!

All the best to Pia & the WNT in pulling it all together! Says here they will and 2008 will be a mighty fine year for the WNT.

:)

P.S. Quite a novel I've written here! lol

ghostwriter said...

C:

I played (that should, in the case of soccer, more accurately be "occupied") both goal positions, too. The biggest difference for me was the relative sizes involved: hockey = net small, goalie big; soccer = goal big, keeper small.

Breakaways in hockey (or penalty shots) statistically favor the goalie, in soccer no way. You need way more help defending that tall/wide frame than the narrow/short pipes.

By the way, did I miss Andrea's article?

meredith said...

Don't forget, hockey goalie gets mask, soccer goalie doesn't. I can still feel the sting from when i was about 10 played goalie for my indoor soccer team. I was in a 12-15 year old league, and so all the girls were huge compared to me. I can still see the screaming shot which I was unable to get my hands on as it smacked me in the face and literally slammed me into the solid wood back of the goal. Talk about ouch.

ghostwriter said...

But Meredith, the point is: you made the save!

Coach said...

G.W.,

I LOVE both soccer & hockey and loved playing goal in both games, one last comparison of the two.

To continue yr analogy, soccer ball = big and soft, relative to a puck, puck = small & very hard. Soccer field = big, Hockey rink = small, goals scored in a hockey game on average much higher then in soccer. Example, a 5-0 game in soccer is like a 15-0 game in hockey.

In both games, soft goals allowed by a goalie is a killer to a team. The air gets sucked right out. Trust & confidence in your goalie is a must, as you have said.

Meredith, ouch, but a puck to the face in your case in lieu of a soccer ball would have fractured bones, if you were lucky enough to live! Pucks coming at you, deflections, etc. are different then soccer shots. Indoor is also different then outdoor soccer. Small playing service, shots are from close, don't really care for the game played that way actually. Good for foot work and shooting skills though.

But the important thing is, you made the save!

Coach said...

Ghost,

I had to run last night to play taxi service for my daughters, one last comment re goalies, agree that shooter in soccer has advantage over goalie in P.K.'s, but the stress is sometimes too much for the kicker which evens things out a bit. Shots wide, high, soft one at the Keeper, etc.

Penalty shots in hockey, not so sure the goalie has the advantage here but I'm willing to say the advantage to the shooter is certainly less then in soccer, I'm willing to compromise at 50/50?

Any shooter worth his salt can put a puck in the net on a breakaway of penalty shot in hockey. Not sure if you follow the Leafs (Toronto), but they sure can't figure it out in shootouts for the past 3 seasons!

ghostwriter said...

Not just the Leafs, coach. Stats league wide for 05-06 and 06-07 ran about 33% scored, 13% missed net and 54% saves.

Coach said...

lol Ghost,

I know the NHL shootout stats right now favour the goalies. I think you'll find the pre shootout penalty shot stats closer to 50/50 but I'm not sure? Also it might be interesting to look beyond just the NHL, which is my perspective on things.

The pressure of deciding NHL games this way seems to have rattled the shooters? I suspect many of them don't like deciding hockey games this way. I'm not sure I'm sold on it either. Borrowed from soccer and International hockey, it sure is exciting though & that's the whole idea. I also don't like some games being worth 3 points total (point for reg tie) and reg wins worth 2 total. That is broke & needs to be fixed. Either go back to tie games, get rid of the point for a regulation tie or give 3 points for a regulation win. As a hockey purist, I don't really like the 3 point win either, that's the soccer way, but it would make more sense then the current format.

Forget the NHL stats for a moment, 1 on 1, shooter against goalie, wouldn't you agree the shooter should be able to score at least half the time? I know I was happy when I stopped at least half of them in practice! :)

Back to soccer. Are you able to figure out who's who in that pic A.C. posted? Who is that to the right of Pia standing sideways, amongst others I can't figure out?

ghostwriter said...

OK, 50/50 it is, assuming reasonably even skill levels. Match Sidney Crosby in Pee Wees v. me in my prime and the scoring percentage goes WAY up; me in my prime as a winger v. Ken Dryden today in a leg cast, and it goes way down. :)

As far as ID'ing the women in the picture, I'm no help. There are a number of college players in it I've never seen before. I did think it amusing that Abby is as far from Hope in that huddle as it is physically possible to get and still be in the same huddle.

I'm still looking forward to some more stories with first hand impressions of the camp, including AC's, but so far so good, it seems.

Anonymous said...

Player standing to the right of Pia is Angie Woznuk, midfielder from Portland.

Coach said...

Thank you!

Are you serious though? The player standing sideways? The player facing Pia to the right would be a more likely match to the pics I've looked at of Angie.

I can't seem to come up with a match of the player standing sideways?

It's driving me nuts! lol

Impedient said...

Great to see Hope being included in the roster. It will give her motivation to work even harder :)

ghostwriter said...

C:

From the Portland Pilots team pics I'd guess: Woznuk facing Pia and Enyeart to Pia's right.

Anonymous said...

Coach,

You've confused me now. The one on right in the jacket is Angie Woznuk. The one in the light blue training jersey on the right is Rachel Buehler. Clarify sideways.

Coach said...

OMG, lol, sideways is sideways, the one who you can see from head to toe, standing sideways, to the right of Pia. Yes, she has on a dark blue training jacket.

But this looks nothing like the pics I've looked at of Angie Woznuck? Who you have said is Buehler (facing Pia in light blue to Pia's right) looks more like the pics of Woznuk I have looked at? And from the posts listing names previous on the pic post, they seem to say that is Chalupny? Where is Chalupny then? Could this be why many think these girls on the WNT in pony tails all look alike!! rofl

I'm going to post a list on the pic post and ask A.C. to confirm!

A.C. ... HELP!!!! lmao! This is just toooo funny!

Look at the fun you've generated A.C.!!

Anonymous said...

Woznuk http://images.ussoccer.com/Images/cms/ussf/246_woznuk_u21nordic07.jpg

Buehler
http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/stan/sports/w-soccer/auto_action/1393255.jpeg

Coach said...

Thanks for that.

The Woznuk link that you gave wouldn't work for me but I can see Rachel Buehler now in the next one. Previous posts on the pic post had me thinking that was Chalupny but I didn't think so?

Google "woznuk soccer" and look at the first pic under images, #22, white us jersey. Either Angie has really changed, or this pic is ID'ed wrong?

But the next one with #6, red jersey, that one works for me! Not sure how I missed that one yesterday?

I've posted a list on the pic post. When you have time, go correct my attempt as best you can! :)

Coach said...

I do believe I have determined that #22 in that pic I was looking at that was identified as Angie Woznuk is Sara Huffman.

Now I will be able to sleep tonight! :)

Anonymous said...

Coach,

We obviously both have too much free time! Chalupny's head is just to the left of Buehler. You can really only see half of it because Buehler is in the way. I think that #22 pic is Woznuk. It's just from a weird angle and she looks weird.

Coach said...

lol lol , yes, but free time is good time! :)

Do you really think #22 is Angie? Weird angle or not, then she's really changed or lost a ton of weight or something? lol

Isiphotos.com has some really good pics of them all. Some great action shots of Angie too, where she actually looks like the Angie in A.C.'s pic!

Coach said...

Oh, re. Chalups, all you can see is her ear!

I just don't know them well enough to identify them by an ear! lol

Coach said...

The Sara Huffman part comes from going down to the line-up section of the article that the #22 pic is attached to and it says #22 is Sara but, meh, who knows, it appears from the caption that that pic may not even belong to that game? So Angie it is. Maybe? :)

Coach said...

Ghost,

Re 50/50, thanks for that. Your personal analogy was quite humerous. I took a look at some NHL stats in my spare time (lol anon pic helper!). Fact is, pre-shootout NHL penalty shot percentages are quite low too. I was surprised at how low. Like around 25-30% or there abouts!

The problem with the Leafs is not only can't they score in shootouts and on penalty shots, their current goalies can't stop them either! Screwed on both sides of the equation!

But I stick with my original statement, ignoring 1 on 1 skills competitions like penalty shots:

Playing goal in soccer and hockey both require good communication with your teammates. Both sports rely heavily on and must trust their goalies. Both sports are "team" games which require attention to defence. Notwithstanding penalty shots, hockey has more goals scored on average during a game due to the differences in the game. The size of the playing surface, size of the puck, size of the players, power plays, etc., etc.

Goalies in both games can & do steal a game or two for their teams when they play well, albeit maybe more-so in hockey?