The exhibition portion of the college season is notorious for raising false flags right before the beginning of the real action as coaches experiment with various new formations, players, and styles of play. Generally, reading too much into these results isn’t worth your time. But every so often, an interesting scoreline or two will pop up and raise questions. Here are ten results to ponder over as we count down the hours to Friday.
August 10 – West Virginia 1 – 3 Indiana
The pressure is on Mick Lyon to produce for the Indiana faithful, and the Hoosier boss delivered in Indiana’s lone exhibition with freshman Kristin Leist and sophomore Orianica Velasquez both on target. Interestingly, senior keeper Lauren Hollandsworth got the bulk of the minutes in goal. Something to watch out for in the regular season?
August 13 – Florida State 1 – 1 Georgia
We’re no closer to finding an answer to the offensive questions facing FSU to begin 2010 without Tiffany McCarty and Jessica Price. Tori Huster did find the mark, but only after Ashley Baker had saved her penalty seconds before. Perhaps more tellingly, the Seminoles were pegged back by Georgia in quick order through Laura Eddy who looks to be playing higher up the pitch in 2010 after playing as a defender in 2009. The word was that Georgia had FSU on the back foot for much of the afternoon, a good sign for Steve Holeman’s first season in charge.
August 13 – Notre Dame 1 – 4 Virginia
Victory by Virginia is one thing, victory by three clear goals is another. A Virginia squad that has been somewhat goal shy in the recent past dropping four goals on a consensus top five team in Notre Dame should be a warning to the rest of the country’s premier teams that the Cavs could be players on the national scene. With Lauren Alwine and Meghan Lenczyk both notching a goal and assist each, Virginia’s striker combo looks to be in form heading into 2010. If Notre Dame can take heart from anything in this encounter, it’s that Mandy Laddish found the back of the net, the freshman scoring off an assist from Melissa Henderson.
August 14 – UConn 0 – 4 Boston College
UConn aren’t a bad team at all, and Boston College cut through them like butter. The Eagles got goals from Maddie Payne, Kristie Mewis, Brooke Knowlton, and Mary Wagner en route to a decisive victory. Dream big Eagles fans.
August 14 – Texas 2 – 1 LSU
Promising effort from Texas who are trying to recover from a tremendously disappointing 2009 season. Goals from Lucy Keith and Gabby Zarnegar give the Longhorns the victory, while freshman Lexi Harris also impressed. LSU also had something to cheer about with freshman Addie Eggleston on the mark. It should be noted that Tiger sophomore Carlie Banks, so deadly in 2009, was not one of the LSU starters.
August 14 – Villanova 2 – 5 Penn State
On this evidence, the Nittany Lions aren’t going to concede their Big Ten crown without a serious fight. Danielle Toney and Hayley Brock were among the Penn State players that got on the scoreboard in Villanova. The Wildcats did manage to get a brace from one of the Big East’s best forwards in Katie Ryan.
August 14 – Wake Forest 2 – 0 West Virginia
After suffering heavy losses through graduation, especially in the attack, many expect Wake Forest to take a step back in 2010. But the Demon Deacons made a positive start to 2010 with a more lopsided than it appears on paper win over West Virginia, outshooting WVU 18-3. Bianca D’Agostino and Katie Stengel scored for Wake, while West Virginia transfer Caralee Keppler impressed on defense. Questions now might be asked of West Virginia who were well beaten in both of their exhibitions.
August 15 – Central Michigan 4 – 0 Michigan State
The difference a year can make. Yes, it was just an exhibition, but CMU went down 4-0 to Michigan State in the regular season a season ago. Michigan State played many of their 2009 starters for extensive minutes and also give freshman defender Annie Steinlage a long run out. However, Jill Flietstra, the Spartans’ starting keeper only went a half, which may be telling. The Spartans didn’t force Central Michigan starting keeper Shay Mannino into a save in her forty-five minutes though. Watch for Chippewas sophomore Charlese McLemore who bagged a brace from off the bench.
August 15 – Denver 5 – 1 Nebraska
Take heed fans of Colorado, Washington State, UCLA, and Purdue. Denver has made a habit of making bigger name schools look like amateurs in the non-conference portion of the season before inevitably squashing all in their path in the Sun Belt. The Pioneers lit Nebraska up like a Christmas tree while holding star Cornhusker forward Morgan Marlborough to just one shot on goal.
August 15 – Virginia 1 – 1 James Madison
Just a timely reminder that you shouldn’t make too much of one result. The same Virginia team that throttled Notre Dame was held to a draw by a talented but ultimately limited James Madison team. Exhibition results are interesting, but only a very small piece of a puzzle that won’t be totally revealed until early December.