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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Soccer Log

A cut and dry crisis

Drier than Death Valley; more shallow than a kiddie pool; unable to brush the back of the mesh and reap any statistical rewards in a single one of their last three games.

It’s not-so-super Friar Futbol, now on the heels of its first loss of the 2008 season after it had adeptly subsisted on a slim four goals through six games to post a 3-0-3 start to the year.

The Friars have been utterly scoreless since they cracked a 1-0 squeaking over Georgetown two Saturdays ago, granting them a 1-0 start to the Big East portion of the season. In the span of two scoreless, 110-minute marathons versus Northeastern and Cincinnati and Sunday’s 1-0 falter at the hands of Louisville, they have heaved a statistically substantial 43 shots, 13 of them going down as shots on net.

Beneath the unmistakable bushel of effort lay signs of ultimately draining hurriedness. During their draw with the Bearcats at Glay Field last Friday, PC’s onslaught perked up at an epically exponential rate to the point where they booted half of the day’s six shots on net in the second overtime frame.

On Sunday, they scraped out a season high 16 shot attempts, yet only three were played by Cardinal keeper Andre Boudreaux. Result: the Friars’ slimmest SOG precision rate in a single game yet.

Not even counted amongst those attempts was Chris Stoker’s straightaway sizzler at 31:15 of the second half, which beat the plunging Boudreaux by miles but couldn’t beat a play-killing whistle. It’s up for debate amongst the distressed residents of the Glay grandstands whether that misfortune or, say, Boudreaux’s recovery of a soapy Maduro rebound when Timothy Ritter could have cashed in on a gaping cage, was costlier for their team.

Come what may, while Providence procrastinates to score on a comfortable basis, the burden only thickens. Currently 0-0-2 on the road, with only a pair of interleague tilts up in Massachusetts to speak of, the Friars are now fostering for a vital weekend excursion to New York (Syracuse tomorrow night, St. John’s Sunday evening).

Like the Friars, the Orange were slapped with their first big L on Sunday –in the form of a 3-0 lashing via almighty Notre Dame. Like Murray, Syracuse stopper Robert Cavicchia has a radiant five shutouts to speak of and had authorized but one goal through six games prior to Sunday.

Unlike the Friars, the Orange have piled on a slightly healthier nine goals. And the undefeated Red Storm (6-0-2 overall, 1-0-1 in Big East play) have an even sturdier track record of 10 goals for and only one allotted to the opposition in a span of eight outings. St. John’s starting goalkeeper Neal Kitson was offered a breather when that one goal –booted by Boston College’s Mike Konicoff back on September 7- but has otherwise reeled in 35 shots faced and charged up seven shutouts.

Oh, and PC hasn’t inserted a single goal against the Red Storm since 2004.

The competition doesn’t exactly make compromises and entrust any catch-up sessions. Rekindling and inflicting their former scoring groove is all that juts on the PC priority handout.

Free kicks: Syracuse’s statistical leaders through the club’s first seven games read as follows: Tom Perevegyencev stands atop with four goals and 8 points; Justin Arena has pitched in three helpers; Spencer Schomaker has booted 20 shots…The Red Storm’s key categorical leaders through eight games: Adam Himeno is the top gun via three goals and six points; Himeno and Ryan Soroka share a lead with six SOG apiece; Ale Ivo has discharged the most overall attempts; and Ben Clack has consumed 767 minutes worth of playing time…The aforementioned Kitson is formally the Big East’s top goalkeeper three weeks running…PC’s last three tussles with St. John’s have required overtime, two get-togethers at Glay Field each being a scoreless draw and the 2006 excursion to Jamaica, N.Y. a 1-0 Red Storm triumph.

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