Sunday, November 9, 2008

NU Women's Soccer Wins Northeastern's Second-Ever CAA Title

2008 Conference Champions

First and foremost, congratulations to Northeastern's 2nd-ever CAA championship team, the 2008 women's soccer team. This will be their first appearance ever in the NCAA tournament, with the selection show scheduled for tomorrow night at 8 PM. Liza Rebello scored the game winner in double overtime off a Gabbi Jatkola rebound, defeating the Hofstra Pride 1-0 in 119 minutes of play. Also notable was IPNO favorite Veronica Napoli picking up CAA rookie of the year honors for her team-leading 12 goal freshman season. Congrats, Huskies, you do your school proud.

Patriots 20, Buffalo 10

I only watched the first half, but that was really all you needed to watch to get a good idea of how this game went. Matt Cassel had another good game, creating 7 points with his legs and making downfield plays we haven't seen from him until today. He didn't throw any touchdown passes, but he showed better pocket presence than he has previously. Wes Welker had a good game also, quietly picking up 107 yards and generally screwing up Buffalo's secondary.

With the Jets steamrolling the Rams this afternoon, next Sunday will feature the first place Patriots vs. the first place Jets. I don't think the Jets are any good, but this will be an interesting test.

Name to remember: BenJarvus Green-Ellis. An undrafted running back who was probably considered the 5th-string back at the beginning of the season. Three first names, 105 yards today. This concludes today's fantasy suggestion.

Huskies 4, Bentley 1

Pots and pans night in the Doghouse, this was one of the loudest games I've ever attended. The crowd of 3354 was smaller than the 4800-person average for the first two games, but a nice crowd considering the opponent, the ongoing Husky Hunt, and some rain.

Freshman Steve Quailer opened the scoring for the Huskies with a goal off a nice feed from freshman Alex Tuckerman. Yes, these guys are both good, and they're both freshmen.

After their first goal, the Huskies looked listless through the rest of the first, and after getting a second period goal from Tyler McNeely, absolutely fell asleep. They managed to kill off a 5 on 3 penalty, but otherwise looked bored and sleepwalked their way into a Bentley goal. A couple defenders were lazy getting back to help Thiessen play the puck, Thiessen had to force a clearance attempt through a Bentley player who promptly took it away and beat him high glove side. It happens, but you've gotta feel bad for Brad losing what could have been his tenth Northeastern shutout.

This, finally, seemed to rouse the sleeping Dogs, leading to a beautiful Joe Vitale goal. Wade MacLeod would ice the game with an empty-netter with a couple seconds to go, sending the Matthews crowd home with little to complain about.

Well, mostly.

Northeastern put together a string of abysmal power plays. Against an inferior out of conference opponent, they got away with it. Against Vermont, BU, or UNH, their next three opponents, they won't. Also, they took a couple really stupid penalties that resulted in Bentley power plays late in the game, another huge no-no against better competition. Taking a too-many-men penalty with under two minutes to go is a recipe for disaster.

That said, seeing Vitale, MacLeod, and McNeely on the scoresheet is a good thing. NU will need better production from those three to stay atop Hockey East.

Lakers vs. Rockets (post-game analysis forthcoming)

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